Solarz previously served in New York State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives. He chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific in Congress.
"Stephen J. Solarz served for twenty-four years in public office both in the New York State Assembly and in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected from Brooklyn’s 13th Congressional District to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 and re-elected eight times. Mr. Solarz served for 18 years on the U.S. House of Representatives International Affairs Committee, serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Subcommittee on Africa. As a Congressman, Mr. Solarz, who traveled widely and met with dozens of world leaders, emerged as a leading spokesman on behalf of democracy and human rights. He played a major role in the Congressional effort to restore democracy to the Philippines, abolish apartheid in South Africa and bring peace to Cambodia in 1993. Mr. Solarz is President of Solarz Associates, an international consulting firm, and a Senior Counselor at APCO Worldwide, a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm. Upon leaving Congress in 1993, Mr. Solarz served as a Visiting Professor of International Relations at George Washington University and a Distinguished Consultant at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1995, together with former Senator George Mitchell and Ambassador Morton Abramowitz, Mr. Solarz founded the International Crisis Group (ICG) where he serves as Vice Chair. In June 1996, he co-chaired the international election observer delegation to Bangladesh. In July 1997, he served as President Clinton’s special envoy to Cambodia. In 1998, he co-chaired the National Democratic Institute’s election observer delegation to Cambodia. In January 1999, he flew to Phnom Penh to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly President Prince Ranarridh to discuss a tribunal for senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge. He is a Board Member of the Center for Ethics of Brandeis University, the International Rescue Committee and The Campaign Against Genocide." 
Married to Nina Solarz.
- Recipient of the 2001 NED Democracy Service Medal 
- Former Director (1992), National Endowment for Democracy 
- Former Director (as of 1998), IRI International 
- American Committee for Peace in Chechnya
- American Turkish Council
- Balkan Action Committee
- Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf
- Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
- Committee on the Present Danger
- International Crisis Group - Vice Chairman
- Iraq Reconstruction Task Force
- Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
- National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
- Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
- U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea - on board of directors
- International Advisory Board, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life 
Resources and articles
- Democracy Service Medal, NED, accessed September 14, 2007.
- Strategy Document January 1992, NED, accessed February 23, 2009.
- IRI International, SECINFO from 1997, accessed April 17, 2009.
- International Advisory Board, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, accessed September 22, 2007.