Caroline Kennedy is currently the United States Ambassador to Australia. She previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 - 2017. In recognition of her efforts to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, in November 2021 the Japanese government awarded her the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest honor for which foreigners are eligible.
Ambassador Kennedy is the author or editor of eleven best-selling books on constitutional law, American history, politics and poetry. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, she is Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and a member of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Committee.
CELEBRATING AMERICA: OUR IDEALS AND FREEDOMS
Over the past few years, we have all thought about what it means to be an American, from the ideals upon which this country was founded to the sacrifices that have been made to ensure them. The daughter of one of our country’s most beloved and celebrated Presidents, Caroline Kennedy is a firm believer in the ideals we hold as Americans and is a champion of preserving our rights. Drawing from her book, A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love, Kennedy explores the foundations of our American democracy and celebrates the free world with patriotism and pride.
THE VALUE OF EDUCATION
Drawing from nearly a decades’ worth of experience in funding schools and supporting education reform, Caroline Kennedy knows not only the cost — but the true value of an education. Citing her parents as the inspiration for her commitment to education, Caroline reflects on the Kennedy’s shared intellectual curiosity and love of reading and history and speaks of her deeply instilled passion for learning while inspiring this passion in others. For eight years Kennedy was the Vice Chair of the Fund for Public Schools where she led philanthropic efforts to raise more than $285 million for education in NYC, and two years as the director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education.
GROWING UP KENNEDY: PRESERVING THE FAMILY LEGACY
For more than half a century, Americans have been captivated by the Kennedy family. The joys and heartbreaks, tragedies and triumphs have cast a lasting impact in the political and public imagination. The Kennedy legacy is woven through American life in ways that will never disappear. In this deeply poignant speech, Caroline revisits her early years in the White House, the difficult years after “Camelot,” and the lasting legacy of leadership and call to service inspired by her father. She also shares her family’s remarkable philanthropic work, their ongoing influence in politics, and the ways in which the next generation will uphold the Kennedy name.
ENGAGED CITIZENSHIP: FROM LEADERSHIP TO PUBLIC SERVICE
Attorney and author of In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action, Caroline Kennedy has been a lifelong proponent of public service who heeds her own call, having served as the first female U.S. ambassador to Japan, the Vice Chair of the Fund for Public Schools, and the director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the NYC Department of Education. In this discussion, Kennedy emphasizes our responsibility to participate in our democracy and the potential for change within each of us. With a family legacy steeped in politics and public service, Kennedy is an exemplary voice for the participation of every American citizen in our democracy. Weaving familial anecdotes throughout this conversation, Kennedy discusses her own upbringing and influences, and emphasizes her family's belief that service can begin at any age and never really ends, proven by her own campaigning grandmother.
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