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Stennis Fellows >> David E. Skaggs

 David Skaggs is chair of the Office of Congressional Ethics. In September
2009, he stepped down from the post of executive director of the Colorado
Department of Higher Education. Previously, he held the positions of Executive Director at the Center for Democracy & Citizenship Program at the Council for Excellence in Government, and Counsel at the Washington-based law firm of Hogan & Hartson. He has also taught from 1999 to 2002 as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado. These positions follow Skaggs' twelve years of service in Congress (1987-99) as U.S. Representative from the 2nd Congressional District of Colorado (the northwestern Denver suburbs) and three terms in the Colorado House (1981-87), the last two terms as Minority Leader.

Mr. Skaggs served eight years on the House Appropriations Committee, with assignments on the Interior Subcommittee and the Commerce, Justice, State & Judiciary Subcommittee, and previously on the Energy & Water and the Treasury, Postal & General Government subcommittees. During his last six years in Congress, he was a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he devoted particular attention to classification and information security issues. Prior to joining the Appropriations Committee, he was a member of the (then) Public Works & Transportation Committee and the Science, Space & Technology Committee. Mr. Skaggs did extensive work on public lands and environmental issues, on constitutional matters, in protecting the advocacy rights of nonprofit organizations, and in support of basic research and higher education. He also played an active role in House consideration of foreign policy and trade matters and has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America.

During his tenure on the Hill, Mr. Skaggs was a leader in efforts to improve the House of Representatives. He was the founding co-chairman with Congressman Ray LaHood (R-Illinois) of the House Bipartisan Retreat, the first such meeting in history, held in March, 1997, at Hershey, Pennsylvania. He was also co-founder with Representative Jim Leach (R-Iowa) of the Constitutional Forum, a series of seminars featuring distinguished guest lecturers who led Member discussions of current and recurring constitutional issues. During the 104th Congress, Mr. Skaggs was Chairman of the Democratic Study Group, the principal policy development and institutional reform organization of House Democrats.

Prior to serving in elected office, Mr. Skaggs practiced law in Boulder, Colorado, as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps, and briefly in New York City. He was also chief-of-staff to then Congressman Timothy E. Wirth of Colorado from 1974 to 1977.

After earning a B.A. in philosophy from Wesleyan University in 1964, Mr. Skaggs studied law at the University of Virginia for one year, completing his LL.B. at the Yale Law School in 1967. He is admitted to the Colorado, New York and District of Columbia bars. He entered active duty in the U. S. Marine Corps in 1968 and served on Okinawa, in Vietnam, and at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, earning the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal (with Combat �V�), and with a Reserve unit in Colorado, attaining the rank of Major.

He serves on the boards of trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, of the U. S. Association of Former Members of Congress, of the National Trust for the Humanities, of Dçmos (an organization working on democratic participation and economic equity issues) and of the U. S. Capitol Historical Society, on the National Advisory Council of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, on the Nonprofit Sector Strategy Group of The Aspen Institute, on the Public Affairs Advisory Council of the Advertising Council, as a Fellow of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, on the Advisory Board of the Campaign and Media Legal Center, and on the Steering Committee of the East West Parliamentary Practice Project. He served as a member the Secretary of Energy's Task Force on Nonproliferation Programs in Russia in 1999-2000 and in 1999 served on the Secretary of State's Overseas Presence Advisory Panel. He has also been an Academic Fellow at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and served on the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees from 1991 to 1994.

Mr. Skaggs is married to Laura Locher Skaggs, and has three children: Matthew Babcock, Clare Driscoll, and Will Driscoll.