Warren Christopher, who died March 18 at 85, headed my vice-presidential search committee and recommended Al Gore. As the leader of my presidential transition team, he oversaw the creation of the talented, dedicated and diverse group that, along with the Vice President, was crucial to the prosperity the U.S. enjoyed in the 1990s. Then he became Secretary of State.
Chris had the lowest ego-to-accomplishment ratio of any public servant I've ever worked with. That made him easy to underestimate. But all Americans should be grateful that he possessed the stamina, steel and judgment to accomplish things that were truly extraordinary.
As our first postCold War Secretary of State, he faithfully and effectively advanced U.S. interests and values: ending the war in Bosnia and bringing about the Dayton Peace Agreement; relentlessly moving the Middle East peace process forward; reducing the nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula; supporting security cooperation with Russia; expanding NATO; increasing our investments in Africa and partnerships with Asian nations; championing human rights; and alerting the public to the danger of global warming. Christopher's tireless efforts, keen judgment and old-fashioned patriotism helped the U.S. meet the challenges of the postCold War world. I was honored by his service and enriched by his friendship.