Professors address critical issues facing Obama

Several Wake Forest faculty members will discuss the pressing economic, foreign policy and other issues facing President Obama during a panel discussion on Jan. 29.

The discussion, “Advice to the New President on Policy Issues,” will be held in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum beginning at 7 p.m. It is the first in a series of events the University is sponsoring on “Challenges Facing the New President.” All the events are free and open to the public.

David Coates

David Coates

The faculty panel discussion is expected to cover a broad range of topics, including economic issues, health policy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Panel members will include:

  • Mark Hall, Fred D. and Elizabeth L. Turnage Professor of Law and professor of social science and health policy at the School of Medicine
  • David Coates, Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies in the political science department and member of the faculty advisory board for the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism at the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy
  • Charles Kennedy, professor of political science and expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Other events in the University’s “Challenges Facing the New President” series:

Stephen Hess, senior fellow emeritus in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, will speak on “The Obama Transition: Hitting the Ground Running” on Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum. Hess is author of “What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-Elect” and “Organizing the Presidency.” He has been engaged in presidential transitions since serving as a speechwriter in the Eisenhower White House.

David Gergen, political commentator and former presidential advisor, will speak on Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. in Wait Chapel. Gergen served as director of communications for President Reagan and as an advisor to presidents Nixon, Ford and Clinton. He is currently a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report and a senior political analyst for CNN.

The speaker series will conclude on Feb. 17 with a student panel discussion, “Looking to the Future: Will Young People Stay Involved in Politics?” Student leaders from the campus Democratic, Republican and Libertarian political groups will discuss the impact of young voters on the 2008 election and their likelihood of remaining involved in politics. The discussion will be held in the Benson University Center, room 401, beginning at 5 p.m.

“We are committed to contributing to the University’s goal of being a crossroads for discussion of critical issues facing the country and the world,” said Katy Harriger, professor and chair of the political science department, which organized the series. “Given the historic significance of the 2008 election, both in terms of the election of Barack Obama and the critical nature of the challenges facing the country, we developed a series focusing on the transition of the new president in order to spark public interest and promote public discussion.”

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