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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


The Louis J.  Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series
Inaugural Program

Dukakis in the audience Dukakis audience
Eagleton was pleased and honored to welcome Michael S. Dukakis as the series’ inaugural speaker. Governor Dukakis, a champion of public transportation and former Vice Chairman of the Amtrak Board, delivered an address about the current state of the nation’s rail transportation system.  Following his talk, comments were offered by: Brendan T. Byrne, Governor of New Jersey, 1974-1982, James J. Florio, Governor of New Jersey, 1990-1994, Elizabeth C. Matto, Director, Eagleton Youth Political Participation Program, and John Weingart, Associate Director, Eagleton Institute of Politics. Lou Gambaccini provided closing remarks about the event and his vision for the future of the program.

            Inaugural Event Video: Michael Dukakis, May 11, 2012

About Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis at the podiumMichael S. Dukakis began his political career as an elected Town Meeting Member in the town of Brookline, MA. He served four terms in the Massachusetts Legislature before running for lieutenant governor on a ticket that lost. Dukakis was elected governor in 1974. He was defeated in the Democratic primary in 1978, but came back four years later to win a second term and was reelected to an unprecedented third term in 1986. That same year, his colleagues in the National Governors' Association voted him the most effective governor in the nation. Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States in 1988, but was defeated by George H. W. Bush. Since June 1991, Dukakis has been a researcher and teacher at the University of Hawaii, Northeastern University, and UCLA, focusing on health care policy. He and the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon authored a book, How to Get Into Politics – and Why, designed to encourage young people to think seriously about politics and public service as a career. Dukakis was nominated by President Clinton for a five-year term as a member of the new Board of Directors of Amtrak, and served as Vice-Chairman on the Amtrak Board.