November 12, 1998
Vol. 18 No. 4

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    Harris conference scheduled

    By Joel Williams
    Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy

    Public servants and distinguished leaders will speak to students about their public- service careers and offer advice as part of Remaking the World: Public Policy, Public Service and Careers that Make a Difference.

    The third annual career conference sponsored by the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, Remaking the World is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at the Harris School, 1155 E.60th St.

    “With so much cynicism about public service today, we want to inspire young people to direct their energy and enthusiasm toward policy-related careers,” said conference organizer Phyllis Brust, Director of Career Services at the Harris School. “We want to send a reminder that there is enormous need for thoughtful, committed people at all levels of government as well as in the organizations that work to shape and influence policy. The panelists and speakers brought together for Remaking the World reflect the diversity of interests, backgrounds and training that can be put to use on behalf of others,” said Brust.

    Samuel K. Skinner, former transportation secretary and chief of staff to President George Bush, will present keynote remarks during the morning session. Skinner’s career bridges the public and private sectors, and he will talk at the conference about his lifelong commitment to service. Skinner recently stepped down as president of Commonwealth Edison Company and its holding company, Unicom Corporation.

    The featured speaker of the conference, Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, will talk about some of the themes presented in his recent book The Wealth of Cities. Currently serving his third term as mayor, Norquist is a well-known advocate of “the new urbanism,” a national movement by architects and planners dedicated to saving the American city.

    There will be four panel discussions during the course of the day. The morning panel on politics will feature Loleta Didrickson, Illinois Comptroller; Barbara Holt, Alderman of Chicago’s 5th Ward; Steven Raushenberger (33rd District), chairman of the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee; and political consultant Robert Richman, who coordinated Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone’s 1992 campaign. Donald Fouts, president of the Illinois Federation of Independent Colleges and Universities, will moderate the discussion.

    A panel focusing on issues affecting social policy will include Anne Blanton, assistant director of The Chicago Community Trust; Dale Robinson, executive director of The Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management; and Audrey Smolkin (M.P.P. ’97), program analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Barbara Buell, executive director of the Chicago Panel on School Policy, will serve as moderator.

    Later in the day, a discussion on finance and economic development will be moderated by MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council. Panelists include Diane Aigotti, Vice President of the University of Chicago Hospitals and former budget director of the city of Chicago, and Lance Pressl, director of the Civic Federation of Chicago.

    The final panel of the conference will focus on human rights and feature remarks by former Ambassador Peter J. deVos, a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Harris School; Kevin Vaughan, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; and Benjamin Wolf of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Registration for the day-long conference, including lunch, is $15. The conference is free to Chicago students (with student I.D.) and $5 for students from other universities.

    More information may be obtained from Brust at (773) 702-6653 or by visiting the Harris School’s Web site at www.HarrisSchool.uchicago.edu/remaking_the_world.