The Friends of Port Chicago Memorial welcomes Capitol Hill veteran John A. Lawrence to our board of directors.
John served for 38 years as a staff member in the US House of Representatives, the last eight as Chief of Staff to Speaker/Leader Nancy Pelosi. John played a major role in the creation of the Port Chicago National Memorial and in securing a presidential pardon for Freddie Meeks, one of the 50 sailors court martialed following the explosion.
After retiring from service on the Hill in February 2013, Speaker John A. Boehner and Leader Pelosi recognized John’s dedication and bipartisanship by conferring on him the John W. McCormack Award for Excellence. John served as Staff Director of the Committee on Natural Resources (1993-2001), Staff Director of the Committee on Education and the Workforce (2001-2005), and Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Congressman George Miller (D-CA) (1975-2005).
He is a visiting professor at the University of California campus in Washington, DC and writes and speaks on public policy and politics, and is author of the blog, DOMEocracy (johnalawrence.wordpress.com). Born in Paterson, N.J., John holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of California (Berkeley), and an A.B. (with high honors in history) from Oberlin College.