Dodd earned his degree from Providence College and spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. He then enlisted in the Army National Guard and later served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
He earned a law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1972. He practiced law in New London before he was elected to Congress in 1974. He served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Connecticut’s 2nd District.
- Chairman of Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Senior Member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
- Chairman – Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
- Senior member of the Committee on Foreign Relations
- Chairman – Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs
- Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
- Subcommittee on European Affairs
- Committee on Rules and Administration
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Chris Dodd in his successful Senate run as candidate for Connecticut.
"Friends of Ireland"
March 16 1981, twenty-four American political figures, most of them of Irish ancestry, urged an end to the fear and the terrorism and the bigotry in Northern Ireland and proposed that the Reagan Administration find a way to promote a peaceful settlement of the Ulster conflict.
In a joint St. Patrick's Day statement, the 24 - including Governor Carey, Governor Byrne, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts -announced the creation of an organization seeking to facilitate greater understanding of the positive role America can play resolving this tragic conflict.
They stressed that the organization, known as the Friends of Ireland, will seek the unification of the six counties of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic but that the goal can be reached only with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, and with full safeguards for the rights of both sections of the community.
It was the fourth consecutive year that the group had issued a statement on St. Patrick's Day calling for an end to violence in Ulster, but it was the first time it had sought to define a role for the United States. The group was set up to counter a vocal lobby for the Irish Republican Army.
Two-thirds of the people of Northern Ireland are Protestants, while the Irish Republic is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Efforts to resolve the violent conflict between Protestants and Catholics, and work out a settlement aimed at erasing the border, have been thwarted by terrorists on both sides.
The statement urged the Administration to play a constructive role in Northern Ireland and support a policy that helps bring terrorism to an end, that demands respect for the human rights of all the people of Northern Ireland, that recognizes the legitimate aspirations of both the Protestant and Catholic communities, and that strengthens the ties between two of America's closest friends - Ireland and Great Britain.
The Irish Government promptly applauded the creation of the group. In a statement released by the Irish Embassy here, Prime Minister Charles Haughey said that the links between the Irish and American peoples, which are of such long standing, will be even further strengthened by the setting up of this group.
In their statement, the political figures said that the Friends of Ireland will be open to all members of Congress and will strive to inform Congress and the country fully about all aspects of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
It will emphasize our concern, the statement said, for both the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Ireland. Besides Governors Carey and Byrne and Senators Moynihan and Kennedy, the following officials signed the statement: The Speaker of the House, Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy of Rhode Island Senator Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware, Senator Alan Cranston, Democrat of California Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, Senator Thomas Eagleton, Democrat of Missouri Senator Daniel Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii Senator, Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont Senator George Mitchell, Democrat of Maine Senator Claiborne Pell, Democrat of Rhode Island, Senator William Proxmire, Democrat of Wisconsin Representative Edward Boland, Democrat of Massachusetts, Representative Charles Dougherty, Republican of Pennsylvania Representative Thomas Foley, Democrat of Washington Representative James Howard, Democrat of New Jersey, Representative Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., Republican of California Representative Joseph McDade, Republican of Pennsylvania Representative Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts. Representative James Shannon, Democrat of Massachusetts, Representative Pat Williams, Democrat of Montana.
British to face US pressure on Cory
The British government come under intense pressure at St Patrick's Day gatherings in Washington DC March 2004 to publish the Cory reports in full.
Prominent US senators, including Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, wrote to British prime minister Tony Blair calling for the speedy and complete publication of Canadian judge Peter Cory's reports into four killings where security force collusion is suspected.
Nationalists and republicans do not believe that Blair will publish the entire reports, despite his assurances last week that the reports would be made public before Easter.
Blair's government had since the reports since the previous October, but they remained unpublished. The Irish government published its two reports in December.
Cory had recommended public inquiries into the deaths of Catholic solicitors Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill and Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright.
``Despite the fact that Judge Cory submitted his report nearly six months ago, the Cory report has not yet been published, no target date for publication has been given and there has been no clear confirmation that public inquiries will be held into all cases where Judge Cory has recommended them, said the letters.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) secured the release in the 1980s of Jennifer Jean Casolo, an operative with the FMLN, after Salvadoran authorities found her house in San Salvador had been a clandestine arsenal. 
Prominent Democrats like Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT), successfully blocked help to the Colombian military by charging human rights violations—as defined by HRW and Amnesty—and forced the separation between anti-drug and anti-insurgency support to Colombia. The fact that by the end of the 1990s FARC had become the world’s largest single cocaine supplier (and the United States’ largest heroin supplier) was pushed under the carpet.
Cutting off aid to Colombia
On January 21, 2010, three U.S. senators on committees with jurisdiction over U.S. aid to Colombia sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter called for the United States to "reevaluate U.S. assistance to Colombia," and notes that despite allocating nearly $7 billion in aid to Colombia from fiscal year 2000 to 2009, "the amount of cocaine entering the United States ... has not changed appreciably... Moreover, progress in other priority areas - human rights and the strengthening of democratic institutions - is lacking." Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) chairs the Senate Appropriations/Foreign Operations Subcommittee. The letter expressed concern over various trends in Colombia, including:
- The "false positives" scandal, "in which Colombian soldiers killed hundreds of civilians and dressed them in guerrilla clothing in order to inflate body counts;"Colombian military leaders' continued denial of "the scope of the executions" and opposition to "civilian court jurisdiction in many cases involving abuses of human rights;" and
The "particularly troubling" abuses of the presidential intelligence agency, the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), in which the "DAS was systematically conducting illegal surveillance of human rights groups, journalists, opposition politicians, Supreme Court judges, trade unionists, and international human rights organizations."
Senators Feingold, Dodd, and Leahy added that "a possible third term for the current president threatens to further erode the checks and balances that help protect Colombia's fragile democracy." The three senators call for President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget request to Congress to reflect new priorities and a new approach toward Colombia. This new approach would include:
- Reducing coca cultivation and cocaine production through "greater emphasis on farmer-led programs with voluntary eradication coupled with effective alternative development programs;"Strengthening judicial and law enforcement programs "to dismantle criminal networks, combat the money laundering that enables the narcotics trade, and reduce impunity for corruption and human rights abuses;"Reducing "military aid while continuing judicial and law enforcement, development and humanitarian assistance; and "Explor[ing] more vigorously the possibilities for peace in Colombia."
At the Connecticut AFL-CIO convention June 23, 2008, state AFL-CIO President John Olsen, calling on everyone to go out and organize. “We got the House and Senate back in 2006 and now we have to get the presidency back so we can win the Employee Free Choice Act, universal health care and an energy policy like the Apollo plan.”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd was warmly welcomed by the delegates. Decrying the disparities in America, he lauded the labor movement for hard fought battles for workers’ gains “not given benevolently by corporate America,” and passionately called for an all-out push to elect Barack Obama on Nov. 4.
Saying he hopes the Employee Free Choice Act will be the first bill on the new president’s desk, Dodd emphasized that “this election will determine what kind of country, what kind of world, we leave to our children and grandchildren … We can’t afford four more years of Bush.”
The convention unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming opposition to the war by national and state labor bodies, and asserting that Obama “shares labor’s opposition … while John McCain supports the war and President Bush’s military policy.”
The resolution urges unions to inform their members “of McCain’s pro-war position and how it is directly related to his anti-union economic policies; and how the continuation of the war is fueling the current economic crisis.”
Bill Shortell, representing the Machinists Union and the Bristol Labor Council, recalled asking, when the war began, “Is this an issue for us?” to which his buddy replied, “Who’s going to speak for me if the union doesn’t speak for me?” Shortell called on the delegates to “take a strong position and back candidates committed to get us out of Iraq and end this bloodshed as soon as possible.”
A heated debate took place over the endorsement of Jim Himes, a pro-labor, antiwar Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Chris Shays (4th Congressional District), a leading proponent of Bush’s Iraq war policies. Shays was the only representative from Connecticut to vote for additional funding of the war last month. He had angered the endorsement committee during an interview in which he objected to a question on the war, saying, “Why are you asking me about that? That’s not a labor issue.”
AFSCME delegate Blair Bertaccini got a round of applause when he called on the convention to “support candidates who support us as a class, as workers, not just one particular sector. Otherwise we will keep losing numbers and become irrelevant.” Himes won the endorsement overwhelmingly.
The convention also committed to help Democratic Reps. Chris Murphy (5th CD) and Joe Courtney (2nd CD) return to Congress. They both defeated Republicans in 2006 and have been targeted by the Republican National Committee for smear attacks.
Speaking to delegates from the 3rd CD, which she represents, Rep. Rosa DeLauro thankedd the labor movement for enabling her to win by large majorities. “With big margins I can take on the strong fights, which those with small margins many not feel free to do,” she said, referring to the vote against further funds for the war.
Delegates signed up for the Labor 2008 program, including speaking to members in their workplace and at home. Signatures were collected on postcards for the Employee Free Choice Act which will be presented to the new president in January.
A moment of silence honored prominent union leaders who recently died, including Merrillee Milstein, former District 1199 vice president and then deputy regional director of the AFL-CIO, known for her dedication and commitment to organizing and building diversity within the labor movement.
The convention adopted a strategic plan for the elections and legislative and organizing goals. A Diversity Dialogue will be held Sept. 20 with the aim of developing new union leaders. AFL-CIO representative Barbara Nicole Holtz urged delegates to attend, projecting the conference as a model for other states.
Fair Elections Now Act
In 2010 Senator Maria Cantwell signed on as a Senate co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA), S.752 - joining Senator Dick Durbin (original sponsor) and other Senate colleagues for a total of nine.
2014 WOLA Awards
- Former Rep. David Bonior
- Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
- Sen. Christopher Dodd
- Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
- Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
- Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA)
- Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
- Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)
- Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
- Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
- Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
- Rep. James McGovern (D-MA)
- Rep. James Moran (D-VA)
- Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
- Former U.S. Sec. of Labor Hilda Solis
- Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
- About Dodd
- CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
- NY Times, 24 POLITICIANS URGE U.S. ROLE IN ENDING ULSTER STRIFE, By BERNARD WEINRAUB, Special to the New York Times March 17, 1981
- Paul T Colgan, Sunday Business Post, DublinSunday, 14 March, 2004
- [FOR THE RECORD * - When Congressmen Support Terrorism -* The Enemies Within * Insight On The News ^ | 22 Jan, 2003 | J. Michael Waller]
- [http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=20073 , Colombia’s “Revolutionaries” and Their Helpers By: Michael Radu FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, January 28, 2003]
- Security Assistance Monitor
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lptD-Ij1YHY Youtube, CT Opposes the War meetup in Bethel Uploaded on Feb 26, 2007]
- [PW, Connecticut labor gears up for big election drive, July 11 2008]
- WashBlog, Free Speech for People moves forward in Washington State, By chadlupkes, Thu Feb 04, 2010
- WOLA, WOLA's 2014 Human Rights Award Ceremony and Benefit Gala