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In Memoriam: Daniel Slane (1942-2020)


May 25, 2020 

The George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations (Bush China Foundation) mourns the passing of Daniel “Dan” M. Slane, a proud Ohioan, accomplished business leader, noted China expert, and dedicated public servant. Among other significant capacities, Mr. Slane was the former chairman of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He was also an inaugural member of the Bush China Foundation’s Board of Advisors and a senior counselor to the leadership of the Foundation. Mr. Slane passed away in Houston, Texas, on May 24, 2020.

“Dan was a great American whose contributions to our national life – as an advisor to presidents, as a leader in higher education, as a successful businessman and as an expert on U.S.-China relations – were broad and significant,” stated David Firestein, president and chief executive officer of the Bush China Foundation. “He was also among my closest friends. We miss him sorely: his sharp insights, his charisma, his humanity and graciousness, and, not least, his incredible sense of humor and thunderous laugh. May God bless and keep Dan’s soul and be a source of comfort to all who, like all of us at the Foundation, loved him and learned from him.”

Mr. Slane spent his life devoted to working in both the public and private sectors in a range of capacities. At the federal level, he served with distinction in the United States Army, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Ford White House, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and most recently, the Trump transition team. At the state level, Mr. Slane held a number of important positions in his beloved home state of Ohio, including as chairman of The Ohio State University Board of Regents and as head of public works in the state. In the private sector, Dan had successful careers in law and business, the latter, principally through The Slane Company. Most recently, Mr. Slane was a key member of the leadership team at “Texas Back in Business,” a federally funded Hurricane Harvey relief program based in Houston, Texas.

In recent years, Mr. Slane’s visionary calls to reimagine and rebuild U.S. infrastructure and his always well-informed and incisive commentary on the competitive challenge that China poses to the United States shaped and enhanced U.S. discourse in important and enduring ways.

Mr. Slane is survived by his daughter Julie; grandson Rory; and three brothers, Bob Slane, Charles Slane and Larry (Lynn) Slane.