Lecturers at the Jefferson Educational Society

Andrew  Card

Andrew H. Card, the second-longest serving White House chief of staff in American history, worked for three U.S. Presidents and concluded his distinguished career as President of Franklin Pierce University from 2014 to 2016.

Card served as Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush from January 2000 to April 2006 after having served as Secretary of Transportation and Deputy Chief of Staff for President George Herbert Walker Bush and in various roles under President Ronald Reagan.

Global Summit IX Chairman Steve Scully said he was delighted to hear that Card accepted the Jefferson’s invitation to attend the summit. “If you look in the dictionary under ‘class guy,’” Scully said, “Andy Card’s name is mentioned first – the best of the very best. The Erie audience is in for a real treat. What a story teller, what a life.”

Card, a native of Holbrook, Mass., entered public service in 1975 when he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served until 1983. He went on to work for President Reagan as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and liaison to governors, state legislators, mayors, and other elected officials.
He also served as campaign chairman for then Vice President George H.W. Bush in the New Hampshire Primary in 1988, and in various roles for Bush’s administration, including Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, where he managed the daily operations of the White House. Card later coordinated the first Bush Administration’s disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and directed the transition from the Bush administration to the Clinton administration.

Card was appointed Chief of Staff to President-elect George W. Bush in November 2000, and became known as the person who informed the president that the country was under attack on September 11, 2001. He then played a key role in developing the administration’s post-9/11 intelligence strategies.

Reflecting on that tumultuous time in a PBS Frontline interview in 2014, Card defined the break between “before 9/11, and after 9/11” in this way: “The truth is it’s bigger than that. There was an analog world, and then there was a digital world. Most of the laws that relate to a war were written for an analog world, and now you have a digital world.”

More recently, Card has been a mild critic of President Donald Trump, offering this cryptic advice to Trump in an April 2017 interview with Market Watch: “Taste your words before you spit them out.”

Card graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering in 1971, and served as a structural design engineer until 1975, when he began his career in politics and government. After South Carolina, he attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and received numerous honorary degrees and awards over the years. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1967. Card and his wife, the Rev. Kathleene Bryan Card, have three children and six grandchildren.