The Ford School community has much to look forward to in 2020. Yesterday, we were honored to host Ambassador Susan Rice for an MLK, Jr. Symposium event. Later this semester, we’ll welcome James Baker, former secretary of both the Treasury and State Departments; former FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps; Christopher Hart, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board; Lacy M. Johnson, author of The Reckonings; former White House chief of staff Dennis McDonough; and a number of other leaders and thinkers. We livestream nearly all of our events; please learn more here.
We’d previously announced that the University of Michigan was chosen to host one of the 2020 presidential debates. I’ve written a guest column for Michigan Alumnus magazine, describing my hopes as we undertake the enormous endeavor of hosting a presidential debate.
Now there’s more good news on the debate front: the Ford School will take the lead as the University hosts the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Symposium alongside the debate. The symposium will bring together “champions of democracy” from countries around the world to learn about and promote democratic principles and practices.
Professor John Ciorciari will lead the NDI symposium, in his role as director of the Weiser Diplomacy Center.
DC alumni, please note that you can see John next month as he delivers the keynote at the Ford School’s annual DC Trip careers and networking event. Please RSVP today.
Plenty of other exciting initiatives are in the works as well. Here are a few of the highlights from the winter edition of ‘the Ford School feed”:
We’ve launched an exciting new BA minor, to make the Ford School education available more widely to U-M undergraduates. The ideal student for the Ford School minor will be committed to some other important discipline—engineering, sociology, business, or organizational studies, for example—and seeking to layer their education with perspectives from the lens of public policy. Admission will be competitive.
Luke Shaefer has been named special counselor to the director of Michigan’s Department of Health & Human Services.
Our annual Alumni Board election wrapped up in December. We’re grateful to all alumni who lead by serving on our Board. The full election results are here.
Thank you for your engagement with the Ford School. Go Blue!
Michael S. Barr
Joan and Sanford Weill Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy
Roy and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law
University of Michigan