Inaugural Baker Distinguished Lecture – Sen. George Mitchell

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Sen. George Mitchell to Deliver First Baker Distinguished Lecture on Nov. 13

KNOXVILLE— Sen. George Mitchell, a long-time statesman and attorney, will be at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Tuesday, November 13, to deliver the inaugural Baker Distinguished Lecture. This new program was established to promote the values of Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., whose longstanding commitment to honorable public service has made an indelible mark on US history.

Free and open to the public, the lecture—sponsored by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, SunTrust Bank, Knoxville News Sentinel and WUOT—will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Cox Auditorium of Alumni Memorial Building.The Baker Distinguished Lecture Series will bring nationally prominent speakers to campus twice a year to speak on issues of national and international significance.  The program is particularly important to Sen. Baker.  In 1999 he was a speaker at the Landon Lecture at Kansas State University. The Landon Lecture  is named for former Kansas Governor, Alfred Landon, who is the late father of Sen. Baker’s wife, Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum (Baker).

Senator Mitchell, a Democrat from Maine, served in the US Senate from 1980 to 1995 and was majority leader during the final six years of his tenure. He has since served as a peace negotiator and in several high-profile investigative roles.

In 1995, he founded the Mitchell Institute, which seeks to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will go to college. The institute has awarded more than $9 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 Maine students.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton, Mitchell served as chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland from 1995 to 2001 and also served as chairman of an international fact finding committee on violence in the Middle East from 2000 to 2001.

From 2009 to 2011, he was the Special Envoy for the Middle East, appointed by President Barack Obama.

In 2006, he was asked by the Commissioner of Baseball to lead an investigation of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional baseball. Earlier this year, the NCAA named Mitchell as Penn State’s Athletics Integrity Monitor.

In the business arena, Mitchell has been director and chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Company. He also has served as on the board of directors of Federal Express Corp., Xerox Corp., Unilever, Staples Inc., Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999. He also has received awards and honors including the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Truman Institute Peace Prize, the German Peace Prize and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.

Established in 2003, the Baker Center seeks to further the public’s knowledge of the U.S. government and public policy and to encourage civil leadership and public service. The Center sponsors programs to encourage informed discussion with a special focus on engaging young people in policy issues and public service.