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Former NJ Governor Replaces Kissinger on Sept. 11 Commission - 2002-12-16

President Bush has named former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean as chairman of a special commission investigating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. He replaces Henry Kissinger, who resigned last week.

Thomas Kean was on the original list of names mentioned to President Bush as possible choices to head the commission.

When former Secretary of State Kissinger unexpectedly left the post, the president quickly turned to Mr. Kean.

White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer made the official announcement. "Tom Kean is a leader respected for integrity, fairness and good judgment," he said.

Mr. Kean served as governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990, and is currently president of the state's Drew University.

Unlike Henry Kissinger, he has no business dealings overseas that could conceivably present a conflict of interest problem. The two do share, however, a geographic link to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Kissinger is a long-time resident of New York City, and Thomas Kean comes from an adjoining state that was home to many people killed in the attack on the World Trade Center.