Gloucester City Hall
Isolation or Intervention: Are These our Only Options in this Unsettled World?
Former Congressman John Tierney, a specialist in national security and foreign affairs while in the U.S. House of Representatives, will explore the global crises and challenges facing the United States today and what we can do about them.
While in Congress, Tierney was a frequent critic of the Bush and Obama Administrations’ war policies. He was a vigorous proponent of stricter oversight on defense outlays, ferreting out examples of fraud and waste and he led investigations into what he called “the deplorable treatment that some of our combat wounded and their families suffered at the Walter Reed Army Hospital.” He was also a strong critic of sexual abuse in the military and the violations of privacy by the National Security Agency.
The lifelong Salem resident represented the state’s 6th Congressional District in the House of Representatives for 18 years, the longest-serving congressman in the district’s history, until his defeat in last year’s Democratic Primary by Seth Moulton, who won the seat in the November general election. Though he sat on several committees, including Education and the Workforce, Oversight and Government Reform, and Intelligence, his contributions on national security and foreign policy were among his signal achievements.
During his tenure as chair of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, he held 65 hearings on national security issues, led four delegations to Asia and the Middle East, and commissioned more than 30 investigations and reports that touched on five continents and dozens of countries and reached from the deep sea to outer space. Over the last 14 years, a significant portion of his time went to U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan and on combatting terrorism.
Foreign Policy Magazine said his “subcommittee has a reputation for taking on thorny oversight issues the House Armed Services Committee shies away from, and Tierney is not known to pull his punches.”
Born and raised in Salem, John Tierney graduated from Salem State College, majoring in political science, took his law degree at Suffolk University and practiced law in Salem before his election to Congress in 1996. He also served 13 years as the Essex town counsel and as president of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife Patrice reside in Salem today.