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2017

“A Formidable Foe: Cancer in the 21st Century”

It has been called “The Emperor of All Maladies.” A scourge familiar to the ancient Egyptians that still elicits fear. The foe: cancer.

The last century saw enormous progress in our understanding of cancer biology as well as prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Yet, while cancer mortality rates have been steadily declining in the United States, enormous challenges remain in understanding and treating cancer. The decline in cancer death rates is slowing and some cancers still remain largely incurable.

Our improved understanding of cancer has uncovered many new questions about this broad collection of diseases. Can different cancers be reclassified? Can the body’s own immune system be harnessed to aid in the fight? Are the newest treatments and technologies scalable to all cancers or are they “one-hit wonders” destined to help comparatively few patients?

In 2016, President Obama announced a new “Cancer Moonshot” with a goal of, in the words of Vice President Biden, “fundamentally chang[ing] the trajectory” of how our society and world understands and combats cancer. America’s research universities and academic medical centers are critical to this effort.

Join Penn President Amy Gutmann and a distinguished panel for a discussion of the past, present, and future of cancer research and treatment. What progress has been made in the fight against cancer? What are the most difficult questions and challenges ahead? What is the role of leading universities and academic medical centers like Penn in overturning the tyranny of this “emperor of all maladies”?

Amy Gutmann

President and Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication

Amy Gutmann

Amy Gutmann is the 8th President of the University of Pennsylvania and the Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science and Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication. She has been widely recognized for increasing Penn's diversity, interdisciplinary excellence, and engagement both locally and globally. The blueprint of success, Penn Compact 2020, focuses on bold initiatives to strengthen the University through inclusion, innovation, and impact.

Under her leadership since 2004, Penn has become the nation's largest university offering an all-grant financial aid policy to meet the full need of undergraduate students, and has more than doubled the number of students from low-income, middle-income, and first-generation college families. Dr. Gutmann has led the creation of an innovation ecosystem, Pennovation Works, on Penn’s vibrantly expanded campus, moving research discoveries from Penn's 12 schools into the marketplace. Penn has expanded civic-minded partnerships with Philadelphia public schools including the Penn Alexander School, a National Blue Ribbon school, along with programmatic support for hundreds of other local public schools. The 2017 opening of the Penn Biden Center in D.C., the 2016 opening of the Perry World House on campus and the 2015 opening of the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing mark major new sites for university-wide initiatives that promote global solutions to challenging problems, bringing the world to Penn and Penn to the world.

She has continued pathbreaking scholarship as Penn's president, publishing her sixteenth book in 2012, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It (with Dennis Thompson). From 2009 to 2017 Dr. Gutmann chaired President Barack Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, publishing ten reports on pressing issues ranging from the ethics of neuroscience and synthetic biology to public health preparedness, human subject research, genomic privacy, and bioethics education and deliberation.

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

47th Vice President of the United States
Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Joe Biden

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is an American politician who was the 47th Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, having been jointly elected twice with President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, Biden represented Delaware as a United States Senator from 1973 until becoming Vice President in 2009.

Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1942, and lived there for ten years before moving to Delaware. He became an attorney in 1969, and was elected to the New Castle County council in 1970. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, and became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history. He was re-elected to the Senate six times, and was the fourth most senior senator at the time of his resignation to assume the Vice Presidency in 2009. Biden was a long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He opposed the Gulf War in 1991, but advocated U.S. and NATO intervention in the Bosnian War in 1994 and 1995. Biden voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the Iraq War in 2002, but opposed the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. He has also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties, and led the legislative efforts for creation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. He chaired the Judiciary Committee during the contentious U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, both times dropping out early in the race. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama chose Biden to be his running mate in the race, which they won. Biden became the first Roman Catholic, and the first Delawarean, to be Vice President of the United States.

As Vice President in the Obama administration, Biden oversaw the infrastructure spending aimed at counteracting the Great Recession, and U.S. policy toward Iraq up until the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011. His ability to negotiate with congressional Republicans helped bring about legislation such as the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that resolved a taxation deadlock, the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved that year's debt ceiling crisis, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that addressed the impending "fiscal cliff". In 2011, Biden opposed going ahead with the military mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama and Biden were re-elected in 2012. In October 2015, after months of speculation, Biden chose not to run for President of the United States in 2016. In December 2016, Biden refused to rule out a potential bid for President in 2020, but announced on January 13, 2017, that he would not run, only to seemingly backtrack just four days later, again refusing to rule out a potential bid. On January 12, 2017, Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with distinction.

Biden is the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he will lead the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a University center focused on diplomacy, foreign policy, and national security.

Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society

Otis W. Brawley

Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P., chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education. He champions efforts to decrease smoking, improve diet, detect cancer at the earliest stage, and provide the critical support cancer patients need. He also guides efforts to enhance and focus the research program, upgrade the Society’s advocacy capacity, and concentrate community cancer control efforts in areas where they will be most effective. Further, as an acknowledged global leader in the field of health disparities research, Dr. Brawley is a key leader in the Society’s work to eliminate disparities in access to quality cancer care.

Dr. Brawley currently serves as professor of hematology, oncology, medicine and epidemiology at Emory University. From April of 2001 to November of 2007, he was medical director of the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and deputy director for cancer control at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. He filled a variety of capacities at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), most recently serving as assistant director. He is listed by Castle Connelly as one of America’s top doctors for cancer. Among numerous other awards, he was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Scholar and received the Key to St. Bernard Parish for his work in the U.S. Public Health Service in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He is a fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and one of less than 1,300 physicians to be named a Master of the American College of Physicians in its more than 100-year history. Dr. Brawley is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Brawley is a graduate of University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his internship at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case-Western Reserve University, his residency at University Hospital of Cleveland, and his fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Nancy E. Davidson, M.D.

Director, Clinical Research
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
President, American Association for Cancer Research

Nancy E. Davidson

Dr. Nancy Davidson is the senior vice president and director of the Clinical Research Division of Fred Hutch. She is also the president and executive director of the Hutch’s patient-care arm, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; and the professor and head of the Division of Medical Oncology of the University of Washington School of Medicine. In these roles in the Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium, Davidson serves as a bridge builder across the cancer treatment, clinical, translational, basic sciences and public health research programs of consortium members Fred Hutch, UW School of Medicine, UW School of Public Health, Seattle Children’s and SCCA.

The oncologist and researcher has a reputation as a top opinion leader in the field of breast cancer biology and treatment and has authored editorials, commentaries and reviews to provide perspective for key research papers as well as critical areas in field. Her research has teased out the role of hormones in breast cancer growth and she has had a major impact on the development of new standards of care that exploit the Achilles’ heels of breast cancer cells.

Davidson’s team was the first to describe how the activity of one of the estrogen receptor genes is regulated by epigenetic factors that affect how the DNA code is read and eventually translated into proteins. She also has contributed foundational research to our understanding of how estrogen deprivation and other therapies trigger breast cancer cells to kill themselves through apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Her lab studies paved the way for new clinical trials of drugs that exploit these pathways to kill breast cancer. She has also led several critical clinical trials that have advanced the care of breast cancer patients, for example, establishing a combination chemotherapy and hormone therapy regimen for premenopausal women with the disease.

As a clinician, Davidson provides care to men and women with breast cancer. For Davidson, having served as both a researcher and a clinician is a powerful way to ensure that her research is solving real patient concerns, and to bring science to bear to improve the care of her patients.

Before coming to the Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium in 2016, Davidson was the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a position she held since 2009. Prior to joining the Pitt faculty, she served as the Breast Cancer Research Professor of Oncology and founding director of the Breast Cancer Program at Johns Hopkins. She is a member of the scientific advisory boards for many foundations and cancer centers. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, she is a past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and current president of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Her many awards, honors and appointments include: receiving the seventh Rosalind E. Franklin Award for Women in Science from the National Cancer Institute (2010), election to the National Academy of Medicine (2011) and Association of American Physicians (2010) and being listed among Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers (2014-2015).

Carl H. June, M.D.

Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; Abramson Cancer Center
Director, Parker Institute for Immunotherapy
Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy
in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Carl June

Carl June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He is currently Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in Immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland from 1978-79, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with E. Donnell Thomas and John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 - 1986. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment has also now also been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He has published more than 350 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, the William B Coley award, the Richard V Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, the Philadelphia Award in 2012, the Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science in 2014 (shared w S. Grupp, B. Levine, D. Porter), the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (shared w J. Allison), the Novartis Prize in Immunology (shared w Z. Eshaar and S. Rosenberg), the Karl Landsteiner Memorial award, the Debrecen Award and a lifetime achievement award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Kim Vernick

Penn Medicine Patient and Pancreatic Cancer Survivor

Kim Vernick

Kim Vernick graduated Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance. She is an Entrepreneur having started multiple small businesses including One Love, a craft, apparel and accessory company as well as the owner of Kim Vernick Organizationalist, a Professional Organizer for individuals and businesses. Presently she is a real estate manager for commercial and residential real estate.

Kim is very active at Penn Medicine in the areas of immunotherapy, proton therapy, and pancreatic cancer research. Her involvement is also as a volunteer partner and true advocate for Penn Medicine’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Center and the Department of Radiation Oncology. She is Founder of the Radiation Pet Therapy program with her grand-dog Cali, member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, Member of the Quality of Life Advisory Committee, and Proton Patient Alumni Member. She is also part of Patient Pairs for Oncology and RadOnc Patients. Kim partners with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and is highlighted in an article on their website Survivor Stories - Clinical Trials Participant: Kim Vernick. She was also featured in the Penn Medicine ad campaign: A Cure is Within.

Kim Vernick is a pancreatic cancer survivor. She was successfully treated through a clinical trial and proton therapy.

Kim has been married for 34 years to her husband Gary. She has a daughter, Devin, and a son, Scott, both are married. She has one granddaughter and another grandchild on the way.

2015

“Silfen Forum and Gala Celebration of Penn in China”

The relationship between China and the United States has never been more important to world peace, prosperity, and politics. Nothing less than their own domestic wellbeing and that of the world depends on the ability of these two great powers to effectively cooperate—and compete— in addressing the global challenges of economic stability, social and industrial development, terrorism, geopolitical and military competition, and other major issues facing the global community. Each of the Silfen Forum participants brings a wealth of insight and experience to Sino-U.S. relations, global geo-politics, international finance, entrepreneurship, higher education, and technological innovation.

In their wide-ranging conversation with Penn President Gutmann, the Silfen Forum participants focused on the centrality of China and the United States in shaping political, economic, technological, and social developments in the Asia-Pacific sphere—and globally—in the 21st Century. Together, they explored the strategic dimensions of Sino-US relations and emerging areas of cooperation in business, technology, finance, and higher education that have the potential to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China. The Silfen Forum also highlighted how higher education and the ever-increasing cross-cultural exchange of scholars, students, and knowledge, play an essential role in promoting greater understanding, cooperation, and partnership in solving some of the biggest challenges of our time.

Webcast: Log-in with PennKey

Amy Gutmann

President and Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication

Amy Gutmann

As the 8th President of the University of Pennsylvania (2004- ), Dr. Amy Gutmann is a national leader in increasing access to higher education and integrating knowledge to maximize creativity and innovation. Dr. Gutmann developed Penn's no-loan guarantee for undergraduates, which has become a national model. She has dramatically expanded Penn's contribution to employment, innovation, and economic development in the city and state and pushed Penn to the forefront in civic engagement, exemplified by the creation of Penn Park, a 24-acre urban oasis connecting the campus to the city which opened in 2011.

Under Dr. Gutmann's leadership, the University completed its largest, most successful campaign ever, Making History, and has dramatically broken down barriers across academic disciplines, invigorating the intellectual climate for both faculty and students.

She has published widely on the value of education and deliberation in democracy, on the importance of access to higher education and health care, and on the essential role of ethics—especially professional and political ethics—in public affairs. She continues to be an active scholar as Penn's President, publishing her sixteenth book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It (with Dennis Thompson) in May 2012.

Dr. Gutmann is a founding member of the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, which advises the Secretary General of the U.N. on a range of issues, including the social responsibility of universities. Gutmann has won the Harvard University Centennial Medal (2003), Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award (2009), and was named by Newsweek one of "150 Women Who Shake the World" (2011). She is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and is a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. In May 2012, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Columbia University.

Appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama, Dr. Gutmann chairs the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. She also serves on the National Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Boards of the National Constitution Center, the Carnegie Corporation and the Vanguard Group.

Dr. Gutmann graduated magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College, earned her master's degree in Political Science from the London School of Economics, and her doctorate in Political Science from Harvard.

Howard Marks

Co-Chairman
Oaktree Capital Management LLC

Howard Marks

Howard Marks (W'67) is Co-Chair of Oaktree Capital Management, LLC. He worked in Citibank's Investment Research Department as a security analyst and unit head from 1969 through 1975, and as Director of Research from 1975 until 1978. In that year, he shifted from research to portfolio management, organizing Citicorp's first activities in convertible securities and high yield bonds and establishing its high-yield credit-analysis department. From 1985 to 1995, Mr. Marks was employed at the TCW Group, Inc., where he became Chief Investment Officer for Domestic Fixed Income at the Trust Company of the West and President of TCW Asset Management Company, its largest affiliate. In April 1995, he departed TCW to found Oaktree, which manages more than $100 billion for institutional and individual investors. Mr. Marks received a BS in Economics with a major in Finance from the Wharton School in 1967, and an MBA in Accounting and Marketing from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago in 1970. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a Chartered Investment Counselor, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. He also serves on the Investment Committee of the Edmund Safra Foundation. He is a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Mt. Sinai Hospital, and he serves on the Investment Committees of the Edmund Safra Foundation and The Met.

At Penn, Mr. Marks chaired the Trustees' Investment Board from 2000-2010 and was an active and longtime member of the Southern California Regional Advisory Board (SCRAB). Mr. Marks is an Emeritus Trustee at the University of Pennsylvania. He established the Howard S. Marks Term Scholarship in 1992 and permanently endowed the scholarship with another gift in 1998, thus providing renewable scholarships to Wharton undergraduates. In 2006, Mr. Marks and his wife, Nancy, made an additional gift, which extended the Howard S. Marks Scholarships, originally limited to Wharton students, to undergraduates in any of Penn's four undergraduate schools and increased the size of the annually renewable grants. As part of this gift, Mr. Marks also endowed the Marks Family Writing Center, part of the University's Critical Writing Program. Finally, Mr. Marks endowed the Howard Marks Professorship in Economic History in the School of Arts and Sciences to ensure that students learn economic history so as not to repeat past mistakes.

General Colin Powell (Ret.)

former U.S. Secretary of State

Colin Powell

For over fifty years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem in April 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. He was educated in the New York City public schools and after graduating from Morris High School attended the City College of New York where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. It was not until he joined the Army ROTC program at CCNY that he discovered his calling and launched his military career. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of Four- Star General.

From 1987 – 1989 Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served from 1989 – 1993 as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position but also was the first African American to do so. During his time as Chairman, he oversaw 28 crises to include the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As Secretary of State, he led the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts—in the Middle East, Sudan, Congo and Liberia, in the Balkans, Cyprus, Haiti, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere. In all areas, he used the power of diplomacy to build trust, forge alliances and then help transform these unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures have the potential to prosper. He also worked at the forefront of American efforts to advance economic and social development worldwide.

Among the many U.S. Military awards and decorations Powell has received are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, he has also received awards from over two-dozen countries to include a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Powell is the Chair of the Board of Visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, the City College of New York (CCNY). The Powell School was inaugurated May of 2013 and stands alongside CCNY’s other premiere named schools.He is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to forging a strong and effective partnership alliance committed to seeing that children have the fundamental resources they need to succeed. Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He serves on the Board of Directors of Bloom Energy, an alternative energy company that provides unique on-site power generation systems utilizing an innovative new fuel cell technology. In March of 2014, he joined the Board of Directors of Salesforce.com, the world’s largest provider of Cloud-based customer relationship management software.

He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Leeds Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in the education, training, information and business services industries. He is also Chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders. Powell is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is on the Executive Leadership Cabinet of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and is the Honorary Chairman of the education center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He also serves on the board of the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture.

His autobiography, My American Journey, was a best seller and has been published in more than a dozen different languages. Powell's second book, It Worked for Me (May, 2012), was an instant New York Times best seller and reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career.

Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. They live in McLean, Virginia and have three children and four grandchildren.

Zhang Xin

CEO and Co-Founder
SOHO China Ltd.

Zhang Xin

Zhang Xin co-founded SOHO China in 1995. As CEO, she has led the company to become one of the largest developers of prime office real estate in China. SOHO China has developed over 5.5 million square meters (60 million square feet) in projects in Beijing and Shanghai. Her collaborations with world-renowned architects have resulted in iconic landmark buildings that transformed Chinese skylines.

Zhang Xin was born in Beijing in 1965 and moved to Hong Kong at the age of 14, where she worked as a factory girl for five years. Determined to pursue higher education, she made her way to England. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Sussex University and a Master’s degree in Development Economics from Cambridge University.

After working in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Travelers Group, she returned to Beijing to co-found SOHO China with her husband Pan Shiyi. In 2007, SOHO China was successfully listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. It raised proceeds of USD $1.9 billion, Asia’s largest office IPO to date. The company has since grown to a multi-billion dollar business, while Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi have become China’s foremost entrepreneurial power couple.

Zhang Xin’s rags-to-riches story has embodied the rise of China’s entrepreneurship, earning her prestige internationally. She sits on the Global Board of Advisors at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is also a member of the Harvard Global Advisory Council. Active on Weibo, China’s “twitter”, where she has more than 9.5 million followers, Zhang Xin frequently shares her views on business, current affairs and architecture.

Zhang Xin is deeply involved in philanthropy. In 2005 she and her husband Pan Shiyi established the SOHO China Foundation, a charity organization that promotes education to alleviate poverty. In 2014, the Foundation launched the SOHO China Scholarships, a USD $100 million initiative providing financial aid for Chinese students at leading international universities. Gift agreements totaling USD $25 million have already been signed with Harvard and Yale University.

Li Zhaoxing

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
China

Li Zhaoxing

1967-1968: staff member at the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs(CPIFA)

1968-1970: working in Lishi, Shanxi Province, Shanggao, Jiangxi Province, and Shantou Niutianyang Farm of the Guangzhou Military District

1970-1998: staff member & Attaché at the Chinese Embassy to Kenya; Attaché, Third Secretary & Deputy Division Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; First Secretary at the Chinese Embassy to Lesotho; Deputy Director in general & Director in general of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Spokesman & Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Representative & Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations; and Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1998-2001: Chinese Ambassador to the United States

2001-2003: Party Secretary & Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2004-2007: Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2008-2013: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress. Currently, Honorary President of CPIFA, President of the Chinese Public Diplomacy Association, President of the China Association for International Friendly Contact.

2014

“From Idea to Innovation: The Impactful University”

As part of events showcasing the future home of the Pennovation Center and South Bank facilities, President Amy Gutmann hosted the 2014 David and Lyn Silfen University Forum, "From Idea to Innovation: The Impactful University," at the South Bank, which featured a discussion between Dr. Gutmann and special guest Walter Isaacson, author of the new book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.

2014 Webcast

Amy Gutmann

President and Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication

Amy Gutmann

As the 8th President of the University of Pennsylvania (2004- ), Dr. Amy Gutmann is a national leader in increasing access to higher education and integrating knowledge to maximize creativity and innovation. Dr. Gutmann developed Penn's no-loan guarantee for undergraduates, which has become a national model. She has dramatically expanded Penn's contribution to employment, innovation, and economic development in the city and state and pushed Penn to the forefront in civic engagement, exemplified by the creation of Penn Park, a 24-acre urban oasis connecting the campus to the city which opened in 2011.

Under Dr. Gutmann's leadership, the University completed its largest, most successful campaign ever, Making History, and has dramatically broken down barriers across academic disciplines, invigorating the intellectual climate for both faculty and students.

She has published widely on the value of education and deliberation in democracy, on the importance of access to higher education and health care, and on the essential role of ethics—especially professional and political ethics—in public affairs. She continues to be an active scholar as Penn's President, publishing her sixteenth book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It (with Dennis Thompson) in May 2012.

Dr. Gutmann is a founding member of the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, which advises the Secretary General of the U.N. on a range of issues, including the social responsibility of universities. Gutmann has won the Harvard University Centennial Medal (2003), Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award (2009), and was named by Newsweek one of "150 Women Who Shake the World" (2011). She is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and is a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. In May 2012, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Columbia University.

Appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama, Dr. Gutmann chairs the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. She also serves on the National Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Boards of the National Constitution Center, the Carnegie Corporation and the Vanguard Group.

Dr. Gutmann graduated magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College, earned her master's degree in Political Science from the London School of Economics, and her doctorate in Political Science from Harvard.

Walter Isaacson

CEO, Aspen Institute & Author

Tom Friedman

Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

Isaacson's upcoming book, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (October 2014) is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet and the other great innovations of our time and will be a must-read from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to Main Street.

He is the author of Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).

Isaacson was born in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times- Picayune/States-Item. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is chair emeritus of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held until 2012. He is vice-chair of Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private group tasked with forging ties between the United States and the Muslim world. He is on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University and the Overseers of Harvard University. From 2005-2007, after Hurricane Katrina, he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

2013

“Open Learning and the Future of Higher Education”

Is a game-changing revolution afoot in higher education? The global demand for a highly educated work force continues to grow, yet many students are finding it increasingly difficult to afford the cost of obtaining a college degree. Total student loan debt in the United States now surpasses credit card debt nationwide. Questions of access and equity in higher education appear daily in news coverage, political discussion, and public debate.

With the ubiquity of high-speed Internet and wireless mobile technology, colleges and universities are beginning to explore the potential of massive open online courses—better known as MOOCs—to address these issues. Our nation's colleges and universities play a vital role in discovery and creating new knowledge, developing biomedical and technological innovations, fostering new lines of inquiry in the sciences, arts and humanities, while passing on our social and scientific heritage through direct instruction of students in the classroom. The evolution of high-quality massive online learning that can be delivered at a low cost per student presents both exciting opportunities and challenging questions for higher education.

Can colleges and universities effectively pursue massive online learning while maintaining their core academic missions? Issues surrounding the quality of courses, their cost effectiveness, student learning outcomes, credentialing, and equal access to education have provoked a spirited and evolving international debate. Who will be the winners and losers in the world of massive online learning—or might this be a win-win situation for everyone?

2013 Webcast

Amy Gutmann

President and Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication

Amy Gutmann

As the 8th President of the University of Pennsylvania (2004- ), Dr. Amy Gutmann is a national leader in increasing access to higher education and integrating knowledge to maximize creativity and innovation. Dr. Gutmann developed Penn's no-loan guarantee for undergraduates, which has become a national model. She has dramatically expanded Penn's contribution to employment, innovation, and economic development in the city and state and pushed Penn to the forefront in civic engagement, exemplified by the creation of Penn Park, a 24-acre urban oasis connecting the campus to the city which opened in 2011.

Under Dr. Gutmann's leadership, the University completed its largest, most successful campaign ever, Making History, and has dramatically broken down barriers across academic disciplines, invigorating the intellectual climate for both faculty and students.

She has published widely on the value of education and deliberation in democracy, on the importance of access to higher education and health care, and on the essential role of ethics—especially professional and political ethics—in public affairs. She continues to be an active scholar as Penn's President, publishing her sixteenth book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It (with Dennis Thompson) in May 2012.

Dr. Gutmann is a founding member of the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, which advises the Secretary General of the U.N. on a range of issues, including the social responsibility of universities. Gutmann has won the Harvard University Centennial Medal (2003), Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award (2009), and was named by Newsweek one of "150 Women Who Shake the World" (2011). She is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and is a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. In May 2012, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Columbia University.

Appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama, Dr. Gutmann chairs the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. She also serves on the National Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Boards of the National Constitution Center, the Carnegie Corporation and the Vanguard Group.

Dr. Gutmann graduated magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College, earned her master's degree in Political Science from the London School of Economics, and her doctorate in Political Science from Harvard.

Thomas L. Friedman

Foreign Affairs Columnist, New York Times

Tom Friedman

Thomas Friedman was born in Minneapolis on July 20, 1953. After finishing high school in Minneapolis, he attended Brandeis University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1975 with a degree in Mediterranean Studies. During his undergraduate years, he spent semesters abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the American University in Cairo. After completing his B.A., Mr. Friedman attended St. Antony's College, Oxford University, on a Marshall Scholarship. In 1978, he received a Masters degree in Modern Middle East Studies from Oxford and immediately thereafter joined the London Bureau of United Press International (UPI). Mr. Friedman spent a year in London doing general assignment reporting before being dispatched to Beruit as a UPI correspondent.

He lived in Beirut from June 1979 to May 1981, when he was hired by The New York Times and brought back to New York. From May 1981 to April 1982, Mr. Friedman worked as a general assignment financial reporter for The New York Times, based in New York. He specialized in OPEC and oil-related news. In April 1982, he was assigned by The New York Times to be its Beirut Bureau Chief, a post he took up six weeks before the Israeli invasion.

In June 1984, Mr. Friedman was transferred to Jerusalem, where he served as The Times' Israel bureau chief until 1988. After being awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to write a book about his reflections on the Middle East. In June 1989, he published From Beirut to Jerusalem, which was on The New York Times Best Sellers list for nearly 12 months and won the 1989 National Book Award for non-fiction and the 1989 Overseas Press Club Award for the Best Book on Foreign Policy. From Beirut to Jerusalem has been published in more than 20 languages, including Japanese and Chinese, and is now used as a basic textbook on the Middle East in many high schools and universities. For his coverage of the Middle East, Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting (from Israel). In 2012, Friedman updated From Beirut to Jerusalem with a new preface and afterward.

In January 1989, Mr. Friedman accepted a new assignment in Washington as The Times' Chief Diplomatic Correspondent. For the next four years he traveled some 500,000 miles covering Secretary of State James A. Baker III and the end of the cold war. In November 1992, Mr. Friedman shifted to domestic politics and was appointed Chief White House correspondent. He covered the transition and first year of the Clinton Administration. In January 1994, Friedman shifted again, this time to economics, and became The Times' International Economic Correspondent, covering the nexus between foreign policy and trade policy. In January 1995, Mr. Friedman became The New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist. In 1998, Mr. Friedman wrote text to accompany Micha Bar-Am's photographs for the book, Israel: A Photobiography, published by Simon & Schuster.

His book, The Lexus and The Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, issued by Farrar Straus and Giroux in 1999, won the Overseas Press Club Award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy in 2000. It has been published in 27 foreign languages. FSG published his bestseller, Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11, in 2002 and his international bestseller, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, in 2005.

His latest bestseller, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America, was published in September 2008. He currently is writing a book with Michael Mandelbaum, to be published in September of 2011, about the major challenges facing the United States, the reason the country is not addressing those challenges effectively, and the policies America needs to adopt to ensure prosperity at home and strength abroad in the 21st century. The title will be That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.

In the months following 9/11, his Op-Ed page coumn for The New York Times provided the clarifying, evenhanded assessments that were so urgently sought. In awarding him his third Pulitzer Prize (the 2002 award for Distinguished Commentary), the Pulitzer Board cited "his clarity of vision, based on extensive reporting, in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat."

In 2004 Friedman was also awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement as well as the honorary title, Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Queen Elizabeth II. The Wall Street Journal ranked Friedman the second most influential business thinker in 2008 and U.S News and World Report named him one of "America's Best Leaders."

Mr. Friedman is a frequent guest on programs such as Meet The Press, Morning Joe and Charlie Rose. His TV documentaries, Searching for the Roots of 9/11, The Other Side of Outsourcing, Straddling the Fence and Addicted to Oil, have aired on the Discovery Channel.

Mr. Friedman lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife, Ann, and their two daughters. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Brandeis University and, since 2005, the Board of the Pulitzer Prizes. He served as a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University in 2000 and 2005 and has been awarded honorary degrees from Brandeis University, Macalester College, Haverford University, the University of Minnesota, Williams College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Washington University in St. Louis and Hebrew Union College.

Martha J. Kanter

Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

Martha J. Kanter

The Honorable Martha J. Kanter was nominated by President Barack Obama on April 29, 2009 to be the under secretary of education and was confirmed by the Senate on June 19, 2009. Kanter reports to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult and career-technical education, federal student aid, and five White House Initiatives on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. To spur education, economic growth and social prosperity, Kanter is charged with planning and policy responsibilities to implement President Obama's goal for the U.S. to have "the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world by 2020" as measured by the proportion of college graduates over the next decade. Under Secretary Kanter and her team are keenly focused on improving college access, affordability, quality, and completion to implement President Obama's American Graduation Initiative.

In her first two years as under secretary, the successful implementation of the Direct Student Loan program resulted in a 50-percent increase in college enrollment, growing from 6 to 9 million students today who are Pell Grant recipients. Kanter and her team are working closely with postsecondary partners from across the nation to boost American innovation and competitiveness with an ambitious college completion agenda, teacher quality reforms, adult education program improvements, modernization of career-technical education, and a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor that has announced the first $500 million of a $2 billion federal investment to increase quality, graduation, and employment opportunities for community college students.

From 2003 to 2009, Kanter served as chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation, serving more than 45,000 students with a total budget of approximately $400 million. She is the first community college leader to serve in the under secretary position. In 1977, after serving as an alternative high school teacher in Massachusetts and New York, she established the first program for students with learning disabilities at San Jose City College (Calif.). She then served as a director, dean and subsequently vice chancellor for policy and research for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office in Sacramento. In 1990, she returned to San Jose City College as vice president of instruction and student services until she was named president of De Anza College in 1993, serving in this position for a decade until her appointment as chancellor.

Kanter has been recognized for her work numerous times, including being named Woman of the Year by the 24th Assembly District, Woman of Achievement by San Jose Mercury News and the Women's Fund, and Woman of the Year for Santa Clara County by the American Association of University Women. In 2003, she received the Excellence in Education award from the National Organization for Women's California Chapter. In 2006, she was honored for diversity and community leadership by the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women, and in 2007, the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley honored her with the John W. Gardner Leadership Award. In 2008, Kanter received the Citizen of the Year award from the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, Notre Dame High School in Silicon Valley honored her with the "Woman of Impact" award and, in 2010, Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay nominated her for the Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, Kanter was appointed to the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a federal advisory committee to the Department of State that supports worldwide humanitarian development and values by coordinating efforts and delivering expert advice on issues of education, science, communications and culture.

Under Secretary Kanter holds a doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco. Her dissertation addressed demographic, institutional, and assessment factors affecting access to higher education for underrepresented students in California's community colleges. In 1994, she opened the first Advanced Technology Center in California's community college system and promoted local and state policies to advance Foothill-De Anza's legacy of excellence and opportunity for California's expanding and increasingly diverse student population. She received her master's degree in education with a concentration in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Brandeis University. Kanter holds honorary degrees from Palo Alto University, Chatham University, Lakes Region Community College, Moraine Valley Community College and the Alamo Colleges.

William E. Kirwan

Chancellor, University System of Maryland

William E. Kirwan

William E. Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland since August 1, 2002, is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues shaping the higher education landscape. He served as President of Ohio State University for four years (1998-2002) and President of the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 years (1988-1998). Prior to his presidency, he was a member of the University of Maryland faculty for 24 years.

A respected academic leader, Dr. Kirwan is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics, including diversity, access and affordability, cost containment, innovation, higher education's economic impact, gender equity, and financial aid. Along with his national and international presentations on key issues, Dr. Kirwan has authored many articles on issues in higher education and has been profiled and cited in academic and mainstream publications.

Currently, Dr. Kirwan chairs the National Research Council Board of Higher Education and Workforce, chairs the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center Advisory Committee, and co-chairs the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. He also serves on the Business-Higher Education Forum.

In Maryland, Dr. Kirwan co-chairs the Governor's P-20 STEM Task Force and is a member of the Governor's International Advisory Board and the Maryland Economic Development Commission. He also is a member of the boards of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Greater Baltimore Committee, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, and the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. In 2007, Dr. Kirwan became the 16th recipient of the Maryland House of Delegates Speakers' Medallion in recognition of his service to the House and to the State of Maryland. He also received the Maryland Senate's First Citizen Award in 1998, in recognition of his commitment and service to the state.

In 2012, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce presented Dr. Kirwan with its second annual Maryland Public Service Award. In 2010, Dr. Kirwan was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, or NACIQI. The group serves in an advisory capacity to the U.S. Secretary of Education on accreditation issues and certification processes for colleges and universities. He was also in 2010 named chair of the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center Advisory Committee. Dr. Kirwan is a past board chair of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and of the American Council on Education. He was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a member of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century and chaired the National Research Council's Commission on the Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000, which produced the report titled Moving Beyond Myths: Revitalizing Undergraduate Mathematics, National Academy Press (1991). President Bush appointed Dr. Kirwan to the Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2000.

Dr. Kirwan is the winner of the 2010 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. Considered one of the nation's top higher education honors, this award recognizes leadership and commitment to higher education and contributions to the greater good.

In 2009, he received the Carnegie Corporation Leadership Award, which included a $500,000 grant to fund USM academic priorities. The prestigious award recognizes higher education leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in several areas, including undergraduate education (teaching and research) and outreach to communities. In 2002, Dr. Kirwan was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Other recent awards include the 2008 Reginald H. Jones Distinguished Service Award from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to increasing the representation of minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers.

Dr. Kirwan is a member of several honorary and professional societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, the American Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical Association of America. A prolific scholar, he is co-editor of the book Advances in Complex Analysis and has published many articles on mathematical research.

Dr. Kirwan received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and his master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1962 and 1964 respectively.

Daphne Koller

Co-Founder, Coursera
Rajeev Motwani Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University

Daphne Koller

Co-Founder and co-CEO, Coursera; Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University

Daphne Koller is the co-founder of Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with top universities to make the best education accessible to everyone around the world, for free. Coursera was started in January 2012, and a year later, has 62 top university partners from around the world who offer over 300 courses that span a range of topics including computer science, business, medicine, science, humanities, social sciences, and more. Over 2.8 million students from 196 countries have enrolled for Coursera classes.

Daphne is also the Rajeev Motwani Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University where she works in the area of machine learning and probabilistic modeling, with applications to systems biology and personalized medicine. She is the author of over 200 refereed publications in venues that span a range of disciplines, and has given over a dozen keynote talks at major conferences. She is the recipient of numerous awards, which include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the ACM/Infosys award, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering. She is also an award winning teacher, who pioneered in her Stanford class many of the ideas that underlie the Coursera user experience.

She received her BSc and MSc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her PhD from Stanford in 1994.

2012

“Is America Broken? A Conversation on the 2012 Elections and Beyond”

Is America broken? With unemployment at persistently high levels, instability in the financial markets, a polarized politics where campaigning dominates governing—the failure of the Congressional supercommittee to forge a bipartisan agreement being only one recent example—these are tough times for our nation and the American people.

America has certainly weathered its share of major crises: a fight for independence, civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, and numerous other boom-and-bust economic cycles. But recognizing that things have been—and could be—worse is hardly cause for comfort. The American people certainly do not feel comforted or comfortable with how their political representatives are handling the current situation. The President and the Congress are receiving record low approval ratings; three-quarters of people believe the nation is on the wrong track; and the Tea Party and "Occupy" movements have garnered strong support across the country. For the first time on record, a majority of U.S. citizens do not believe in "American exceptionalism."

Will the United States emerge stronger from these political and economic hardships? Or is the majority correct in thinking that conditions in the United States, and its relation to the world, have changed in ways that are likely to lead to the nation's decline? Do America's politicians and its political system have the ability to make the difficult decisions necessary to respond to the most consequential contemporary challenges? Are U.S. corporations and businesses, schools and universities capable of providing all Americans with the opportunities they want and need to live productive and fruitful lives, including the life of a well-informed and engaged democratic citizen?

In short: Is America a nation in decline – or are its brightest days still ahead? Nothing less than the answer to this question is at stake in the 2012 election and beyond, for the future of the United States, its citizens and the world.

Join Penn President Amy Gutmann and a distinguished group of political experts who will confront this question—along with the greatest political and economic challenges facing the United States—as it heads toward the 2012 election and as they ask: Is America Broken?

2012 Webcast

Amy Gutmann

President, University of Pennsylvania

Amy Gutmann

As President of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Amy Gutmann has significantly expanded the number of low-income students attending the University, making Penn the largest university to establish a no-loan guarantee that has become a national model. She pushed Penn to the forefront in civic engagement, exemplified by the creation of Penn Park, a 24-acre urban oasis that now connects the campus to Center City Philadelphia.

Gutmann has published widely on the value of education and deliberation in democracy, on the importance of access to higher education and health care, on "the good, the bad and the ugly" of identity politics, and on the essential role of ethics—especially professional and political ethics—in public affairs. She will publish her sixteenth book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It (with Dennis Thompson), in May 2012.

Appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama, Gutmann chairs the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Gutmann graduated magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College, earned her master's degree in Political Science from the London School of Economics and her doctorate in Political Science from Harvard University.

Charles Blow

The New York Times Columnist

Charles Blow

Charles M. Blow is The New York Times' visual Op-Ed columnist. Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper's graphics director, a position he held for nine years. In that role, he led The Times to a best of show award from the Society of News Design for the Times' information graphics coverage of 9/11, the first time the award had been given for graphics coverage. He also led the paper to its first two best in show awards from the Malofiej International Infographics Summit for work that included coverage of the Iraq war. Mr. Blow went on to become the paper's Design Director for News before leaving in 2006 to become the Art Director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had been a graphic artist at The Detroit News.

Mr. Blow graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communications. He lives in Brooklyn with his three children.

John Lapinski

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania and NBC News Analyst

John Lapinski

John Lapinski is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He also works in the Elections Unit at NBC News. He has taught and written about Congressional lawmaking, American national institutions, American political development, presidential and congressional elections, and quantitative methods.

Professor Lapinski's research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, the Journal of Politics, and the British Journal of Politics. He has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, where he was a Resident Fellow for the 2004-05 academic year, the Dirksen Congressional Center, and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University.

In his project, The Substance of Representation: Congress, American Political Development and Lawmaking, Lapinski aims to better understanding how lawmaking works in the United States. He argues that the turn away from policy substance in Congressional studies over the past two decades has seriously impeded our understanding of the lawmaking process in the United States.

Peggy Noonan

The Wall Street Journal columnist

Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan is a widely admired columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best selling author of eight books on American politics, history and culture.

In 2008 The National Journal dubbed Noonan's political column indispensable to an understanding of the presidential year, and Forbes Magazine called her column "principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic." Noonan's essays have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, The Washington Post and other publications, and she provides frequent political commentary on television.

Peggy Noonan's most recent book, Patriotic Grace, published by Collins in 2008, is written in the pamphleteering tradition of Tom Paine's Common Sense, and is a call for a more elevated national politics. Her collection of post-9/11 Wall Street Journal columns, A Heart, a Cross and a Flag, was published by Free Press in 2003.

Noonan was a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan from 1984 to 1986. In 1988 she was chief speechwriter for Vice President George H. W. Bush when he ran for the presidency. She holds honorary doctorates from Miami University, St. John Fisher College, University of Portland, Adelphi University, St. Francis College, Ave Maria University, and her Alma Mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ed Rendell C’65, HON’00

Former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor

Ed Rendell

After 34 years of public service, including 24 years as an elected official, Governor Ed Rendell continues to pursue the same issues he was passionate about while serving. His commitment to making America a cleaner, more efficient place and to fostering investment in our nation's crumbling infrastructure is as strong as it ever was.

Rendell served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011) and oversaw a budget of $28.3 billion as the chief executive of the nation's 6th-most-populous state. His legislative agenda focused on commonsense political reform and putting progress ahead of partisanship.

During his two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), Rendell eliminated a crippling deficit, balanced the City's budget, and generated five consecutive budget surpluses. Philadelphia's renaissance, which The New York Times called "the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history," is largely attributed to his determination, inspiration, and energy.

Before serving as Mayor, Rendell was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978 through 1985. Rendell also served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential election.

An Army veteran, he holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Villanova Law School.

Alan Simpson

Former U.S. Senator

Alan Simpson

A Wyoming native, Sen. Alan K. Simpson graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1954 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. Following his honorable discharge, Simpson returned to his alma mater and earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 1958.

After a short time as Wyoming Assistant Attorney General, Simpson practiced law in his hometown of Cody, Wyoming for 18 years. A member of a political family—his father served both as Governor of Wyoming and as United States Senator from Wyoming—Simpson began his own political career in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature.

He was elected to the United States Senate in 1978 and was twice re-elected. He completed his final term on January 3, 1997.

From January of 1997 until June of 2000, he was a visiting lecturer and, for 2 years, the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served as one of the ten bipartisan members on the respected Iraq Study Group chaired by Lee Hamilton (Dem.) and Jim Baker (Rep.), and he recently co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Erskine Bowles.

2010

“The Polarized Polis: Public Debate in the United States”

Is there something seriously wrong with public debate in America? And, if so, can the problem be remedied? Hyperbolic vitriol seems to fill the media and the Internet, boorish hecklers interrupt public speeches, and strident partisans hurl ad hominem accusations at one another. Documented facts often fail to sway large segments of public opinion; and an imperative to "feed the base" seems to block almost all Congressional actions needed to address this country's most salient and complex problems.

Has debate in America really taken a turn for the worse or has it merely returned to its historical norm, after a period of unusual consensus during World War II and the Cold War? Are most Americans becoming more extreme in their views or are politicians and pundits becoming more polarized—and more polarizing? If public debate is indeed in trouble, from a democratic perspective, who or what is to blame? Whatever the causes, what remedies are available given America's historic commitments to broad civic participation and free expression?

The David and Lyn Silfen University Forum – hosted by Penn President Amy Gutmann – will ask whether political and public discourse in America is truly in trouble and, if so, what the causes, consequences, and antidotes might be. Eminent Penn faculty members – Kathleen Hall Jamieson, John DiIulio, and John Jackson, Jr. – will join the distinguished chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and former Congressman Jim Leach, and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell in a robust exchange about the apparent deficit in mutual respect and surplus in political polarization of American public debate and political culture in our times.

Press release: Penn President Amy Gutmann Convenes Panel Examining the State of Public Discourse in America

2010 Webcast

Panelists

Moderator: Amy Gutmann

Amy Gutmann

Amy Gutmann became the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania on July 1, 2004. She has become a prominent national advocate for equity in higher education, and advises the U.N. Secretary General on a range of global issues, including academic freedom, mass migration, international development, and the social responsibilities of universities. An eminent political scientist and philosopher on ethics, justice theory, deliberative democracy, and democratic education, Gutmann currently is the Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science at Penn, with secondary faculty appointments in Philosophy, Communication, and Education. Her books include Why Deliberative Democracy? (2004 with Dennis Thompson), Identity in Democracy (2003), Democratic Education (revised edition, 1999), and Democracy and Disagreement (1996, with Dennis Thompson). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

John J. DiIulio, Jr.

John J. DiIulio, Jr.

John J. DiIulio, Jr. is the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Faculty Director of the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program. After graduating from Penn in 1980, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. For thirteen years, he was a professor and research center director at Princeton University, but came home to Penn in 1999.

DiIulio recently won Penn's Lindback Award for distinguished teaching. He is the author of a dozen books and co-author of American Government: Institutions and Policies, now in its 12th edition. He has led Penn undergraduates in over 1,000 weeks of service in post-Katrina New Orleans.

He has directed research centers at the Brookings Institution and other think tanks. He served as the first director of the White House Office of faith-based initiatives. He recently won the Spirit Award for lifetime service to an inner-city school. He serves on the boards of numerous community-serving nonprofit organizations.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Jamieson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the International Communication Association. She is the author or co-author of 15 books including: Presidents Creating the Presidency (University of Chicago Press, 2008), Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (Oxford, 2008) and unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (Random House, 2007). Dr. Jamieson has won university-wide teaching awards at each of the three universities at which she has taught and political science or communication awards for four of her books. Her forthcoming book, co-authored with Kate Kenski and Bruce Hardy, is The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Messages Shaped the 2008 Election.

John L. Jackson

John L. Jackson, Jr.

John L. Jackson, Jr., is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Penn, Jackson taught in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and spent three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jackson received his BA in Communications (Radio, TV, Film) from Howard University in Washington DC and his PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University in New York City. As a filmmaker, Jackson has produced a feature-length fiction film, documentaries and film-shorts that have screened at film festivals internationally. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Harvard University's Milton Fund, and the Lilly Endowment (during a year at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina). He has published three books, Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2001), Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity (University of Chicago Press, 2005), and Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness (Basic, 2008), which just cam out in paperback February 2010. Jackson is currently writing a book on global Black Hebrewism (under contract with Harvard University Press). He is also working on two ethnographic films, one about contemporary conspiracy theories in urban America, another examining the history of state violence against Rastafari in Jamaica.

Jim Leach

Jim Leach

Jim Leach is the ninth Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Nominated by President Barack Obama on July 9, 2009, and confirmed by the Senate in early August, Leach began his four-year term as NEH Chairman on August 12, 2009.

Leach previously served 30 years representing southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

After leaving Congress in 2007, Leach joined the faculty at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, where he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs until his confirmation as NEH chairman. In September 2007, Leach took a year's leave of absence from Princeton to serve as interim director of the Institute of Politics and lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Leach graduated from Princeton University, received a Master of Arts degree in Soviet politics from the School of Advanced International Studies at The John Hopkins University, and did additional graduate studies at the London School of Economics.

Leach holds eight honorary degrees and has received numerous awards, including the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities from the National Humanities Alliance; the Woodrow Wilson Award from The Johns Hopkins University; the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association; the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club; the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award; the Norman Borlaug Award for Public Service; and the Wesley Award for Service to Humanity.

A three-sport athlete in college, Leach was elected to the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the International Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Iowa. Leach resides in Iowa City and the Washington, D.C., area with his wife Elisabeth (Deba), son Gallagher, and daughter Jenny.

Andrea Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell, the veteran NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, currently covers foreign policy, intelligence and national security issues, including the diplomacy of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for all NBC News properties. She is also the host of MSNBC'S Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Mitchell covered the entire 2008 presidential campaign, broadcasting live from every major primary and caucus state and all the candidate debates for NBC News and MSNBC programs, including Today, Hardball, and Meet the Press. She also covered Barack Obama's trip to Iraq, the Middle East, and Europe during the presidential campaign.

In 2005, Mitchell authored Talking Back, a memoir about her experiences as one of the first women to cover five presidents, congress, and foreign policy. She has received the prestigious Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Radio-Television News Directors Association's Leonard Zeidenberg Award for her contribution to the protection of First Amendment Freedoms.

Mitchell received her bachelor of arts in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves as a Penn Trustee, a member of the Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Annenberg School Advisory Board.

2009

“After the Fall: A World Transformed?”

Does the current financial crisis, as George Soros recently argued, require a "new way of thinking about how markets work"? Or is the recent economic downturn an extraordinarily painful recession, but at its core nothing fundamentally more than a normal stage of an economic boom-to-bust cycle?

In the wake of investment firm and bank failures, stock market declines, and staggering job losses, governments around the globe have taken actions with major ramifications for the markets. The United States government has approved nearly $1 trillion in relief programs and bailouts to shore up the economy. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that his government will unveil a second bank bailout which builds on a previous £37 billion relief program.

Does the scale of the current economic contraction, along with the unprecedented decisions of governments to nationalize industries and make other direct investments in the private sector, herald a "new era" defined by fundamental, lasting, and as yet not fully understood changes in the world economy?

The Inaugural David and Lyn Silfen University Forum, hosted by Penn President Amy Gutmann, will bring together distinguished Penn faculty with expertise in business, economics, politics, law, and history to answer the question: Has our economic world fundamentally and permanently changed? And if so, what will the new world economic order look like? The panel members will also explore the causes of the economic downturn and its short- and long- term impacts on the world in which we live.

Press release: Penn President Amy Gutmann and Penn Experts to Discuss the Economic Crisis and Its Aftermath at University-Wide Forum

2009 Webcast

Panelists

Moderator: Amy Gutmann

Moderated by Amy Gutmann

Amy Gutmann became the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania on July 1, 2004. She has become a prominent national advocate for equity in higher education, and advises the U.N. Secretary General on a range of global issues, including academic freedom, mass migration, international development, and the social responsibilities of universities. An eminent political scientist and philosopher on ethics, justice theory, deliberative democracy, and democratic education, Gutmann currently is the Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science at Penn, with secondary faculty appointments in Philosophy, Communication, and Education. Her books include Why Deliberative Democracy? (2004 with Dennis Thompson), Identity in Democracy (2003), Democratic Education (revised edition, 1999), and Democracy and Disagreement (1996, with Dennis Thompson). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and a W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.


Jennifer Amyx

Jennifer Amyx

Jennifer Amyx is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on the political economy of East Asia, with a particular emphasis on the politics of financial regulation and reform in Japan and on regional financial cooperation initiatives in East Asia since the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis. Her book, Japan's Financial Crisis: Institutional Rigidity and Reluctant Change was awarded the 2005 Masayoshi Ohita Memorial Prize.

As an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in 2005-06, Amyx worked in Tokyo on projects commissioned by Japan's Ministry of Finance (MOF) and by the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and also worked in Washington, DC in the East Asia Division at the US Department of the Treasury. Amyx has also held a number of visiting scholar positions at institutions in Japan, Australia and the US.


Harold Cole

Harold Cole

Harold Cole is Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as Professor of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, senior economist and director of the Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, consultant to the World Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund. A scholar of macroeconomics and international finance, he has researched the Great Depression, incomplete markets and risk sharing, sovereign default, and the interaction of social institutions and economic decisions.


Don Kettl

Don Kettl

Donald F. Kettl is Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is on the faculty of the Department of Political Science. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Among his books are The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (2008), System under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics (2007), and The Global Public Management Revolution (2005). He has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration for the best book published in public administration. In 2008, Kettl won the American Political Science's John Gaus Award for a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration. Kettl has consulted broadly for government organizations at all levels, in the United States and abroad, and he is a regular columnist for Governing magazine, which is read by state and local government officials around the country.


Richard Marston

Richard Marston

Richard Marston is James R.F. Guy Professor of Finance and Economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Director of the George Weiss Center for International Financial Research at Wharton. He holds an AB from Yale University, a B Phil from Oxford University, and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of several journal editorial boards, and has been visiting professor or scholar at over a dozen foreign schools including Essec in France, LBS in London, and Sasin Institute in Thailand. His research interests have recently centered on exchange rate pass-through and exposure, foreign exchange risk management, and international asset pricing.


David Skeel

Don Kettl

David Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Icarus in the Boardroom and Debt's Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America, as well as numerous articles and other publications. He has been interviewed on Nightline, Chris Matthews' Hardball (MS-NBC), National Public Radio, and Marketplace, among others, and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and many other publications. Skeel has twice received the Harvey Levin award for outstanding teaching, as selected by a vote of the graduating class as well as the University's Lindback Award for distinguished teaching. In addition to corporate law and bankruptcy, Skeel also writes on sovereign debt, law and religion, and poetry and the law.