In July 2013, Russell D. Feingold was appointed as the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.). Having served on and led the United States Senate Africa Subcommittee for 18 years, including numerous trips to the continent, Special Envoy Feingold will work closely with Secretary of State John Kerry, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and other international leaders to find a path to lasting peace and economic prosperity in the long-troubled Great Lakes region.
For eighteen years from 1993 to 2011, Russ Feingold represented Wisconsin in the United States Senate. He served on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Budget Committees. He also served in the Wisconsin State Senate from 1983 to 1993 and practiced law for six years at Foley & Lardner and LaFollette & Sinykin in Madison, Wisconsin.
Well known for leading the fight for campaign finance reform in the Senate alongside Senator John McCain, Senator Feingold was also the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act, and was the first senator to propose a timetable to exit Iraq. Feingold was the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage Award in 1999 and also received the Four Freedoms Award from the Roosevelt Institute in 2011. Feingold graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with honors in 1975, received an honors degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 1977, and then went on to Harvard Law School, where he earned his honors degree in 1979.
Since leaving the Senate, Feingold has been a visiting professor at Marquette University Law School, the inaugural Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University, the Stephen Edward Scarff Distinguished Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy at Lawrence University, and was a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.
Feingold founded Progressives United in 2011 to address corporate influence in the U.S. political system following the Supreme Court’s decision on the case of Citizens United, and the organization continues today while Feingold serves in government. Feingold recently served as a co-chair for President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Feingold is also the author of the New York Times bestseller While America Sleeps, about American policies both domestically and abroad since the terrorist attacks of September 11, and discussing what steps must be taken to ensure that the next ten years are focused on the international problems that threaten America and its citizens.