George John Mitchell is an American lawyer, businessman and politician, best known internationally for several high profile roles he has undertaken on behalf of the US government.
Mitchell served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011. The appointment enabled the incoming Obama Administration to show that it was taking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seriously. The Mitchell report, published in 2001 and endorsed by the Bush Administration, the European Union, and many other governments, had stressed the need for Israel to halt the expansion of its settlements in the Palestinian territories and for the Palestinians to prevent violence.
Mitchell was Clinton's US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland from 1995-2001. In 1996, he was asked by the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. He led the negotiations for two years, work that ultimately resulted in a historic accord that ended decades of conflict. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by voters in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Mitchell enjoyed an illustrious career in the Senate. A Democrat, he served as a US Senator from Maine from 1980-95 and as Senate Majority Leader from 1989-95. Mitchell earned enormous bipartisan respect, particularly during his six years as Senate Majority Leader.
Mitchell is Chairman of international law firm DLA Piper. He was Chairman of Disney (2004-7); a member of the board of the Boston Red Sox; and a director of several companies, including Federal Express, Xerox, Staples, Unilever and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He also served as President of the Economic Club of Washington; and as Chairman of the International Crisis Group.
Mitchell has written four books: Men of Zeal, co-authored with his colleague, William S. Cohen, on the Iran-Contra investigation; World on Fire, speaking to the threat of the greenhouse effect and recommending steps to curb it; Not For America Alone: The Triumph of Democracy and The Fall of Communism; and Making Peace, an account of his experiences in Northern Ireland.