The Honorable Robert H. Michel (R-IL) is senior adviser for corporate and governmental affairs. He joined the firm in 1995 after serving 38 years in Congress as the United States Representative from the 18th Congressional District of Illinois, including 14 years as House Republican Leader.
Michel began his political career as an assistant to his predecessor, Congressman Harold Velde, who voluntarily retired in 1956, and Michel was then elected to the open seat and reelected 18 times thereafter. He was elected to his first leadership position as Chairman of the Congressional Campaign Committee in 1972, then served as Republican Party Whip from 1974 until he was elected House Republican Leader in 1980, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1994. Prior to becoming House Republican Leader, Michel served from 1959 to 1980 as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, including 12 years as the ranking Republican on the Labor, Health, Education and Welfare Subcommittee.
Michel has been a delegate to every Republican National Convention since 1960 through 2000, and served as Permanent Chairman in 1984, 1988, and 1992.
In 1994, President Clinton awarded Michel the Presidential Medal of Freedom - our nation's highest civilian honor. He was presented with the Citizens Medal, our nation's second highest Presidential Award, in 1989 by President Ronald Reagan. In 2003 he was presented with the Congressional Distinguished Service Medal by the U.S. House of Representatives.
In recognition of his activities on a wide range of defense and foreign policy issues, Michel was presented with the National Security Leadership Award from the Reserve Officers Association, the American Security Council, and a bipartisan National Security Caucus on behalf of over 100 national organizations. He has also received the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service, the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Bryce Harlow Foundation Award and the Lincoln Academy of Illinois Laureate Award, presented by Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.
Since joining Hogan & Hartson, Michel was presented with Research!America's Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy and the Campaign for Medical Research Award for his work in doubling the National Institutes of Health budget. His areas of focus have been legislative appropriations, healthcare, and medical research.
Born in Peoria, Illinois, Michel holds seven honorary doctorate degrees. During World War II, he served in England, France, Belgium and Germany. As a combat infantryman, he was in the Battle of Normandy and went in on D-Day+4 on Utah Beach. He was also in the Battle of the Bulge where he was wounded and received two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and four battle stars.