Introducing Friends of the Institute

As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

About the Institute

March 12, 2013

Two Former Senate Majority Leaders Join Edward M. Kennedy Institute Board

Former Senior White House Aide and Boston Civic Leader

Round Out New Board Additions

Boston, MA– The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate (the EMK Institute) is proud to announce four new board members, including two former Senate Majority Leaders, U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota), and U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi). The EMK Institute is a one of a kind educational organization that will provide in-depth educational programs and exhibits about our government, and demonstrate how the U.S. Senate helps to shape public policy.

“The Institute will be capturing the history of the Senate and bringing it to life. We cannot think of two better leaders to help guide us,” said Lee Fentress, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Senator Daschle and Senator Lott led the Senate through historic debates which had lasting and real impacts on American life. Their counsel to the Institute will be invaluable.”

Senator Daschle served in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to 2005 and was elected to the position of Majority Leader in 1994. As testament to the respect Daschle commanded among his colleagues, only Lyndon Johnson had served fewer years in the Senate before being elected to lead his party.

“The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is a project very dear to me because of my deep respect for the U.S. Senate and its place in our history. There is no organization like the Institute, dedicated to helping the public truly understand the role of the Senate in our government,” Senator Daschle said. “I had the privilege to not only be part of the Senate as a Majority Leader, I also served with my dear friend Ted Kennedy. Helping to bring his vision to completion is an honor and I look forward to this challenge.”

Senator Lott served in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2005. During President George W. Bush’s first two years in office, Senator Lott led the Republican Caucus through a period of immense legislative activity including passage of a major tax cut package and an education reform bill, both of which still have enormous impact today.

“I have had the privilege to serve in both bodies of the Congress and work closely with seven presidential administrations. We have been through some historic times, facing enormous challenges. I know the votes we take as members of Congress do have an impact on every day Americans,” said Senator Lott. “The Institute will help students, teachers and the public to learn more about their government and how just how the work being done in Washington, DC is pivotal to our working democracy.”

Senators Daschle and Lott will be joined by additional new board members: former Suffolk County District Attorney and Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Northeastern University, Ralph Martin; and Stephanie Cutter, a former senior White House aide, deputy campaign manager for Obama for America, and senior advisor to Senator Kennedy.

“Ralph and Stephanie bring with them unique talents and wisdom which will help to guide this organization. We are certain this new team of board members will be invaluable as we develop our programs,” said Lee Fentress, Chair of the Board of Directors.

This past year the Institute has participated in many groundbreaking and exciting endeavors including:

  • The gifting of the Historic Kennedy home in Hyannis Port;
  • The appointment of Andrew Tarsy as President of the Institute and Dr. Nell Breyer as Director of Programming and Education; and
  • The announcement of the Edward M. Kennedy Biomedical Fund.

“We are excited to welcome these distinguished leaders who have such rich and diverse experiences in public life. I look forward to working with them,” said Andrew Tarsy, President of the EMK Institute.

Tom Daschle

In 1978, Tom Daschle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served for eight years. In 1986, he was elected as U.S. Senator of South Dakota and was chosen as Senate Democratic Leader in 1994. He is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic Leaders in history. During his time in office, Senator Daschle faced some of the most historic economic and national security challenges in recent years. He is the author of Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever, which was released in 2003. Senator Daschle has also authored several health care publications, including Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis and Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform. His most recent book, The U.S. Senate: Fundamentals of American Government, was published in January 2013. Since leaving the Senate, Senator Daschle has served as Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and he joined with former Majority Leaders George Mitchell, Bob Dole and Howard Baker in 2007 to create the Bipartisan Policy Center, an organization that combines politically balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach. Senator Daschle is also a Senior Policy Advisor for DLA Piper’s Government Affairs practice, where he provides clients with strategic public policy advice on a wide range of international and economic issues, and serves as a member of DLA Piper’s Global Board.

Trent Lott

Trent Lott represented the people of Mississippi in Congress for 35 years and is one of a few officials to have held elected leadership positions in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In 1988, Lott was elected to the Senate where he was a member of a group of pro-growth stalwarts who opposed the tax increase negotiated by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. He became the 16th Senate Majority Leader in 1996 and worked closely with President Bill Clinton, and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, to secure passage of the historic welfare reform bill of 1996. The following year Senator Lott worked again with President Clinton, Speaker Gingrich and Congressional Budget Committee chairmen John Kasich and Pete Domenici to produce a landmark budget and tax cut agreement that limited some federal spending while, more importantly, stimulating economic growth that brought the federal budget into balance for the first time since 1968. Following his leadership in the Senate, he and former Senator John Breaux founded the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group, a bipartisan public policy firm that became one of the 20 largest government relations firms in Washington, DC. Senator Lott is a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he focuses on issues related to energy, national security, transportation and congressional reforms. Senator Lott also serves as Senior Counsel for Patton Boggs and provides strategic advice, consulting and lobbying to clients on a wide range of public policy matters.

Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin is a highly accomplished attorney and civic leader with more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Martin is a trial lawyer with a distinguished career in law enforcement, serving as Suffolk County District Attorney from 1992 to 2002, which made him the first Republican and African-American District Attorney in Suffolk County’s history. Prior to that, he was the Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County and Assistant United States Attorney in Boston. He is currently the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Northeastern University. Formally he was the Managing Partner of the Boston office of Bingham McCutchen, LLP. Martin serves on the boards of Children’s Hospital Boston and BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts. He is also a member of the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, a Life Member of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers’ Association and the New York State Bar Association. Martin is the 2002 recipient of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award for “Prosecutor of the Year,” and the National Black Prosecutor Association’s “President’s Award of Excellence.”

Stephanie Cutter

Stephanie Cutter’s political and communications experience spans two decades in public service and the private sector. Most recently Cutter served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Obama presidential campaign where she earned a reputation as a savvy communications strategist. Prior to joining the campaign, Cutter was an instrumental part of President Obama’s White House team, serving as a Deputy Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President, advising the President on messaging and communications. Prior to assuming this role, Cutter served as Assistant to the President for Special Projects, focusing on Administration wide communications and outreach strategies around priority initiatives including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the President’s State of the Union Address. Cutter has held senior roles in other areas of the government as well, including the Department of Treasury, and in the U.S. Senate where she was senior advisor to Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Cutter is also the founder of the Cutter Media Group, LLC, a strategic communications firm that specializes in designing and implementing public affairs strategies.

Press Contact Info

For media inquiries, please contact:


Communications Department