Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-founders of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, will be at SMU Tuesday, Dec. 3 to deliver the final lecture of the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series for 2013. They will give the Omni Hotels Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.
Erskine Bowles started his career in financial services. He worked for numerous venture and private equity firms and even founded the firm, Bowles, Hollowell and Conner. In 1991, he joined the administration of President Bill Clinton as Administrator of the Small Business Administration and went on to serve as Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff and later as White House Chief of Staff from 1997-98. Bowles is credited with negotiating the first balanced budget in a generation during his time at the White House.
Alan Simpson comes from a legacy of law; after his honorable discharge from the Army in 1956 he practiced law for 18 years at his father’s firm, Simpson, Kepler and Simpson. He went on to serve as City Attorney of Cody, Wyoming for 10 years and in 1964 he was elected state representative for his native Park County in the Wyoming State Legislature. Simpson continued his political career and served three terms in the United States Senate from 1978-97.
In 2010 Barack Obama asked Bowles and Simpson to co-chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The bipartisan commission produced a plan to reduce the Nation’s deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade. The two men then co-founded the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. Bowles and Simpson will be speaking of this current project at Tuesday’s Tate.
Bowles graduated from UNC and received his M.B.A. degree from Columbia University. He is noted for coordinating the federal response to the Oklahoma City bombing and in 2004 joined the United National Deputy Special Envoy to coordinate the global response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. He is married and has three children and nine grandchildren. Two of his sons dealt with juvenile diabetes, leading to Bowles’ involvement in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, including service as its national president.
Simpson received his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees from the University of Wyoming. Before accepting his current position, he was a visiting lecturer and taught a class part-time with his brother at the University of Wyoming. He wrote the book Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press and is the subject of a biography entitled Shooting from the Lip. He is married and has three children and six grandchildren.
Tuesday’s evening lecture is sold out, but SMU students may attend for free with their University ID if seats become available; meet in the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m.
Bowles and Simpson will answer questions from University community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place.
The Tate Distinguished Lecture Series will return in 2014 with Khaled Hosseini on Tuesday, Feb. 11.