Former Sen. George Mitchell to give annual Dole Lecture
LAWRENCE — Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell will give the annual Dole Lecture at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas this semester. The Dole Lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at the Dole Institute. It is free and open to the public.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitchell is an exemplary public servant, a perfect guest for the Dole Lecture,” said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute. “He served with Sen. Dole in the Senate and as a founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center. After leaving the Senate, he has continued to serve in a variety of important roles ranging from seeking peace in the Middle East to studying the effects of doping in professional sports.”
George Mitchell most recently served as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from January 2009 to May 2011. Prior to that, he had a distinguished career in public service. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Sen. Edmund S. Muskie. He was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1982 in a come-from-behind victory. Mitchell went on to a career in the Senate spanning 15 years. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate majority leader, a position he had held since January 1989.
While in the Senate, Mitchell served on the Finance, Veterans Affairs and Environment and Public Works committees. He led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and was the author of the first national oil spill prevention and clean-up law. Mitchell led the Senate to passage of the nation's first child care bill and was principal author of the low-income housing tax credit program. He was instrumental in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation extending civil rights protections to people with disabilities.
In 2000 and 2001, at the request of President Clinton, Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman Yasser Arafat, Mitchell served as chairman of an international fact-finding committee on violence in the Middle East. The Committee’s recommendation, widely known as The Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the Bush administration, the European Union and many other governments.
In 2006 and 2007, he led the investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. He also served as chairman of the Special Commission Investigating Allegations of Impropriety in the Bidding Process for the Olympic Games; and was the independent overseer of the American Red Cross Liberty Fund, which provided relief for Sept. 11 attack victims and their families.
In 2008, Time Magazine named Mitchell one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.