Principal Speaker


The Honorable James P. McGovern

The Honorable James P. McGovern, 2nd District, Massachusetts, is currently serving his ninth term in the United States House of Representatives. Throughout his tenure, he has been a stalwart advocate for his district, a steadfast champion for biomedical research and an unrivaled supporter for social justice and human rights.
    Congressman McGovern serves as the second ranking Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation, and a member of the House Agriculture Committee. He is co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the bipartisan Cystic Fibrosis Caucus and the House Hunger Caucus. 
    Congressman McGovern is an outspoken and reliable advocate for medical research and increased federal investment in the National Institutes of Health. As co-chair of the Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, he has utilized the example of advances against that disease to persuade colleagues of the health and economic value of medical research investment and, most importantly, of the powerfully transformative impact of research breakthroughs for patients and their families.
    Congressman McGovern’s support of higher education and healthcare is noteworthy. He has authored legislation to increase Pell Grant funding to allow more students access to higher education and has supported increased funding for graduate medical education to ensure sufficient medical residency slots are available to train the nation’s next generation of physicians. A strong proponent of healthcare reform, his legislative efforts have included reducing the cost of home health care, giving patients the dignity to be cared for in their own homes with the help of medical professionals.
    In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake that took the life of Britney Gengel, Congressman McGovern traveled to Haiti, first with family members of several of those who, like Britney, were working or volunteering in Haiti when the earthquake struck and then, three years later, with Britney’s parents for the dedication of the Be Like Brit Orphanage. The congressman was privileged to write the foreword to the Gengels’ book,Heartache and Hope in Haiti, which chronicles their remarkable journey as they sought to find meaning in the loss of their daughter.
    Born in Worcester, McGovern earned his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Public Administration degrees from American University. He and his wife, Lisa (Murray) McGovern, have two school-age children.