Press Release - President Biden Announces Appointees for the United States Holocaust Memorial Council
WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announces his intent to appoint the following individuals to serve as members on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council:
- Stuart Eizenstat, Chair
- Allan M. Holt, Vice Chair
- Tom A. Bernstein
- Abraham H. Foxman
- Meryl Frank
- Judith Gold
- Marsha Z. Laufer
- Samuel Lauter
- Jeffrey Peck
- Leah Pisar
- Mark A. Siegel
- Susan K. Stern
The United States Holocaust Memorial Council was established by Congress in 1980 to lead the nation in commemorating the Holocaust and to raise private funds for and build the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Once the Museum opened in 1993, the Council became the governing board of trustees of the Museum, an independent establishment of the United States government operating as a public-private partnership that receives some federal funding to support operations of the Museum building.
Stuart Eizenstat, Chair
Ambassador Eizenstat is a senior member of Covington & Burling LLP's international practice. During a decade and a half of public service in four U.S. administrations, Ambassador Eizenstat has served as chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter, and held a number of key roles in the Clinton Administration, including U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. He also served as a member of the White House staff for President Lyndon B. Johnson. He has made Holocaust justice and memory a major part of his career. During the Carter Administration, Ambassador Eizenstat recommended to the President a Presidential Commission on the Holocaust, chaired by Elie Wiesel, and helped draft the legislation authorizing creation of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which the Commission proposed. In addition, in the Clinton Administration, he served as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues and during the Obama-Biden Administration as Special Advisor to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry on Holocaust-Era Issues, negotiating major recoveries from foreign corporations and governments on behalf of Holocaust survivors and families of victims. As Special Negotiator for the Jewish Claims Conference since 2009, he has negotiated additional compensation and social services for survivors, with an increasing emphasis on Holocaust memory and lessons. He is currently Special Adviser to Secretary of State Blinken on Holocaust Issues. He chairs the board of the Defiant Requiem Foundation, honoring the memory of the musicians and artists at the Theresenstadt concentration camp. He has received eight honorary doctorate degrees from academic institutions, and over 75 awards, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's highest award, the Eli Wiesel Award, and from the governments of France (Legion of Honor), Germany, Austria, Belgium, Israel and the United States. He has authored three books, including Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor & the Unfinished Business of World War II. He is Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which created the Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat Chair of Modern Jewish History, and of Harvard Law School. He and his late wife, Frances Eizenstat, have two sons and eight grandchildren.
Allan M. Holt, Vice Chair
Allan M. Holt of Washington, DC, is Vice Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and Chairman of the Strategic Advancement Committee. He is a Senior Partner and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, serving most recently as Chairman of Carlyle's US Buyout group, the firm's largest investment fund. Prior to joining Carlyle in 1992 he spent three and a half years with Avenir Group, Inc., an investment and advisory company. Allan was also previously with MCI Communications Corporation, where as Director of Planning and Budgets he managed a group responsible for the development, review and analysis of MCI's multibillion-dollar financial operating and capital plans. He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of several Carlyle portfolio companies, including Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics and Veritas Technologies. Mr. Holt is the former Chair of The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Board, currently serving as an Emeritus Member, and is a Member of the Johns Hopkins University Wilmer Eye Institute Board of Governors. He is also a Member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Human Freedom Advisory Council. Mr. Holt is a graduate of Rutgers University and received his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the son of Holocaust survivors.
Tom A. Bernstein
Tom A. Bernstein is President and Co-Founder of Chelsea Piers, L.P., formed in 1992, to develop and operate the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex along Manhattan's Hudson River. In addition, Mr. Bernstein was one of the two principals of Silver Screen Management, Inc., and the affiliated Silver Screen companies, which from 1983 to 1998 financed 75 films with the Walt Disney Company. Mr. Bernstein was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 2002, and is now Chairman Emeritus and serves on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Committee on Conscience. Mr. Bernstein also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Public Service; Chair of the Advisory Council of the NYU Center for Business & Human Rights; and Co-Chair Emeritus of Human Rights First.
Abraham H. Foxman
Abraham H. Foxman is a world-renowned leader in the fight against antisemitism, bigotry and discrimination and a decades-long advocate for Holocaust education and awareness. Born in Poland, Foxman is a Holocaust survivor, having survived as a hidden child in Lithuania. When the war ended, Foxman reunited with his parents, also Holocaust survivors, and spent several years in DP camps in Austria, before immigrating to America. Foxman has served as a member of President Carter's Commission on the Holocaust. Chaired by Elie Wiese, that commission would go on to establish the United States Holocaust Museum. Foxman has also served as a Member of the Council appointed by Presidents Ronald Regan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Foxman is National Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). After serving 50 years with the organization, including serving as National Director for 28 years, Foxman retired in 2015. He is the author of four books on antisemitism and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the 2021 Jewish Heritage Congressional Tribute Honoree. The proud father of two children and grandfather to four grandchildren, Foxman lives with his wife Golda in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Meryl Frank is an international champion of women's leadership and political participation. She was appointed as the United States Representative, and subsequently, as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) by President Barack Obama in February 2009. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, Frank was elected Mayor of Highland Park, New Jersey. She served in that capacity for ten years, from January 2000 to January 2010. She has served on the Boards of Jewish Women International, The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and The American Jewish Congress. Frank was selected as one of "The Fifty Most Influential Jews in the World" by the Jerusalem Post (2012) for her work on behalf of women around the world. Her book, Unearthed: A Lost Actress, a Forbidden Book, and a Search for Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust, is forthcoming from Hachette Books in April 2023.
Judith Gold is a business executive, attorney and national advocate for equality, social justice and local civic causes. Ms. Gold is the Managing Director and Senior Counsel of LAMB LLC, a privately held investment firm, and prior to that was a partner at Perkins Coie in the Corporate Law Department. In addition to her private practice, Ms. Gold has a distinguished record of public service having served as Policy Director for the city of Chicago as well as serving as a past chair of the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in Illinois. Ms. Gold currently serves on numerous boards including the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation, Columbia College of Chicago, the Civic Federation of Chicago, the Women's Media Center and is a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
Marsha Z. Laufer
Dr. Marsha Zlatin Laufer (Ph.D. Northwestern University), raised in a Jewish family in Baltimore, Maryland, has had two successful careers as a speech-language pathologist and as a political activist. She has been engaged in clinical practice, undergraduate and graduate teaching, and in conducting research in clinical phonology and in infant development studying precursors to and evolution of language at the National Institutes of Health, Purdue University, and Stony Brook University. Marsha and her husband Henry, a theoretical mathematician who went on to have a second career in finance, resided in Long Island where she chaired the Village of Old Field Ways and Means Committee, the Stony Brook University Bach Aria Festival, served on the Boards of the Staller Center for the Arts and Planned Parenthood, and received an honorary doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. As a political activist, Marsha led a successful local council district good government referendum, chaired the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee, and has served on the DNC National Finance Committee, and as a County, State, and National Democratic Committeewoman. After retiring to Florida where they belong to the Temple Emanu-El Congregation, Marsha has maintained a high level of political, community, and cultural activism. Marsha and Henry have three married sons who, with their families that include nine grandchildren, reside in Jerusalem, Israel, New York, and Piedmont, California.
Sam Lauter, a fifth-generation San Franciscan, is a public affairs professional with over 40 years of experience in local, state and national politics. Currently Sam is a partner in Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners' (BMWL), one of California's leading boutique public affairs and political consulting firms. Sam began his professional career at the age of 18 on the district staff for Congressman Philip Burton (D-CA). After graduating UC Berkeley in 1986, Sam moved to Washington, DC, to work on the presidential campaign and Senate staff for Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), where he served as the Senator's personal assistant. In his volunteer life, Sam is a key voice in the organized Jewish community in both California and Washington, D.C., most prominently with AIPAC, the Democratic Majority For Israel and A Wider Bridge. Sam's mother, the late Naomi Lauter, spearheaded organizing the Survivor community in San Francisco in the early 1970's leading to the San Francisco Holocaust Memorial, the San Francisco Holocaust Center, and the annual community-wide Shoah commemoration committee which Sam served on for almost 20 years. Sam and his wife Stephanie live in San Francisco and have two children, Aliza and Jacob.
Jeffrey Peck joined Peck Madigan Jones in May 2001, and was Chairman of the Tiber Creek Group between 2007-2018. He began his political and policy career in 1987, when he was tasked by then Chairman Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to serve as Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Continuing to serve Chairman Biden as the Committee's General Counsel and Staff Director between 1988-1992, Jeff played a leading role on three additional Supreme Court nominations, proposed constitutional amendments to ban flag burning, the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and a number of civil rights, intellectual property and antitrust issues. Jeff served as Treasurer and Vice Chair of the Biden Foundation and also served as a Volunteer Senior Advisor to the Biden Presidential Transition, helping to establish the Transition and working on a range of major projects. Jeff graduated Duke University (1979) summa cum laude and received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School (1982).
Dr. Leah Pisar is Chair of Project Aladdin, which seeks to counter anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, hate and extremism by teaching the universal lessons of the Holocaust and building bridges of knowledge among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Her father, one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz, Dachau and Majdanek, instilled in her a duty to remain vigilant against all forms of hatred and discrimination. Since his death in 2015, she has taken this on as her mission, through educational projects and exchanges in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Currently working on a family memoir, she regularly narrates the text her father wrote for Leonard Bernstein's "Kaddish" Symphony with leading world orchestras. She also serves on the Jury of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, under the patronage of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. She held several positions in the Clinton administration: At the White House as Director for communications at the National Security Council, at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Public Affairs, and at the U.S. Embassy in Paris as Speechwriter to Ambassador Pamela Harriman. Dr. Pisar holds a BA from Harvard College, a Masters from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of Paris and a PhD from the University of Paris.
Mark A. Siegel
Dr. Mark A. Siegel served as Deputy Assistant to President Jimmy Carter, where among other duties he was White House liaison to the American Jewish Community. He also served as Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee; on the staffs of the House and the Senate; and as a domestic and international political and strategic consultant. He won a Peabody Award as co-producer of the documentary, "Bhutto", about assassinated Pakistani Prime Minister Benazier Bhutto, with whom he had collaborated on the international best-seller "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West." He has served on numerous boards, including the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Siegel holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University. In Washington he taught at George Washington and American Universities, and currently is an adjunct professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs. Siegel lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and New York City. He is married to Dr. Judith Siegel and is parent to Robert (Rona) Siegel, Rebecca (Craig) Siegel Baron, Sarah (Josh) Siegel Muncey, and seven grandchildren.
Susan K. Stern
Susan K. Stern is a community activist, political advocate and philanthropist. She was appointed by President Obama as Chair of the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, focusing its work on human trafficking. She is a Commissioner and past chair of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, serving under three governors. Stern has been dedicated to Jewish communities in New York and across the globe throughout her life. She was Chair of the Board and Campaign Chair of UJA-Federation of New York, Vice Chair and National Campaign Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), where she also was co-creator of the International Lion of Judah Conference in 1993. Susan is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a founding member of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), has served on the President's Advisory Council for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Dean's Advisory Committee at the University of Michigan, and is currently a Vice President of Central Synagogue in Manhattan. Susan and her husband, Jeffrey, have two sons – Michael (Janna) and Peter (Amanda) – and six grandchildren.
Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - President Biden Announces Appointees for the United States Holocaust Memorial Council Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/354256