Former U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski will join the Johns Hopkins University on Jan. 16 as a professor of public policy and presidential adviser, the school announced Thursday.
Mikulski will participate in lectures, seminars and symposia across the university, Johns Hopkins said in a news release. She also will organize gatherings featuring nationally known policymakers and other leaders.
Mikulski, 80, retired from the Senate earlier this month after completing her fifth six-year term. She was the longest-serving woman in congressional history and the longest-tenured U.S. senator from Maryland.
“We are delighted to bring Sen. Mikulski into the Johns Hopkins family as she has been a trailblazer for women and one of the most distinguished public servants in Maryland’s – and indeed, our nation’s – history,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of the university. “With longstanding ties to Johns Hopkins from her earliest days of service in Baltimore, Sen. Mikulski will share her experience and perspective with all those invested in understanding and addressing the most significant issues of our time.”
The former Democratic senator has also agreed to donate her congressional papers and records to the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins, where they will be made available to scholars.
“I’m proud to join the Johns Hopkins faculty and to share my expertise and experience in public policy,” Mikulski said. “I am excited to teach and encourage the next generation and to assist the leadership of this internationally recognized university.
Mikulski was elected to the Senate in 1986 after five terms in the House of Representatives and service on the Baltimore City Council. The lifelong Baltimorean and former social worker, who first gained prominence in a successful fight to block a highway project from cleaving long-established Baltimore neighborhoods, rose to serve as chair and then as ranking member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
She was active in a host of Maryland-related issues such as the Chesapeake Bay, research and innovation, and funding for the National Institutes of Health and NASA. On the national level, Mikulski focused on civil rights, national security, research and innovation, women’s health, and other issues.
She was primary sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, addressing salary discrimination against women; it was the first bill signed into law in 2009 by President Obama, just days after his first inauguration.
Obama later awarded Mikulski the Presidential Medal of Freedom.