Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Samuel K. Skinner
Samuel Knox Skinner (born June 10, 1938) served as White House Chief of Staff to President George H. W. Bush for a short time during 1992 before being replaced by James Baker III when Bush's hopes for reelection began to dim.
Prior to his White House service, Skinner served in the President's Cabinet for nearly two years as United States Secretary of Transportation. In that capacity, he served as chief executive officer of a cabinet-level federal department with a budget of over $30 billion and a workforce of 105,000 people. As Secretary, Mr. Skinner was credited with numerous successes, including the development of the President's National Transportation Policy and the passage of landmark aviation and surface transportation legislation. He also developed our country's "Open Skies" policy which liberalized U.S. international policy and significantly increased the number of international flights to and from the U.S. In addition, Mr. Skinner acted as the President's point person in numerous crisis situations, including the Eastern Airlines strike, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the northern California earthquake, Hurricane Hugo, and the 1991 national rail strike. Washingtonian magazine twice gave Mr. Skinner its highest ranking for his performance as Secretary of Transportation.
From 1977 to 1989, Skinner practiced law as a senior partner in the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where he served on the firm's executive committee. From 1984 to 1988, while practicing law full-time, he also served as Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority of northeastern Illinois, the nation's second largest mass transportation district. Also during that time, President Reagan appointed Mr. Skinner as Vice Chairman of the President's Commission on Organized Crime .
From 1968 to 1975, Skinner served in the office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and, in 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed Mr. Skinner United States Attorney, one of the few prosecutors ever to hold that position.
Skinner held various sales and management positions with the IBM Corporation from 1960 to 1968. In 1967, IBM selected him Outstanding Salesman of the Year.
Skinner graduated from the University of Illinois in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. He served as a lieutenant and a tank platoon leader in the United States Army in 1960-1961. He graduated from DePaul University Law School in 1966, where he served on the law review.
| Preceded by:|
John H. Sununu
|White House Chief of Staff|| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
James H. Burnley, IV
|Secretary of Transportation|| Succeeded by:|
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