March 21, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 49 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
TRIBUTE TO NINA M. SERAFINO; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 49
(Senate - March 21, 2017)
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[Page S1887] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] TRIBUTE TO NINA M. SERAFINO Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to a dedicated public servant at the Congressional Research Service, CRS, of the Library of Congress, Ms. Nina M. Serafino. Ms. Serafino recently retired after more than 35 years of service to Congress. This length of public service is not only a credit to Ms. Serafino, but also a demonstration of the dedication that she and many other CRS employees bring to support our work here in Congress. During Ms. Serafino's 35 years with CRS, she provided Congress with many types of assistance to help inform national policymaking on a variety of war and peace issues. From 1981, when she joined CRS, through the 1980s, she was deeply involved in bipartisan efforts to evaluate U.S. policy in Central America. Her work focused on providing a common understanding of the problems and possibilities in the region in order to shape U.S. options and alternatives. Particularly noteworthy was her original research on aspects of the Central American conflicts where there was a little or no information available from other sources. Responding to a congressional request, she conducted field research and delved into the Library of Congress's historical materials to provide a unique report on the many parties of the civic opposition to the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Similarly, her field research on the Latin American ``Contadora'' effort significantly informed congressional deliberations regarding the peace process to end the conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador. With the advent of U.S. military involvement in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and elsewhere beginning in the 1990s, Ms. Serafino contributed to congressional efforts to comprehend the plethora of institutional and budgetary considerations relevant to our government's ability to bring its full toolbox to bear in those operations. Providing information and analysis through reports, briefings, and several comprehensive conferences and workshops for Members and staff, Ms. Serafino assisted Congress in understanding the possibilities, constraints, and options for legislating and overseeing military and civilian tools and the development of interagency resources and mechanisms. As Congress sought to comprehend and deal with the post-9/11 world, Ms. Serafino supplemented targeted CRS work on Afghanistan and Iraq with conferences and reports that brought an historical perspective to congressional deliberations. The conferences and reports provided insights on a wide variety of international experiences in dealing with terrorism and contained historical information and pertinent analysis on previous U.S. interventions and occupations. Over the past decade, Ms. Serafino also developed a number of products on security assistance and cooperation. Most recently, as the U.S. Government has expanded U.S. military efforts to build partner capacity among foreign security forces worldwide, Ms. Serafino contributed an historical perspective on U.S. security assistance and cooperation development in the post-World War II period to inform our deliberations on an evolving legislative framework for such assistance. Her written work on post-9/11 topics has enlightened both Congress and the broader foreign policy and defense communities. Throughout Ms. Serafino's career, she won the respect and admiration of her colleagues for her geniality and expertise on Latin America and international security affairs. She won a Distinguished Service Award and several Merit Service and Special Achievement awards. Her steadfast dedication to serve Congress and her commitment to the highest standards of research made a lasting contribution to congressional policy discourse. I have said many times that the Federal workforce is a critical national asset. Ms. Serafino and the other talented and dedicated public servants at CRS are yet another example. While we will miss her contributions, I know my colleagues will want to join me in sending our best wishes to Ms. Serafino for a happy retirement. ____________________