Annual Dinner

The Honorable John Kerry to be recognized with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Lifetime Achievement Award

On Sunday, October 15, the Institute will recognize Secretary John Kerry with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding public service. The award will be conferred at the Institute’s Annual Dinner.

A decorated combat veteran, Assistant District Attorney, Lieutenant Governor, five-term United States Senator and former Secretary of State, John Kerry has served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States with distinction. Throughout his career, his moral convictions, belief in American values, and unique approach to diplomacy has guided his long path of leadership. At every level of government, he has exemplified the true intent of public service.

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is dedicated to educating the public about the important role the Senate plays in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic lives of their communities.

Additional details on the Institute’s Annual Dinner are forthcoming. Questions can be directed to

About John Kerry

On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to serve as Secretary in over a century. Kerry drew from this experience to provide the State Department with global stewardship on issues ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to radical extremists, to humanitarian challenges and the rising threat of climate change.

Kerry drew upon a lifetime of public service during his tenure as Secretary.

Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Kerry volunteered for service in the United States Navy. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, including serving as a Swift Boat skipper patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta. Lt. Kerry returned home from service in Vietnam with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.

After receiving his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1976, Kerry went to work as a top prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he took on organized crime, fought for victims’ rights, and created programs for rape counseling. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and was elected to the United States Senate two years later.

In 2009, Kerry became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, assuming a leadership role on key foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, China, nuclear nonproliferation, and global climate change.

A best-selling author of A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America and This Moment on Earth, Secretary Kerry announced in 2017 he will be writing a memoir, expected in 2018. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Kerry was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2004. He and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry have two daughters, three sons, and six grandchildren.