Former Secretaries of State Madeleine K. Albright and Colin L. Powell will visit SMU Monday, Sept. 29 to kick off the 33rd season of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.
Albright and Powell will offer their insights and opinions on current events as moderated by political analyst and Tate Series veteran David Gergen. Albright, Powell and Gergen will open the season with The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.
Madeleine Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States, serving under President William J. Clinton. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Albright reinforced alliances, advocated democracy and human rights, promoted American trade and business, as well as labor and environmental standards abroad.
Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, she served as President of the Center for National Policy; was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff; and served as chief legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie. In 2012, Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama.
Colin Powell was the 65th Secretary of State for the United States, serving under President George W. Bush. Powell was the first African American appointed Secretary of State, as well as the first African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Secretary of State, Powell led the State Department in major efforts to address regional and civil conflicts abroad. He also worked on the forefront of American efforts to advance economic and social development worldwide.
For more than 50 years, Powell has devoted his life to public service. He has held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations.
In 1971, Gergen joined the Nixon White House as a staff assistant to a speech writing team and went on to presidential advisor for four former presidents. In addition to his political work, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy, worked at U.S. News & World Report and appeared on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Gergen graduated with honors from both Yale University and Harvard Law School.
All SMU students, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum segment at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m., and seats may be reserved online.
The evening lecture is sold out. However, SMU students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-serve basis.