Aspen at Roosevelt House Presents Second Installment of “Conversations on Presidential Leadership”

March 4, 2008  • Institute Contributor

Contact: Jennifer Myers
Deputy Director of Communications
The Aspen Institute
 Tel. 202-736-2906


New York, NY, March 4, 2008––The Aspen Institute and the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College will hold the second installment of their invitation-only discussion series, entitled “Conversations on Presidential Leadership in Memory of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,” on March 5, 2008. Featuring noted historian Taylor Branch and renowned legal scholar Kathleen Sullivan, and moderated by Newsweek’s Ellis Cose, this latest event will focus attention on the role of the presidency and civil rights.

Known for its programming in Aspen, CO, and Washington, DC, the Aspen Institute will offer a variety of events this fall at the Roosevelt House, Hunter College’s elegant and historically significant property on New York’s Upper East Side and the future address of its Public Policy Institute. Once home to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and now undergoing a publicly funded $20 million restoration, the Roosevelt House will be completed in the fall of 2008 and will allow the Aspen Institute and the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute to offer talks, discussions, salons, seminars, and other special events to New York audiences.

But even before then, the two organizations are laying the foundation for their collaboration with the “Conversations on Presidential Leadership in Memory of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.” series that began on Jan. 14 with “The President at War,” featuring historians David M. Kennedy and Joan Hoff, and moderated by Tom Brokaw, NBC News. The entire four-part series—meant to inject into the 2008 campaign season thoughtful, informed, nonpartisan dialogue among some of the nation’s most respected historians and contemporary observers of the presidency—will honor the legacies of both the Roosevelts and Schlesinger, who was for many years a venerated member of the graduate faculty of the City University of New York.

Upcoming “Conversations on Presidential Leadership” discussions include:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008: “The President and Civil Rights”
Reception: 6:00 p.m. Program Begins: 6:45 p.m.
Featuring: Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, America in the King Years — The Trilogy; Kathleen Sullivan, Stanley Morrison professor of law and former dean, Stanford Law School; and Moderator Ellis Cose, Newsweek contributing editor.

Monday, April 7, 2008: “The President and the Constitution”
Reception: 6:00 p.m. Program Begins: 6:45 p.m.
Featuring: Stephen Breyer, US Supreme Court Justice; Sandra Day O’Connor, former US Supreme Court Justice; and Moderator Linda Greenhouse, New York Times Supreme Court correspondent.

Monday, May 19, 2008: “What Makes a Successful President?”
Reception: 7:00 p.m. Program Begins: 7:45 p.m.
Featuring: David Gergen, former presidential advisor, and professor and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and presidential historian; Moderator Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor, NBC Nightly News; and others.

Location: All discussions will take place at the Assembly Hall at Hunter College.

For press passes to “Conversations on Presidential Leadership” or additional information about Aspen at Roosevelt House events, please contact the Institute’s Deputy Director of Communications, Jennifer Myers, at 202-736-2906 or

The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership initiatives in Africa, Central America, and India.

The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute: Roosevelt House, an integral part of Hunter College since 1943, reopens this year as a public policy institute, honoring the distinguished legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Its mission is three-fold: to educate our students in public policy, to support applied policy research, and to foster creative dialogue. The new institute will provide opportunities for students to analyze public policy and experience meaningful civic engagement; for faculty to research, teach, and write constructively about important issues of the day; and for scholarly and public audience to participate in high-profile lectures, seminars, and conferences. The institute will enhance the commitment of the Roosevelts to advance human rights and democratic practice by guaranteeing education and opportunity for all.


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