Discussion with Congressman Jim McGovern
October 18, 2013
UMass Amherst Campus
Congressman McGovern will discuss human rights crises and situations around the globe, and the politics of responding to them in an effective manner.
The Interdisciplinary Seminar on Conflict and Violence is designed to promote interdisciplinary exchanges among faculty and students interested in the topics of conflict, violence, and peace, from a wide range of departments across campus. Each meeting includes a 30-35 minute presentation followed by a half-hour discussion.
* Sponsored by UMass Psychology of Peace and Violence Program and the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
BIOGRAPHY: Since his election in 1996, Congressman Jim McGovern has been widely recognized as a tenacious advocate for his district, a tireless crusader for change, and an unrivaled supporter for social justice and fundamental human rights.
Currently serving his ninth term in Congress, McGovern serves as the second ranking Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation; and a member of the House Agriculture Committee. McGovern is also co-chair of both the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the House Hunger Caucus.
McGovern voted against the initial authorization of force in Iraq in 2002, and has been among the most prominent Congressional voices on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. McGovern introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill calling for a flexible timetable for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as a matter of national security and fiscal responsibility.
McGovern has also taken a leadership role in the fight against hunger at home and abroad, successfully expanding the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which helps alleviate child hunger and poverty by providing nutritious meals to children in schools in the world’s poorest countries.
Before his election to Congress, McGovern spent 14 years working as a senior aide for the late U.S. Representative John Joseph Moakley (D-South Boston), former dean of the Massachusetts delegation and Chairman of the House Rules Committee. In 1989, McGovern was the lead investigator on the Moakley Commission Congressional Investigation into the murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989. The investigation ultimately led to a seminal change in U.S. foreign policy towards El Salvador when determined that the Salvadoran military was implicated in the murders. That landmark determination led to future military aid from the U.S. being conditioned on an improved human rights record.
McGovern earned his Bachelor of Arts (‘81) and Masters of Public Administration (‘84) degrees from The American University, working his way through college by serving as an aide in the office of U.S. Senator George McGovern (D-SD). He went on to manage Senator McGovern’s 1984 Presidential campaign in Massachusetts, and delivered his nomination speech during the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.