TRIBUTE TO NINA M. SERAFINO; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 49
(Senate - March 21, 2017)

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                      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.

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