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OGC Key Personnel Archive - 1976-1977

Former General Counsel William H. Taft

William H. Taft

General Counsel, DHEW, 1976-1977

Harvard Law School, 1969
Yale College, 1966

Nominated by President Gerald Ford
Served Under Secretary David Matthews

The great grandson of President William H. Taft, William H. Taft IV was appointed by President Ford in 1976 to serve as General Counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Prior to his appointment as General Counsel, Taft was the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Department for Health, Education, and Welfare. From 1972 to 1973, Taft was the Executive Assistant to the Director of Office of Management and Budget and before that Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In 1970, Taft served as an Attorney Advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

Before joining the Department of State, Mr. Taft was a litigation partner in Fried Frank's Washington, DC office, concentrating in government contracts counseling and international trade. Prior to joining Fried Franks in 1992, Mr. Taft was the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO from 1989 to 1992. He served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from January 1984 to April 1989 and as Acting Secretary of Defense from January to March 1989. From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Taft was General Counsel for the Department of Defense.

Since April 2001, Mr. Taft has served as the Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State. He is the principal adviser on all domestic and international legal matters to the Department of State, the Foreign Service, and the diplomatic and consular posts abroad. He is also the principal adviser on legal matters relating to the conduct of foreign relations to other agencies and, through the Secretary of State, to the President and the National Security Council.

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

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