|Ms. Townsend has a long history of accomplishment in the public arena, and for the last few years she has worked in the private sector. She is a Director at the Rock Creek Group, a hedge fund of funds. Previously, she had worked at Lehman Brothers.
As the State of Maryland’s first woman Lt. Governor, Ms. Townsend was in charge of a multimillion dollar budget and had oversight of major cabinet departments, including Economic Development and Transportation, State Police, Public Safety and Correction and Juvenile Justice. Prior to being elected Lt. Governor, Ms. Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. In that role, she led the planning to put 100,000 police officers into the community and she ignited the Police Corps, a program to give college scholarships to young people who pledge to work as police officers for four years after graduation.
Prior to serving at the Department of Justice, Ms. Townsend spent seven years as the founder and director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance where she led the fight to make Maryland the first—and only—state to make service a graduation requirement.
She taught foreign policy at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and has been a visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She has been appointed the Paul Nitze Senior Fellow at St. Mary’s College. In the mid-1980s, she founded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
Ms. Townsend is Chair of the Institute of Human Virology founded by Dr. Robert Gallo, and serves on the board of directors of the John F Kennedy Library Foundation, the Robert Kennedy Memorial, The Center for American Progress, the Points of Light Foundation, the Robert Catholic Reporter and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Ms. Townsend is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Inter-American Dialogue. Previously, she served on the boards of the Export-Import Back, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the Wilderness Society and was chairman of the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.
An honors graduate of Harvard University, Ms. Townsend received her law degree from the University of New Mexico where she was a member of the law review. She has received then honorary degrees. A member of the bar in Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts, she is also a certified broker-dealer.
Ms. Townsend’s book, Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Mixed God with Politics and Lost Their Way has been published by Warner Books in March 2007.
The eldest child of the late US Senator and Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ethel Kennedy, Ms. Townsend lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, David, a professor at St. John’s College in Annapolis. They have four daughters, Meaghan, Maeve, Kate, and Kerry.