United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed the appointment of Ambassador Thomas Miller as the new Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). In his nearly three decades as an American career diplomat, Ambassador Miller has held three Ambassadorial appointments in the U.S. diplomatic service, including Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina (1999-2001), Ambassador to Greece (2001-2004) and Special Cyprus Coordinator (1997-1999). In addition, Ambassador Miller has served in senior executive positions in both governmental and non-governmental organizations. He is currently President/CEO of the International Executive Service Corps, a non-profit organization that promotes prosperity and stability in the developing world through private enterprise.
In her recent letter to the outgoing Chairman, Mr. James V. Kimsey, Secretary Clinton remarked, “Ambassador Miller has been a remarkable diplomat and dedicated public servant who has served with distinction, including as our Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where ICMP has played such an important role.”
Mr. James V. Kimsey will assume the position of Chairman Emeritus of ICMP. Mr. Kimsey has been the Commission’s Chairman since May 2001 when he was appointed to the position by U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell. The ten years of Mr. Kimsey’s tenure as Chairman has marked the most dynamic period of ICMP’s existence since its establishment by President Clinton in June 1996. Mr. Kimsey is also Chairman of the Kimsey Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people. He is also the founding CEO and Chairman Emeritus of America Online, as well as Chairman Emeritus of Refugees International. He contributes his leadership to numerous civic and charitable organizations.
Writing to thank Mr. Kimsey for his contribution to the work of ICMP, Secretary of State Clinton stated: “ICMP has distinguished itself as the preeminent organization in locating and identifying those who have disappeared during armed conflict, in the aftermath of humanitarian disasters, or as a result of human rights violations. Building on the work of your predecessors Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and U.S. Senator Bob Dole, you have made a profound and lasting contribution, both to the prominence and capacity of ICMP, as well as to the families of the more than 15,000 people you have helped identify.”
The ICMP is an independent, international commission that seeks to ensure the cooperation of governments in addressing the issue of missing persons. In its 15 years of existence, ICMP has transformed the approach that governments take to address the issue and it has modernized the means utilized to locate, recover and identify missing persons. ICMP is currently headquartered in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and is actively involved in helping governments and other institutions in various parts of the world address social and political issues related to missing persons and establish effective identification systems in the wake of conflict or natural disaster.
Since November 2001, ICMP has led the way in using DNA as a first step in the identification of large numbers of missing persons and as a consequence has helped identify over 18,000 persons worldwide including over 15,000 from the Western Balkans.