Gearan encourages law students at his alma mater to “give back to the nation.”
February, 21, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y. – Mark D. Gearan recently spoke at Georgetown University Law Center as part of their “Lawyers of Vision” series. The title of Gearan’s presentation was “Law and Community Service.”
In his speech to law students and members of the Law Center faculty, including Father Robert Drinan and John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton, Gearan, urged the audience to consider a career in public service. Gearan called on Georgetown-educated lawyers to give back in a meaningful way.
“The chance to be a part of what Teddy Roosevelt called the ‘actions and passions of our time’ is without peer,” Gearan said. “You will have the opportunity to give something back to the nation and you will – I believe – enhance your long-term career opportunities.”
The former Peace Corps director and White House communications director, now president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., is a member of the Brookings Institute commission on presidential appointments who recently sent recommendations to President Bush and members of the House and Senate. His presentation explored some of the challenges faced by government in recruiting talented people, particularly presidential appointees. Citing the recent Volcker Commission report dubbed “Vanishing Talent,” Gearan pointed to these challenges such as:
• Overall, nearly half of government workers will be eligible to retire in the next three years and nearly one-fifth of those will take advantage of retirement options;
• Only 7.5 percent of government workers are under age 30; 38 percent are over age 50;
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will see approximately 77 percent of its senior executive staff eligible to retire by the year 2005.
The Lawyers of Vision series is in its second year. The inaugural speaker was Senator Patrick Leahy. This year's speakers included: Senator Paul Sarbanes, co-sponsor of the Sabanes-Oxley Act, and Judge Patricia Wald, former Chief Judge of the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.