Civility Award Dinner 2006

Under the Patronage of
His Excellency the Ambassador
of the Republic of Poland and Mrs. Janusz Reiter
The Members of the Board of Trustees of the
Institute for Education

A Special Civility Award Dinner
The Honorable Thomas Davis
US House of Representatives
The Honorable Anthony A. Williams
Mayor of the District of Columbia

Monday, September 25, 2006
7:00 p.m.
Cocktail Attire

Embassy of the Republic of Poland
2640 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009


  • 7:00 p.m. Arrival of guests, informal mingling, cocktails
  • 7:30 p.m. Sit down to dinner – Special Welcome remarks by His Excellency Janusz Reiter
  • Dinner is served
  • 8:15 – 8:30 p.m. Coach Kathy Kemper, Institute for Education, Founder &CEO- brief introduction of Civility: The Politics of Common Ground, a special program of the Institute for Education, George Vradenburg, Chair, Civility, presents Awards to the Honorable Thomas Davis and the Honorable Anthony A. Williams
  • 8:30-9:00 p.m. Morton Kondracke, Trustee, Institute for Education, lead dinner forum and discussion on Civility of Common Ground
  • Desserts and Coffee


Special Civility Awards

Representative Thomas Davis was born in Minot, North Dakota on January 5, 1949, and moved with his family to Fairfax County at an early age. He graduated as president of his class from the United States Capitol Page School following four years as a U.S. Senate Page. He went on to Amherst College, graduating with honors in Political Science, and subsequently earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. Tom also attended Officer Candidate School, served on active duty in the U.S. Army, and spent eight years with the Virginia National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.

Tom’s list of legislative accomplishments began almost as soon as he took office, when he was given control of the Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. During his first year in Congress, Tom authored and co-sponsored several important bills that were enacted into law, including the D.C. Financial Control Board Act; the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995; the Federal Acquisition Reform Act; and the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Tom quickly earned a reputation among his constituents, colleagues and the media as a strong advocate of federal employees and contractors, and as an expert in federal procurement policy.

Tom has been a leader in reforming Congress’ lobbying and gift rules and was recognized as a “True Blue Reformer” by the advocacy group “Public Citizen” for his consistently strong support of political and ethics reforms. Tom has earned a “Deficit Hawk” Award and the highest score in Virginia from the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan citizen’s council dedicated to deficit reduction. Tom has also received awards from Americans for Tax Reform, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Information Technology Association of America, the Information Technology Industry Council, US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Chief Information Officers, the IT Industry Council, and the Coalition for Government Procurement for his legislative accomplishments.

Tom’s legislative accomplishments were recognized in January 2003, when he was elected to chair the House Government Reform Committee for the 108th Congress. During his first year as Chairman, Tom used the Committee’s legislative agenda to deliver the highest value to taxpayers, promote the President’s Management Agenda, and ensure maximum performance from government agencies. Legislative successes were highlighted by the enactment of the Services Acquisition Reform Act; the creation of a National Security Personnel System for Department of Defense civilian employees; D.C. School Choice Program; critical postal pension reform legislation that will keep postage rates steady until at least 2006. In 2004, Tom authored significant portions of 9-11 Implementations Act, including streamlining the security clearance process and strengthening the FBI’s personnel procedures.

Under Tom’s leadership the Committee conducted oversight on and investigated matters related to the effective administration of government programs of great public interest. These programs included government contracting in support of the war in Iraq, the Agriculture Department’s handling of the discovery of Mad Cow Disease in the United States, the flu vaccine shortage, the role of the National Guard in national security and homeland defense, and management of the Department of Homeland Security.

Anthony A. Williams began serving as the fourth Mayor of the District of Columbia on January 4, 1999. On January 2, 2003, Mayor Williams was inaugurated and began serving his second term in office.

Mayor Williams helped spark a renaissance in Washington, DC. He and his administration have consistently produced a balanced budget, while generating economic stability and affordable housing. One of the cornerstones of Mayor Williams’ tenure has been creating a friendly government that listens to citizens through town hall meetings and citizen summits. In his January 2003 inauguration speech, Mayor Williams named three key priorities for the city: education, public safety, and expanding opportunity for all the District’s citizens.

In December 2004, Mayor Williams was elected president of the Washington, DC-based National League of Cities. Its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance that work in partnership with 49 state municipal leagues.

Mayor Williams was elected Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) in January 2005. As an organization of local governments in and around Washington, DC, COG’s mission is to enhance the quality of life and competitive advantages of the Washington metropolitan region.

Anthony Williams served as the District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from October 1995 through June 1998. Appointed by former DC Mayor Marion Barry to lead the District to financial recovery, Williams restored fiscal accountability for District agencies and balanced the city’s budget. His work put the city on track for the return to self-government—two years earlier than projected—and delivered a surplus of $185 million in fiscal year 1997.

Mayor Williams was appointed by President Clinton as the first CFO for the US Department of Agriculture. Mr. Williams served as the Deputy State Comptroller of Connecticut, where he was responsible for the management of 250 separate funds and the state’s budget and accounting services. He has also served as Executive Director of the Community Development Agency in St. Louis, Missouri; Assistant Director of the Boston (MA) Redevelopment Authority; and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University (NY). He was elected to the New Haven (CT) Board of Aldermen, where he served as President Pro-Tempore.

Born on July 28, 1951, in Los Angeles, California, Williams is the adopted son of Virginia and the late Lewis Williams, and is one of eight children. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Yale College, earned a juris doctorate from Harvard Law and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also served in the US Air Force.

Mayor Williams is a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church and several social service organizations, including 100 Black Men, Leadership Washington, and the Washington Urban League. He and his wife, Diane, live in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of the District. They have one daughter, Asantewa Foster.

Special Thanks to

  • George Vradenburg
  • Steve Chaudet
  • Bo Kemper
  • Greg Schmidt
  • Jeri Thompson
  • Jim Valentine


The Politics of Common Ground
A Return to Civility

There is a fundamental need in Washington to return to the days of Tip O’Neill, Ronald Reagan and Pat Moynihan — times guided by the idea that together, Republicans and Democrats are more effective than when we stand apart as two implacable parties. The Institute for Education (IFE) is leading the charge to create small, bipartisan forums designed to build relationships across party lines, restoring the civility that once found a place on Capitol Hill. The goal is to echo the Reagan-O’Neill understanding that after a day’s work, political adversaries should not be enemies. By engaging in dialogue and building relationships, both parties are likely to find common ground. The Institute for Education is suited to lead this effort because it’s a bipartisan, Washington-based organization. Every year, hundreds of professionals of every political persuasion find common ground through IFE. At our core is the idea that exchanging views in an atmosphere of cordiality and respect can help us finds solutions to critical problems that face all of us.

Mission Statement: We must end a continuing cycle of partisan reprisals in Washington by fostering dialogue and building friendships between parties on Capitol Hill.

Commitments & Goals:

  • Conduct small, bipartisan, off-the-record gatherings with Congressional leadership. Hosted by IFE, the gatherings will feature open dialogue in a relaxed and neutral setting allowing for interesting, educational and amusing opportunities for members to enjoy each other’s company.
  • Build camaraderie and lay the groundwork for making connections across party lines — thus changing the tone of Washington discourse.
  • Unify leadership and help form lasting friendships and bonds that ultimately create change in how Congress works and improve government. When politics is a clash between personalities, the country loses. When politics is a battle between competing ideas, the country wins.

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