October 14, 1999
University Gazette


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Ambassador J. Kennedy Smith Is Fellow at Institute of Politics

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith is the Elizabeth B. and Dennis B. Heffernan Visiting Fellow for the fall semester at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government.

Smith will host a series of weekly study groups, "The Irish Peace Process: The Search for a New Beginning."

Topics to be discussed range from religion, human rights, and women in the peace process, to the Republic’s perspective on the North, unionism, and nationalism. The non-credit study groups encourage discussion and participation of students with guest speakers. The discussions are off-the-record for press, and open to students and the community at large. (Although discussions are off—the-record, interviews with guest speakers can be arranged.)

Smith served as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland between 1993 and 1998, the five years leading up to the cease-fire and the Belfast Agreement. Smith, named an honorary Irish citizen by President Mary McAleese in 1998, is the founder of Very Special Arts, which provides opportunities in the creative arts for people with disabilities. Since 1964 she has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, which gives grants to promote awareness and advocacy in the field of mental retardation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

The Institute of Politics, located in the Kennedy School of Government, was founded in 1966 as a living memorial to President Kennedy to inspire students to pursue careers in politics and public service, as well as to bridge the worlds of academia and practical politics.

Study Groups

All study groups run from 4 to 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted and will be held in Room 166 of the Littauer Building. The remaining study groups are:

Oct. 20: The Role of the Church in Ireland, guest speakers the Rev. Enda McDonagh of Saint Patrick’s College and the Rev. John Dunlop of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland

Oct. 26: The Republic’s Perspective of the North, guest speaker Bernard Farrell, playwright

Nov. 2: Human Rights in Northern Ireland, guest speakers Martin O’Brien, Committee on the Administration of Justice, and Gerry Lynch, president of the John Jay College of Justice

Nov. 9: Unionism and the Peace Process, guest speakers Dermot Nesbitt, Assembly member, Ulster Unionist Party, and David Ervine, president of the Progressive Labor Party

Nov. 16: The American Connection, guest speaker Sean o’hUiginn, Irish ambassador to the United States


Copyright 1999 President and Fellows of Harvard College