United States Senator Slade Gorton is one of the truly great political leaders to build a career in Washington State. Known for his extraordinary intellect, effectiveness, bipartisanship, and integrity, he represented Washingtonians as majority leader of the state House of Representatives, for three terms as state attorney general, and for three terms as United States Senator. He proposed the successful federal budget compromise during his first Senate term and was a member of the Republican leadership as counsel to the majority leader (1996–2000). In the Senate Slade was known for his effectiveness on powerful committees, including Appropriations; Energy and Natural Resources; Budget; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and Intelligence. Slade chaired the Science, Technology, and Space Appropriations Subcommittee in his first term, the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee (1995–2001), the Commerce Subcommittees on Consumer Affairs (1995–99), and Aviation (1999–2000). Following his Senate career, Slade was the first permanent appointment to the 9/11 Commission and served on the War Powers Commission.
Slade has served his state and country in so many other ways as well. For baseball fans, Slade will long be remembered for his leadership in bringing major league baseball back to Seattle and keeping it there by attracting Japanese investment in the Mariners.
All who know Slade understand that he is driven by truth, facts, and rigorous analysis, which not infrequently lead him to challenge the conventional wisdom and vested interests. At the same time, he is driven to get things done—making the possible happen—to benefit the country and his adopted, cherished Pacific Northwest.
In 2010, NBR is honoring the living legacy of Slade Gorton and his lifetime of contributions to the U.S. policy world with the launching of the Slade Gorton International Policy Center.