Senator John McCain has a remarkable record of leadership and experience that embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982, John has led the fight for reforming Washington, eliminating wasteful government spending, and strengthening our nation’s armed forces.
Senator McCain’s reform agenda to reduce federal spending and lower taxes quickly elevated him to statewide office and he was elected to the United States Senate in 1986, after serving two terms in the U.S. House.
In the Senate, he continued to demand that Congress put an end to loopholes for special interests and fix the broken system in Washington that too often allows lobbyists to write legislation and members of Congress to waste taxpayer money. In November 2004, Senator McCain was overwhelmingly reelected with nearly 77 percent of the vote.
As the son and grandson of distinguished Navy admirals, John McCain deeply values duty, honor and service of country. John attended college at the United States Naval Academy, and launched a 22-year career as a naval aviator upon his graduation.
On July 29, 1967, John narrowly survived the first of many near-death experiences during his lifetime while preparing to take off on a bombing mission over North Vietnam from his ship, the USS Forrestal. A missile accidentally fired from a nearby plane struck the fuel tanks on his plane.
Instead of taking the option to return home after the Forrestal disaster, Senator McCain volunteered for more combat duty – a fateful decision that stopped the clock on his life and separated him from his family, and country, for five and a half years.
During his 23rd bombing mission on October 26, 1967, a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg. John was then taken as a prisoner of war into the now infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese. He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs. When he was finally released and able to return home years later, Senator McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status.
Senator McCain’s last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the United States Senate. He retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Senator McCain currently serves on the following Senate Committees during the 111th Congress: Ranking Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee; Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Committee on Indian Affairs.
Senator McCain has seven children and four grandchildren, and currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Cindy.
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret) became the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001. After the events of September 11, Colin Powell led the State Department in major efforts to solve regional and civil conflicts in many areas across the globe, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition to confronting global security challenges, General Powell was at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in the promise of the Millennium Challenge Account, and in pursuing a freer trading and investment climate worldwide.
Before becoming Secretary of State, Colin Powell served as a key aide to the Secretary of Defense and as National Security Advisor to President Reagan. He also served 35 years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Four-Star General and serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989 – 1993). During this time he oversaw 28 crises to include the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War.
In 1997, General Powell became the founding Chairman of America’s Promise– The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of the nation’s youth. He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University and the Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund. The General also served on the Board of Governors of The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Health Fund.
Since returning to private life, General Powell has become a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is also on the Board of Directors of Revolution Health Care, a company developing strategies for consumer-directed health care. Powell is the Founder of the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at his alma mater, the City College of New York, and he is helping to raise funds for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC and for the construction of an education center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
General Powell is the author of his best-selling autobiography, My American Journey. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York (CCNY) and an MBA from George Washington University.
He is the recipient of many of the highest U.S. military and civilian awards, including both the Defense and Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Legion of Merit, and two Presidential Medals of Freedom. In addition, he has received awards from over two dozen countries to include a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
Antonio Martino’s political career began with his first election to the Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies in 1994. He was subsequently reelected four times: in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2008. He has twice obtained Ministerial rank in Italian administrations (both led by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi), as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994 and Minister of Defense from June 2001 – May 2006. Equally significant is his role as a founding member of Forza Italia, Italy’s largest political party, in which he holds party card number two.
Born December 22, 1942, at Messina, Martino is the son of Gaetano Martino, former Italian Foreign Minister (1954 – 1957), President of the European Parliament (1962 – 1964) and prominent member of the now defunct Italian Liberal Party (PLI). Martino obtained a J.D. in Jurisprudence from the University of Messina Law School in 1964, then undertook postgraduate studies in Economics at The University of Chicago from 1966 – 1968, where he was a student of the renowned Milton Friedman.
A professor since 1976, Martino has held chairs at the universities of Messina, Bari, Naples and at Rome’s La Sapienza. Since 1992, he has been a full-time professor of Economics in the Political Science Department at the LUISS University of Rome (and is currently on Parliamentary leave). He has also served as president of the Mont Pélerin Society, an international society of classical liberals, founded in 1947 by Nobel Prize Winner Friedrich A. Hayek.
The author of 17 books and over 150 papers and articles on economic theory and policy, Martino is a frequent contributor to Italian and international magazines, newspapers, television and radio programs. He has been an editorial writer for many Italian dailies (La Stampa, Il Sole 24 Ore, Mondo economico, L’Opinione, Il Giornale, Quotidiano Nazionale Nazione-Giorno-Carlino) and his bi-line has also appeared in international dailies such as the Wall Street Journal, The Times, Le Figaro, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, The American Spectator, Economic Affairs and many more.
Martino has long-standing transatlantic credentials. Having first studied at the University of Chicago, he was then appointed Visiting Professor at the Rome Center of Loyola University of Chicago. An Adjunct Scholar at The Heritage Foundation since 1978, Martino has also been on the Editorial Board of the Cato Journal since 1990 and was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2005 by the US Department of Defense ,the highest honorary award presented by the DoD to private citizens.
Antonio Martino and his wife Carol have two daughters.
Eduardo Serra Rexach has the distinction of having served in government under all three political parties that have administered Spain since democracy was reinstated in 1977: he was Secretary of State for Defence under the now-defunct, centrist party UCD, Minister of Defence under the social-democratic PSOE, and again Minister of Defence under the conservative Partido Popular. Yet he has never been a member of any of these parties nor does he consider himself a politician.
If ever a symbolic dam springs a leak in Spain, Serra will be the one called to plug the hole with his finger. In both politics and in business, he has demonstrated his skill as an able manager and negotiator, impeccably discrete and with a pragmatic and conciliatory approach to tackling problems. He is also well known and liked abroad, including the UK and the US (where he bought a bunch of new F-18s for the Spanish Air Force).
Eduardo Serra was born in Madrid on December 19, 1946. He studied law at the Complutense University in Madrid and passed tough competitive exams to become a State lawyer. Later, he served in mid-level posts in the ministries of Education and Industry. In 1982 he was named Secretary of State for Defence, the first civilian to hold the post. Between 1984 and 1987 he served as Minister of Defense under the Felipe Gonzalez government.
Then he went into the private sector, holding executive posts in Telettra (chairman, 1986), Cubiertas y MZOV (vice-chairman, 1989, and chairman, 1991), Peugeot Spain (chairman, 1992). In 1994 he became chairman of the newly formed Airtel telecom company, a post he held until he was called back to public office, this time by the conservative Partido Popular, to serve as Defence Minister from 1996 until 2000. According to one report it was the Spanish King himself who requested his designation. During this second tenure he carried through the professionalization of the Spanish Army, which would end compulsory military service.
After leaving the government at his own request, he was appointed to head the board of trustees of the Prado Museum, a non-paying post, because it was felt his managerial and negotiation skills would be valuable at a time when the famous Madrid landmark is about to embark on a major and complicated restructuring. He has also served as president of the Foundation for Assistance Against Drug Addiction since 1996.
In October 2000 he was recruited by the Swiss banking group UBS Warburg, as chairman of their Spanish branch.
Eduardo Serra is married to Luz del Camino Municio. He has a son by a previous marriage.