Introductory Remarks by
Drew Gilpin Faust
President of Harvard University
Sen. Dick Durbin addressed the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on immigration and DACA. Sen. Durbin’s speech comes two days after President Trump's State of the Union speech in which President Trump also addressed immigration. The forum was moderated by Acting Director of the Institute of Politics and former US Representative Bill Delahunt. President of Harvard University, Drew Faust, also gave introductory comments.
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As president of Harvard, Faust has expanded financial aid to improve access to Harvard College for students of all economic backgrounds and advocated for increased federal funding for scientific research. She has broadened the University's international reach, raised the profile of the arts on campus, embraced sustainability, launched edX, the online learning partnership with MIT, and promoted collaboration across academic disciplines and administrative units as she guided the University through a period of significant financial challenges.
A historian of the Civil War and the American South, Faust was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, guiding its transformation from a college into a wide-ranging institute for scholarly and creative enterprise, distinctive for its multidisciplinary focus and the exploration of new knowledge at the crossroads of traditional fields.
Previously, Faust served as the Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the faculty for 25 years.
Raised in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Faust went on to attend Concord Academy in Massachusetts. She received her bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1968, magna cum laude with honors in history, and her master's degree (1971) and doctoral degree (1975) in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
She is the author of six books, including "Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War" (University of North Carolina Press, 1996), for which she won the Francis Parkman Prize in 1997. Her most recent book, "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), looks at the impact of the Civil War's enormous death toll on the lives of 19th-century Americans. It won the Bancroft Prize in 2009, was a finalist for both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and was named by The New York Times one of the "10 Best Books of 2008." "This Republic of Suffering" is the basis for a 2012 Emmy-nominated episode of the PBS American Experience documentaries titled "Death and the Civil War," directed by Ric Burns.
Faust has been a trustee of Bryn Mawr College, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Humanities Center, and she serves on the educational advisory board of the Guggenheim Foundation. She has served as president of the Southern Historical Association, vice president of the American Historical Association, and executive board member of the Organization of American Historians and the Society of American Historians. Faust has also served on numerous editorial boards and selection committees, including the Pulitzer Prize history jury in 1986, 1990, and 2004.
Her honors include awards in 1982 and 1996 for distinguished teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the Society of American Historians in 1993, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and the American Philosophical Society in 2004.
Faust is married to Charles Rosenberg, one of the nation's leading historians of medicine and science, who is the Ernest E. Monrad Research Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard. Faust and Rosenberg have two daughters, Jessica Rosenberg, a 2004 summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and Leah Rosenberg, Faust’s stepdaughter, a scholar of Caribbean literature.
Durbin also serves as the Democratic Whip, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats. Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democratic colleagues every two years since 2005.
Elected to the U.S. Senate on November 5, 1996, and re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014, Durbin fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of his long-time friend and mentor, U.S. Senator Paul Simon.
Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, and Rules Committees. He is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and the Appropriations Committee's Defense Subcommittee.
Senator Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois. He is married to Loretta Schaefer Durbin. Their family consists of three children--Christine (deceased), Paul and Jennifer--as well as three grandchildren, Alex, Ona and Floyd. They reside in Springfield.
Congressman Bill Delahunt became the Acting Director of the Institute of Politics in late May 2017. Delahunt previously served as Interim Director from October to December 2016. Delahunt is a longtime member of the Institute’s Senior Advisory Committee and brings his long history as an elected official and bipartisan champion to the Institute.
Delahunt is also the Chairman of the Delahunt Group, a premier public policy and government affairs consulting firm.
Delahunt served in the United States Congress from 1997 to 2011 after a distinguished career in public service and law enforcement. For 14 years, he represented the Tenth Congressional District of Massachusetts. In Congress, he served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and served as the Chairman of its Subcommittee on Europe. Additionally, Delahunt served as co-chair of the bipartisan Coast Guard Caucus; Older Americans Caucus; and the Congressional Working Group on Cuba.
Prior to his service in Congress, Delahunt was a District Attorney in the metropolitan Boston area for 22 years. He is known for having developed the country's first prosecutorial unit on domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Delahunt pioneered programs to combat violence against women that have become national models.
A lifelong resident of Quincy, Massachusetts, Delahunt is a 1963 graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, Delahunt later went on to earn a law degree from Boston College in 1967 and served in the Coast Guard Reserve from 1963 to 1971.