James Woolsey

Ambassador, former director of the CIA

He served in the US government for 12 years in five different positions in two republican and two democratic administrations. In 1993–1995 served as director of the CIA. During the civil service, he was ambassador in the negotiations for conventional armed forces in Europe, vice minister of the naval forces, chief counsel for the US Senate Armed Forces Committee. He participated in the Soviet-American negotiations on the reduction of strategic weapons and negotiations on nuclear and space weapons.

Ambassador R James Woolsey


Amb Woolsey previously served in the US Government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations, most recently (1993-95) as Director of Central Intelligence. From July 2002 to March 2008 Amb Woolsey was a Vice President and officer of Booz Allen Hamilton, and then a Venture Partner with Vantage Point Venture Partners of San Bruno, California until January 2011. He was also previously a partner at the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, DC, now Goodwin Procter, where he practiced for 22 years in the fields of civil litigation, arbitration, and mediation.  Amb R James Woolsey is a Venture Partner with Lux Capital Management.

During his 12 years of government service, in addition to heading the CIA and the Intelligence Community, Amb Woolsey was: Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Vienna, 1989–1991; Under Secretary of the Navy, 1977–1979; and General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, 1970–1973. He was also appointed by the President to serve on a part-time basis in Geneva, Switzerland, 1983–1986, as Delegate at Large to the U.S.–Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and Nuclear and Space Arms Talks (NST). As an officer in the US Army, he was an adviser on the US Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), Helsinki and Vienna, 1969–1970.

Amb Woolsey serves on a range of government, corporate, and non-profit advisory boards and chairs several. He served as the advisor to the Congressional EMP Commission.  He also served on the Board of Advisors of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a Congressional Advisory Board.

Previously Amb Woolsey served on the National Commission on Energy Policy; served as Chairman of the Advisory Boards of the Clean Fuels Foundation and the New Uses Council, and was a Trustee of the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. Previously, he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, and a trustee of Stanford University. He has also been a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, 1999–2000; the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the US (Rumsfeld Commission), 1998; the President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform, 1989; the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), 1985–1986; and the President’s Commission on Strategic Forces (Scowcroft Commission), 1983.

Amb Woolsey has served in the past as a member of boards of directors of a number of publicly and privately held companies, generally in fields related to technology and security, including Martin Marietta; British Aerospace, Inc; Fairchild Industries; and Yurie Systems, Inc. In 2009, he was the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and in 2010-2011 he was a Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Amb Woolsey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended Tulsa public schools, graduating from Tulsa Central High School. He received his BA degree from Stanford University (1963, With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), an MA from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar 1963–1965), and an LLB from Yale Law School (1968, Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal).

Amb Woolsey is a frequent contributor of articles to major publications, and from time to time gives public speeches and media interviews on the subjects of energy, foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence. He also testifies to Congressional committees on similar issues.