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.

Join & Support

In the 47 years that Senator Kennedy served the people of Massachusetts and America in the United States Senate, more than 800 outstanding and committed young men and women had the privilege of working as Senator Kennedy’s staff members. Whether they worked on constituent services in the Boston office or on legislation in the Washington office, these staff alumni were often referred to as the best and the brightest of Senate staffers.

This alumni section of the Institute website has been established as a means of highlighting these dedicated public servants and their accomplishments. The Institute’s leadership hopes the alumni stories will fulfill one of the Senator’s key visions for the Institute by helping to inspire the next generation of civic leaders.

Kennedy Community

Catching Up With Our Alumni - A Q&A with Barbara Souliotis

Barbara Souliotis - Dedication - Alumni Brunch

Barbara Souliotis at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute

©

Catching Up With Our Alumni - A Q&A with Barbara Souliotis

Barbara Souliotis first began working with Senator Kennedy while he served in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in September 1961. After Senator Kennedy was elected U.S. Senator for Massachusetts, Barbara worked with him in his Washington, D.C. office for seven years. For the last 23 years of Senator Kennedy’s Senate service, Barbara ran his Boston office as Senator Kennedy’s State Director and Chief of Staff, a role she would reprise for his successor, interim U.S. Senator Paul G. Kirk, Jr. Barbara currently serves on the Edward M. Kennedy Institute’s Board of Directors, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s New Frontier Award Committee, and was honored with the 2003 Congressman John Joseph Moakley Exemplary Public Service Award. Barbara was the only staff person to work for Senator Edward M. Kennedy for the entirety of his nearly 47-year Senate career.

Q: What were your first impressions during your tour of the building? What was your reaction to the full-scale representation of the Senate Chamber reproduction?

A: “It [Senate Chamber] reminded me of when I worked in Washington and would go to the Senate floor, just to hear him speak about Civil Rights or health care.”

Q: How do you think the Institute can make a difference in terms of education and civic engagement?

A: “Senator Kennedy believed in the power of the Senate, and how individuals can make a difference. The Institute truly encourages the spirit of learning, debating and compromising that were the cornerstone of his beliefs.”

Q: How would you describe the impact the Senator had on you, professionally and/or personally?

A: “He valued his staff and made sure they knew that. The kind of loyalty he inspired came from acknowledging people’s hard work, keeping an open mind and leading by example.”

Q: Is there a particular story you’d like to share about the Senator? Or a project you worked on together?

A: After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Senator Kennedy visited the Massachusetts families of victims, arranged for local lawyers and social workers to assist people pro bono, and continued to check in to ensure they received as much care as he could provide. “Senator Kennedy called the families for years and years afterwards to see how they were doing. With the great losses he had suffered within his own family, he just knew how to empathize and comfort them.”