Madeleine M. Kunin, Founder

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Madeleine M. Kunin

Madeleine Kunin is ISC's founder and served as its first board chair between 1991-93. She is currently a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Vermont. Prior to that she was bicentennial scholar in residence at Middlebury College. She has also served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland (1996-99), where she facilitated the return of Swiss bank account funds to holocaust survivors; deputy U.S. secretary of education (1993-96); and three-term governor of Vermont (1985-91). While governor, she scored significant achievements for the environment, education, and children's services. Ms. Kunin has testified frequently before the U.S. Congress on federal environmental legislation. In addition to her B.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts, an M.A. in Journalism from Columbia University, and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Vermont, she holds numerous honorary degrees. She was recently awarded the 2009 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal for public service.

Ms. Kunin was one of the first leaders in the US to recognize the threat of global climate change, and in 1988 helped launch the National Governors Association Task Force on Global Climate Change.

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We never come to a country or community and say, "This is how you do it." We always take great pains to engage the local people and to work with local nonprofits. While we can't provide all the answers, we can offer some hope, some technical assistance and education that can help people solve their own problems.

— Madeleine M. Kunin
Marsh Professor, University of Vermont; Author