Former congresswoman, U.S. ambassador to lecture on TROY campus

Posted: Thursday, 24 March 2016

TROY – Former congresswoman and U.S. Ambassador Connie Morella will serve as Troy University's Ambassador-in-Residence this spring. The former ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris will deliver a public address to the Troy community on Wednesday, April 6.

The address will be from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the Math and Science Complex Auditorium, room 114. Her presentation is entitled, "A political and personal journey through minefields and milestones – in heels." She was previously scheduled to visit TROY in January, but that trip was delayed due to a massive winter storm that impacted much of the eastern United States.

Morella served as U.S. ambassador to the OECD in Paris from 2003 to 2007, after having represented Maryland's 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 2003. While in Congress, Morella, a Republican, successfully initiated legislation addressing domestic violence and child support, as well as programs for the elderly, environmental protection, health care reform, and human rights issues.

"We are looking forward to hosting Ambassador Morella as the TROY Ambassador-in-Residence," said Dr. Jonathan Harrington, professor of political science and director of the University's graduate program in international relations.

"Ambassador Morella's dedication to advancing the cause of civil rights, human rights, women's health, and domestic violence will translate into a unique learning opportunity for our students," he said.

She is a graduate of Boston University and holds the master's degree from the School of Public Affairs at American University, where she serves on the faculty as ambassador-in-residence for the Women in Politics Institute. She is past-president of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, and was awarded the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her work to grow the Congressional Study Group on Germany, the oldest and most active parliamentary exchange involving Congress and the legislative branch of another nation.

In addition, she was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, and has received the Ron Brown Standards Leadership Award, as well as public services awards from the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Republic of Italy awarded her the Medal of the Legion of Merit, and the National Research Center for Women and Families have awarded her its Foremothers Award.

In 2010, she was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission by President Barack Obama.

During Morella's visit, she will meet with classes, faculty and online students in a webinar format, in addition to the public address.

She will also participate in a panel discussion for the University's television station TrojanVision, centered on Russia's political climate. The panel will be produced for television for airing beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12. Other panelists include Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff, a professor of political science who specializes in Russian issues, and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan, a University senior vice chancellor, who is active in Russian relations, and Dr. Doug Davis, associate chair of the Political Science Department who will serve as moderator. TrojanVision is available on cable systems Brighthouse, Cable TV of East Alabama, Charter, Time Warner, Troy Cable, and WOW.

In addition to her formal presentations, Morella will participate in lunch and dinner visits with faculty and students, and will be interviewed by Troy University Public Radio's Carolyn Hutcheson for her award-winning public radio program "In Focus with Carolyn Hutcheson." The segment is scheduled to air at 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. TROY Public Radio broadcasts on WTSU 89.9 FM, WRWA 88.7 FM, WTJB 91.7 FM and is streamed live at troypublicradio.org.

The University's Ambassador-in-Residence program began in 2008 and has included former ambassadors Sichan Siv (United Nations), J. Gary Cooper (Jamaica), Kurt Volker (NATO), Jenonne Walker (Czech Republic), David Dunford (Oman), Kenneth Yalowitz (Republic of Georgia), and David Greenlee (Paraguay and Bolivia).

Connie Morella