International Policy Center Home Page
Type: Public event

Can America still act?

Date & time

Nov 10, 2010, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium
735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

About the lecture:

America's unmet challenges are huge: from energy policy to nuclear weapons, climate, health care (yes, still), a sagging infrastructure and a soaring deficit. Yet every one of them is eminently solvable. The answers are well known. So what explains, for example, thirty-five years of inaction on energy policy and even longer on health care? Why do we still approach nuclear weapons as though the Cold War continues when it ended 20 years ago? Is the policy gridlock that afflicts us the symptom of a vibrant and engaged - if polarized - society? Or is it the sign of an aging power that has lost the will to combat its problems? What can be done to recapture the will to act?

About the speaker:

Dr. Jessica Tuchman Mathews is President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Founded in 1910, its work is international, nonpartisan, and dedicated to achieving practical results. The Endowment has locally staffed research offices in five countries and publishes in Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, and English. Dr. Mathews, who holds a PhD in molecular biology, has held positions in the executive and legislative branches, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism.

She was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 1993 to 1997 and served as Director of the Council's Washington program. During that time her Foreign Affairs article, 'Power Shift', was chosen by the editors as one of the most influential in the journal's 75 years. From 1982 to 1993, Dr. Mathews was founding Vice President and Director of Research of the World Resources Institute, an internationally known center for policy research on environmental and natural resource management issues. She served on the editorial board of The Washington Post from 1980 to 1982, covering energy, environment, science, technology, health and arms control issues. Later, she became a weekly columnist for The Washington Post. From 1977 to 1979, she was the Director of the Office of Global Issues of the National Security Council, covering nuclear proliferation, conventional arms sales policy, chemical and biological warfare and human rights. In 1993, she went back to government as Deputy to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs.

Dr. Mathews earned a B.S. degree from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. degree from the California Institute of Technology.

This lecture is made possible by a generous gift from the Citigroup Foundation. The lecture series brings prominent policymakers from the national and international arenas to the Ford School each year to engage students and faculty in dialogue and to give a public address.