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Congressional Record
April 29, 2003
Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah)
Chairman, Joint Economic Committee
[DJ: John Hardt can be reached at jhardt@crs.loc.gov]

Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I take this opportunity today to pay tribute to a very distinguished servant of the legislative branch of the Congress. In May 2003, Dr. John Hardt will end his official service with the Congressional Research service after 32 years as a valuable resource to Congress in the field of international economics and foreign affairs. In many ways, Dr. Hardt's retirement symbolizes the ending of an era for the Congress; he is the only remaining CRS Senior Specialist now providing Congress with research and analysis in the field of foreign affairs. He has been a great asset to the Congress and to CRS throughout his long career in public service.

Dr. Hardt received both his Ph.D. in economics and a Certificate from the Russian institute from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Congressional Research Service, he had already had the kind of illustrious career that serves as a lifetime achievement for many others. He served his country with distinction during World War II, receiving ribbons and battle stars for both the European and Asiatic Theaters of Operations as well as the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. He has been an educator--specializing in economics, Soviet studies, and Sino-Soviet studies--at the University of Washington, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the George Washington University, the Foreign Service Institute, and American military service schools. He has served in the American private sector, specializing in Soviet electric power and nuclear energy economics for the CEIR Corporation in Washington, DC, and as a director of the Strategic Studies Department at the Research Analysis Corporation in McLean, VA, where he specialized in Soviet Comparative Communist and Japanese Studies. He is a widely published author, with hundreds of research papers, journal articles, technical memoranda, and books and book chapters to his credit.

Dr. Hardt joined the Congressional Research Service as the Senior Specialist in Soviet Economics in November of 1971. It is his work for CRS--and for us, the Members of this body--that I want to honor today. For the past three decades, Dr. Hardt has served Members of Congress, their staffs, and committees with his considerable expertise in Soviet and post-Soviet and Eastern Europe economics, the economy of the People's Republic of China, East-West commercial relations, and comparative international economic analysis. He has advised, among others, both the Senate and House Commerce Committees on East-West trade; the senate and House Banking Committees on the Export-Import Bank and other U.S. government financing programs; and the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees on U.S. trade policy. He frequently has traveled with congressional committee delegations, serving as a technical adviser on visits to the former Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, and Sweden, and then preparing committee reports for these trips. On many occasions, Dr. Hardt has been called on to advise directly Members of Congress and congressional staff on Russian Federation debt reduction and its relationship to nonproliferation concerns, and has provided support to the Russian Leadership Program, especially those events and activities that involved Members of Congress. The extent of his national and international contacts is breathtaking and includes senior members of foreign governments and leading multinational businesses.

His most lasting legacy for Congress may well be his service as both editor and coordinator of a long series of Joint Economic Committee compendia on the economies of the PRC, Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. The Congress can take pride in these important, well-known, and highly respected JEC studies, to which Dr. Hardt devoted so much of his talent and energies. The more than 70 volumes of this work include: China Under the Four Modernizations, 1982; China's Economy Looks Toward the Year 2000, 1986; The Former Soviet Union in Transition, 1993; East-Central European Economies in Transition, 1994; and Russia's Uncertain Economic Future, 2001. The series includes hundreds of analytical papers on various aspects of issues pertinent to Congress and to U.S. policy, all written by internationally recognized government, academic, and Private sector experts, and all coordinated and edited by Dr. Hardt . This work was not only a valuable source of analysis to the Congress but also to the policymaking and academic communities at large. For many years, these volumes were the most comprehensive sources of economic data and analyses on the economies of the Soviet Union, China, and Easter Europe.

Let me make one final point to illustrate the loss that we, as Members of Congress, will sustain with Dr. Hardt's retirement. That point concerns one of the great strengths that CRS offers to Congress, and which Dr. Hardt's tenure and contributions at CRS epitomize perfectly: institutional memory. Of the 525 Members of the 108th Congress, only 11 were Members of the 92nd Congress when Dr. Hardt first assumed his official congressional duties. Most of the countries that he has specialized in have undergone astounding transformation during his working life--some, indeed, no longer exist. The members of this deliberative body in which we serve has turned over many times. Committees have come and gone. But through it all, John Hardt has been a constant fixture, a strand of continuity in an environment of continual change--part of the collective institutional memory of CRS which is of such value to our work in Congress. We wish Dr. Hardt well in the new ventures on which he will be embarking. He will be greatly missed by us all.

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