Constance A. Morella

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Ambassador Constance A. Morella "was appointed by the President to serve as United States Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on July 11, 2003, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on July 31, 2003. She is the first United States Ambassador to the OECD ever to have served in the United States Congress. From 1987 until January 2003, Ambassador Morella represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her career in public service began with her appointment to the first-ever Montgomery County, Maryland Commission for Women in 1972. Ambassador Morella was elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1978 and became the first woman member of the Assembly ever elected to the U.S. Congress.

"During her sixteen years in the House of Representatives, Ambassador Morella developed a national reputation as a leader in efforts to promote economic growth through science and technology and was a leading advocate for women, children, and families. In the Congress, Ambassador Morella served as a senior member of the House Committee on Science and chaired one of its key panels, the Subcommittee on Technology, from 1995 until 2000. In this role, she spearheaded the enactment of landmark legislation to promote technology transfer from federal labs to private industry, and she was a key supporter of biotechnology and advanced scientific research.

"Ambassador Morella was also a longtime member of the Committee on Government Reform, on which she chaired the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia and served as a senior member of the Subcommittee on Civil Service. In this capacity, Connie advanced common-sense solutions to a range of problems critical to the nation’s capital. She also served as a member of the House Select Committee on Aging.

"A strong supporter of economic growth through free trade, Ambassador Morella was extremely active on trade and foreign policy matters in the Congress. She advocated liberalized trade rules and heightened international engagement. As Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, she advanced efforts to promote access to micro-enterprise capital among women in developing countries.

"For her many efforts, Ambassador Morella has received numerous awards and recognitions. She was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, was named “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian Magazine, and received a wide range of honors from citizen and business groups, including the highest public distinction awarded by the American Medical Association. Prior to her service in the U.S. Congress and the Maryland Legislature, Ambassador Morella was a professor of English at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. She also served as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2003. Ambassador Morella holds an A.B. from Boston University, an M.A. from American University, and ten honorary doctoral degrees.

"Along with her husband, Tony, a law professor, Ambassador Morella has raised nine children, including her late sister's six children." [1]

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  1. Ambassador Constance A. Morella, OECD, accessed December 20, 2008.