September 6, 2016 Press Releases and Announcements

Georgetown to Host Interview Series on Obama Presidency


by Team GU Politics

Institute of Politics and Public Service to Host Administration Officials for “The Exit Interview” Series

The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) at the McCourt School of Public Policy, will host a series of events from September through January 2017 centered on the political and policy record of Barack Obama’s presidency.

“The Exit Interview” series will feature Cabinet Secretaries and senior Obama White House officials who will explore the administration’s successes, challenges and regrets in various policy areas, highlight initiatives and goals to accomplish in the home stretch of the administration, as well as offer advice for the next administration.

“There is little doubt that the Obama years were incredibly consequential, reshaping American domestic and foreign policy in a number of areas,” said GU Politics Executive Director Mo Elleithee (SFS ‘94). “As this presidency enters its home stretch, and we begin to prepare for a new Administration to take over, we are thrilled to lead at Georgetown a national conversation about the Obama years, their successes and failures, and their lasting impact.”

Wide-Range of Topics and Opposing Points of View

The six-part series will cover a wide-range of policy and political topics at the forefront of national policymaking during President Obama’s administration, including: national security and foreign policy; the economy; criminal and social justice; climate change; health care; and the political culture in Washington.

"Even as we are focused on running through the tape in January, this is a perfect time to reflect on the progress under President Obama, from making climate change a global issue, to strengthening our place in the world to bringing our economy back from the brink.  And this is an opportunity for some of the cabinet members and senior officials who have been at the helm to engage in a discussion about the opportunities and challenges that remain in the coming months and for the next Administration,” said Jen Psaki, White House Communications Director.

To ensure a robust examination of each topic area, GU Politics will also host companion events following the Administration speakers, featuring elected officials and other high profile guests with alternative perspectives and opposing points of view.

The first events will feature three of the highest-ranking officials in the Obama Administration: National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew (L ‘83):

The Exit Interview: National Security and Foreign Policy

A Conversation with Ambassador Susan Rice, National Security Advisor

September 14, 2016

Gaston Hall, Georgetown University

The Exit Interview: Criminal and Social Justice

A Conversation with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch

October 13, 2016

Gaston Hall, Georgetown University

The Exit Interview: Health Care Reform

A Conversation with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell

October 26, 2016

Gaston Hall, Georgetown University

The Exit Interview: The Economy

A Conversation with Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew (L‘83)

November 16, 2016

Lohrfink Auditorium, Georgetown University

The Exit Interview: Climate Change

A Conversation with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell

November 29, 2016

Intercultural Center (ICC) Auditorium, Georgetown University

A conversation on The Political Culture in Washington will be announced later this fall. The series will run through the end of the Obama administration in January 2017, and will be hosted on Georgetown’s main campus. GU Politics will announce details for the other events in the coming weeks.

Georgetown’s Deep Bench

To moderate and provide opening remarks for the events, GU Politics will engage the deep bench of political and policy experts at the university’s McCourt School of Public Policy and other schools, as well as some of today’s top journalists and outside experts.  

“Georgetown, with our deep expertise in domestic and foreign policy topics from national security to our economy, is the perfect place to host these important conversations,” said Edward Montgomery, Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy. “This is why students come to McCourt— unprecedented access, such as five current members of the President’s cabinet, reflecting on critical policy issues and looking ahead to what’s next for our country.”

The topics will be explored in a variety of formats like moderated discussions and town hall-style conversations, with each speaker taking questions from members of the Georgetown community.

A Historical Record

“The Exit Interview” series will be captured in both a video archive and published written volume, available soon after the conclusion of the final event.

Pulling Back the Curtain

Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy was founded in 2013, made possible by a $100 million gift – the largest in university history – from Georgetown alumnus Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C’75).

The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service was founded in the fall of 2015 as part of the McCourt School. Open to the entire Georgetown community, GU Politics (through its Fellows program and other programming like speakers and events and it’s Convention Ambassadors) is committed to pulling back the curtain on politics and political strategy for Georgetown Hoyas, and engaging young people to pursue careers in politics and public service.

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