George Mitchell

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George J. Mitchell (1933) is President Barack Obama's Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. He is a member of the International Crisis Group. He has been involved in other peacemaking, including Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Economic Initiatives in Ireland (1995-2000); chairman, Sharm el-Sheikh International Fact-Finding Committee to examine crisis in Middle East (2000-2001); awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 17, 1999.

His father was an immigrant from Ireland and his mother from Lebanon.

After being appointed to fill the vacancy left by Edmund Muskie in 1983, served as senator from Maine until 1995. He was Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995.

Following graduation from Bowdoin College, he served in the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps, Berlin, Germany, 1954-1956; admitted to the District of Columbia and Maine bars in 1960 and commenced practice in Portland, Maine, 1965; trial attorney, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 1960-1962; executive assistant to Senator Edmund S. Muskie 1962-1965; practiced law, Portland, 1965-1977; assistant county attorney for Cumberland County, Maine, 1971; unsuccessful candidate for governor of Maine in 1974; United States Attorney for Maine 1977-1979; Judge, for United States District of Maine, 1979-1980.

Middle East

Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barakand Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat asked for him in the 2000-2001 fact-finding process.

President Obama quickly named him special envoy to the Middle East peace process. Martin Indyk, director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and , said “He’s neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian...He’s, in a sense, neutral.” Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute, said the job was creating an economically stable West Bank as a prerequisite for a two-state solution. [1]

He is returning to the talks between Israel and Syria, brokered by Turkey, which were stopped when Israel invaded the Gaza Strip.[2]

Baseball

After steroid scandals in Major League Baseball, he headed the investigation and the restoration of trust.

Northern Ireland

Appointed him special envoy to Northern Ireland, by Bill Clinton, after three years of shuttling among the parties, he led 36 hours of negotiations that produced the Good Friday Agreement.

Iran-Contra

References