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I grew up in a military family and lived on military bases across this country and around the world.  As a result, I have lived in and visited numerous foreign nations and experienced our world’s diverse cultural, political and economic spectrum.

The Massachusetts Third District is home to a diverse population that actively follows the affairs of foreign nations. In Lowell, for example, our Cambodian-American population—the second largest in the country-- has incorporated this community’s rich tradition into the city’s heartbeat and contributes to its success. I traveled to Cambodia in 2012 to better understand the history that has shaped the culture for Cambodian-Americans and explore ways to further strengthen ties between our two countries while improving Cambodia’s civil liberties and electoral process.

The Third District also has a strong military tradition, and I am proud to serve as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. In this role, I have made it one of my top priorities to meet with our troops on the ground overseas, who are responsible for implementing and carrying out the President’s policies in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. 

I have highlighted my position on a few international areas of interest below, but if you would like to know more about my position on a particular region or situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.



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I have made six trips to Afghanistan and two to Iraq as a member of Congress. Each time I have been moved by the professionalism, dedication and skill of our armed forces. These trips have also given me a vital opportunity to interact with civilians on the ground in these conflict zones, and to better understand just what is at stake.

As a co-chair of the Afghan Women’s Task Force, a bipartisan coalition of women members of Congress who are committed to protecting the progress that has been made for Afghan women, I have always believed that one of the greatest success stories of our presence in Afghanistan is the unprecedented gains that have been made by Afghan women. The country has made some recent strides in bringing women into leadership and governmental roles, but it is important that Afghanistan continues to embrace a broader, more meaningful role for women.

Women must be part of the peace process in Afghanistan going forward. In an effort to ensure that women have a more prominent role in the Afghan National Security Forces, I worked with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee to include a provision in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act that required the Secretary of Defense to support the efforts of the Afghan government to promote the inclusion of women in the force. That bill included up to $25 million in funding to recruit, train and integrate women into the force. The provision also pushed the DOD to work with the Afghan government to plan to increase the number of female security officers specifically trained to address cases of gender-based violence, including ensuring that Afghan police units have the necessary resources and are available to women across Afghanistan. Afghan women must play a central role in creating a stable Afghanistan and securing for the long term their right to participate in their country’s public life.

Ensuring that Afghan girls continue to have access to academic and economic opportunities, and more broadly, ensuring that women are able to participate in Afghan society as a whole, is not only good for the future of Afghanistan, it is good for the United States as well so that we can help ensure a more peaceful and just future there.

I have published several OpEds on the subject, running in national publications:

TIME: Afghanistan's Success Will Be Measured By Women's Progress

CNN: For women of Afghanistan, life is better

Wall Street Journal: Afghan Women Worry as the U.S. Departure Looms



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Over the past several years, Syria has become one of the most severe human catastrophes of the past several decades and the situation next door in Iraq remains very fragile. The United States has many troops serving in Iraq and U.S. special operations forces are deployed to Syria in an effort to shore up forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

On September 10 2014, President Obama outlined his plan to begin an effort to disrupt and ultimately defeat ISIL in Syria and Iraq and asked Congress to authorize the training and arming of Syrian rebels to confront ISIL. I voted against authorizing the arming and training of Syrian opposition groups because I thought it was a back door vote that had the potential to lead to an expanded and open-ended commitment spilling into future administrations.  It called for us to make a near- term decision with long-term consequences, raising substantial and unpredictable risks that haven’t been fully considered.

As we consider how to address the threat posed by the Islamic State, both Democrats and Republicans have raised many significant questions regarding the cost, the commitment of American servicemembers, the timetable, the nature of the support we have from regional partners who must take more direct responsibility, the exit strategy, and how we will define success, to name a few. The multifaceted decisions underlying this challenge require a much broader discussion and more robust debate in Congress than what it has received to date.

There is no denying that ISIL is a lethal terrorist organization; it believes in brutality and intolerance, as seen in its aggressive movements to secure territory in Iraq and Syria, it has ruthlessly massacred innocent people, and it has carried out the murders of Western journalists and humanitarian aid workers, including Americans.

ISIL’s presence in Syria and Iraq has sparked a refugee crisis of epic proportions. As the humanitarian crisis has grown more acute, the number of refugees unwilling to tolerate the dangerous situation in their home country has grown rapidly. Upon making the difficult decision to flee with their families, hundreds of thousands of refugees have been willing to risk drowning and other calamities because the dangers of the journey are still preferable to what they face if they stay behind.

Ultimately, a diplomatic solution is necessary to stem this tide of refugees in the region and throughout the world and I support the Obama administration’s efforts to work with our international partners to find a lasting peace in Syria.

USA Today published an op-ed piece I wrote about the vote to train and equip Syrian rebels and my strong belief that a more comprehensive debate on how to combat the threat posed by ISIL is needed.  You can read my op-ed by visiting the following link:



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The ongoing conflict between Israel and its surrounding Arab neighbors has been a tragedy of epic proportions. Over the past several years, both sides have missed opportunities to build trust and move towards a lasting peace, and the Palestinian and Israeli people continue to suffer as a result.

Unfortunately, violence has frequently escalated on both sides, most recently in the summer of 2014. Echoing statements made by the President at the time of the hostilities, both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions condemning the attacks by Hamas against Israel and clearly stating that Israel has a right to defend itself. I stated clearly at the time that I was very concerned about the number of casualties, including the number of Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers and civilians. I was particularly appalled by the Israeli bombing of two United Nations' schools in early August 2015 that were being used as refugee centers. These tragic attacks killed over 40 people, including an entire family of seven young children.

In late August of 2014, Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended cease-fire brokered by Egypt. Though both parties consented to the agreement, over the past year there have been dozens of ceasefire violations including numerous missile launches from Gaza and a series of disturbing acts of violence committed by young Palestinians unaffiliated with any organized political movement. The United States and the international community must seek to ensure compliance with its terms and to ensure that Israel and all Palestinian parties take full advantage of this opportunity to broker a long-lasting compromise.

The United States can and should continue to play an active and constructive role to help establish a fair and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians as quickly as possible. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Israel in early 2016 and meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. Our conversation furthered my understanding of the security situation in Israel and the importance of the U.S.-Israeli partnership.

I continue to believe that too many lives have been lost or destroyed as a result of this ongoing conflict. I believe both sides understand that a continual state of war is unacceptable both for the parties involved and to the long-term interests of the United States. At the same time, we should not underestimate the challenges to achieving the goal of peace in the region. Peace will never be a reality without a clear commitment to ending violence and ensuring Israel's security and the aspirations of the Palestinian people. Both sides have genuine desires which I believe - and both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have stated they agree - can only be satisfied by the realization of two states living side by side in peace and mutual respect.

No one is under any illusion that this will be an easy path, but it is a path we must walk to bring an end to this tragic conflict. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to support initiatives that will create a stable and lasting peace for both Israel and the Palestinians.



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The Iranian government continues to be a destabilizing force across the broader Middle East and flaunts the international community by its support for international terrorism, human rights abuses and ballistic missile development. Despite this behavior, I believe that dealing with an Iran without nuclear weapons is preferable to dealing with it after the country has fully developed nuclear capabilities. This is why I have supported, and continue to support, the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

After years of negotiation, the Obama administration and our international partners signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that went into effect in October of 2015. One year after the agreement’s implementation, international inspectors agree that Iran is complying with the terms for the agreement. Since the deal was reached, Iran has removed and placed in IAEA-monitored storage two-thirds of the 19,000 centrifuges it used for uranium enrichment at the facility at Natanz. It has ended all uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce nuclear bomb-grade fuel, and removed all nuclear material from its once secret facility at Fordow. It has reduced its stockpile of enriched uranium from 12,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms and the core of a heavy-water reactor at Arak has been filled with concrete.

The JCPOA is not perfect, but this historic agreement, hard-won after years of intense negotiations with a hardline adversary, provides us and our allies with our best chance to halt Iran on its path to building a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s behavior means this agreement must not be built on trust, but on terms that are clearly defined, verifiable and enforceable. The JCPOA provides a comprehensive verification process that ensures the international community has rigorous unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear activities and infrastructure – more comprehensive and intrusive than any inspection authority ever previously negotiated – with real teeth to enforce the agreed upon measures if Iran fails to comply. Nor does this agreement take any option off the table – including a military option – for President Obama or any future president.



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When President Obama arrived in Cambodia in November of 2012, he became the first ever sitting U.S. President to visit that country. The significance of the President’s visit cannot be understated given the growing number of Cambodian-Americans, including the families of the nearly 20,000 Cambodians who immigrated to the Third District in the 1980s, many to the city of Lowell.

My own visit to Cambodia in February of 2012 opened my eyes to the harsh reality and budding hope that exists in this country still recovering from a past marred by unspeakable brutality. I visited Cambodia to better understand the history that has shaped the culture for Cambodian-Americans and explore ways to further strengthen ties between our two countries.

I was able to meet with Cambodian political, business and nonprofit leaders and discuss how our nations can learn from each other. I remain engaged with members of the Cambodian community and Cambodian politicians from across the political spectrum in order to continue to push for more political and human rights freedoms in the country.

If we are to build a lasting and productive relationship with Cambodia, we must see a meaningful shift toward universal human rights and a more transparent and accessible democratic process. The President’s visit was an opportunity for the United States to encourage Cambodian officials to embrace individual rights and the right of Cambodians to peaceably assemble. Such progress will enable our mutually beneficial partnership with Cambodia to flourish further.

Read my op-ed about Cambodia following my visit in February 2012




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The resilience and optimism of the Greek people are reflected in the Greek-American community that I represent here in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District. My husband Paul’s family emigrated from Greece to the city of Lowell when his father was three years old, and as a first generation Greek-American, Paul rose to become a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. 

Since I was first elected, I have been a proud member of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, which has played a key role in bringing initiatives of significance to the Greek-American community to Congress’ attention. I meet on a regular basis with representatives from Greece and Cyprus, including the Ambassadors, along with Hellenic-American advocacy groups.

Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have supported a variety of initiatives in support of Greece and the Hellenic region, including cosponsoring legislation and signing letters to the President and Secretary of State encouraging U.S. leadership in the negotiation for a just solution on Cyprus.

Our nation is only now beginning to recover from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  And, we are all keenly aware that there remain dangers to the continued growth of our economy – but those dangers are certainly not limited to factors internal to the United States; these threats are global in nature, and the economic strength of many of our allies, including Greece, is being seriously impacted. Greece’s economy is in a continuing state of unrest, and this has culminated in a significant amount of political unrest.

Greece is one of our country’s oldest friends and staunchest allies and the bilateral economic relationship between the EU and the United States is one of the largest and strongest in the world. I will continue to monitor this situation closely and will work to affirm our nations’ enduring relationship.

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