Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has a long history of accomplishment in the public arena. As Maryland’s first woman Lt. Governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was in charge of a multimillion dollar budget and had oversight of major departments including State Police, Economic Development, Transportation, and the Office of Children Youth and Families. She is known nationally for her innovative and results oriented programs such as Hot Spots, Break the Cycle, the development of Marylands bio-tech business, the launching of the e-readiness initiative and the establishment of one of the first state wide offices of character education.
Before being elected Lt. Governor, Mrs. Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. In that role, she led the planning to put 100,000 police officers into the community and she ignited the Police Corps, a program to give college scholarships to young people who pledge to work as police officers for four years after graduating.
Prior to serving at the Department of Justice, Mrs.Townsend spent seven years as the founder and director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance. It was in this role that she led the fight to make Maryland the first state in the nation to require all high school students perform community service. Before launching that initiative, Mrs.Townsend worked as an environmental attorney both in private practice and as an Assistant Attorney General in Maryland. In addition, in 1982 she managed Senator Edward M.Kennedy’s successful re-election campaign.
Mrs.Townsend has taught foreign policy at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Washington Monthly, among others. In the mid-eighties she founded the Robert F.Kennedy Human Rights Award – and award whose recipients now include the Comadres of El Salvador, Adam Michnic of Poland, and Beyers Naude of South Africa.
Mrs.Townsend is Chair of the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland and currently serves on the boards of directors of the John F.Kennedy Library Foundation, Points of Light Foundations, Strategic Partnerships, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Character Education Partnership and she is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Inter-American Dialogue. She previously served on the boards of the Export-Import Bank, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Wilderness Society, the Baltimore Urban League and was chair of the Robert Kennedy Memorial. A honors graduate of Harvard University, she received her law degree from the University of New Mexico where she was a member of the law review. She has received ten honorary degrees.
The eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, Lt.Governor Townsend lives in Baltimore County with her husband, David, a professor at St.John’s College in Annapolis. They have four daughters, Meaghan (27), Maeve (25), Kate (21), and Kerry (13).
About Katheen`s Book
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend grew up in a time when faith inspired people to fight for civil rights, to join the peace corps, to make the United States a moral voice in the world. This has been lost. Kennedy Townsend writes with a compelling passion urging America`s churches and their congregants to reclaim the legacy of an active faith.
For too long, the subject of religion has been politicized by the right and largely ignored by the left, as American churches have become increasingly more strident in their condemnation of others rather than inspiring their own congregations to be "a good neighbor". Now, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend issues a call to arms to churches and all those who see that on this earth we should judge ourselves on what we do for others.
Kennedy Townsend speaks personally and from the heart about the tragedies that struck her family and how faith and service were a way to heal and survive. She movingly recalls what it was like to grow up as the eldest Kennedy of her generation, a member of a prominent Catholic family at a time when both America and church leaders such as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Reverend Sloane Coffin, and the Berrigan brothers (Father Daniel and Father Phil) were leading a revolutionary transformation.
The traditional role of churches has been to promote the welfare of those in the community who depend on them —the poor, the sick, those in need. Yet American churches today involve themselves more in offering prescriptions of what one ought not to do, then in working for the common good. .
She documents how America’s churches have been in the forefront of the fight for social progress: from the original struggle for independence, to the abolitionist movement, to efforts supporting the vote for women, better conditions for working people, and Civil Rights.
This book’s inspiring message is one of hope and spiritual renewal. Powerful, personal, and provocative, "FAILING AMERICA’S FAITHFUL" demonstrates how Americans and their churches can reclaim their religious traditions and transform their lives, and this very nation.
What’s being said about Failing America`s Faithful:
"Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a woman of passion, integrity and faith. Her Christian witness requires her to remember and act on Jesus` repeated instructions to love our neighbors, care for the poor, and repair the breaches among us. She makes a compelling case for those who share her faith to do the same.
– President William Jefferson Clinton
"Townsend is...a committed Catholic who despairs of the Church’s political leanings and who counters with an ethic of service to the poor and powerless…Watch for elements of Townsend’s well-framed argument at the 2008 Democratic Convention.”
– Kirkus Reviews