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Former Rep. Tom Malinowski. (Photo: Kevin Sanders).

Malinowski joins McCain Institute

Former N.J. congressman will work on democracy issues at bi-partisan think tank

By David Wildstein, April 06 2023 9:43 am

Former Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) has joined the McCain Institute as a senior fellow, where he will work on the Task Force on Defeating Disinformation Attacks on U.S. Democracy.

Malinowski and McCain were longtime friends and allies.  When Malinowski first ran for Congress In 2018, a TV ad that was launched about a month after McCain’s death featured the former Republican presidential candidate praising him during his Senate confirmation hearing as assistant U.S. Secretary of State for democracy, human rights, and labor during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The institute, which is part of Arizona State University, is headed by a bi-partisan group that includes three former U.S. Senators, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense, Gen. David Petraeus, Ambassador Cindy McCain, and business leaders.

“I’m fortunate to have known and worked alongside Tom Malinowski for years.  His record as a leader, promoting human rights and defending democracy is unmatched and will be extremely valuable to our work,” said Dr. Evelyn Farkas, the institute’s executive director.  “Few in Washington better understands, personally or professionally, the urgency with which the United States must lead in strengthening our democracy at home and around the world.  We look forward to utilizing Tom’s expertise to help us address some of the most challenging human rights issues facing America and the world today.”

Malinowski served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before narrowly losing re-election last year.  His decision to join the McCain Institute does not impact his ability to seek another term in the House in 2024 when Rep. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) is up for re-election.

Before becoming a congressman, Malinowski headed the Washington office of Human Rights Watch.

“Having worked with Senator McCain to strengthen America’s leadership for human rights around the world and to end our government’s use of torture after the 9/11 attacks, it is humbling to begin work at an Institute that he and his family helped found and that seeks to advance his model of character-driven leadership,” Malinowski said.

Another former congressman from New Jersey’s 7th district also pursued a similar path.  After Rep. Bob Franks (R-Warren) gave up his seat to mount a close race for U.S. Senate in 2000, he became a fellow at The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.

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