Former Lieutenant Governor Of Maryland Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Speaks At Aspen Institute Wye River Campus

March 20, 2007  • Institute Contributor

Former Lieutenant Governor Of Maryland Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Speaks At Aspen Institute Wye River Campus

WASHINGTON, DC, March 20, 2007 – On Wednesday, March 14, members of the Aspen Institute Aspen Wye Fellows program and other guests from the Eastern Shore gathered at the Institute’s Wye River campus for a special presentation by former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Townsend reflected on both her personal Catholic faith and the ways in which she sees faith in America as having been “hijacked” from both our notion of justice and the common good and from our religious traditions, two themes evident throughout her recent book, Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way (Warner Books).  She spoke candidly and passionately about the critical role that faith has played in her own life and that of her family members – particularly during times of sadness and difficulty – and discussed how churches today have privatized religion in a way that divides people rather than bringing them together.

Townsend currently serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Public Policy and has been a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  As Maryland’s first woman Lieutenant Governor, Townsend instituted the office of Character Education to provide a focal point for the teaching of responsibility and respect to the next generation.  Prior to that, she served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States, where she helped design and launch the nationally acclaimed Police Corps program.  Townsend is chairman of the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland and serves on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Points of Light Foundation, among others.  An honors graduate of Harvard University and the University of New Mexico School of Law, she holds 10 honorary degrees and has published several articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Washington Monthly, among others.

The Aspen Wye Fellows is a group of Chesapeake Bay area residents who share with the Aspen Institute an interest in global dialogue and who help sustain the Institute’s mission, expand its programs, and ensure its future.  The Fellows program includes discussions, receptions, book signings and other special events featuring prominent leaders and policy experts.  Upcoming spring events include a book discussion with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson on April 21.  For more information about the Aspen Wye Fellows program, please call Bonnie Messix at (410) 820-5424.
The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership programs in Africa, Central America and India.

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