Center on Congress Announces Board of Advisors

 Board of Advisors Press Release [PDF]



Center on Congress Announces Board of Advisors


BLOOMINGTON, Ind., April 9 – Center on Congress Director Lee H. Hamilton today announced a new, 15-person Board of Advisors who will volunteer their expertise to help the Center expand its efforts to improve the public's knowledge of Congress and promote citizen engagement.

"These are successful, experienced individuals who recognize how important it is that Americans understand our basic institutions of government and their obligations as citizens," said Hamilton. "The Board of Advisors' broad experience will help us develop new ways to reach and inspire our citizens especially our young people to take an active part in revitalizing representative government in America."

The members of the Board of Advisors are: Vice Chairman Mark D. Cowan, Anita R. Estell, Penelope S. Farthing, Clifford S. Gibbons, The Honorable William F. Goodling, The Honorable William H. Gray III, Dr. David A. Hamburg, Reta J. Lewis, Robert H. McKinney, The Honorable Edward A. Pease, Robert Raben, Steve Ricchetti, Terrence D. Straub, and Jeffrey C. Viohl. Hamilton chairs the group. Biographical sketches of the advisors may be viewed here.

The Center developed out of Hamilton's recognition during his 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives that the public should be more familiar with Congress' strengths and weaknesses, its role in our system of government, and its impact on the lives of ordinary people every day. When Hamilton retired from Congress in 1999, he partnered with Indiana University to establish the Center, a non-partisan educational institution based at IU-Bloomington.

"Too many people don't understand the important role that Congress plays in their lives – or the role that each person plays in making Congress function properly," Hamilton said. "Our mission at the Center is to provide a balanced, realistic view of Congress, one that acknowledges its flaws but recognizes the Founders' vision that Congress should be the branch of government most responsive to the people's needs and aspirations."

The Center offers an extensive array of civic education resources and activities, including: print publications; Web-based, interactive modules and other online learning tools in English and Spanish; commentaries for newspapers, radio stations, podcasts and a Web log; video and television in the classroom resources; survey research; and lecture series, conferences and awards.

The Center works with a number of prominent organizations, including the Center for Civic Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Close Up Foundation, the National Council for the Social Studies, the Library of Congress and The National Association of Broadcasters.