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Former Ambassador, U.S. Representative Morella to visit TU

From Monday, Feb. 18, through Thursday, Feb. 21, Constance A. Morella, a former ambassador and U.S. representative, will visit Thomas University as part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program. 

During her visit, Morella will meet with individual classes and present a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Forbes Campus. This lecture is free and open to the public. Morella’s presentation will focus on whether Alexander Hamilton’s statement, “Here, sir, the people govern” is still true. She will chronicle the changes and growing dysfunction in American politics through the prism of her experiences at the state, federal and international levels of government. Morella will address issues of gerrymandering, money in politics, party tribalism, equal branches of government trust in U.S. institutions and what the recent elections portend. Morella will also discuss what can be done to bring about positive change.

Morella will also meet with TU classes and student groups throughout the week to discuss various topics related to her experiences and current events.

Morella served as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2003 to 2007. From 1987 to 2003, she represented Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she developed a national reputation as a leading advocate for women, children, and families.  Previously, she served in the Maryland House of Delegates. Morella is the only woman member of the Maryland General Assembly to be elected to the U.S. Congress.

During her 16 years in the House of Representatives, Morella was a leader in efforts to promote economic growth through science and technology, serving as a member of the House Committee on Science and chairing the subcommittee on Technology. She spearheaded the enactment of the landmark legislation promoting technology transfer from federal labs to private industry. Morella was a leading advocate of biotechnology and advanced scientific research. She was also a member of the Committee on Government Reform, on which she chaired the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia.

A strong supporter of economic growth through free trade, Morella was in the forefront in Congress on matters of trade and foreign policy. She advocated liberalized trade rules and heightened international engagement. She chaired the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, advancing efforts to promote access to micro-enterprise capital among women in developing countries. She was Co-Chair of the Congressional Delegation to the U.N. Women’s Conference in Beijing.

On her watch as Ambassador to OECD, Morella was a key participant in the negotiations and agreements leading to a strategy of enlargement to include five potential country members: Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia. She also advanced the program to engage with the rapidly developing countries of Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, and South Africa, as well as the Southeast Asia region. Morella actively participated in the successful revisions and updates of the “Principles of Corporate Governance” and worked to strengthen the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

For her many efforts, Morella has received numerous  awards and recognitions, including induction into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame; outstanding  public service awards from the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association; and the Hubert  H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership  Conference on Civil Rights “for selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality.”  The Republic of Italy awarded her the Medal of the Legion of Merit.

Morella is a member of the Comptroller General’s Advisory Board, U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the Cafritz Foundation Advisory Board. She is Vice-Chair of the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange and serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Representative Government and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. She is Treasurer of the Association of Former Members of Congress. In 2010 President Barack Obama appointed Morella to the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Prior to her service in the U. S. Congress and the Maryland House of Delegates, Morella was a Professor of English at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, from 1970 until 1985. In 2008, she was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s  Kennedy School Institute of Politics. In 2009, she was appointed Ambassador-in-Residence at American University School of Public Affairs where she teaches “Women, Politics, and Public Policy.” 

Morella holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a master’s degree from American University and 12 honorary degrees. She and her husband, Anthony Morella, raised nine children.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions. For more than 45 years, Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community and achievement. The Visiting Fellows program is available to all four-year colleges and universities. For more information, visit CIC’s website at www.cic.edu/VisitingFellows.

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