March 10, 1997 (Monday) at 4:00 p.m.
University at Albany, Uptown Campus
Raymond L. Flynn was nominated as United States Ambassador to the Vatican by President Clinton in March of 1993. He was the Mayor of Boston from 1984 until July of 1993 when he was unanimously confirmed as Ambassador by the United States Senate. Flynn has been the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the national co-chairman of the Clinton for President Committee in 1992.
President Clinton wanted his new Ambassador to the Vatican, the first Democrat to hold this post, to expand the role of his mission. As Ambassador to the Vatican, Flynn represents the United States on issues of social and economic justice in trouble spots around the world. Since assuming his duties in Rome, Ambassador Flynn has done just that--representing the President in heading up earthquake relief efforts in India, and reviewing and reporting to the White House on humanitarian aid efforts in Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Haiti and, most recently, in Bosnia. Ambassador Flynn has been involved in peace efforts in Northern Ireland and has been working with Vatacan officials and other diplomats regarding the problems in South and Central America and developments in Cuba. He was instrumental in securing an agreement to begin the formal process of establishing full diplomatic relations betwen Israel and the Vatican.
Ambassador Flynn's career in public service includes four terms in the Massachusetts Legislature (1971-1978) as a South Boston/Dorchester State Representative, three terms on the Boston City Council from 1978-1983 and three terms as the 46th Mayor of Boston. After his inauguration as mayor in 1984, he emerged as a leading spokesman for urban issues in the United States. In 1991 he was elected President of the United States Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan association of mayors from across the country. He worked to advance the cause of America's cities and was chiefly responsible for bringing urban issues into National debate durding the 1992 President election. As Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness, Flynn worked for passage of the Stuart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. He also proposed a National Comunity Housing Partnership Act to put America back in the business of building affordable housing for working people.
Ambassador Flynn has received dozens of awards and recognitions including the B'nai B'rith International Humanitarian Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Award, the National Foundation for Children Recognition, and the Boys Club of America Man of the Year Award (1993), to name a few.