Statement Of Sen. Alexander - Foreign Relations Committee Hearing On Nomination Of Victor Ashe To Be Ambassador To Poland

Posted on April 12, 2005

It is a privilege to recommend to the committee Victor Ashe, President Bush's nominee to be the Ambassador to Poland. It seems like I've known Victor Ashe all my life. We have known each other for 38 years. We first met in 1966 when we both volunteered to work for the campaign of Howard Baker for the United States Senate. Victor was then a student at Yale University. Since then he's had a distinguished career in public service. He was elected to the legislature at the age of 23 as a state representative and served in the House and in the State Senate for 15 years. At one point, he served as executive director of the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors which was appointed by Pres. Reagan. Chairman Lugar knows well about that commission, and there were a whole series of recommendations about how Americans in the next generation should hopefully expect to do their work - to live and work in the outdoors. Many of the ideas of that commission ranging from land trusts to greenways and to scenic highways have worked their way either into state and federal law or into the private sector since then. He has been the mayor of Knoxville, Tenn., for the last 16 years. For the last few months he has been a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. He made a wise decision, as any politician ought to make after leaving office—he got out of town. He has been nominated by President Bush, who has known him for a long time to be the ambassador to one of the most intriguing and interesting countries, I believe, in the world right now. Poland is a country that is very much in our nation's future. The president has chosen someone from Tennessee who has such broad experience in the public sector. I strongly recommend him and I'm proud to introduce him.