Select a name from the alphabetical listing drop down menu to view a photo and biography of confirmed speakers for the 2009 URW Symposium.

URW 2009 Speakers

  James R. Locher, III
  Project for National Security Reform

The Honorable James R. Locher, III has more than 25 years of professional experience in both the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. He is currently the Lead Instructor for the Department of State's Combating Terrorism Program for senior foreign leaders, Staff Adjunct at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and Executive Director of the Project on National Security Reform. In 2003-04, Mr. Locher served as chairman of the Defense Reform Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2005, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded Mr. Locher its Medal of Honor for "outstanding service to the United States."

In 2002, Texas A&M University Press published his book, Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon. In 1999, Mr. Locher joined the Board of Directors of Power Medical Interventions, a medical device company. Subsequently, he was elected Company Secretary and later Board Vice Chairman. President George H. W. Bush appointed Mr. Locher to the post of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in October 1989. He supervised the special operations and low-intensity conflict activities of the DoD, performed as the Principal Civilian Adviser to the Secretary of Defense on these matters, and represented the Secretary in senior subordinate groups of the National Security Council. He served as Assistant Secretary throughout the Bush administration and first five months of the Clinton administration. During the latter period, Mr. Locher also served as Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Upon leaving Government service in June 1993, he was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the department's highest civilian award.

Since 1993, Mr. Locher has been consulting, lecturing, and writing. He served as a Senior Consultant to the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces and as a member of the Secretary of Defense's Task Force on Defense Reform and the National Security Study Group of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century.

In 1978, Mr. Locher joined the Senate Committee on Armed Services as the Senior Adviser on international security affairs and force projection programs. In 1985, the committee assigned Mr. Locher responsibility for strategy and organization. He directed the bipartisan staff effort that resulted in the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and served as the Senior Staffer for the special operations and low-intensity conflict reform legislation, known as the Cohen-Nunn Amendment.

Mr. Locher graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1968, received an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1974, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1992.