Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett is an educator, consultant, CEO, and political candidate. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She is vice chairwoman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom—a bipartisan government commission that reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the president, the secretary of state, and Congress. She is also president and Chief Executive Officer of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, which she established in 2008. The foundation carries on the legacy of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who was the only survivor of the Holocaust ever elected to Congress and an eloquent and forceful leader on behalf of human rights and justice. The foundation supports human rights defenders throughout the world and awards the Lantos Human Rights Prize to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to standing up for decency, dignity, freedom, and justice.
She skipped high school and earned her BA from Yale University at the age of 18, her Juris Doctor from the Hastings College of the Law at the University of California, and her PhD in history from the University of Southern Denmark. She taught at the University of Southern Denmark while her husband, Richard Swett, was serving as the U.S. Ambassador in Copenhagen.
From 2003 to 2006 Swett served as the Director of the Graduate program in Public Policy at New England College, where she now serves on the college’s board of trustees. She also teaches human rights and American foreign policy at Tufts University.
For many years, Swett co-hosted “Beyond Politics,” a political talk show on New Hampshire’s only network-affiliated television station.
In addition to running two of her father’s campaigns for Congress, Swett was a congressional staffer as a legislative assistant and as Deputy Counsel to the Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She was national co-chair of Joe Lieberman’s 2004 presidential race. She also supported him in his successful re-election campaign in 2006.
She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2002. She began a campaign to run for Senate in 2008, but after Jeanne Shaheen announced her candidacy, Swett withdrew her candidacy and backed Shaheen, who went on to win the election. In 2010, Swett announced her candidacy for Congress, but lost the primary election.
Swett is married to former Congressman and Ambassador Richard Swett. They are parents of seven children and 2 grandchildren. They live in New Hampshire.