Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend joins the President’s Forum at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

The former lieutenant governor of Maryland and the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel, delivered a lecture titled "The Kennedy Legacy: Volunteerism and Service," speaking about her family's rich and varied commitment to service as well as the importance of community engagement in leadership development.

In addition to her former role as lieutenant governor, Townsend founded the Maryland Student Service Alliance, making Maryland the first, and still only, state that requires young people to engage in community service as a condition of high school graduation. As Maryland's first woman lieutenant governor, she instituted the Office of Character Education to provide a focal point for the teaching of responsibility and respect.

Townsend serves on a number of non-profit boards. She is the chair of the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland and serves on the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Points of Light Foundation, National Catholic Reporter and the Character Education Partnership, among others. While serving as the chair of the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, she created the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Townsend is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Before being elected lieutenant governor, Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. She helped design and launch the nationally acclaimed Police Corps, a program that gives college scholarships to young people who pledge to work as police officers for four years after graduating.

Townsend has been appointed an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Public Policy and has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where she focused her efforts on faith and public life. Townsend is an honors graduate of Harvard University and holds a law degree from the University of New Mexico where she was a member of the law review. She has received 10 honorary degrees and has published several articles in the New York Times, Washington Post and Washington Monthly, among others.

She lives outside Baltimore, Md., with her husband, David, a professor at St. John's College in Annapolis, and their four daughters.


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