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Civic Activism: Past and Present

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A Special Program Celebrating 90 Years of Making Democracy Work:  A History of Change. A Future of Hope

Speaker Biographies

Lee H. Hamilton
Lee H. Hamilton is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University.  Hamilton served for 34 years in Congress representing Indiana's ninth district, from January 1965 - to January 1999.

Since leaving the House, Hamilton has served on the United States Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (the Hart-Rudman Commission), and was co-chair of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos. Mr. Hamilton served as Vice-Chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission), and as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group.  He is Co-Chair of the National Security Preparedness Group with Tom Kean, Co-Chair of the National Advisory Committee to the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the FBI Director’s Advisory Board, the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force on Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect on American Soil, and the CIA External Advisory Board.

Hamilton is the author of A Creative Tension - The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress ; How Congress Works and Why You Should Care; Strengthening Congress; and co-author of Without Precedent: the Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission and The Iraq Study Group Report.

Madeleine M. Kunin
Madeleine May Kunin was the fourth woman to be elected Governor in the U.S. and the first woman to serve as Governor of Vermont.  She served as Deputy Secretary of Education and Ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton Administration.  She is the founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a non-government organization with projects in many countries, including China.  Ms. Kunin is now a Marsh Scholar Professor at Large at the University of Vermont, a commentator on Vermont Public Radio, and a blogger on the Huffing ton Post. 

She is the author of Pearls, Politics and Power, How Women can Win and Lead; Living a Political Life; and The Big Green Book. She is a fellow at the Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is married to John W. Hennessey and they live in Burlington, Vermont.  

Mary G. Wilson
Mary G. Wilson is the 17th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and chair of the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). A resident of New Mexico, Ms. Wilson has been a League member since 1984.  During her years of service with the League of Women Voters, Ms. Wilson has held leadership positions at the national, state and local levels.  An attorney with over 30 years of experience in diverse fields of practice including estate planning, corporate and environmental law, and employment law, Ms. Wilson is a partner in the Law Firm of Aungier & Wilson, which serves clients in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado.  In 1991, Ms. Wilson served on the Committee on Judicial Performance Evaluation, established by the New Mexico Supreme Court to recommend a judicial performance evaluation process for the State.  She currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the O'Connor Initiative to promote greater understanding about the merit selection of judges.