Mr. REED: Madam President, I rise to honor William Patrick ``Pat'' Towell, Ph.D., for his more than 17 years of service to Congress and the American people as a specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget at the Congressional Research Service, CRS. Dr. Towell is widely recognized as a foremost defense policy expert. Senators, Members of Congress, and staff have all relied on his knowledge, expertise, and guidance at pivotal points in the development of the annual defense authorization and appropriations bills. Having served with CRS since 2006, Dr. Towell will retire at the end of this year.

Throughout his tenure at CRS, Dr. Towell has advised congressional leaders, Department of Defense civilian and military officials, and foreign dignitaries on a range of defense policy and budgetary matters. A political scientist by training, he has exhibited a profound respect for the institution of Congress and an encyclopedic knowledge of the events and political personalities that have shaped defense issues. In addition to coordinating and authoring reports on annual defense authorization and appropriations legislation, Dr. Towell has written insightfully about key strategic guidance documents such as the Quadrennial Defense Review and the National Defense Strategy. He has also provided analyses of the debates over how to best organize the Federal Government to address national security challenges, and he has closely monitored funding for post-9/11 military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dr. Towell's vast knowledge of the history of congressional operations has been an important source of institutional memory, particularly for newer Members and staff seeking to understand the lessons that can be drawn from past debates. A gifted public speaker known for his humor, quick wit, and enthusiasm in discussing defense matters, Dr. Towell has often presented at CRS's new Member seminar, an orientation for new Members of Congress, in Williamsburg, VA. He has served as a CRS speaker or panelist for visiting delegations from the U.S. war colleges, the NATO Defense College, and foreign Parliaments sponsored by the House Democracy Partnership. Dr. Towell also has participated in a staff exchange with the European Parliamentary Research Service--EPRS--in Brussels. For many years, he helped to organize and present at CRS's annual defense budget seminar for congressional staff. Drawing on a deep professional network built over decades of experience in both journalism and policy, Dr. Towell has mentored colleagues in part by organizing internal discussions with various defense scholars and practitioners, from leading think tank experts to senior Defense Department civilian leaders.

Before joining CRS, Dr. Towell was a lecturer in political science at California State College, Bakersfield from 1972 to 1975, a defense reporter at Congressional Quarterly from 1975 to 2003, and a fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments from 2003 to 2006. He received a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Georgetown University in Washington, DC; a master's degree in political science from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL; and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL.

On behalf of the U.S. Senate and the American people, I express deep gratitude for the contributions of Dr. Towell during his nearly two decades at CRS. Along with his family, friends, and colleagues, I thank him and wish him and his wife K.T. all the best in retirement.