WASHINGTON— The Wilson Center welcomes the White House announcement Wednesday of the appointment of businessman and philanthropist Fred Malek to chair the Board. Malek takes the helm of the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum from Tom Nides, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley and former United States Deputy Secretary of State.
“I am lucky to have a third extremely capable Chair appointed by the White House, during my tenure at the Center,” said Director, President and CEO Jane Harman. “Fred has long supported the Center in many capacities and earned the Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2004. Beyond that, Fred and his wife Marlene are dear personal friends.”
“Fred has been my wingman as we built an effective Global Advisory Council at the Center,” said Nides. “His West Point training has served him and us well, and he brings enormous skills to this new role.”
The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is ranked one of the top ten think tanks in the world by the University of Pennsylvania. It is dedicated to tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue.
“I have been involved with the Center for decades and have big shoes to fill,” said Malek. “I look forward to partnering with Jane to continue to provide thought leadership and scholarship to the policy communities in the U.S. and abroad.”
Ambassador Joe Gildenhorn, head of the Wilson Cabinet and Chair from 2002-2012 added, “Alma and I are delighted that Fred will assume the role of Chairmanship of the Wilson Center. We look forward to working with him and support his efforts to enhance the mission of the Center.”
BIO: Fred Malek is Founder and Chairman of Thayer Lodging, a Brookfield Company. Mr. Malek led the acquisition of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, was one of three leaders in the acquisition of Northwest Airlines, led the acquisition of CBRE, and was a partner with former President George W. Bush in owning the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. Previously, Mr. Malek was President and CEO of Marriott Hotels, President and CEO of Northwest Airlines, and Co-Chairman of CBRE. During his eight year tenure as president of Marriott Hotels, profits quintupled, and the stock increased eight fold. In addition to his business activities, Mr. Malek is an active philanthropist. He served on and was Chairman of the Board of Visitors of West Point, and is currently Founder and Board Member of the American Action Network, Founder and Chairman of the American Action Forum, and is Chairman of the American Friends of the Czech Republic. He received the 2014 Distinguished Graduate award from West Point (West Point’s highest honor), the ADL Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League in 2014, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, and was inducted into the Horatio Alger Society in 2011.