Sen. Saxby Chambliss Praises Congress for Last Session’s Work Georgia Tech Asian Expert Skeptical about North Korea Italian Secretary of European Union Affairs Visits Atlanta Habitat for Humanity International Names New CEO

Sen. Saxby Chambliss Praises Congress for Last Session’s Work

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss praised the legislative record of the last session of the U.S. Congress during a luncheon address at the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta last week.

The Georgia Republican specifically hailed the passage of the gun and energy bills and the extension of the USA Patriot Act.

He also saluted his fellow Georgia senator, Johnny Isakson, and spoke of the close working relationship they share. “The senators from some states don’t get along at all,” he added, “and in some cases they even belong to the same party.”

He said that he supported the gun bill because it protected manufacturers of “a legal product” from being held liable for gun-related crimes.

The energy bill, he said, put in place “a long-term energy policy that ensures a good supply of petroleum products for generations to come” as well as providing incentives for the use of alternative fuels.

Mr. Chambliss also said that the Patriot Act was necessary to combat terrorist threats. In addition, he described his recent visit to Guantanamo Bay saying that the holding facilities at Camp Delta were necessary to keep prisoners from rejoining terrorist networks and fighting again.

During questions and answers following his speech, he underscored his support for fellow Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. John Linder’s “fair tax” initiative that favors consumption taxes.

He also agreed with the suggestion that some of the weapons used by enemy forces in Iraq came from Iran, but he added that he did not think the Iranian government was responsible.

Mr. Chambliss said that he would be meeting on Aug. 24 with officials from the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission to discuss its proposals concerning base closings in Georgia.

He is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and the Senate Rules Committee.

To learn more about Kiwanis Club of Atlanta events, call Nancy Williams, executive secretary, at (404) 521-1443 or go to

Georgia Tech Asian Expert Skeptical about North Korea

John Endicott, director of the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, remains skeptical about the prospects for the six-party talks concerning North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Speaking at a meeting of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce at Georgia Power last week, Dr. Endicott praised the efforts of U.S. delegate Christopher Hill, who is the assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

“As good as he may be, he still has to deal with the North Koreans,” Dr. Endicott said. “I’m not sure that he will be able to deliver an agreement.”

North Korea seeks the development of a so-called light-water reactor, which is more difficult to use for weapons purposes, and the ability to continue a civilian nuclear power program. The U.S. opposes any North Korean nuclear activity since the North Korean government violated a 1994 agreement to freeze its nuclear program and began making weapons-grade plutonium.

Besides the U.S. and North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia are involved in the talks, which are in recess until the end of August.

Dr. Endicott said that during recent visits to Korea and Japan, he heard nothing but universal praise from academicians, government officials and others he met concerning Mr. Hill, who is a former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

He added that South Koreans had given Mr. Hill the name of “faith” in Korean because they had full confidence in his abilities during the talks.

To contact Dr. Endicott, call Angela Levin at (404) 894-3199 or send an email to

Italian Secretary of European Union Affairs Visits Atlanta

Francesco Petricone, secretary, Committee for European Union Policies of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, recently visited Atlanta, welcomed here by the U. S. Department of State and the Georgia Council of International Visitors.

Mr. Petricone also visited New Orleans, Richmond, Va., and Washington during his 22-day stay in the U.S., participating in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which welcomes 4,500 international professionals to the U.S. every year for cultural and political exchanges. The visitors, who are business, educational, media or political leaders in their home countries, are selected by U.S. embassies across the world for the program.

“This is one of the best tools for fostering a greater understanding of Americans,” said Shellie Stuart, director for the Georgia Council for International Visitors, which hosted Mr. Petricone in Atlanta and planned his itinerary here. She underscored the importance of such visits in building cross-cultural relationships, which can often lead to business ties.

“Business relationships are definitely built from these types of exchanges,” Ms. Stuart said, noting that for some visitors participating in the program may be their first trip to the U.S.

Contact Ms. Stuart at (404) 965-4333 or For more information on the council visit Visit for more information about the State Department program.

Habitat for Humanity International Names New CEO

Habitat for Humanity International named Jonathan T.M. Reckford as Habitat for Humanity’s new chief executive officer. Before joining the global homebuilding charity organization, Mr. Reckford served for the past two years as executive pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minn.

Mr. Reckford has a business background, having served as president of Best Buy Inc.’s Musicland division, senior vice president of corporate planning and communications for Circuit City Corp. and director of strategic planning for Disney Design and Development Inc.

He and his wife, Ashley, who is originally from Albany, are longtime supporters of Habitat projects. Based in Americus, Habitat has 2,300 affiliates around the world. The charity is contemplating moving its headquarters to Atlanta sometime this year, but no plans have been made.