Condoleezza Rice, Richard Haass and David Gergen kick off the 34th Tate Distinguished Lecture season Sept. 30, 2015

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass are visiting SMU Wednesday, Sept. 30 to kick off the 2015-16 season of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Rice and Haass will offer their insights and opinions on current events as moderated by political analyst and Tate Series veteran David Gergen. Rice, Haass and Gergen will open the season with The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Condoleezza RiceCondoleezza Rice, the 66th U.S. Secretary of State, currently holds three positions at Stanford University: Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Graduate School of Business, Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and professor of Political Science. Her academic career began when she joined the Stanford faculty in 1981. She began her government service as a member of the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush from 1989-91. Returning to Stanford, she rose through the ranks to serve as provost from 1993-99. She returned to Washington to serve as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2001-05 and as Secretary of State from 2005-09.

Rice earned her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is the author of several books and is chair of the George W. Bush Institute Advisory Board. [Follow @CondoleezzaRice on Twitter]

Richard HaassRichard Haass has been president of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003. In 2013 he served as chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that led to the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. He served from 2001-03 as director of policy planning for the State Department, as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and as envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process. He previously was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff from 1989 to 1993.

Haass is the author or editor of 12 books on American foreign policy and one book on management. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned both master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Oxford University. [Follow @RichardHaass on Twitter]

David Gergen

David Gergen, moderator, is a professor of public service and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also is a senior political analyst for CNN. Gergen previously served as a White House advisor to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his bestselling book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.

A regular commentator on public affairs for more than 30 years, Gergen has served as the chief editor of U.S. News & World Report and as a member of Peabody and Emmy Award-winning election coverage teams. He is an honors graduate of both Yale University and Harvard Law School. [Follow @David_Gergen on Twitter]

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

The evening lecture is sold out. However, 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-served basis.

Follow along with everything Tate on Twitter: @SMUtate and Instagram: @smutate.

The Tate Series’ 34th season also features the following events and speakers:

    • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 – SMU alumnus Robert Edsel ’76, founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, will give the Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture and the 250th Tate Lecture. Edsel is the author of three books on the recovery of stolen artwork during World War II; his second book was the inspiration for The Monuments Men, a 2014 film directed by and starring George Clooney.
    • Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 – NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, reporter on human behavior and social sciences and author of The Hidden Brain, will give the Jones Day lecture. He is a former reporter and columnist for The Washington Post.
    • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 – Renowned director and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, creator of Baseball, The War and The Roosevelts; will give the Oncor Lecture. Currently, he is producing Vietnam, scheduled for release in 2017.
    • Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 – Spoken-word poet Sarah Kay, who began performing in New York at age 14, will lecture. The founder and co-director of Project VOICE, which uses spoken-word poetry to entertain, educate and inspire young students, Kay is also the author of two books of poems, B and No Matter the Wreckage.
    • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 – Actor Rob Lowe, best-selling author of two books and activist for breast cancer awareness, will give the Tolleson Lecture.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 – Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, former commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and CEO and President of IronNet Cybersecurity; and Kevin Mandia, former computer security officer with the U.S. Air Force and president of FireEye Security with nearly 20 years in the cybersecurity private sector; will give the Omni Hotels Lecture.
    • Monday, May 2, 2016 – James Carville, Democratic political strategist who led Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, political commentator, author and professor; and Karl Rove, Republican political consultant for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff; will give the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture.

Visit SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website: