Who is the Bill Clinton aide who played a key role along with the former president on his recent rescue mission of two American journalists in North Korea?
The answer is no mystery to Washington insiders.
His name is Douglas J. Band, the man who played a behind-the-scenes role to help free the American women. His image was captured on video as he assisted the two Americans with their luggage on the final steps to freedom from the tarmac of the North Korean airport.
Band carries the title Counselor to President Clinton, but he is much more than an aide to the former president. He is, in fact, Bill Clinton's chief advisor and right hand.
President Clinton with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Counselor to President Clinton Doug Band stands behind Kim.
Band has served as the key architect of Clinton's post-Presidency, arguably the most successful of any former president. The Clinton post-presidency has become a model for other leaders. Reportedly, several leading heads of state have sought out Band's advice as they transitioned into private life.
He created and organized the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation. Since its inception in 2005, CGI has raised $46 billion dollars for 1,200 philanthropic projects that have impacted an estimated 200 million people in 150 countries.
As on their recent visit to Pyongyang, Band typically takes a back seat to the public role played by his boss. But his fingerprints and influence on unfolding events are everywhere. When President Clinton deals with world leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Nicolas Sarkozy in France or the Pope, Band is always present behind the scenes. He also negotiated the agreement with President Obama that made Hillary Clinton Secretary of State.
Bill Clinton makes no secret of Band's role.
"I couldn't have accomplished half of what I have in my post-presidency without him. Doug epitomizes the CGI ideals of not just talking about the problems and challenges facing our world but taking action to solve them," Clinton has stated. "I couldn't get through the day without him. Doug has been the key to helping me realize my visions to create a forum to inspire and engage people from all walks of life to give of themselves in order to improve our world and help others."
A Georgetown graduate and Law School graduate, Band has been with the president for 14 years. During the Clinton administration he served in the White House Counsel's office, becoming a Special Assistant to the President. Later he was tapped as Deputy Assistant to the President, becoming one of the youngest ever appointed to that position. When President Clinton left office, Band served as the President's Aide.
In addition to his duties at the Clinton Foundation, Band also serves on the the Coca Cola company International Advisory
Board, Vote Vets and as a trustee of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
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