The only American to have served as director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, William H. Webster is chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He began his career in public service as a judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In 1973 he was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Mr. Webster was appointed director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 and served until 1987 when President Ronald Reagan chose him to be director of Central Intelligence. He left public service in 1991 to practice law with the firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he specialized in arbitration, mediation, and internal investigation. He retired in 2005 but remains active in the legal field.
Mr. Webster earned a B.A. from Amherst College in 1947 and a J.D. from Washington University Law School in 1949. He then served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in World War II and again in the Korean War. In 1991, he was presented the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Security Medal. He is the recipient of the 2001 Justice Award of the American Judicature Society, NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal and the 2002 American Bar Association Medal, its highest honor. Mr. Webster has been awarded honorary degrees by several universities across the U.S., including Washington University, the University of Notre Dame and his alma mater, Amherst College.