Senator George Mitchell to Speak at USD

The University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice will host Senator George J. Mitchell as the next speaker in the Joan B. Kroc Distinguished Lecture Series. This year’s series focuses on “The Negotiators” who work in challenging conflict situations to build consensus for human rights and peace.

Mitchell served in the U.S. Senate from 1980 to 1995, where he held a variety of important leadership roles including Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995. After leaving Congress in 1995, Mitchell served as a Special Advisor on Ireland to President Clinton, and from 1996 to 2000 was instrumental in the peace negotiations which lead to the Good Friday Agreement, a historic accord ending decades of conflict between the political parties of Northern Ireland and the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Following the success in Ireland, in 2000, President Clinton, Prime Minister Barak of Israel, and Chairman Arafat of the Palestinian Authority asked Mitchell to serve as Chairman of an International Fact-Finding Committee on Violence in the Middle East. Published in 2001, the committee’s recommendation, widely known as the Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the Bush Administration, the European Union and many other governments. In January 2009, President Obama appointed Mitchell as the administration’s Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

His lecture, entitled “Negotiating in Business, Politics and Peace,” will draw on Mitchell’s legal and political experience as well as his role as Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks. Mitchell will address why the success from the Northern Ireland negotiations has not translated to the Middle East. Mitchell will also explore how peace negotiations differ from political and business deal-making and how people from various professions use their negotiating skills to build pace in their communities and countries.

“I formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended,” Senator Mitchell explains. “Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings."

The Joan B. Kroc Distinguished Lecture Series is a forum for high-level national and international leaders and policymakers to share their knowledge and perspectives on issues related to peace and justice. Designed to broaden our understanding and thinking about how to prevent and resolve conflict and promote peace with justice, the series is made possible by an endowment from the late Joan B. Kroc.

This event is open to the public and press. Reservations are required at or call (619) 260-4236 by November 29.

Who: Senator George Mitchell
United States Senator for Maine and Senate Majority Leader
Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks (1996-2000)
U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009-2011)

What: Senator George Mitchell will present a lecture entitled, “Negotiating in Business, Politics, and Peace,” followed by a question and answer period.

Where: Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110

When: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7 p.m.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.