Thank you to all who helped make the inaugural Senator George J. Mitchell Lecture on the Environment such a resounding success. It was gratifying to see so many people gathered in one place with a commitment to seeking constructive options to environmental problem-solving.
DVDs of the lectue are available and can be requested by contacting Ruth Hallsworth at 207/581-3196.
2007 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:
James Gustave "Gus" Speth
James Gustave Speth is Dean and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy at Yale University.
From 1993 to 1999, Dean Speth served as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. Throughout his career, Dean Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment.
Among his awards are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute, and the Blue Planet Prize.
Speth’s critically acclaimed book, Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, warns that despite all the international negotiations of the past two decades, efforts to protect Earth’s environment are not succeeding. Speth explains why this is so and presents a powerful new vision for the role that citizens, governments, and the private sector can play in solving local, regional, and global environmental problems.
Other publications include Global Environmental Governance, Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment and articles in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Environmental Science and Technology, the Columbia Journal World of Business, and other journals and books.
He earned his J.D. in 1969 from Yale Law School, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar earning a M.Litt. in economics in 1966, and graduated with his B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale College in 1964. He recently received honorary degrees from Clark University, Vermont Law School, College of the Atlantic, and Middlebury College.James Gustave Speth, Dean and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy. B.A., Yale University; M.Litt., Oxford University; J.D., Yale University.
“Gus Speth brought global environmental concerns to the world’s attention nearly a quarter of a century ago. His extraordinary new book is an impassioned plea to take these issues seriously before it is too late. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to read Red Sky at Morning and take action while we can.”
Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States
Senator George J. Mitchell
Senator Mitchell is one of the most widely-recognized and inspirational leaders in Maine today. Since leaving the Senate, where he was instrumental in the passage of bills that changed US policy in a number of areas, he has garnered a world-wide reputation for problem solving in both private and public arenas.
Senator Mitchell entered the U.S. Senate in 1980 when he was appointed to complete the unexpired term of Senator Edmund S. Muskie. He went on to an illustrious career in the Senate that spanned 14 years. In January 1989, he became Senate majority leader, a position he held until he left the Senate in 1995.
While in the Senate, Senator Mitchell led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act, including new controls on acid rain toxins. He was the author of the first national oil spill prevention and cleanup law. Senator Mitchell led the Senate to 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.
In 1996, Senator Mitchell was asked to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell led the negotiations for two years, work that ultimately resulted in a historic accord that ended decades of conflict. He has received numerous awards and honors recognizing his service in the peace talks. These include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the U.S. government can give, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Truman Institute Peace Prize, the German Peace Prize, and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.
Senator Mitchell is Chairman of the Global Board of DLA Piper, an international law firm. He also served as chairman of the board of The Walt Disney Company and is chancellor of The Queen’s University of Northern Ireland. He served as chairman of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of crises in international affairs, as chairman of the Special Commission investigating allegations of impropriety in the bidding process for the Olympic Games, and as chairman of the National Health Care Commission.
At the request of President Bill Clinton and Israeli and Palestinian leaders, 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 many other governments.
Senator Mitchell is the author of four books: Men of Zeal, co-authored with his colleague, then-Senator William S. Cohen, on the Iran-Contra investigation; World on Fire, speaking to the threat of the greenhouse effect and recommending steps to curb it; Not For America Alone: The Triumph of Democracy and The Fall of Communism; and Making Peace, an account of his experiences in Northern Ireland.