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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

former Lt. Governor, MD

As Lt. Governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's core mission was to make Maryland's communities safer, stronger, and more prosperous with innovative, effective answers to the State's most critical challenges. As Maryland's crime-fighting czar, as the designer of a nationwide model child and family services strategy, as a champion for service and volunteerism, and as the guiding force behind the State's economic development strategy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend sought to engage the best energies of citizens, cut through ideological debates, and focus on results. To bring Marylanders into our fight against crime, Lt. Governor Townsend began the Maryland Police Corps, recruiting and training new officers in community policing techniques that build trust between citizens and law enforcement personnel. Her HotSpot Communities Initiative joined neighborhood groups with police, prosecutors, and government agencies to design and implement a comprehensive enforcement and prevention strategy in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. Hailed as a national model by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, HotSpots has gotten real results and significantly reduced crime and restored a sense of peace and security to communities throughout the State. Lt. Governor Townsend used the same results-oriented strategy to maximize the impact of Maryland's other anti-crime efforts. Her pioneering Break the Cycle anti-drug initiative combined drug testing, escalating sanctions, and treatment to motivate addicted offenders to stay drug- and crime-free. Drug use by offenders in the program declined by 56%. Before becoming Lt. Governor, Mrs. Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice; chaired the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation; and founded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. As the founder and executive director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance, she made Maryland the first State in the country to include a high school community service requirement. Mrs. Townsend also has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), and at Essex and Dundalk Community Colleges. Currently, she serves on the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.