Senator George Mitchell

U.S. Senator - United States Senate

About This Expert

Senator George Mitchell is Partner and Chairman Emeritus at DLA Piper global law firm. He served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from January 2009 to May 2011 and in 2008, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.

Sen. Mitchell was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Maine Senator Edmund S. Muskie, and was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1982 in a stunning victory. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate majority leader, a position he had held since January 1989. 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, Sen. Mitchell led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and was the author of the first national oil spill prevention and cleanup law. He led Senate passage of the nation’s first child care bill and was principal author of the low-income housing tax credit program. He was instrumental in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and his efforts led to the passage of a higher education bill that expanded opportunities for millions of Americans. He was a leader in opening markets to trade and led the Senate to ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement and creation of the World Trade Organization.

In 1995, he served as a Special Advisor to President Clinton on Ireland, and from 1996 to 2000 served as the Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks. For his service in Northern Ireland, Sen. Mitchell received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Truman Institute Peace Prize, and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.

In 2000 and 2001, Sen. Mitchell served as Chairman of an International Fact-Finding Committee on violence in the Middle East. The Committee’s recommendation – “The Mitchell Report” – was endorsed by the Bush Administration, the European Union and by many other governments. In 2006 and 2007 he led the investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, and served as Chairman of the Special Commission Investigating Allegations of Impropriety in the Bidding Process for the Olympic Games. He was also the Independent Overseer of the American Red Cross Liberty Fund, which provided relief for Sept. 11 attack victims and their families.

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