U.S. Department of State

Jean Kennedy Smith
U.S. Ambassador to Ireland

Jean Kennedy Smith was nominated by President Clinton on March 17, 1993, confirmed by the Senate on June 16, 1993, and officially sworn into office on June 18, 1993.

Since 1964, she has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, which provides grants to promote awareness and advocacy in the field of mental retardation. In addition, since 1964, Ambassador Smith has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She also has served on the Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In 1974, Ambassador Smith founded Very Special Arts, an educational affiliate of the Kennedy Center that provides opportunities in the creative arts for people with disabilities. Her book, "Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists," written with George Plimpton, was published by Random House in April 1993.

In addition to a number of honorary degrees, Ambassador Smith has received various awards, including the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service from the American Institute for Public Service; the Margaret Mead Humanitarian Award from the Council of Cerebral Palsy Auxiliaries; and the 1995 Irish American of the Year Award from Irish America Magazine.

Ambassador Smith is a graduate of Manhattanville College in New York, and is a resident of New York State. Her husband, Stephen E. Smith, died in 1990. She has four children -- Stephen Jr., William, Amanda, and Kym.

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