September 29, 2011
Les Aspin Center for Government will honor Sen. Durbin
Kenyan Ambassador to Brazil also recognized
Date: Oct. 6, 2011
Time: 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Place: The National Press Club, 529 N. 14th St., Washington, D.C.
U.S. Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., the assistant majority leader in the U.S. Senate, will be honored with the Les Aspin Democracy Award by Marquette University’s Les Aspin Center for Government at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Oct. 6.
“Sen. Durbin has a long record of distinguished public service, both in the State of Illinois and nationally,” said Rev. Tim O’Brien, director of the Les Aspin Center. “He has demonstrated a particular interest in access to higher education, through his ongoing support of the Pell Grant program and his sponsorship of the Dream Act.” O’Brien also cited Durbin’s commitment to the Les Aspin Center, including providing internships in his office for students studying at the center.
Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules Committees. He is chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights and the Appropriations Committee's Financial Services and General Government subcommittee. He is serving his third term as U.S. Senator, having been first elected in 1996.
Kirimi P. Kaberia, Kenyan Ambassador to Brazil, will receive the Aspin Center’s Founder’s Award. Kaberia spent his early career as the assistant director for international programming at the center and O’Brien said he was instrumental in the founding of a training program for East and West African leaders. In the past 15 years the program has educated more than 400 government officials and nongovernmental organization executives from Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Mali and Nigeria.
Kaberia is the founder of the African Trade Consultants Network and previously served in diplomatic posts in France, Spain and the United States. He earned a master’s degree in communication from Marquette and an additional degree in international law from the Instituto Superior Derecho Y Economia in Madrid.
About the Democracy Award
The Aspin Democracy award is bestowed upon individuals who, in the opinion of the National Board of Visitors of the Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government, have made life-time contributions of outstanding merit to the promotion of democracy and its values. Past Aspin Center honorees have included retired U.S. Rep. David Obey, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Senators Robert and Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and Gen. Brent Scowcroft.
About the Founder’s Award
The Founder’s Award is presented to individuals who have been instrumental in supporting the vision and mission of the Les Aspin Center for Government. Past honorees include William Drew, Northwestern Mutual, the Hon. and Mrs. David A. Straz, Jr.; John and Kathryn Burke; and Wisconsin Rep. Gerald Kleczka.
About the Les Aspin Center for Government
The Les Aspin Center for Government offers educational internships and training at the federal, local and international levels of government. In Washington, D.C., students live in an academic community just blocks from the Capitol and serve as interns in congressional offices, the White House, and a variety of other governmental agencies and departments. In addition to attending classes at the center, students visit government agencies to gain key insiders' perspectives on American democracy. The center is named in honor of the late Les Aspin, a former faculty member at Marquette, member of Congress and secretary of defense from 1993-94.
The Kleczka Internship Program is the Les Aspin Center for Government’s local (Milwaukee) initiative. The program provides internships for academically talented students, particularly those with financial need, who wish to work in public service at the state and local levels.