Posted 10:15 a.m. May 7- Senator George Mitchell (D-Maine), who developed U.S. policy about the Middle East, will keynote the Law School Commencement ceremony May 26.
Mitchell served as chairman of an international committee that reported to former President Bill Clinton in May 2000 on how to end violence in the Middle East. The committee’s recommendation, “The Mitchell Report,” was adopted by President George W. Bush as his policy in the region and has been endorsed by the European Union and many other governments.
The report recommended:
o Israelis and Palestinians announce an immediate ceasefire
o Israel end all settlement activity
o both sides resume high level security talks and denounce the use of terrorism
o negotiations address the underlying causes of the conflict
Mitchell has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, according to a University press release.
In 1995, Mitchell began serving as chairman of peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland agreed to a historic accord, ending decades of conflict. In May 1998, the voters of Ireland, North and South, in a referendum, overwhelmingly endorsed the agreement.
During his 14-year Senate career, Mitchell worked on legislation ranging from environmental protection laws to bans on nuclear weapons tests in the United States and Soviet Union.
Maine Governor Joe Brennan appointed Mitchell, then a federal district judge, to the Senate in 1980. He finished the term of Senator Edward Muskie (D-Maine), who resigned to become secretary of state. Mitchell was elected to a full Senate term in 1982 and was reelected in 1988 with 81 percent of the vote, the largest margin in Maine history.
Mitchell served as Senate majority leader in 1989 and left the Senate in 1995 to join Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, where he is the firm’s chairman.
The D.C.-based firm handles internet law for clients ranging from software giant Microsoft to Web start-ups.
Mitchell graduated from Bowdoin College in 1954 and served in Berlin, Germany as an officer in the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps until 1956. He received law degree from Georgetown University in 1960.
From 1960 to 1962 he was a trial lawyer in the Justice Department. From 1962 to 1965 he worked as Senator Muskie’s executive. He has also served as U.S. Attorney for Maine.