by Jim Nintzel
Gabrielle Giffords, who recently stepped down from her congressional seat to focus on her recovery from being shot in the head in an assassination attempt, has joined the board of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which was created in the wake of the Jan. 8, 2011, Tucson shooting.
The press release:
The National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona has announced that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been named to its National Board of Advisors. Fred DuVal, chair of the institute's Working Board, and Eugene G. Sander, president of the UA, made the announcement Tuesday.
"There is truly no greater example of a public servant committed to the idea of increasing civility in politics than Congresswoman Giffords," DuVal said.
“We are honored that Congresswoman Giffords, who is beloved and respected around the world, will partner with the institute on advancing the quality of our nation’s public discourse,” Sander said.
"Congresswoman Giffords will join a distinguished board that has drawn inspiration from her heroic journey over the past year," said Brint Milward, director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. "We eagerly look forward to the addition of Gabby's thoughtful leadership and courageous spirit in our ongoing work of promoting respectful civic engagement and constructive political debate consistent with First Amendment principles."
The National Institute for Civil Discourse is a nonpartisan center for the research and advocacy of civility in public discourse. Chaired by former U.S. presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the institute engages in initiatives to advance understanding of civil discourse among elected officials and candidates running for public office and works to promote awareness of the importance of civil discourse to democracy and effective government.
Giffords, whose work has been notable for its bipartisanship in an often contentious Congress, joins several prominent leaders on the National Board of Advisors, including:
· Sandra Day O'Connor, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice (honorary co-chair)
· Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader (honorary co-chair)
· Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State
· Donna Brazile, CNN and ABC analyst, former campaign manager for Al Gore
· Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan
· Trey Grayson, director of the Harvard University's Institute of Politics
· Jim Kolbe, former U.S. Congressman (Arizona)
· Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and retired Army general
· Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
· Scott Simon, host of "Weekend Edition," National Public Radio
· Alan Simpson, former U.S. Senator (Wyoming)
· Greta Van Susteren, host of "On the Record," FOX News Channel
· Katie Couric, special correspondent, ABC News
· Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico
One of the key goals for the institute is to connect people with diverse viewpoints and to offer a venue for vigorous and respectful debate.
National Institute for Civil Discourse initiatives include raising awareness among citizens about the importance of civil discourse in an effective democracy, research on the exercise of First Amendment freedoms and workshops and conferences that take place across the country.
Last fall, the institute hosted an executive forum with media, foundation, academic, government and corporate leaders regarding moving forward the national conversation about civil discourse and proceeding with constructive solutions.
The National Institute for Civil Discourse is housed in the UA's School of Government and Public Policy, in collaboration with the UA Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government in the James E. Rogers College of Law and other departments throughout the University.