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Former Sen. George J. Mitchell to speak Oct. 21, 1998 (Released: 10/6/98)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- Former U.S. Sen.George J. Mitchell of Maine will discuss the peace process in Northern Ireland Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

The lecture is the third in the Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series, supported by a gift to the Dodd Center from philanthropists Raymond and Beverly Sackler. Mitchell, whose illustrious career in the Senate spanned 14 years, was appointed in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, who resigned to become Secretary of State.

Recently, Mitchell served as chair of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, a historic accord ending decades of conflict was agreed upon by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland. Last May, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by the voters of Ireland, both North and South, in a referendum. He has been nominated for the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in Northern Ireland.

His work in the Senate included an enactment of nursing home standards and evaluation of medical care outcomes. He led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act, including new controls on acid rain toxins. He authored the first national oil spill prevention and cleanup law.

Mitchell earned an LL.B. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1960. His career has included being a trial lawyer in the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., a U.S. attorney for Maine and U.S. District Judge for Maine. His third book, Not For America Alone: The Triumph of Democracy and The Fall of Communism, was published last year.

When Mitchell left the Senate, he joined the Washington, D.C., law firm of Verner, Liipfern, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand. He is a director of the Walt Disney Company, Federal Express Corp., Xerox Corp. and UNUM Insurance Corp. In addition, he is chairman of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of crises in international affairs. At the request of the British and Irish Governments, he served as chair of the International Commission on Disarmament in Northern Ireland, and as chair of the peace talks in Northern Ireland.

The Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series was established to bring internationally renowned speakers to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center to discuss human rights issues. The Sackler family continues to be generous supporters of philanthropic activities, particularly in the areas of art, medicine, biological and natural sciences, mathematics and archaeology. Raymond and his wife, Beverly, are patrons of museums and galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London and the Louvre Museum in Paris.