As CNN reported (photo from CNN main page) President Obama recently announced that he has chosen another person with Columbia ties, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, as special envoy for the Middle East.
George Mitchell has a history of involvement with SIPA. He is a former Senior Fellow at SIPA and conducted lectures and briefings for the Center for International Conflict Resolution.
The speech that Mr. Mitchell gave upon joining SIPA, along with the introduction by the Dean at the time, Lisa Anderson, is available on the Columbia Web site. As he says in the video, Mitchell’s desire to teach started when he was a college student and spending time at SIPA helped him achieve this goal.
The video shows that Mr. Mitchell’s sense of humor is equal to his ability to navigate tense political negotiations and his comments on the prospects for peace (given in 2002) are very thought provoking considering the role he now assumes with the Obama administration.
Clicking on the picture below will take you to the page where you can view Lisa Anderson’s introduction and Mr. Mitchell’s speech upon joining SIPA. The announcement of Mr. Mitchell joining SIPA can be found on this page.