Philip Lader

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His Excellency
Philip Lader
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
In office
September 22, 1997 – February 28, 2001
Monarch Elizabeth II
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by William Crowe
Succeeded by William S. Farish
19th Administrator of the Small Business Administration
In office
October 8, 1994 – February 18, 1997
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Erskine Bowles
Succeeded by Aída Álvarez
Personal details
Born (1946-03-17) March 17, 1946 (age 70)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Linda LeSourd
Children 2 daughters
Alma mater Duke University
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Pembroke College, Oxford
Harvard University

Philip Lader (born 17 March 1946) was the United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James's (1997–2001) and since 2001 has been chairman of WPP plc, the global media and communications firm that includes Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, Young & Rubicam, Grey, Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Kantar & Group M (with 179,000 people in 3,200 offices across 112 countries)[1]

As a Senior Adviser to Morgan Stanley, he has served on several of its investment committees and boards of its private equity portfolio (including Songbird plc-Canary Wharf), in addition to investment banking responsibilities. He is also a Senior Adviser to Palantir Technologies, the Silicon Valley “big data” software firm and a partner in the Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough law firm with 600 lawyers across the U.S. East Coast.

He is a director of Marathon Oil, UC Rusal (the world’s largest aluminum producer), and AES (the global power company), a trustee (formerly Vice Chairman) of RAND Corporation, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and the Atlantic Council, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the board of Brown University’s Watson Institute of International Studies.

In 1981, he and his wife, Linda LeSourd Lader, founded Renaissance Weekends, the non-partisan family retreats that seek to build bridges between innovative leaders from diverse fields. They continue to host five Renaissance Weekends each year around the U.S.

Education and personal life[edit]

Lader graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University, received the M.A. in History from the University of Michigan, completed graduate law studies at Pembroke College, Oxford University, and received the J.D. as a Leopold Schepp Scholar from Harvard Law School.

He is married to Linda LeSourd Lader. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, where she was a Fellow at its Center for Faith & Culture, and fifth-generation graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, she is Associate Pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and president of the Renaissance Institute. Prior to ordination, she was engaged in a Washington, D.C., lay ministry and assisted President Bill Clinton in his outreach to the nation’s communities of faith.

She has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity International, Communities in Schools, Yale Divinity School, Spoleto Festival USA, International Justice Mission, Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, Alpha USA, the American International University in London, and other education and religious groups. Her editing work continued the tradition of her parents, Leonard LeSourd, longtime editor of Guideposts Magazine and Catherine Marshall, author of A Man Called Peter, Christy and other best-selling books. She received the International Women’s Foundation Leadership Award in 2000 and the 2012 Humanitarian Award from Emma Willard School, her alma mater.

Ambassador and Mrs. Lader have two daughters. Mary-Catherine, who holds JD/MBA degrees from Harvard University, was an investment analyst with Goldman Sachs' Special Situations Group and is a Vice President at BlackRock, the international asset management firm. Whitaker Lader served as the Sundance Institute's Manager of Creative Initiatives & Board Relations, was Executive Director of the Ivy Film Festival, and is completing the MBA degree at Stanford Business School. Both hold the B.A. degree from Brown University.


During his studies at Harvard Law School, Lader was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Newton College of the Sacred Heart (subsequently merged with Boston College) and a teaching assistant to Harvard Law Professor Paul Freund and Harvard University Political Philosophy Professor Louis Hartz. After graduation, he was a law clerk to the late Judge Paul Roney, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (formerly Fifth Circuit) and was associated with the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell.

Lader was president of Sea Pines Company, a developer/operator of large-scale recreation communities including Hilton Head Island and Kiawah Island. Upon sale of that company in 1983, he was president of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which was awarded the National Gold Medal for “general improvement in programs” by the Council for Advancement & Support of Education during his tenure, and served until becoming a candidate in the Democratic primary for the 1986 gubernatorial election in South Carolina, finishing second to then-Lieutenant Governor Michael R. Daniel and foregoing the run-off in support of Daniel, who narrowly lost to Republican Carroll Campbell in the general election.

From 1986 to 1989, Lader was Executive Vice President of Sir James Goldsmith’s U.S. holdings – which included America’s then-largest private landholdings, sixth-largest forest products company, largest computer supplies supplier, and oil and gas interests. After the assets’ restructuring and sale, he was President and Vice-Chancellor of Bond University, Australia’s first private university.

Under President Bill Clinton, Lader was confirmed three times by the U.S. Senate without dissent for U.S. Government appointments. He served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget until becoming White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President in December 1993, when The New York Times described him as “a longtime friend” of Clinton’s. He was a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet while serving as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 1994 to 1997. During Clinton’s second term, he was United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James's.

In 2001, Lader returned to the private sector in his WPP, Morgan Stanley and other current roles. He also served on the board of Lloyd's of London and was a director of Duck Creek Technologies, the insurance industry software developer, before its 2011 sale to Accenture. From 2001 to 2006, he also was the John West Professor of International Studies at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

Lader is an Honorary Fellow of London Business School and Oxford University’s Pembroke College, an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple (British Inns of Court), and Yale Divinity School’s Board of Visitors. He has been a trustee of the British Museum and St. Paul’s Cathedral Foundation, a director of the American Red Cross, president of Business Executives for National Security, chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts American Trust, Harvard Law School’s Visiting Committee, Columbia University’s International Advisory Board, and a member of the founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University. In South Carolina, he is a trustee of Middleton Place Foundation (America’s oldest landscaped gardens) and Liberty Fellows and was chairman of the South Carolina Small & Minority Business Council, a trustee of South Carolina State Colleges, and a director of the South Carolina Jobs/Economic Development Authority, First Carolina Bank, and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.


Lader has been awarded honorary doctorates by 14 universities. The Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce awarded him the 2001 Benjamin Franklin Medal for his contributions to trans-Atlantic relations, and he received the Rotary International Foundation’s 2007 Global Service to Humanity Award.

Question Time[edit]

On September 13, 2001, two days after the September 11 attacks, Lader appeared as a guest on Question Time. Some members of the panel, and several members of the audience were critical of US policy in the Middle East. One questioner stated ".. one of the reasons why the world despises America, is because it sees Israel as a terrorist, and America as one who harbours Israel as a terrorist." Lader was visibly upset when he replied "I have to share with you that I find it hurtful that one could suggest that a majority of the world despised the United States.. I simply want to say that it saddens me that it's possible on this night, within 48 hours, that one - because of the intensity of feeling on policy issues - can abstract ourselves from the senseless human victimisation and suffering that has occurred before us." The BBC later apologized for the behavior of the audience.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ "WPP Fast Facts" (PDF). WPP plc. Retrieved 15 Jan 2015. 
  2. ^ "TV AND RADIO | BBC chief apologises for terror debate". BBC News. 2001-09-15. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  3. ^ Jury, Louise (2001-09-15). "Complaints over anti–American comments by 'Question Time' audience - Media, News". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  4. ^ William Shawcross (2001-09-17). "Comment: Stop this racism | World news". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Erskine Bowles
Administrator of the Small Business Administration
Succeeded by
Aída Álvarez
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Crowe
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
William Farish