The 2010 annual Socrates Dinner featured a conversation on “leadership and social innovation” hosted by David Gergen, Aspen Institute Trustee and Professor of Public Service at Harvard University. Kasim Reed and Michelle Rhee participated in the discussion. Proceeds from the dinner support the Socrates Society. Laura and Gary Lauder graciously served as the dinner chairs. Rosemarie Forsythe is the 2010 Socrates Dinner Honoree.
The Honorable M. Kasim Reed is the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, Georgia. Reed was elected in December 2009 as Atlanta’s 59th Mayor. He is a former Partner with the international law firm Holland & Knight LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. After serving two terms as the State Representative for House District 52, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate in November 2002. During his term in the Georgia State Senate he was a member of the Senate Judiciary, Higher Education, Transportation, Ethics, and the State and Local Government Committees. He served as the Campaign Manager for Atlanta’s former Mayor Shirley Franklin in her successful effort to become the first female Mayor of the City of Atlanta, and then served as Co-Chairman of Shirley Franklin’s Transition Team. His civic and professional leadership have been recognized by local and national publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others. A former member of the Board of Directors for Sunrise Bank of Atlanta, Mr. Reed has also served as a member of the Board of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, and the Board of the National Black Arts Festival. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University. Most recently, the Aspen Institute selected him as a Rodel Fellow. He earned both his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Howard University.
Chancellor Michelle Rhee was appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty June 12, 2007. She leads D.C. Public Schools, a district numbering 46,000 students and 123 schools. In the Mayor’s search for a change agent for schools in the District, experts in education recommended Ms. Rhee, who had already transformed many urban public school systems through her work with The New Teacher Project (TNTP). Chancellor Joel Klein, whose work in New York City’s public schools is a model for effective change, said of her appointment that it was “the choice D.C. needs, given that, year in and year out, they have not gotten results.” Results drive the Chancellor every day. Whether she is developing effective measurements to track student achievement and teacher quality; talking with principals and teachers in one-on-one meetings; developing new measures to hold herself and staff accountable for their roles in student achievement; traveling throughout the community to engage parents and other stakeholders in our schools; establishing partnerships with neighborhood organizations; meeting with business leaders as she transforms a broken organizational structure into one that works for students and families; or ensuring that needed repairs are completed to create physical learning environments serve students, Chancellor Rhee’s vision rests on results.
2010 Socrates Program Dinner Honoree
For the past 30 years, Rosemarie Forsythe has worked as a scholar, US diplomat, U.S. policymaker and international business executive. During that time, she led or participated in negotiations to end conflicts, eliminate nuclear weapons in three countries, and build strategic oil pipelines. She also participated in constructing a new US post-Cold War strategy and conceived a new US policy toward oil in the Caspian region. She is currently the Director of International Political Strategy at the Exxon Mobil Corporation, where she has been detecting future political, economic, social and security trends that affect the company’s worldwide portfolio and developing strategies based on the implications of those trends.