The Honorable Jane Harmon
Jane Harman is a renowned public servant and policy architect whose leadership epitomizes our nation’s most cherished values. Her many legislative successes have greatly benefited her fellow southern Californians, while her influence on the post-Cold War landscape of national security and foreign affairs continues to shape the geopolitical outlook of the 21st century. With courage and dedication, she has left her mark on our country and our world.
In serving our nation with distinction for nearly four decades, Congresswoman Harman has long embodied the principles of good governance, especially through her accomplished tenure in the United States House of Representatives, and previously as legislative director and chief counsel to California Senator John Tunney and senior White House aide to President Jimmy Carter. Her well-deserved reputation as a coalition builder stems from her remarkable talent for fostering dialogue and collaboration. Indeed, she provided crucial leadership during a time of transition for her constituents, as she helped re-imagine the commercial future of Los Angeles and the entire southland region in its pivot to a more diversified high-tech economy.
Congresswoman Harman’s far-reaching influence has also emphasized the importance of our country’s international relationships. She has prioritized the safety of our nation throughout a career that includes more than two decades of combined experience as a prominent member of the House committees on homeland security, intelligence, and the armed services. Her appointment as the first female director, president, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a congressionally-chartered organization committed to nonpartisan research, speaks to her expertise and skill in navigating complex diplomatic issues while also strengthening ties with our allies around the world.
At USC, Congresswoman Harman has brought wisdom and integrity to her roles as a member of our Board of Trustees and as a steadfast supporter of our academic mission. Along with her late husband, she created the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, a wholly unique institution that elevates the work of creative scholars dedicated to exploring and integrating ideas across differing fields. Their son, Daniel Harman, is also a proud Trojan and a graduate of the USC Marshall School.
Congresswoman Harman’s achievements attest to her extraordinary sense of responsibility to the greater good. Her work has touched countless lives, and remains a profound symbol of the vigilance and self-sacrifice that defines our country’s most effective leaders. In providing a blueprint for resourceful and inspiring political leadership, she truly honors the legacy of American democracy.
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For her commitment to worldwide peace and prosperity, her decades of distinguished public service, and her vital role in enhancing the quality of higher education, the University of Southern California is proud to present Jane Harman with the Presidential Medallion.