Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel was the 24th Secretary of Defense, serving from February 2013 to February 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve in that role. Hagel also served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska.

Some of Hagel’s current commitments include serving on the Board of Trustees of RAND; Advisory Boards of Deutsche Bank America and Corsair Capital; Senior Advisor to Gallup and to the McCarthy Group; Distinguished Executive in Residence at Georgetown University; Distinguished Statesman at the Atlantic Council; and Board of Directors of the American Security Project.

Previously, Secretary Hagel served on the Board of the Chevron Corporation and the Zurich Holding Company of America, was a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee, and Co-Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Corporate Council. He served as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board, Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Power, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Board of Directors and the Systemic Risk Council.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Hagel was president of McCarthy & Company, an investment banking firm in Omaha, Nebraska. In the mid-1980’s, Hagel co-founded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc., a publicly traded corporation. He was President and CEO of the World USO, Private Sector Council (PSC), and Chief Operating Officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit). Hagel also served as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Commissioner General of the 1982 World’s Fair.

He is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter and was the subject of a 2006 book by Charlyne Berens entitled, Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have a daughter (Allyn) and son (Ziller).



General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

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Does America really ‘share values’ with today’s Israel?

In the late sixties or early seventies, when I served as the executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating body for certain social action and interreligious activities of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform national rabbinical and congregational organizations in the United States, I had a private conversation—one of many—with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who was considered the leader of modern Orthodoxy in the United States, if not the world.

Rabbi Soloveitchik had just completed a high-level seminar attended by a select group of rabbis and Christian ministers. I asked him if he would agree to lead another such a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.

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