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Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Cabinet
Hello delegates! Your chairs for the MPHMUN 2014 conference are Hank
Sheehan and Liam Meisner. They will be chairing over the Cabinet of President
Jimmy Carter (January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981). Hank is currently a senior
at MPH in his third year of MUN and Liam is currently a sophomore at MPH in his
second year of MUN. They are looking forward to a productive and lively
committee session. If you have any questions, feel free to email them to
[email protected] or [email protected]
Introduction to the Committee:
The Cabinet of the United States is an advisory body composed of the Vice
President (Walter Mondale) and the 12 heads of the executive departments. The
following is a list of these heads, in order of succession:
Secretaries of State: Jan. 23, 1977-Apr. 20, 1980 - Cyrus R. Vance
May 8, 1980-Jan. 20, 1981 - Edmund S. Muskie
Secretaries of the Treasury: Jan. 23, 1977-Jul. 19, 1979 - W. Michael Blumenthal
Aug. 6, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981 - G. William Miller
Secretary of Defense: Jan. 21, 1977-Jan. 20, 1981 - Harold Brown
Secretaries of Justice: The Secretary of Justice is the Attorney General
Jan. 26, 1977-Jul. 19, 1979 - Griffin B. Bell
Aug. 16, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981 - Benjamin R. Civiletti
Secretary of the Interior: Jan. 23, 1977-Jan. 20, 1981 - Cecil D. Andrus
Secretary of Agriculture: Jan. 23, 1977-Jan. 20, 1981 - Bob S. Bergland
Secretary of Commerce: Jan. 23, 1977-Oct. 4, 1979 - Juanita Morris Kreps
Jan. 9, 1980-Jan. 20, 1981 - Philip M. Klutznick
Secretary of Labor: Jan. 27, 1977-Jan. 20, 1981 - Ray Marshall
Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare*: Jan. 25, 1977-Jul 19, 1979 Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Aug. 3, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981 - Patricia
Roberts Harris
Secretary of Education: Dec. 6, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981 - Shirley Mount Hufstedle
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Jan. 23, 1977-Aug. 3, 1979 Patricia Roberts Harris
Secretary of Transportation: Jan. 23, 1977-Jul. 20, 1979 - Brock Adams
Sep. 24, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981 - Neil Goldschmidt
Secretary of Energy: Aug. 5, 1977-Jul. 20, 1979 - James R. Schlesinger
Aug. 24, 1979-Jan. 20, 1981 - Charles W. Duncan, Jr.
In addition to the heads of these departments, the U.S. Representative to the
United Nations (Jan. 30, 1977-Aug. 15, 1979 - Andrew J. Young, Sep. 23, 1979Jan. 20, 1981 - Donald F. McHenry), the Director of the Office of Management
and Budget (Jan. 23, 1977-Sep 21, 1977 - Thomas Bertram ("Bert") Lance, Mar.
24, 1978-Jan.20, 1981 - James T. McIntyre, Jr.), the Chairman of the Council of
Economic Advisors (Jan. 23, 1977-Jan. 20, 1981 - Charles L. Schultze), the
Advisor to the President on National Security Affairs (Jan. 23, 1977-Jan. 20,
1981 - Zbigniew Brzezinski), the White House Chief of Staff (August 6, 1979 –
June 12, 1980 – Hamilton Jordan, June 11, 1980 – January 20, 1981 – Jack
Watson), the Administrator of the EPA (January 21, 1977 – March 6, 1977 –
John Quarles, Jr., March 7, 1977 – January 20, 1981 – Douglas M. Costle), and
the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (February 1976 – March
1977 – Mitchell P. Kobelinski, April 1977 – January 1981 – A. Vernon Weaver) all
participate. The Cabinet counsels the President in times of need, with each
member keeping the interests of their respective department in mind. All
delegates should be prepared to debate other major events within this timeperiod, including SALT II, the Energy Crisis, and the conflict in Afghanistan.
At the 2014 MPHMUN conference, the committee will be run Harvard-style.
Delegates should be prepared to hand in hard copies of their position papers on
the day of the conference if they wish to be considered for an award. If a
delegate comes in to committee with any form of a prewritten resolution
prepared, they will be disqualified in the conference.
*In 1979, President Carter divided the Department of Health, Education and Welfare into
the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Egypt/Israeli Conflict
Ever since the state of Israel was created in 1948, their relations with the
surrounding Arab countries have been strained at best, and outright violent at
worst. Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon, angered at the
creation of a Jewish state, attacked Israel not long after, in what is known as the
1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israel managed to repel it’s attackers, however, and
secured it’s place in the Middle East. More war would come however, as Israel
faced hostility from inside and outside. In addition to it’s Arab neighbors, Israel
fought against the Palestinian Liberation organization, or PLO, a group founded
in 1964 dedicated to the creation of a sovereign, Palestinian state. Egypt, in
particular, has had a unique relationship with Israel. They fought several wars
with each other, and yet Egypt eventually became the Arab nation most willing to
open talks with the Jewish state. Several UN ceasefires were put into place
between the two countries, and in 1978, the two agreed to diplomatic talks at
Camp David, in the United States, as a result of diplomatic efforts by the
American government, including the President and Secretary of State. The US
was seen as a somewhat neutral territory for the two countries, as it had
previously been involved in Middle East affairs, but hadn’t taken a direct stance
either way.
History of the Topic
Despite the initial victory for Israel in 1948, more conflict would come. In
July of 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez
Canal, the waterway between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Before that,
Britain and France had largely controlled the Canal, and used it as an
inexpensive method of shipping oil from the Middle East to the Mediterranean.
Nasser wanted other countries using the canal, to pay a tax that would fund the
construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. In response to Nasser’s
actions, Israel, France, and Britain launched a joint attack on Egypt. The conflict
lasted several months, until the United States, frustrated with it’s allies,
threatened economic sanctions if they didn't cease their invasion. The three
complied, ending Israel’s second conflict with Egypt.
The third war between the two countries occurred in 1967, an event called
the Six-Day War. At the beginning of June, that year, Egypt and several other
Arab countries had built up their forces along their borders, facing Israel, possibly
getting ready to invade their enemy. Fearing attack, Israel launched a preemptive
strike on Egypt and Syria, and in only six days, had taken control of the Golan
Heights, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, and parts of the West Bank,
previously owned or controlled by Syria, Egypt, and Jordan, respectively. A
United Nations ceasefire ended the conflict on June 11. Israel kept the land it had
gained, and as a result, tripled in size. This would be an issue for decades to
Current Situation
That would not be the end of violent relations between the Egypt and Israel,
however. On October 6, 1973, the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, Egypt and
Syria launched a joint attack on Israel, hoping to catch the Jewish people off
guard as they prayed. The plan worked initially, and for the first couple of weeks,
Israel was on the defensive. Eventually, Israel began beating the invaders back,
but at the cost of many soldiers. On October 25, a UN ceasefire was arranged
between Egypt and Israel, paving the way to future negotiations between the two
Syria however, did not want to make peace with Israel, and was not part of
the ceasefire, and after Egypt ended hostilities, they were quickly forced back out
of the Golan Heights by Israel. Angry at Egypt for leaving them without support,
and for making temporary peace with Israel, Syria, and the other Arab Nations
quickly ended friendly relations with them.
After the war, in 1974, Egypt and Israel opened more negotiations, creating
a disengagement treaty that provided for Israel to return the Sinai Peninsula to
Egypt. The next year, the two countries signed another treaty, called the Sinai
Interim Agreement, stating that further conflicts “shall not be resolved by military
force but by peaceful means.” It ensured that both countries would abide by the
cease-fire, and mandated where Egyptian and Israeli troops would be distributed
along the Sinai.
On November 9th, 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat asked to visit
Israel, saying that he is “ready to go to the Israeli parliament itself.” Through the
US, Israel officially invited him as a representative of Egypt, and on the 19th of
November, Sadat became the first Arab leader to set foot in Israel. During his
visit, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and addressed the
Israeli parliament with a message of peace. In December of that year, Sadat
returned the favor, inviting Israel, the US, and the UN for a peace summit in
Despite this promising headway, by the summer of 1978, progress had
stalled, and both sides were back at each others’ throats due to a decline in
negotiations. President Carter felt that the situation was highly unstable, and was
anxious for negotiations to resume. He sent Secretary of State Cyrus Vance over
to the Middle East to invite Sadat and Begin to participate in negotiations at
Camp David, a US presidential retreat in Maryland, in the US, and set a goal of a
permanent peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Questions to Consider
How can the United States ensure a treaty that encourages permanent peace
between Egypt and Israel?
What can the United States do to ensure such a treaty also promotes US
interests, both foreign and domestic?
What actions can the President take to ensure that both parties remain open to
Further Reading
Iranian Hostage Crisis
Introduction: The Iranian Hostage Crisis is arguably the most important event
throughout Jimmy Carter’s presidency. In 1908, massive oil reserves were
discovered in Iran. Because of this, developed nations instantly attempted to
become involved socially and politically with the small nation. The United
Kingdom held a lot of influence, due to a prior agreement in 1872 regarding
resource rights, and extracted a large amount of oil, until the Soviets stationed
soldiers in Iran to begin fighting the advancing German army during the Second
World War. In 1953, the United States government utilized their CIA to oust
Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh, who held close ties with the United Soviet
States, and created the more powerful position of the Shah, meaning king or
emperor in Persian, granted to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The Shah became
History: The Shah, Reza Pahlavi, oversaw an age of prosperity and economic
growth for his nation, with the help of the widespread oil extraction and the
support of American corporations and the American military. Even so, the Iranian
public was upset with the uneven spread of wealth, blaming it on the “AntiIslamic” Shah and the capitalist economic structure that was influenced and
modeled after the United States. This way of thinking created a communist
idealism within the public, which as supported and fuel by the Soviets
The blame quickly shifted to the American government and the officials who
were affiliated with it. Sensing an uprising, the Shah Reza Pahlavi left Tehran to
seek asylum in Egypt, one of the few Middle Eastern country currently
cooperating with the United States. About half a year later, he left Egypt and
came to the United States for cancer treatments.
A week after the Shah had been granted access to the United States, a
group of university students who were protesting outside the American embassy
in Tehran stormed the building, taking 90 hostages (66 Americans and 24
Iranians) in order to gain leverage in negotiations. This event was exactly what
President Carter feared of when discussing whether he should let the Shah into
America. This crisis finally destroyed the security of what the President had
called "an island of stability" the United States had created in the Middle East
seven decades prior.
Current situation: Although President Jimmy Carter had sent both Attorney
General Ramsey Clark and Senate Intelligence Committee Staff Director William
Miller to Tehran for negotiations, the Iranian government refused to meet the US
representatives for these talks. The Iranian officials had, however, agreed to
release all female and African-American hostages, 13 Americans in total. The
President has attempted to force the Iranian government into cooperating by
freezing financial assets within Iran, such as the Western banks and businesses
that were operating within the nation, as well as placing an embargo on the
nation state. So far, none of these tactics appear to be effective and there are no
concrete plans in the near future.
Questions to Consider:
1. What are some effective short-term plans that can resolve the hostage
situation quickly?
2. How can the economic relationship with Iran be restored?
3. What can we do to guarantee the safety of the hostages until they are
4. How can we stop the USSR from gaining Iran as an ally?
5. How can the public be satisfied without being transparent about the actions
being taken?
6. What has the rest of the international community done so far?
7. How has this instability affected surrounding nations (such as Iraq)?
Further reading: