Governor Michael Dukakis
Chairman of The Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation;
Co-Founder, Chairman of The Board of Directors and Board of Thinkers, The Boston Global Forum;
Democratic Party Nominee for President of the United States, 1988;
Distinguished Professor J.D., Harvard University
As Co-Founder and Chairman of The Board of Directors and Board of Thinker of The Boston Global Forum, Michael Stanley Dukakis culminates a half-century career dedicated to public service, political leadership, fostering the careers of young leaders, and scholarly achievement.
Together with Nguyen Anh Tuan, this former Massachusetts governor, has established The Boston Global Forum as a globally recognized think tank noted for developing peaceful solutions to some of the world’s most contentious issues, among them: fair labor practices in third-world nations, US-North Korean denuclearization negotiations, and the militarization of the South China Sea. Most recently, Gov. Dukakis has called for the ethical development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and other 21st century Internet advances that permeate out daily lives.
To promote the work of the Boston Global Forum and to recognize those who support its goals, Gov. Dukakis co-created: “World Leader in Peace and Cybersecurity” Award; “World Leader in AI World Society” Award, and the AI World Society Initiative. Together with Nguyen Anh Tuan he also established December 12 as the annual Global Cybersecurity Day. Gov. Dukakis also coauthored, “The concepts of AI-Government,” “Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security (ECCC),” and the “BGF-G7 Summit Initiative Report.”
Gov. Dukakis’s dedication to public service began modestly when he was elected Town Meeting Member in his native Brookline, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. He was later elected chairman of his town’s Democratic organization in 1960 and won a seat in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1962 where he served four terms as a state legislator. In 1970, he was the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor and the running mate of Boston Mayor Kevin White in a gubernatorial race lost to Republicans Frank Sargent and Donald Dwight, Jr.
In 1974, he again ran for governor of the Commonwealth beating Gov. Sargent decisively in November of that year. He inherited a record deficit and record high unemployment and is generally credited with digging Massachusetts out of one of its worst financial and economic crises in history. But the effort took its toll. Dukakis was defeated in the Democratic primary in 1978 by Edward King, but came back to defeat King in 1982 and was reelected to an unprecedented third, four-year term in 1986. His colleagues in the National Governors’ Association voted him the most effective governor in the nation that year.
Gov. Dukakis ran for the presidency of the United States in 1988 but was defeated by George Bush. After announcing that he would not seek reelection as governor in 1991, he and his wife, Kitty, spent three months at the University of Hawaii where he was a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Public Health. While at the University of Hawaii, he led a series of public forums on the reform of the nation’s health-care system that influenced the creation of Hawaii’s first-in-the-nation universal health insurance system whose lessons were incorporated into the national Affordable Care Act, championed by President Barrack Obama.
In addition to his Boston Global Forum role, Gov. Dukakis is currently a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at UCLA. Recently, he and former U.S. Senator Paul Simon authored, “How to Get Into Politics-and Why,” to provide young people with a road map to a career in public service.
As a life-long public transportation advocate, Gov. Dukakis was nominated by President Bill Clinton for a five-year term as a named to the Board of Directors of Amtrak in 1998. He served a full five-year term on the Amtrak Board as Vice-Chairman. He is often called upon to offer his expertise on rail service to Boston.
Gov. Dukakis continues to live Brookline, where he was born on November 3, 1933 to Panos and Euterpe (Boukis) Dukakis, who had emigrated from Greece and settled there after marrying. He graduated from Brookline High School (1951), Swarthmore College (1955), and Harvard Law School (1960), after which, he served for two years in the United States Army, sixteen months of which were with with the support group to the United Nations delegation of the Military Armistice Commission in Munsan, Korea.
Mike and Kitty Dukakis have three children: John, Andrea, and Kara, and are the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren.