In back to back evenings, Hobart and William Smith Colleges welcome Newsweek's contributing editor followed by the former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, then the founder of the Guiding Lights Project the next week
Would you like to talk to a Fox News political analyst, a former-Clinton White House correspondent and a movie star? You will get your chance when Eleanor Clift joins the President's Forum, offering a unique insider's view of Washington.
The well-known “McLaughlin Group” panelist will give a talk titled “Women and Politics–from Suffrage to Hillary” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 18, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Colleges campus.
Clift is the co-author of several books, including “Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling,” which traces the 72 year rise of women in politics and looks ahead to women on the presidential ticket. Her weekly column, “Capitol Letter,” appears on Newsweek.com and MSNBC.com. Clift has also played herself in several films, including “Independence Day,” “Murder at 1600” and “Dave,” as well as the CBS series, Murphy Brown. She has appeared on many national television shows, including ABC's Nightline and Good Morning America, NBC's The Today Show, CNN's Crossfire and PBS's The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.
The following day, the President's Forum Series will host former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ray Burghardt, who will offer an address titled “Vietnam and the U.S.: 30 Years After the War, 10 Years After Normalization” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Burghardt's talk will also culminate a series of events highlighting Vietnam on campus.
Previous to his nomination by President George W. Bush as Ambassador to Vietnam, Burghardt had already assembled a strong history in the Foreign Service. He began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia before working in Vietnam for the Agency for International Development (AID) in 1970. Through the next three decades he worked in various positions in connection with Vietnam and Latin America, such as serving at the American Embassy in Saigon, Guatemala and Honduras. His résumé also contains the positions of Deputy Director of the State Department's Office of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Affairs, and Senior Director of Latin American Affairs. Most recently Burghardt has been named director of East-West Seminars at the East-West Center–a non-profit education and research organization–a position he assumed in January 2005.
Burghardt's diverse and interesting career will provide the background for his talk on international politics between Vietnam and the United States and provide a springboard for discussions on international graduate study, volunteer opportunities available, and career options hosted by the Center for Global Education and Career Services at HWS.
Finally, author and educator Eric Liu will give the last President's Forum Lecture of the season at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, in the Geneva Room. Liu is author of “The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker,” which discusses what it is to be an American, and the editor of “Next: Young American Writers on the New Generation,” featuring political and cultural commentary by writers in their 20s. The former Clinton-era foreign policy speechwriter and deputy domestic policy adviser is just as dedicated to mentoring as he is to politics. As founder of the Guiding Lights Project, a mentoring outreach program that showcases the strategies and stories of great mentors, Liu also wrote “Guiding Lights: The People Who Lead Us Toward Our Purpose in Life,” which examines life-changing teachers and mentors.
Liu, who graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School, currently hosts a local NPR interview show called “The Power of Voice” and teaches at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs.
The President's Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty and staff of the Colleges, as well as interested community members.