University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
|For Immediate Release:||
November 19, 2001
Shawn Nakamoto, (808) 956-9095 or
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
|UH Manoas Nisei Veterans Endowed Forum Series Features Under Secretary For Memorial Affairs Robin Higgins|
HONOLULU Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Robin L. Higgins will
be the keynote speaker of the University of Hawaii at Manoas Colleges
of Arts & Sciences fourth forum of the Nisei Veterans Endowed Forum Series,
"Universal Values for a Democratic Society." The forum will be held
on Thursday, December 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi was originally scheduled to
be the keynote speaker but is unable to make it due to unforeseen circumstances.
Higgins will speak about preserving values and freedoms in times of crisis. She will be visiting Hawaii in conjunction with the commemorative activities of the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Higgins was nominated to be Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs in the Department of Veterans Affairs on April 30, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate on May 24, 2001. In this role, she is responsible for policy, management and operation of the National Cemetery Administration. She directs the operation and maintenance of 120 national cemeteries and oversees other memorial-related programs, including providing headstones and markers, administering a federal grants program to states to establish state veterans cemeteries, and issuing Presidential Memorial Certificates to survivors of honorably discharged veterans.
Prior to her nomination, Higgins served as Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in January 1999. Under the former 41st President Bush Administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training at the U.S. Department of Labor. She is a 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps.
Higgins is the widow of Colonel William R. (Rich) Higgins, a Marine officer taken captive by terrorists in Lebanon in 1988, and later murdered. Since then, she has become an internationally known speaker on surviving adversity and terrorism. Her book, "Patriot Dreams The Murder of Colonel Rich Higgins," was published in time for the commissioning of the USS Higgins (DDG 76), a Navy destroyer named for her husband.
Higgins is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Marine Corps Leagues Dickey Chapelle Award, American Legion Auxiliarys Public Spirit Award, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants Veterans Caucus Award. She is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, The Retired Officers Association, the Jewish War Veterans, Gold Star Wives, The American Legion, AMVETS, and the Marine Corps League.
She earned her bachelors degree in English from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and a masters in English from Long Island University. She also studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
"Universal Values for a Democratic Society Nisei Veterans Endowed Forum Series" was established within the UH Manoa Colleges of Arts and Sciences to foster thoughtful discussions on values and their role in enhancing a democratic society.
The forum is open to the public. Japanese bento lunches will be available for $14. The deadline to RSVP and place a lunch order is Thursday, November 29. Call the UH Manoa Colleges of Arts & Sciences at 944-7773 to RSVP and place a lunch order.