Center Director Hamilton To Speak on Foreign Policy, Civics And Homeland Security at Events in Philadelphia and Washington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., March 24, 2011  Through more than 40 years in public life, Lee Hamilton has come to be known for his deep knowledge of international affairs and homeland security, and his keen insights on representative democracy and citizen engagement. Hamilton, now Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, is in demand as a speaker on all those subjects. 

In the coming days, Hamilton will be in Philadelphia for two public events — one on March 25 at the University of Pennsylvania, where he will speak on “The U.S. Role in the World After Afghanistan and Iraq,” and another on March 26 at the National Constitution Center, where he will be a panelist at a forum titled, “Can We Talk? A Conversation about Civility and Democracy in America.” The forum aims to generate ideas about what kinds of tools, systems and practices might contribute to greater civility in American political discourse without impeding the vibrancy of our democracy.

Then on March 29 in Washington, D.C., Hamilton will speak at an invitation-only conference titled, "Educating for Democracy in a Digital Age,” jointly sponsored by the Aspen Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, the Georgetown University Law Center, and iCivics, an education project led by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

On March 30, Hamilton will be on Capitol Hill, testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing titled “Ten Years After 9/11: A Report From The 9/11 Commission.” Hamilton and former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean will give a status report on implementation of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission.

Kean was chairman and Hamilton vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission (formally the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States). Since the Commission issued its report in 2004, Kean and Hamilton have led the National Security Preparedness Group, which analyzes new or continuing security challenges to the United States and suggests policies to address them.

Hamilton represented Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years, establishing himself as a leading figure on foreign policy, intelligence, and national security. In addition to his role on the 9/11 Commission, he co-chaired the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that assessed the situation in Iraq and in 2006 made recommendations on U.S. policy there. Currently he is co-chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

He is a leader in the growing national movement to expand and improve civic education, serving as a co-chairman of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools (with Justice O’Connor and former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer).

“I am impressed over and over with how hard it is to make this country work — considering its size, and all its complexity and variety — and with how very much America’s success depends on citizens accepting their obligations,” Hamilton has said. “It is vital for us to experiment, to explore new methods to promote civic learning. The importance of our task, the urgency of it, demands innovative thinking.”
 
“Representative democracy does not perpetuate itself. Each new generation must be taught to nurture it, must be taught the fundamental skills of critical thinking and consensus-building — how to identify a problem, describe it, research possible solutions, make a well-reasoned argument, listen to others' arguments, analyze points of agreement and reach a solution through the dialogue of democracy.”