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David Gergen to speak at Wake Forest about challenges facing Barack Obama


February 4, 2009

David Gergen, political analyst and former presidential advisor, will discuss the many challenges facing the new president at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University.  “Fulfilling the Promise:  David Gergen on the New American President” is presented through the university’s Voices of Our Time speaker series.  The event is free and open to the public.

Gergen served as director of communications for President Reagan and as advisor to presidents Nixon and Ford.  He also served in the Clinton administration, first as counselor to the president on both foreign policy and domestic affairs, then as special international advisor to the president and the secretary of state.  Gergen is professor of public service and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  He is also editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report and is a senior political analyst for CNN.  Gergen described his experiences in his book, “Eyewitness to Power:  The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton,” published in 2000.

Gergen’s speech is part of the “Challenges Facing the New President” series organized by the Wake Forest Political Science Department, examining a broad range of topics, from health policy and economic issues to the selection of cabinet members and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The speaker series wraps up at 5 p.m. Feb. 17 in Benson University Center, Room 401, with “Looking to the Future:  Will Young People Stay Involved in Politics?”  A panel of leaders from student political groups will reflect on the impact of young voters on the 2008 election and the likelihood of their continuing engagement with the incoming administration. 

The Voices of Our Time speaker series is an annual guest speaker series that exposes students, the Wake Forest community and the general public to some of the world’s leading thinkers for discussions on the important national and international issues of our time. It was established in 2006 by Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch.

Press Contacts:

Audrey Fannin
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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