WASHINGTON, DC, July 16—In 1989, Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly made history when she became the first woman to serve as the Democratic Deputy Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. Today, she has reached another milestone after leaving Congress–the role of president of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC).

On the floor of the House of Representatives during FMC’s annual report to Congress, Kennelly was elected by FMC’s membership and officially handed over the reins of the non-profit organization from her predecessor, Connie Morella, who had just completed her two-year term. Morella, a Republican from Maryland, and Kennelly, a Democrat from Connecticut, who was FMC’s vice president, worked together to continue FMC’s mission to promote dialog, service and bipartisanship in the U.S. and abroad.

“Barbara Kennelly has been such a terrific steward of our organization, and she will use her considerable talent and energy to continue to grow our membership and mobilize other Former Members to get involved in service projects after they leave Congress,” said Pete Weichlein, CEO of FMC. “We would also like to thank Connie Morella for all of her hard work over the past two years, and are looking forward to working with her in her new role as immediate past-president,” he added.

Congresswoman Kennelly comes from a prominent Connecticut political family. Her father, John Bailey, was a state Democratic leader and chairman of the Democratic Committee in the 1960’s. Her husband, Jim Kennelly, was speaker of the Connecticut House. Congresswoman Kennelly served on the Hartford City Council and as the Secretary of the State of Connecticut before coming to Congress. She was elected to the 98th Congress, and in her first term was assigned to the influential Ways and Means Committee. In 1987, Kennelly became the first woman to serve on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  Among her legislative priorities, Kennelly introduced the Child Support Enforcement Amendment, supported strengthening laws against “deadbeat” parents, helped preserve the childcare federal tax deduction, and expanded the standard deduction for single parents.

After serving in Congress for 17 years, Kennelly chose not to run for re-election in 1998, focusing instead on a run for Connecticut Governor.  Although that campaign was unsuccessful, she continued her public service. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be Counselor to the Commissioner of Social Security, and served as president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

She received a B.A. degree in Economics from Trinity University, where she teaches currently as a full professor.  She also earned a Master’s degree in Government from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a certificate from the Harvard Business School on completion of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration.

Other FMC Executive Committee members elected for the 2014-2016 term include: Jim Walsh (R-NY), Vice President; Martin Frost (D-TX), Treasurer; and Mary Bono (R-CA), Secretary. Connie Morella will continue to serve on the executive committee in her capacity as Immediate Past President.

About FMC: The mission of FMC is to promote public service and strengthen democracy via domestic and international programs. FMC seeks to improve the public’s understanding of the role of Congress as a unique institution, as well as the crucial importance of representative democracy as a system of government. Former Members of Congress participate in many diverse pro- bono projects, such as election monitoring abroad, outreach to high school and university students to encourage public service, and supporting programs that provide services to severely wounded veterans upon their return from Iraq and Afghanistan

CONTACT: Dava Guerin/FMC/ 443-493-0406