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Edward Markey, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, is awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws during the Phase I ceremony of Tufts University's 163rd Commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2019. (Photo by Alonso Nichols)


In more than 40 years on Capitol Hill, you have demonstrated an enduring commitment to public service and mastery of the legislative process. You have authored bills on pressing issues ranging from energy and climate change to telecommunications and arms control—and you have passed more than 550 pieces of legislation into law. Your telecommunications legislation paved the way for the broadband and wireless revolution. In your 37 years in the House of Representatives, you showed time and again how deeply you care about our environment. You passed laws that stopped the construction of hundreds of coal-fired energy plants, and that increased fuel-economy standards. The 2009 Waxman-Markey bill remains the only comprehensive climate legislation ever to pass a chamber of Congress. You have brought the same dedication and values to your service as a United States senator since 2013: The Green New Deal resolution you recently authored in the Senate points the way toward a brighter future of clean energy. You have been rightly hailed for both your talent as a legislator and your willingness to address the truly significant challenges facing the nation. For your enduring efforts on behalf of your constituents and all Americans, Tufts University is proud to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.


For more than 40 years in Congress, Senator EDWARD J. MARKEY has earned the moniker “master legislator.” He has authored hundreds of bills on issues ranging from energy and environmental and climate change policy to telecommunications and children’s online privacy and nonproliferation and arms control. And on a bipartisan basis, he has passed more than 550 pieces of legislation into law. And Markey is nowhere near done—just this spring, he coauthored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate.

Markey grew up in Malden, Massachusetts, and received his undergraduate and law degrees from Boston College. In 1972, at age 26, he won his first election to a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Four years later he was elected to Congress, representing a district that includes part of Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives until 2013, when he won a special election to fill John Kerry’s seat in the U.S. Senate. He went on to win a full six-year Senate term in 2014.

In his 37 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Markey focused his efforts on energy and environmental legislation, including laws that stopped the construction of hundreds of coal-fired plants and increased fuel economy standards. He authored the law that established the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, ensuring that New England families won’t be left in the cold when foreign flashpoints flare or oil prices heat up.

From 2007 to 2010, Markey was chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and also served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, chairing its Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. He was co-author of the 2009 Waxman-Markey bill, the only comprehensive climate legislation ever to pass a chamber of Congress. With bold emissions reductions goals and bipartisan support, it raised awareness of climate change and pointed the way toward a future of cleaner energy.

Another key area of interest for Markey has been telecommunications policy, technology, and privacy. In the House, he served for 20 years as the chair or ranking member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, focusing on new digital technologies. He wrote or co-wrote many laws that now govern the country’s telecommunications systems, from landline telephones to wireless to broadband internet. He authored the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, which brought new levels of competition to the telecommunications marketplace and led to lower costs and greater choices for consumers.

While in the House, Markey introduced the first net neutrality bill in Congress—the Internet Freedom Preservation Act—seeking to keep a level playing field for all businesses and individuals on the internet while allowing for competition and innovation. He has also led the fight for privacy protections for personal information such as medical and financial records and online transactions. He was the House author of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, which safeguards children’s privacy online. Markey’s expertise extends to national security issues as well. From 2003 to 2009, he was a senior member of the House of Representative’s Homeland Security Committee, and he currently serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on East Asia and Global Cybersecurity Policy.

When it endorsed him in the 2013 Senate election, the Boston Globe said Markey was “one of the nation’s most talented legislators, taking on such complex and farsighted tasks as charting national telecommunications policy. While some members of Congress sit back and let others do the heavy lifting of drafting bills, Markey prides himself in being at the forefront of major initiatives.”

Markey will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.