Indianapolis, Indiana , United States
|| April 07, 1949
Aug 07, 2015 12:25am
|Info||Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. |
Mitch Daniels has compiled an outstanding record of service to our state and our nation, in business, government, politics, and the non-profit sector.
Mitch came to Indiana when he was in grade school, and he's been a Hoosier ever since. When he graduated from North Central High School in Indianapolis in 1967, Mitch was named a Presidential Scholar - Indiana's top male high school graduate - by President Lyndon Johnson. Mitch earned a bachelor's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1971 and a law degree from Georgetown University in 1979.
Mitch began his public service career working in various capacities for Dick Lugar during his days as Mayor of Indianapolis. Mitch followed Lugar to the United States Senate, serving as chief of staff during Lugar's first eight years in Washington. Mitch also served as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee when Lugar chaired the organization, which works to elect Republican candidates to the U.S. Senate.
Mitch's first tour of duty at the White House was in the mid-1980s. He served as President Ronald Reagan's chief political advisor and as the administration's liaison to the nation's state and local officials. By appointment of President Reagan, he served as a member of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and, later, as a director of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
In 1987, Mitch returned to Indiana as chief executive of Hudson Institute. The nationally known research institute had moved to Indianapolis a few years earlier, but it was in financial straits when Mitch was brought on board. He restored this multi-million-dollar business to financial health, and today it remains a strong source of analysis and ideas, rooted in the common sense of the nation's heartland.
In 1990, Mitch was recruited by another Indiana institution - Eli Lilly and Company. By 1993, he was leading a multi-billion-dollar business enterprise as president of Lilly's North American pharmaceutical operations. In that position he headed the largest revenue-producing segment of the largest company based in Indiana, gaining a reputation for strong and successful management. In 1997, Mitch was named senior vice president of corporate strategy and policy at Lilly, overseeing new business development and strategic decision making on a global basis. He also served on Lilly's policy committee, the company's top management body.
In January 2001, Mitch made a significant personal and financial sacrifice when he answered the call from President George W. Bush to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mitch thus became responsible for overseeing the federal government's $2 trillion budget. He also became the first Hoosier Cabinet member since Doc Bowen served in the Reagan Administration. Mitch served as the nation's budget director until June 2003, when he resigned to return to Indiana.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the administration's nerve center, and the budget director is said to be the second most powerful job in the U.S. Government. The OMB not only prepares the government's budget, but also reviews all significant federal regulations before they become law. As budget director, Mitch was the only cabinet member who also serves on the senior White House team. In addition, he was a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
President Bush nicknamed Mitch "The Blade" for his determination to protect taxpayers against excessive government spending. Mitch instituted a first-of-its-kind accountability system for all governmental entities, and he staunchly defended fiscal discipline in Congress - where his message was not always welcome.
In 2002, Americans for Tax Reform presented Mitch a "Hero of the Taxpayer" award "for his relentless efforts to control the federal budget." Upon his departure from Washington, Citizens Against Government Waste applauded Mitch for bringing "a fresh new approach to the position of OMB Director." CAGW President Tom Schatz said, "Mitch Daniels worked tirelessly, often facing an uphill battle, to break Washington of its pork barrel spending habits. ... Taxpayers should truly be grateful for the service that Mitch Daniels provided to this country."
Throughout the time he carried out these vital responsibilities, Mitch kept one foot firmly planted in Indiana. His home and family remained in Indiana, and Mitch commuted home as often as he could manage - proving that it's possible to work in the heady world of the White House and be a close personal advisor of the President yet never lose touch with one's roots.
Mitch is an elder at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. Through his church he became a founder of The Oaks Academy, an inner-city school established to promote academic excellence and racial reconciliation based on solid religious principles. Though his job in the federal government required him to resign from the school's board, he remained active in the school. In fact, a photo of the school's more than 200 students was the first picture he hung in his office in Washington.
Mitch has served as a trustee or director of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, Hudson Institute, Freedom House, the Fund for American Studies and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
In 1987, Mitch was named National Public Servant of the Year by the Arab-American Institute. He has received honorary doctor of law degrees from the University of Indianapolis, Anderson University, and Marian College.
Mitch and his wife, Cheri, have four daughters - Meagan, Melissa, Meredith, and Maggie. Despite the heavy responsibilities he has shouldered in business and government, Mitch has maintained his dedication to physical fitness, and he is an avid runner and swimmer.