Posts Tagged “Political Professors”
As Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine is expected to announce this week whether he will step down from his position to run for a senate seat in Virginia, Georgetown professor Donna Brazile has been suggested as a possible replacement.
Brazile, an adjunct assistant professor in the women’s studies program, currently serves as the chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute. She became the first African-American to direct a major campaign when she served as the manager of Al Gore’s presidential bid in 2000, has experience as Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s chief of staff and press secretary, and as a campaign strategist for Carter-Mondale and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
On top of her duties as a Georgetown professor, Brazile maintains a busy schedule as a lecturer at college campuses across the country and as a regular contributor on national television shows.
A number of other potential candidates have been named for the position, including former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The DNC chairperson serves as a spokesperson for the party, and is responsible for mobilizing support and fundraising for Democratic candidates. Brazile has previously stated that regardless of her official position she will work to aid President Obama and the Democratic Party.
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Tariq Ramadan, a world-renowned Swiss Islamic scholar, is currently making his first appearance in the U.S. since the State Department barred him from entering the U.S. in 2004. On Monday, he spoke at Georgetown University in Gaston Hall along with School of Foreign Service Professor John Esposito about the need for the radical reform in Islam.
Ramadan’s visa was revoked six years ago as he was about to travel to the U.S. to become a professor at the University of Notre Dame. The State Department cited small donations Ramadan made to a pro-Palestinian group in from 1998 to 2002 which was suspected of giving money to Hamas, a group that made the State Department terrorist list in 2003.
In Gaston, Ramadan talked about the theory driving his recent work, that Islam needs “radical reform.” Speaking animatedly and rapidly on the stage from which, three years earlier, he had spoken by satellite because of his travel ban, he said that Muslims should reject the notion that tradition is immovable and that sacred texts cannot be reinterpreted in a contemporary context.
“We need a radical reform in the way we deal with [religious] texts in the context of our time,” he said, adding that while there is an impulse for Muslims to adapt interpretation of sacred texts to the changing world, Muslims also “need to come back with a more approach in light of the text to transform the world.”
“Tradition is moving,” he said. “Show me one tradition that isn’t moving. It doesn’t exist.”
Esposito asked Ramadan to clarify his use of the word “radical.”
“It’ll make a great headline,” Esposito joked. “Tariq Ramadan advocates for radical reform of Islam at Georgetown University. And then we’re in trouble.”
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On Saturday, after Republicans delayed their confirmation votes for months, President Barack Obama announced the recess appointments of 15 4 nominees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including Georgetown University Law Center professor Chai Feldblum, shown right. The EEOC’s mission is to end workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or whistle-blowing.
Feldblum, who is openly lesbian, was nominated in September and confirmed by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on December 10, but Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, placed a hold on the nominations, preventing them from reaching a full Senate vote.
She brings an impressive CV with her, including “a significant history with civil rights legislation in Washington, D.C., having worked closely with the Senate on drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Metro Weekly reports. “[She] worked with Congress and LGBT organization in the crafting of and revisions to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, currently before Congress.”
At Georgetown Law, where Felblum has worked since 1991, she founded the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, a program for students interested in legislative law.
Obama has also nominated visiting associate Law Professor Todd Edelman and Judge Judith Smith, a Georgetown Law graduate, to fill vacancies on the D.C. Superior Court, the Blog of Legal Times reports. Edelman, a professor at GU Law since 2004, is a career trial attorney, and Smith worked as an adviser to the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent and in family court before becoming a magistrate judge in 2008.
An earlier version of this post said that Harry Reid led Republicans in blocking a vote on Feldblum. Reid actually confirmed that Republicans had placed the hold on Feldblum. Vox feels stupid.
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There was no partisan rancor Wednesday night at Thurgood Marshall Elementary—just an annual basketball game for charity, where members of the Georgetown University Law Center’s faculty (team name Hoya Lawyas, naturally) beat members of the United States Congress (Hill’s Angels) 49 to 42 in an event that raised $371,953 for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
The $370,000 that the event raised far outdid last year’s take of $335,000 and smashed Home Court’s $350,000 goal, media outreach chair George Chipev (SFS ’09, LAW ‘ 12), said. According to Chipev, the money raised through Home Court, which is now in its 23rd year, usually covers about a third of the Clinic’s operating budget.
Here’s the game roster—take a look and see if you Congressman was one of the Hill’s Angels who lost to Georgetown Law faculty. It probably helped the Lawyas that Reggie Love, President Barack Obama’s personal aide and former Duke basketball player, joined the Lawyas at the half, where the Angels led 28-18.
Photo by Alex Perry for Home Court
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Georgetown School of Foreign Service professor Anthony Lake is one step closer to being officially named the head of UNICEF, the U.N.’s children’s agency, having been approved by U.N. Chief Ban Ki Moon as his nomination for UNICEF chief.
The Associated Press reports that UNICEF’s board is expected to approve of the selection. The chief of UNICEF has always been an American, largely because the U.S. is UNICEF’s greatest contributor.
Ban said that Lake “brings with him a wealth of experience after a long and distinguished career with the United States government.”
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said that he “will bring extraordinary experience, strategic vision, passion and energy to UNICEF’s essential work.”
“Over the course of his remarkable career, he has dedicated himself to advancing the rights, protection, welfare, development, and education of children,” she said.
The U.S. named Lake as its nomination for UNICEF head in February. His predecessor, if he is approved by the board, Ann Veneman, is due to step down on April 30.
Lake was a foreign policy adviser to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama during their presidential campaigns, and he surprised some when he endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008. Lake had been rumored for several positions in the Obama government, but in March of 2009, Lake told the Voice he has been reluctant to reenter government, even while advising the Obama campaign.
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On February 23, depending on how you feel about a provision in the USA Patriot Act that bans even the most benign assistance to terrorist groups, Georgetown University Law Center Professor David Cole gave a rousing defense of First Amendment rights before the Supreme Court. Or, he is part of a dangerous effort to dismantle a statute in the law that U.S. government officials say has been instrumental to prosecuting terrorists in the years since the Patriot Act has been in effect.
In any event, Cole is the lead attorney for the defense in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the first case heard by SCOTUS, writes the New York Times, to advocate for the preservation of free speech and association rights in the context of U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. Cole represents Ralph Fertig, a 79-year-old attorney who wants to provide legal assistance to two groups the State Department has designated as terrorist groups—a Tamil group and a Kurdish political party—in order to help them peacefully achieve some of their non-violent goals, such as protecting the rights of Kurdish workers.
The law prohibits providing training, personnel, service, and “expert advice or assistance,” in addition to more obvious forms of prohibited material assistance, like guns or money.
“The government cannot, consistent with the Constitution, make it a crime to engage in lawful discussion of peaceable activities,” Cole said in oral arguments, where he faced off with Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who argued that the law has been vital to trapping and prosecuting terrorists.
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Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service may be out one very valuable professor by the end of the school year. The U.S. has nominted Anthony Lake, the former national security adviser to Bill Clinton and Distinguished Professor in Practice of Diplomacy in the SFS, to be chief of UNICEF.
The news comes from the Associated Press, which obtained letters sent from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to other United Nations ambassadors touting Lake’s merits as a potential UNICEF chief. Rumors have been floating around about his potential nomination for a while, though. It is likely that he will ultimately be the candidate that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon recommends to UNICEF’s board and who UNICEF approves, too—the chief of UNICEF has always been an American, largely because the U.S. is UNICEF’s greatest contributor.
Rice wrote that Lake would bring “extraordinary experience, strategic vision and energy to UNICEF’s essential work,” the AP reports. She pointed out his nine years on the board of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, where he served as chair from 2004-2007.
“As chairman, Tony oversaw a significant increase in private funding for the organization,” Rice said. “In addition to his ongoing involvement with the U.S. national committee, he has seen UNICEF in action in countries across Africa, in Haiti, and elsewhere.”
The term of current UNICEF chief Ann Veneman will expire on April 30, at which point Ban will recommend a new cheif to UNICEF’s board.
Lake was a foreign policy adviser to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama during their presidential campaigns. He surprised some when he endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008 and has served on the boards of several international aid programs. Lake had been rumored for several positions in the Obama government, but in March of 2009, Lake told the Voice he has been reluctant to reenter government, even while advising the Obama campaign.
“I told [the Obama campaign] I did not want anything and then I reaffirmed that during the course of the campaign,” Lake said. “At a certain age you decide the torch should be passed, and a lot of very competent people could do what I would have been doing.”
Lake declined to comment on the nomination through his assistant, Jeff Mettille.
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T. Alexander Aleinikoff
Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been appointed to serve as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights starting on February 1, according to a University broadcast e-mail. According to the UN, the office of the Comissioner for Human Rights “leads global human rights efforts [and] speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide.”
Aleinikoff will remain as Dean of the Law Center until late January when he will move to Geneva, Switzerland where the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is located.
Aleinikoff first joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 1997. According to his faculty page, he has published in the areas of “immigration refugee and citizenship law and policy, constitutional law, statutory interpretation and race discrimination.”
Later, he served as associate dean for research from 2003 to 2004 until becoming dean of the Law Center and executive vice president of Georgetown University in 2004. He is also one of the highest paid staff members at Georgetown, with an annual salary of $390,130, according to the 990 report from the 2007-2008 school year.
The full email sent to the campus community by President DeGioia after the jump.
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Master of Science in Foreign Service Professor Joseph Cirincione went on the Colbert Report this past Monday to discuss the Ploughshares Fund, a group which advocates against nuclear proliferation.
Cirincione, who is president of the Fund, was probably prepared for Colbert-level provocation, but not for anything on the order of Colbert’s epic, 51-second impression of total nuclear annihilation. (It begins at the 3:30 mark).
On the program, Cirincione seemed less than amused. He came around the next day on Twitter: “Stephen Colbert does the best imitation of a nuclear explosion I have ever seen.”
Next, he and Colbert played “sanction, bomb, or marry.” And the real fun began.
Via Anthony Clark Arend’s blog.
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The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington provoked quite a stir this week when it announced that it would abandon its contracts with the city unless the D.C. Council changed its proposed same-sex marriage bill. The church says that the bill could force it to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, so they would no longer be able to provide the charitable services they currently offer.
Patrick Deneen (left), an associate professor of Government at Georgetown and director of the Tocqueville Forum, hosted a chat on the Washington Post’s website yesterday to explain and defend the Archdiocese’s decision.
Deneen spent a large part of the chat trying to re-frame the issue as the church being forced into giving up business relations with the city:
I think the basic premise of the Post’s story requires clarification. The premise of today’s story was that the Catholic Church was threatening to cease to provide charitable services if the law legalizing gay marriage is passed. In point of fact, it is the DC government that would cease to license or contract with the Church unless the Church conformed to a definition of marriage that violates its faith tradition.
Without a set of broader legal exemptions allowing for the Church to remain faithful to its definition of marriage, it will cease to be permitted by the City to provide the contracted and licensed services that it has for well over a century. The Church’s fundamental desire in this controversy is to continue its desire and freedom to serve.
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