MCLA

Senator George Mitchell to Deliver Public Policy Lecture at MCLA

10/31/2012

 NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will host Senator George J. Mitchell, a former Senate Majority Leader, in the Second Annual Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Public Policy Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., in the MCLA Campus Center gymnasium.

In addition to a career in the United States Senate that spanned 14 years, Mitchell served as chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. At the request of President Clinton, Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat, Mitchell also served as chairman of an international fact finding committee that examined the current crisis between Israelis and Palestinians.

Made possible through the generosity of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust, this event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

"George Mitchell took a leading role to negotiate peace in some of the most turbulent areas of the world - Northern Ireland and the Middle East," said John DeRosa, trustee of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust. "As the U.S. prepares for what is expected to be a long siege with the Arab Spring, it is timely that we hear what might be done to resolve these conflicts. We are pleased to bring this world-renowned leader to MCLA, and I encourage the public to join us in this important discussion."

Prior to Mitchell's presentation, the College will hold the Second Annual Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Public Policy Benefit Dinner, "Dinner with Senator George J. Mitchell and Governor Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis," at 5 p.m. in the MCLA Church Street Center's social hall. The cost is $250 per person, to benefit public policy initiatives at MCLA. Reservations are required.

Mitchell was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Senator Edmund S. Muskie, who resigned to become Secretary of State.  He was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1982 in a stunning come-from-behind victory. 

After trailing in public opinion polls by 36 points, Mitchell rallied to win the election, receiving 61 percent of the votes cast. He went on to an illustrious career in the Senate, which spanned 14 years.

In 1988, he was reelected with 81 percent of the vote, the largest margin in Maine history. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate Majority Leader; a position he had held since January 1989.

Mitchell enjoyed bipartisan respect during his tenure. It has been said, "there is not a man, woman or child in the Capitol who does not trust George Mitchell." For six consecutive years, he was voted "the most respected member" of the Senate by a bipartisan group of senior congressional aides.

Under his leadership, the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland agreed to an historic accord, ending decades of conflict. In May 1998, the voters of Ireland, North and South, in a referendum, overwhelmingly endorsed the agreement.

As the former chairman of the board at Walt Disney, Mitchell's role included holding management accountable and participating in the development and implementation of long term strategy.  

He is the author of four books. With his colleague, Senator Bill Cohen of Maine, Mitchell wrote "Men of Zeal," describing the Iran-Contra investigation. In 1990, he wrote "World on Fire," describing the threat of the greenhouse effect and recommending steps to curb it.  His next book, published in 1997, was "Not for America Alone: The Triumph of Democracy and The Fall of Communism." In 1999, Mitchell wrote "Making Peace," an account of his experience in Northern Ireland. 

In December of 2007, the Mitchell Commission released a report about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.

Mitchell serves as the chancellor of The Queen's University of Belfast, and as president of The Economic Club of Washington. He served as chairman of the International Crisis Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of crises in international affairs; as chairman of the special commission investigating allegations of impropriety in the bidding process for the Olympic Games; and as chairman of the National Healthcare Commission.

For more information about Senator George J. Mitchell's Public Policy Lecture go to www.mcla.edu/publicpolicy or contact Ashley Berridge, (413) 662-5185, or ashley.berridge@mcla.edu.

For more information about or to reserve tickets to "Dinner with Senator George J. Mitchell and Governor S. and Kitty Dukakis," contact Chelsey Burke, 413-662-5391, or C.Burke@mcla.edu.