4/28/11 ASHLAND, OH -- U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, a native of Mansfield, Ohio, will present the address at Ashland University's spring commencement ceremony set for May 7 at 10 a.m. on Jones' Terrace located in front of Founders Hall on the Ashland University campus.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in Kates Gymnasium inside the Physical Education Center.
Brown served two terms as Ohio's Secretary of State and four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. Since voters in Ohio's 13th Congressional District first sent him to Congress in 1992, Brown has become one of Congress' most respected voices on health care, trade policy, job creation, the environment, and other issues important to his Northeast Ohio district.
Brown is just the sixth Ohio Senator in history to sit on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee<http://brown.senate.gov/senator/committees/> where he ensures Ohio receives its fair share of federal resources and investments. Brown is the ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. He also serves on the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality and Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Brown's other assignments include the House International relations Committee and its Asia and the pacific Subcommittee.
For the last two years, he has convened a one-of-its-kind Ohio College Presidents Conference<http://brown.senate.gov/issues_and_agenda/issues/issue/?id=1586bb76-9604-4c49-a2ee-7e980c6fa98a> in Washington to discuss ways to leverage federal resources to promote higher education and job training in Ohio.
As the Health Subcommittee's leading Democrat, Brown has achieved national acclaim fighting to give Americans access to affordable prescription drugs. He led the effort in the House to close legal loopholes used by brand-name drug companies to prevent price competition. Seniors groups in Ohio have honored Brown for sponsoring bus trips to Canada that allow consumers to get prescriptions drugs for up to 80 percent less than the price in the U.S.
A leader on children's health issues, Brown was the chief Democratic sponsor of the bipartisan Children's Health Act of 2000, which established a new Pediatric Research Initiative within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and expanded research projects on autism, birth defects, and other child-related illnesses and diseases. His efforts earned him the "Friend of Children and Children's Hospitals" award from the National Association of Children's Hospitals. The American Public Health association, the nation's largest public health organization with 50,000 members, recognized Congressman Brown with its Distinguished Public Health Legislator of the year Award for 2002.
In addition to health-related achievements, Brown has fought trade agreements that threaten American jobs, undermine environmental safeguards, and eliminate workplace safety protections. He believes international trade agreements should include protections for workers in America and across the globe, including fair wages, decent working conditions, and the right to unionize. As a fierce critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he played a key role in efforts to defeat "fast track" trade negotiating authority in Congress. Brown also spoke against granting China increased trade privileges until its leaders adhere to internationally accepted human rights practices.
As a long-standing member of the U.S. House and Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Brown has worked to preserve the economic and environmental vitality of Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes. He has led the charge to halt attempts by private companies to buy and sell Great Lakes water.
Brown is married to Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Shultz, a Pulitzer-prize finalist and winner of the 2003 RFK Memorial Journalism Award for Social Justice Reporting. He is the father of two daughters, Emily, a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, and Elizabeth, an AmeriCorps graduate and student at Columbia University. Stepdaughter Caitlin is a high school student in Ohio while stepson Andrew Gard is a doctoral student at Ohio State University.
Brown's first book, Congress from the Inside: Observations from the Majority and the Minority, is in its third edition, and his latest book, Myths of Free Trade, was published in September, 2004.
Brown graduated from Yale University with a degree in Russian studies and later earned master's degrees in education and public administration from Ohio State University. Brown achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.