WASHINGTON, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Lord George Robertson, who just concluded four years as NATO's Secretary General following his service as the United Kingdom's Defence Secretary, will serve as a Senior Counselor beginning April 1 with The Cohen Group, an international business consulting firm based in Washington.
"George Robertson has a worldwide reputation for intelligence, integrity and independence, and we are honored to have him as part of our firm," said William S. Cohen, former US Secretary of Defense and US Senator who founded The Cohen Group in 2001. "I have worked very closely with George for years and have the highest possible regard for him. He embodies the Scottish virtues of hard work, duty, good humor, and modesty."
Lord Robertson joins Cohen and former NATO Commander General Joseph W. Ralston, who became vice chairman of The Cohen Group in 2003 following his retirement from the Air Force, as the senior members of the firm. The Cohen Group also includes 18 seasoned professionals working under Secretary Cohen , General Ralston and Lord Robertson whose public sector careers have included many years of service at the most senior levels of the White House , the Defense Department, the State Department, NATO, and the House of Representatives and Senate.
Lord Robertson's successful tenure at NATO was only the most recent chapter in a distinguished career in public service that began with his election as a Member of Parliament from Hamilton, Scotland in 1978. He was reelected to the House of Commons on five consecutive occasions.
He served in an increasingly responsible series of positions within Parliament, and was appointed by Prime Minister Blair to be Defence Secretary after the 1997 General Election. During his service at the Ministry of Defense, he led the UK's active and crucial military role in the Kosovo conflict, which forged a lifelong bond of friendship and respect between him and Secretary Cohen. He also pushed through a widely heralded series of reforms and modernizations of British forces during his tenure, as well as managing the UK participation in East Timor and in the 1998 air strikes in Iraq.
In 1999, he was selected to be the 10th Secretary General of NATO. In the four turbulent years that followed, he presided over the dramatic restructuring and enlargement of the alliance, became the first leader of NATO to invoke the Article V mutual defense provision after the terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, prodded NATO to deal more effectively with new threats of terrorism, oversaw the successful involvement of NATO in Afghanistan, deftly managed the crisis over whether to provide Turkey with defense assets as the war in Iraq approached, and helped broker an end to a prospective civil war within Macedonia in 2001 through the use of NATO peacekeepers. US Ambassador to NATO Nick Burns told the Wall Street Journal, "George Robertson will go down as one of the most significant Secretary Generals in NATO's history."
Lord Robertson was born in the village police station in Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Scotland on April 12, 1946. His father and grandfather were village policemen (as are his brother, son and nephew), and his mother was a French teacher -- a family tradition of self-discipline and service that he has continued. He graduated with honors with a degree in Economics from the University of Dundee in 1968. Also at Dundee he met his future wife Sandra; they will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary this year and have three children.
In August of 1999, he received a life peerage and took the title Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.
In November 2003, President George W. Bush presented him with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour and only rarely given to foreign nationals. In the 2004 Queens New Years Honours he received one of Britain's highest awards, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG). He has the highest national honours from Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands and many other countries. In his new private sector life, in addition to his role with The Cohen Group, Lord Robertson will serve as the London-based Executive Deputy Chairman of Cable and Wireless. Also, he will serve as a Strategic Advisor to The Royal Bank of Canada as well as on other boards of directors. He will continue to reside primarily in Scotland and travel internationally. He will maintain a Washington office with The Cohen Group as well.
The Cohen Group helps business clients solve problems and explore opportunities around the world. More information about the firm can be found at www.cohengroup.net. The Cohen Group has a strategic alliance with Piper Rudnick, a full-service, U.S. law firm.
Web site: http://www.cohengroup.net
SOURCE The Cohen Group