Washington, D.C., Jan. 3, 2013 -- After nearly 25 years of leadership and service to The Heritage Foundation, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III today announced he is “semi-retiring.” Meese will leave his full-time position as chairman of Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, but remain onboard as the think tank’s Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus. In this capacity, he will oversee special projects and act as an ambassador for Heritage within the conservative movement.
Effective Feb. 1, David Addington will become senior vice president for legal and judicial policy, heading the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. In this new capacity, Addington will be responsible for the Legal Center’s research and education programs. Addington currently serves as Heritage’s senior vice president and deputy chief operating officer.
“It has been an incredible honor to work with one of the greatest, most honorable men of our time,” Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner said of Meese. “His lifelong dedication to the principles of government, as established by this nation’s Founders, has helped preserve freedom, opportunity and justice in America for two generations.
“Ed Meese’s wisdom, humanity and patriotism are second to none,” Feulner added, “and I can think of no one more capable or talented to take over the reins of our Legal Center than David Addington.”
The center was renamed the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies last fall, in recognition of Meese’s contributions to the rule of law and the nation’s understanding of constitutional law.
After his announcement, Meese stated: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tenure with The Heritage Foundation and appreciate the opportunity to continue working with such wonderful colleagues. Heritage is an outstanding organization that remains dedicated to the principles President Reagan served so well, and David Addington is an outstanding choice to lead the Legal Center for years to come.”
Meese served as the 75th attorney general of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. Earlier in the Reagan administration, Meese held the position of counsellor to the president and functioned as Reagan’s chief policy adviser. Meese joined Heritage in 1988 as the think tank’s first Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow. In 2001, Meese became the founder and chairman of its Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
Addington joined Heritage in 2010 as vice president for domestic and economic policy. In 2012, he was promoted to senior vice president and deputy chief operating officer. Before joining Heritage, Addington held senior posts in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, as well as in the private sector. Among other posts, he served as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs, and minority chief counsel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Most recently he served from 2001 to 2009 as counsel and then chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States.