Administrative staff, Cohen, William S., Driving, Iran-Contra, Smith, Margaret Chase, Travel, U.S. Senate campaign (1982), U.S. Senate culture
Michael M. Hastings, a native of Morrill, Maine, graduated from Tilton School (NH) in 1968 and Bowdoin College in 1972. Following a year of graduate study in Public & International Affairs at George Washington University, he worked for seven years as a foreign and defense policy aide to Senator William S. Cohen (1973-1980) and for four years for Senator George J. Mitchell (1980-1984). In October 1984, he joined the international staff of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and moved to Africa. Over a span of eight years, he worked as a CRS development administrator in Kenya, Tanzania, Togo and The Gambia. During the same period, he assisted in the provision of emergency food for people displaced by civil wars in the Southern Sudan and Liberia. In 1992, he returned to Maine to direct a “center for excellence,” focusing on aquaculture and economic development. Since 2004, he has worked for the University of Maine as its director of Research and Sponsored Programs. Between 1992 and 2008, he also served on several civic boards and institutions including the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, the Maine Oil Spill Advisory Committee, the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission, the Down East Institute, and the Maine Sea Grant Policy Advisory Committee. Between 1996 and 2001, he was elected three times to be a member of the Town Council of Hampden, Maine, where he resides with his wife, a middle school teacher.
Interview includes discussion of: his transition from Cohen’s staff to Mitchell’s staff; Cohen’s feelings about Hastings’s move to Mitchell’s office; state and national issues; Kahlil Gibran; Cohen’s and Mitchell’s leadership styles with their office staff; the staff atmosphere around Mitchell’s 1982 election; the Mikulski Commission; the 1982 election; Mitchell’s staff, including Jane O’Connor, Regina Sullivan, and Gayle Cory; relationship between the Mitchell staff and the Cohen staff; Men of Zeal and the Iran-Contra scandal; Pat Cadell; Jim Tierney; Mitchell and Arab American groups; John Linnehan; anecdote about placing a large photo of George Mitchell in his Maine campaign office during the 1982 campaign; driving Muskie around; and Margaret Chase Smith coming back to Washington to celebrate her birthday with Mitchell.
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