Senator George J. Mitchell
Senator Mitchell served as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from January 2009 to May 2011.
Prior to that, Senator Mitchell had a distinguished career in public service. He was appointed to the United States 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 and went on to an illustrious 15-year career in the Senate.
Senator 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. While in the Senate, Senator Mitchell served on the Finance, Veterans Affairs, and Environment and Public Works Committees.
In 1995, he served as a Special Advisor to President William J. Clinton on Ireland, and from 1996 to 2000, he served as the Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks. Under his leadership, the Good Friday Agreement, an historic accord ending decades of conflict, was agreed to by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom, and the political parties of Northern Ireland. For his service in Northern Ireland, Senator Mitchell received numerous awards and honors, including: the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. government; the Philadelphia Liberty Medal; the Truman Institute Peace Prize; and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.
In 2000 and 2001, at the request of President Clinton, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Chairman Yasser Arafat, Senator 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 by many other governments.
In 2006 and 2007 Senator Mitchell 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 September 11 attack victims and their families.
Senator Mitchell served as Chairman of the global board of the law firm, DLA Piper; Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company; a member of the Board of the Boston Red Sox; and a Director of several companies, including: Federal Express, Xerox, Staples, Unilever and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He also served for 10 years as the Chancellor of Queen’s University of Northern Ireland; as President of the Economic Club of Washington; and as Chairman of the International Crisis Group.