Senator George J. Mitchell
Distinguished International Lecture Series

The Mitchell Series brings a prominent policy leader each year to Colby College for a dinner and a lecture designed to foster interaction with students, faculty, and members of the greater Waterville community. The series is in honor of former U.S. Senator, statesman, international negotiator, and Waterville native George Mitchell.

The series was launched by generous contributions from Mitchell family members and friends of the senator who were eager to bring a high-profile event to the Waterville area. They include Paul Mitchell, the senator’s brother and a lifelong businessman in Waterville; his son Bill Mitchell, also a Waterville businessman and the senator’s nephew; and three of Senator Mitchell’s cousins, Bob Baldacci, a Portland consultant and brother of Maine’s former governor, and Waterville attorneys John and Mark Nale.

prominent policy leader to campus each spring for a lecture and a dinner designed to foster interaction with students, faculty, and members of the greater Waterville community while honoring former U.S. Senator, statesman, international negotiator, and Waterville native George Mitchell. The series was launched by generous contributions from Mitchell family members and friends of the senator who were eager to bring a high-profile event to the Waterville area. They include Paul Mitchell, the senator’s brother and a lifelong businessman in Waterville; his son Bill Mitchell, also a Waterville businessman and the senator’s nephew; and three of Senator Mitchell’s cousins, Bob Baldacci, a Portland consultant and brother of Maine’s former governor, and Waterville attorneys John and Mark Nale.

The Global Pandemic Response: Reflections & Next Steps

April 7, 2022

Each year the Mitchell Series brings a prominent policy leader to campus for a dinner and lecture designed to foster interaction with students, faculty, and members of the greater Waterville community. The series is in honor of former U.S. Senator, statesman, international negotiator, and Waterville native George Mitchell. 

The prestigious guest speaker for 2022 is Gayle E. Smith, who has served as a top advisor on international issues for three American presidents and is one of the world’s leading experts on global development and global health security. In 2021, Smith took on a temporary role at the request of the Secretary of State and served as US State Department’s Coordinator for Global COVID Response & Health Security, where she played a leading role in the US effort to end the global pandemic. She is currently the CEO of the ONE Campaign. Dr. Nirav Shah, the Maine CDC Director, introduced Gayle at the Colby event.

Check out a recorded version below and learn more about Gayle Smith and the Mitchell Flagship Event.

Gayle Smith

Gayle E. Smith Biography

Gayle E. Smith is CEO of the ONE Campaign. She has served as a top advisor on international issues for three American
presidents and is one of the world’s leading experts on global development and global health security. She brings an
unparalleled expertise and an extraordinary network of relationships across the African continent and around the world. In
2021, Smith took on a temporary role at the request of the Secretary of State and served as U.S. State Department’s
Coordinator for Global COVID Response & Health Security, where she played a leading role in the US effort to end the
global pandemic.

Prior to joining the ONE Campaign, Smith served as the Administrator of the United States Agency for International
Development, where she led a staff of more than 10,000 people working to end extreme poverty, foster sustained and
inclusive economic growth, and promote resilient, democratic societies all over the world. Smith had previously served as
Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security
Council, where she played a lead role in the response to the Ebola epidemic and presidential development initiatives
including Power Africa and Feed the Future. Before her work at the NSC during the Obama Administration, Smith founded
the Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress and co-founded the ENOUGH project and the
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. She served as Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for
African Affairs at the NSC in the late 1990s, and prior to that lived and worked in Africa for 20 years, working as a
journalist and with NGOs. Smith is originally from Bexley, Ohio and earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado. Smith
also won first place in the standing long jump in elementary school..

Senator Mitchell Distinguished International Lectures

Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer, S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy Studies, Princeton University (Sept. 10,  2020) Middle East Conundrum: A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma

Executive Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch José Miguel Vivanco (April 15, 2019) Populism and Double Standards: Growing Challenges to Human Rights in the Americas

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva (May 6, 2018)
The Role of the World Bank: Why We Dare to Confront Global Challenges.

U.S. Senator for Maine Angus King (April 19, 2017)
Lessons in Foreign Policy, from North Korea to Syria and back to Washington

Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell (March 15, 2016)

U.S. Senator for Maine Susan Collins (April 9, 2015)
Why Moderation and Bipartisanship Lead to Progress

Former U.S. Senator Thomas A. Daschle (April 16, 2014)

Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson (April 10, 2013)

U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser Harold Koh (Feb. 26, 2012) International Lawyering for the U.S. Government in an Era of Smart Power

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg (Oct. 21, 2010) American Leadership and International Cooperation in the 21st Century

Senator George J. Mitchell, U.S. special envoy to the Middle East (Oct. 22, 2009) Conflict Resolution: George Mitchell Reflects on Personal Experiences

The Honorable Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State (Oct. 25, 2007)

President Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights (Oct. 12, 2006) The Challenge of Human Rights in the 21st Century

Senator George J. Mitchell (Sept. 22, 2005)
America’s Role in the 21st Century