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James Roosevelt Jr. and David Walker to Keynote the School of Public Affairs 75th Anniversary Conference

WHAT: School of Public Affairs’ 75th Anniversary Conference: “What Do We Expect From Our Government?”

WHO: James Roosevelt Jr., grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; president and CEO, Tufts Health Plan

-  David Walker, former comptroller general of the United States; president, Peter G. Peterson Foundation

-  Peter Edelman, co-chair, Center for American Progress Task Force on Poverty

-  Neil Kerwin, president, American University; former dean, School of Public Affairs

-  William LeoGrande, dean, School of Public Affairs, American University

-  Robert Cleary, former dean, School of Public Affairs

-  Lee Fritschler, former dean, School of Public Affairs

-  Walter Broadnax, former dean, School of Public Affairs

-  More than 20 other leading government and public policy experts and practitioners

WHEN:  2–6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26
           9 a.m.–4 p.m. Friday, March 27    

WHERE: Katzen Arts Center, American University
           4400, Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

MEDIA:  Jon Hussey, AU Media Relations, 202-885-5935 or

WASHINGTON, D.C.—American University’s School of Public Affairs will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a two-day conference on March 26 and 27 at the Katzen Arts Center.  The conference will include panel discussions on the most pressing policy issues facing the nation today as well a discussion on the history of SPA featuring the school’s current and former deans.

James Roosevelt Jr., grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, will give the first conference keynote address on Thursday afternoon. Founded in 1934, the School of Public Affairs is tied to the Roosevelt family and FDR’s commitment to service. At the school’s founding, President Roosevelt spoke of its future.

“Among the universities,” said President Roosevelt, “American is yet young. But you have a great future—a great opportunity for initiative, for constructive thinking, for practical idealism, and for national service.”
James Roosevelt Jr. will be joined Thursday afternoon for a keynote speech by former comptroller general David Walker. Preceding the keynote addresses, American University president Neil Kerwin, SPA dean William LeoGrande, and three former SPA deans will discuss the history of the school.

On Friday, practitioners and scholars will hold concurrent panel discussions on oversight, immigration, campaigns and elections, climate change, regulation, and terrorism. Selected panelists include:
-  Connie Morella, former congresswoman, ambassador in residence, SPA Women & Politics Institute; and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), will discuss oversight at 9 a.m.

-  Guillermina Jasso, professor of sociology, New York University, will discuss immigration at 9 a.m.

 -  J. Clarence Davies, senior fellow, Resources for the Future, will discuss climate change at 10:30 a.m.

 -  Rob Engle, project director, National Committee for an Effective Congress Services, will discuss elections and campaigns at 10:30 a.m.

-  Kathleen M. Rest, executive director, Union of Concerned Scientists, will discuss regulation at 1:30 p.m.

-  Gary LaFree, professor of criminology and criminal justice, University of Maryland, will discuss terrorism at 1:30 p.m.

For a full schedule of panelists, please contact Jon Hussey at 202-885-5935 or

Ranked among the top schools of its kind, American University’s School of Public Affairs offers public affairs education on the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels. The school is also home to research centers and institutes in the fields of political science, public administration, public policy, and justice.  American University School of Public Affairs is the only school of its kind with three accredited graduate degrees: MPA, MPP, and executive MPA. Graduates of the school are active in global policy legislation, advocacy, and in the nonprofit and private sectors.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.