Christopher Kennedy Lawford has spent much of his life in Hollywood and Washington, navigating these two worlds as an actor, writer, lawyer, activist and public speaker. However, before his successes, Lawford battled a drug and alcohol addiction for much of his early life. In recovery for more than 24 years, he shares his experience, strength and hope to make a difference in people’s lives. As a result of his drug addiction, Mr. Lawford was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2000. He was successfully treated and is now virus free. For the past five years he has worked with a number of partners in private industry, the non-profit sector, state and federal governments and patient advocacy groups to effect change and raise awareness about these two pressing public health issues. Presently Mr. Lawford is working with the United Nations, the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, and the World Health Organization in efforts to raise awareness globally about addiction steps and hepatitis.
Mr. Lawford has extensive experience in the non-profit sector working with a variety of organizations including: Caron Treatment Centers, California Hepatitis Alliance, The Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, Special Olympics, The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, and was recently appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Public Health Advisory Committee. Mr. Lawford spends much of his time speaking globally in support of these issues. His political resume includes executive staff positions with The Democratic National Committee, The Community Action for Legal Services Agency and in the Washington office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He has also held staff positions on numerous national, state and local political campaigns.
Mr. Lawford spent twenty years in the film and television business as an actor, lawyer, executive, and producer. His acting credits include roles with Anthony Hopkins in Slipstream and the World’s Fastest Indian, The Sixth Day and Terminator 3 with Arnold Schwarzenegger, 13 Days with Kevin Costner, Russia House with Sean Connery and Ben Kingsley and Oliver Stone’s The Doors. Additionally, Lawford spent three years on All My Children, and produced weekly segments for Extra and CNN focusing on political and social awareness within the entertainment community.
As an author, Mr. Lawford has published three critically acclaimed books. In his 2005 New York Times bestselling memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal, Lawford illuminates his extraordinary life offering a cohesive message of survival, hope, and inspiration. In 2009, Lawford followed with New York Times bestseller Moments of Clarity: Voices From the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery and Healing Hepatitis C.
Mr. Lawford holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University, a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School and a Masters Certification in Clinical Psychology from Cambridge City Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, where he gained an academic appointment as a Lecturer on Psychiatry at HMS.