Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) will succeed Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY) as the next chairman of the House International Relations Committee.

Hyde has served as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee since 1994 but had to give up that position because of Republican-imposed term limits on chairmanship.

The Chairman of the International Relations Committee is one of the most critical positions in the U.S. Congress with regard to Tibet. In the last Congress, Mr. Hyde co-sponsored important legislation including H.CON.RES.28 which expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should pass a resolution criticizing the People’s Republic of China for its human rights abuses in China and Tibet at the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

“We are pleased that Chairman Hyde got the position and look forward to building a strong relationship with him and his staff on Tibetan issues” said Mary Beth Markey, Director of Government relations for the International Campaign for Tibet. “We would call on Rep. Hyde to address critical issues like human rights violations in Tibet and we would ask him to hold hearings on the upcoming Senate confirmation for Secretary of State nominee Colin Powell as soon as possible.”

Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE) was another leading contender for chairmanship of the International Relations Committee. Rep. Bereuter was chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific during the 106th Congress.

Hyde attended Georgetown University and Loyola University School of Law (JD) and is a combat veteran (U.S. Navy) of World War II. Hyde was a member of the joint House-Senate committee that investigated the Iran-Contra matter but he is most known for his role as chief manager of the impeachment process in the House and the Senate trial after that.