President Mark D. Gearan will participate in a panel discussion on engaged citizenry at an event sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) on June 24. Gearan was appointed to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform in 2013. The Commission focuses on policy recommendations on electoral system reform, congressional reform and encouragement of greater public service.
The BPC is hosting the event to release the commission’s new report, “Governing in a Polarized America: A Bipartisan Blueprint to Strengthen Our Democracy.” It will feature remarks by Commission Co-Chairs Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Trent Lott, Senator Olympia Snowe and Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and former chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, as well as panel discussions featuring members of the commission.
Gearan will be joined on the public service panel by John Bridgeland, president and CEO of Civic Enterprises; Chris Marvin, managing director of the “Got Your 6” campaign; and Eric Motley, vice president of the Aspen Institute and managing director of the Henry Crown Fellows Program.
A panel featuring Congressman Henry Bonilla; Heather Gerken, J. Skelly Wright professor of law at Yale Law School; and Governor Jennifer Granholm will focus on, “Creating a Fairer, More Open, and More Transparent Process.” Congressman Charles Gonzales, Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late-Senator Edward M. Kennedy and co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate; and Senator Trent Lott will discuss “Transforming Congress into a Higher-Performing Institution.”
Gearan has served as president of Hobart and William Smith since 1999. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on the intersection of higher education and civic engagement, serving as chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee, co-chair of the National Advisory Board on Public Service at Harvard College, board member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, and a former Board member of The Partnership for Public Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
With extensive credentials in public policy, he served as Director of the Peace Corps and was Assistant to the President, Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff in the White House.
The Bipartisan Policy Center drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue. Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, BPC combines politically-balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach.
The BPC also recently released the first in a series of web videos to raise awareness about its Citizens for Political Reform campaign and encourage Americans to sign up and support the work of the Commission. The first video in the campaign “Lip Service,” illustrates the partisan rhetoric on energy policy as efforts to pass an energy-efficiency bill failed in the Senate.
The goals of the campaign are “to showcase partisan behavior that is halting progress in Washington and to encourage Americans to move past politicians’ ‘lip service,’ join its movement and help end political dysfunction in Congress.”
The video can be viewed online.