James A. Leach is the ninth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to being nominated by President Obama for the post, Leach was a Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and Interim Director of the Institute of Politics and Lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Leach’s brief stint in academia was preceded by 30 years of service as a representative in Congress where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Leach attended Princeton University, the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins, and the London School of Economics.
He holds thirteen honorary degrees, has received decorations from two foreign governments, and is the recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club, the Norman Borlaug Public Service Award, and the Woodrow Wilson Medal from Princeton.
The chairman served on the board of several public companies and a series of non-profit organizations, including the Century Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Kettering Foundation, Pro Publica and Common Cause, which he chaired.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and formerly served as a trustee of Princeton University.