Clinton, William J., Majority Leader, Negotiating skills, Northern Ireland, Press relations, U.S. Senate culture, U.S. Senate retirement
Martha Pope was born in Newcastle, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Connecticut. She attended the University of Connecticut, majoring in sociology with minors in psychology and statistics and in art. She earned a master’s degree in art education at Southern Connecticut University. She taught art for five years in elementary and junior high school, and then she moved to Washington, D.C. and started work on Capitol Hill. She worked for Senator John Culver, and when Culver lost his bid for reelection, Senator Mitchell kept her on as Environment and Public Works Committee staff focusing on fish and wildlife issues. She became his administrative assistant, and when he became majority leader she was chief of staff to the majority leader. In 1990 she was nominated to be sergeant-at-arms of the Senate, and in 1994 she became secretary of the Senate; she retired from that office in January 1995. She joined the State Department to work with Senator Mitchell on Northern Ireland issues, which eventually led to the Good Friday Peace Agreement of 1998.
David Roman Pozorski was born on June 26, 1947, to Betty Graham and Roman Leonard Pozorski. He attended Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois, and took his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1969, majoring in history. In 1973, he began his career as a Foreign Service officer; he was deputy director of the German desk when he accepted the assignment to serve as Department of State liaison to Senator George Mitchell, from 1996-1998, during the peace process negotiations in Northern Ireland. Since 2002, he has served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State.
Interview includes discussion of: the position of sergeant-at-arms for the U.S. Senate, and various other Senate positions held by Pope; Mitchell’s retirement from the Senate; Pope’s transitioning from secretary of the Senate to working with Mitchell on Northern Ireland, Pozorski’s assignment to those negotiations at the State Department, and the administrative organization of Mitchell’s Northern Ireland mission; relocating Northern Ireland commission activities to Belfast; President Clinton’s involvement in the peace process; separation of the commission from the State Department; the decommissioning process; events and protracted talks leading up to the Good Friday Agreement; Mitchell’s negotiating abilities; Canary Wharf and Sinn Fein’s participation in the talks; the effect of Tony Blair’s election on effecting the Good Friday Agreement; results of the Agreement; living conditions in Northern Ireland for Mitchell’s staff; comparisons between Mitchell’s negotiating skills in Northern Ireland and as Senate majority leader; animosity between loyalists and unionists; assessment of David Ervine; media coverage; Pope’s “Gerry Kelly” incident; comparisons between negotiating peace in Northern Ireland and in the Middle East.
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