AKA Samuel Richard Berger
Birthplace: Sharon, CT
Location of death: Washington, DC
Cause of death: Cancer - unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: National Security Advisor for Bill Clinton
Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger was the National Security Advisor during President Bill Clinton's second term, from 1997 to 2001.
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1971, he became a speechwriter for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, where Berger and Clinton first met. Berger worked as a partner in the Washington law firm of Hogan and Hartson from 1973 to 1977, then took the post of deputy director of policy planning at the State Department in the Jimmy Carter presidency. After Carter lost his bid for re-election, Berger returned to Hogan and Hartson, where he worked until taking leave in 1988 to act as a foreign policy advisor for Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign. When Dukakis was defeated, Berger again returned to Hogan and Hartson until his friend Clinton ran for president in 1992.
Berger was Clinton's senior foreign policy advisor during the campaign. During Clinton's first term, Berger was deputy National Security Advisor, before being promoted to the top spot. Since the Clinton administration ended, Berger has been part of the National Security Advisory Group, which advises Senate Democrats on security-related issues. He has also been a "senior foreign affairs advisor" to John Kerry's presidential campaign.
In July 2004, however, Berger resigned both positions after his name popped into headlines, when he was accused of stealing classified materials. The September 11 Commission had sought Clinton-era documents regarding that administration's anti-terror policies, and Clinton had asked Berger to review and select which documents would be turned over to the Commission. To facilitate this, Berger was allowed access to "highly classified documents" in a secure reading room at the National Archives, on 18 July, 2 September, and 2 October 2003.
The AP reported that the FBI had obtained warrants and searched Berger's home and office "earlier in the year". Berger responded to the media reports by explaining that he had left the secure room with his own handwritten notes in his jacket and pants, and also "inadvertently" taken copies of actual classified documents. By the very plainly spelled-out rules of the National Archives, taking souvenirs is not allowed, and any notes Berger wrote were not supposed to be taken from the Archives without first being reviewed and OK'd by employees there. What exactly was taken remains (of course) classified, but Berger and his lawyer have said that "several versions of a classified memo" were found inside Berger's leather portfolio. They say he promptly returned the documents and his notes, and that the whole hubbub about this is just the result of Berger's "inadvertent sloppiness".
Father: (d. 1953)
Sister: (one sister)
Wife: Susan Harrison Berger (until his death, one son, two daughters)
University: BA, Cornell University (1967)
Law School: JD, Harvard Law School (1971, cum laude)
White House National Security Advisor (1997-2000)
White House Deputy National Security Advisor (1993-97)
US State Department Policy Planning Staff (1977-80)
Member of the Board of Albright Stonebridge Group
America Abroad Media Advisory Board
American Academy of Diplomacy
Council on Foreign Relations
Obama for Illinois
Partnership for a Secure America Advisory Board
Searchlight Leadership Fund
Quill and Dagger
Mishandling Classified Materials pled guilty (1-Apr-2005)
Reckless Driving Fairfax County, VA (10-Sep-2005)
Author of books:
Dollar Harvest: The Story of the Farm Bureau (1971)
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