George Mitchell is a lawyer, businessman, author, and politician who served as a U.S. senator from 1980 to 1995 and as Senate minority leader from 1989 to 1995. In addition, he was a U.S. district judge for one year. As a U.S. senator, he played an instrumental role in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). More recently, Mitchell led peace negotiations in Northern Ireland and the Middle East during the Clinton and Obama presidential administrations, respectively.
As the first recipient of the Great Negotiator Award, the former senator was recognized for his accomplishments as a master coalition builder both at home and abroad. Under his leadership, the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland agreed on a historic accord, ending decades of conflict.