A Global Research Institute of Queen's University Belfast

Research

1933

George John Mitchell Jr is born in Waterville, Maine, of Irish and Lebanese descent.

1961

Graduates in law from Georgetown University.

1977

Appointed US Attorney for Maine by President Carter. Serves as federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Maine.

1980

Appointed to the United States Senate by the governor of Maine.

1989

Becomes Senate Majority Leader.

 

QUB_220415_5180

Picture: Senator George J. Mitchell meets Martin McGuinness at the 2015 Harry Holkeri Lecture.

1995

Appointed the inaugural United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland by President Bill Clinton.

 “It was obvious from the word go that (Senator Mitchell) was a mature and seasoned statesman, a major player with abilities far in excess of those normally seen in Northern Ireland.”– David McCittrick, the Independent

1996

The International Body on Arms Decommissioning, of which Senator Mitchell is chair, produces its report, containing what will become known as the six Mitchell Principles that will lead to paramilitary groups giving up their weapons.

Senator Mitchell chairs the talks that result in the landmark Good Friday Agreement, the foundation of the cross-party Northern Irish Assembly and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

For his work, he is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and both awarded the Liberty Medal and United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.

George Mitchell and portrait

1999

Senator Mitchell is installed as the eighth Chancellor of Queen’s University, a position he will hold for the next ten years.

He is awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Truman Institute Peace Prize for his work in Northern Ireland.

2000

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is launched. This is an exclusive scholarship, given to Americans aged 18–30, to fund one year of postgraduate study in Ireland, north or south.

2007

The first annual Mitchell Lecture at the University’s Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology is held.

Mitchell Ahern Gregson

Picture: Senator George J. Mitchell with former Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and former Queen's University Vice Chancellor, Sir Peter Gregson.

2009

Senator Mitchell is appointed US special envoy to the Middle East by President Obama, and with ‘deep and genuine regret’ resigns his post as Chancellor. Then-Vice-Chancellor Sir Peter Gregson thanks him for “inspiring students of Queen’s with his message that their individual actions can help transform the world”.

2015

Senator Mitchell returns to Queen’s to deliver the Harri Holkeri Lecture, to mark the contribution to building peace in Ireland of the late Finnish Prime Minister.

2016

Queen’s University officially launches The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, a flagship for interdisciplinary research in areas of major societal challenge. “The GRI brings together excellent researchers from a wide range of disciplines in world-class facilities to tackle some of the greatest global issues of our age.”