Andrew H. Card Jr., who has held a variety of top-level governmental positions under three U.S. presidents, has been named acting dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
Card’s appointment was announced today following last week’s U.S. Senate confirmation of Ryan Crocker as the new ambassador to Afghanistan.
Ambassador Crocker, who has served as dean of the Bush School since January 2010, was granted an extended leave of absence from Texas A&M to accept President Barack Obama’s request to provide diplomatic leadership for the United States in Afghanistan.
“Mr. Card has served admirably in a number of public service positions, and we are delighted that he has accepted our offer to serve as acting dean of the Bush School and carry on the outstanding work that the school has experienced under the tremendous leadership of Ambassador Crocker,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “We obviously regret losing Ambassador Crocker’s leadership for an extended period, but we take great pride in him answering the call yet again to serve our country in a key area of the world. Our temporary loss of his service is certainly tempered by the knowledge that Mr. Card will be filling in so ably.”
President George H.W. Bush, the school’s namesake, joined in praising both leaders.
“Just as I couldn’t be prouder of Ryan Crocker for once again answering his country’s call to duty, I also could not be happier to have a leader of Andy Card’s character and credentials stepping in to lead the Bush School forward at this exciting time in our growth,” the 41st president said. “Andy, to me, embodies the values and commitment to public service that our school is all about — and the gratitude in my heart to Andy and Kathy for their willingness to take on this assignment knows no bounds.”
Card served as White House chief of staff under President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2006. He served as deputy chief of staff and, subsequently, as secretary of transportation under President Bush ’41. Card also was appointed as special assistant and later deputy assistant to the president, as well as director of intergovernmental affairs by President Ronald Reagan.
He began his public service career in 1975 when he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served until 1983. In 1982, he was named “Legislator of the Year” by the National Republican Legislators Association and received the “Distinguished Legislator Award” from the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Card also has served in leadership positions in industry. He is a co-founder of the Lonsdale Group and currently serves on several boards and councils, including the board of directors of Union Pacific Corporation. Additionally, he is senior counselor on the international advisory board at Fleishman-Hillard and the advisory board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Card is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in engineering. He also attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1967.
He and his wife, the Rev. Kathleene Card, are natives of Holbrook, Mass., and have three children and six grandchildren.
In bidding temporary farewell to his colleagues at the Bush School and elsewhere within the university, Ambassador Crocker issued a formal statement upon his nomination, which reads in part:
“When the Commander in Chief asks you to serve the nation in a time of war, there is only one right answer, especially for those of us at the Bush School who share President Bush’s commitment to service. I gave the President that answer.
“While I feel privileged to serve in this critical position, it is with deep regret that I will be departing the Bush School. We have done a lot over the past year, and I never cease to be impressed by the quality and commitment of our students, staff and faculty.
“The good news for me is that I will take a leave of absence from Texas A&M and look forward to returning to the school after my service in Afghanistan. I know the school will be in good hands during my absence, and that it will continue to produce the educated, ethical leaders so essential to our democracy.”
Crocker previously served as ambassador to Iraq and, earlier in his career, led diplomatic missions in Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon.
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