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OGC Key Personnel Archive - 1973-1976

Former General Counsel John B. Rhinelander

Former General Counsel John B. Rhinelander

General Counsel, DHEW, 1973-1976

University of Virginia Law School, 1961
Yale University, 1955

Nominated by President Richard Nixon
Served Under Secretaries Caspar Weinberger and David Matthews

John B. Rhinelander was nominated by President Nixon to serve as General Counsel to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare on August 23, 1973.

Prior to his tenure as General Counsel of DHEW, Rhinelander was a partner of the law firm of Sidley and Austin. Prior to this he served in a variety of positions in government and private practice. Mr. Rhinelander served as Deputy legal adviser in the Department of State from July 1969 through June 1971. He served as legal adviser to the U.S. SALT Delegation at Vienna in the spring of 1971.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Rhinelander served as a law clerk to the Associate Justice John M. Harlan of the Supreme Court of the United States and practiced law in New York. From September 1962 through October 1966, he practiced law in New York City with the firm of Davis, Polk, Wardwell, Sunderland & Kiendl. Rhinelander has extensive experience in the field of foreign affairs. He served as Special Civilian Assistant to the Secretary and Under Secretary of the Navy. In addition, he served as Chief Counsel and then Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Foreign Direct Investments in the Department of Commerce.

Throughout his tenure as General Counsel of DHEW, Mr. Rhinelander was involved in efforts to pass several landmark pieces of legislation. He was called upon personally to draft the regulations of Title IX of the 1974 Education Act, which mandated equal spending for female and male collegiate athletics. Before the regulations were adopted, Mr. Rhinelander was summoned over to the White House to brief President Ford as well as several NCCA football coaches on the different provisions of the act.

Mr. Rhinelander was also instrumental in efforts to pass legislation that would have established a system of national health insurance. Negotiations between the Department and members of Congress were well under way and it seemed that such a program would become a reality. However, before a definitive agreement was reached, the then Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, was pulled over late one night in Washington D.C. close to the tidal basin area. Later it was discovered that Mills was accompanied by Fannie Fox, a well-known stripper also known as the Argentina Bombshell. Mill's involvement with Fox and the subsequent negative publicity permanently derailed efforts to pass the bill into law.

Currently, John Rhinelander is a Senior Counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's healthcare & life sciences group in Washington D.C. He has written and taught in the field of nuclear arms control and is a frequent witness testifying before congress on issues relating to missile defense and strategic arms reduction.

Presented for archival purposes. Current as of November 25, 2002.

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