Former Muskie staffer to speak on environmentalism

Leon Billings, an executive assistant to former Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie, will speak on “Shift in the Environmental Agenda” at Bates College on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in Room 204 of Carnegie Science Hall. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

In 1978, Billings represented Senator Muskie at the Law of the Sea negotiations in Geneva where, over a 12-day period and after extensive meetings with the U.S. and other delegations, treaty modifications were made which resulted in the protection of U.S. environmental laws.

In 1978, Billings staffed the “Muskie Mission” to the People’s Republic of China, a 17-day, nine-member Congressional trip of meetings and briefings in Shanghai, Peking, Hunan Province and Canton. Billings drafted the report to the President on the mission.

In 1979, Billings accompanied Senator Muskie on a special Presidential mission to Lisbon, Madrid, NATO, Warsaw, Kracow and Bonn. He participated in Muskie’s meetings with heads of state of the countries visited and also drafted reports to President Jimmy Carter on that mission.

As executive assistant to the Secretary of State, Billings traveled throughout the world with Secretary Muskie. In eight months, he participated in official visits to Brussels, Vienna, Ankara, Kuala Lampur, Mexico City and London, and was a part of the official party with President Carter in the state visit to Rome, the Economic Summit in Venice and the Ohira funeral in Tokyo.

Billings also participated in meetings with 55 foreign ministers and chiefs of state during the Secretary’s two-week participation in the United Nation’s deliberations in October 1980.

A 1959 graduate of the University of Montana at Missoula, Billings also did graduate work there. Subsequently, he worked as a reporter and organizer for farm groups in Montana and California, and for three years as a lobbyist for American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C.

He served on the Democratic Party Platform COmmittee Staff in 1968 and co chaired a Democratic National Committee task force on energy and the environment.

Billings received the 1990 Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies’ Environment Award for outstanding environmental service. In 1981, he received the Philip A. Hart award from the Urban Environment Conference for his contributions to improvement in the quality of the urban environment.

A founding member of the Montgomery County Green Democrats, he is a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Forum.

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