The 2017 IGS Salon Gala: The State of American Politics: Where Do We Go from Here?

Salon Gala Fundraiser
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
6:00pm to 8:30pm
Julia Morgan Ballroom, Merchants Exchange Building
465 California Street, at Montgomery
San Francisco CA

In the wake of one of the most extraordinary presidential elections in American history, Sen. Alan Simpson will discuss the current state of American politics, and the future of our national political life. Sen. Simpson, who served 18 years in the Senate representing Wyoming, remains one of America’s most astute political observers, and we are honored that he will bring his unique insights to IGS. Sen. Simpson will appear “In Conversation” with Tamara Keith, the White House Correspondent for National Public Radio and the host of the NPR Politics podcast. Please join us for a presentation that is sure to inform, enlighten, and entertain.

In addition, the Institute will honor two award recipients. 

Laurence BaerLaurence M. Baer ('80), President and Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco Giants, will receive the Darius and Sarah Anderson Distinguished Service Award. A fourth generation San Franciscan, Larry Baer has gained a national reputation as one of professional sports’ leading visionaries. Baer was named chief operating officer in May 1996, team president in October 2008 and CEO on January 1, 2012. In his first year as president and CEO, the Giants won their second World Series Championship in three years. In 2014, the Giants won their third World Series title in five years. Baer also serves as a key strategist and negotiator of the club’s major business and baseball transactions and as Chairman and CEO of Giants Development Services. Baer serves on Major League Baseball’s Ownership Executive Council and chairs Major League Baseball’s Long-Term Strategic Planning Committee. He serves on MLB’s Business and Media Board and Legislative Affairs Committee. Baer is a member of the Board of Directors of KQED, Inc., the San Francisco Committee on Jobs, the Bay Area Council, Comcast Sports Net Bay Area and is a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Pacific Region Board of Trustees. In August 2016, Baer was appointed by President Obama to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, serving as a member of its Governing Board. Baer and his wife, Pam, co-chaired the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Campaign Committee in support of the new hospital, which opened in 2016 as Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Larry and Pam Baer reside in San Francisco with their four children.

Betty YeeBetty T. Yee ('79) will receive the Bill and Patrice Brandt Alumni Leadership Award. A UC Berkeley graduate from the class of 1979, State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. Now serving as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards.  Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy.  Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation on behalf of the Administration.  Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature.  She also cofounded the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas. A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and she holds a master’s degree in public administration.

The annual IGS Salon Gala is presented by the Institute’s National Advisory Council, and celebrates members of the Berkeley community and the Institute’s continued status as an elite research center and home to programs that engage students in public service. Proceeds benefit this wide range of IGS activities. 

Event Details

This year’s event will feature a cocktail hour with heavy hors d'oeuvres, followed by the presentation of the IGS awards and the discussion between Sen. Simpson and Ms. Keith. Please see below for the full schedule.

Tickets are limited. To order tickets online please visit this page, or contact Ethan Rarick at erarick [at] Prior to the event, you will receive an email confirming your purchase and providing additional details. 

  • Individual tickets (general admission): $250 per guest
  • Blue Sponsor (group sales): $3,000 per table (10 tickets)
  • Gold Sponsor (corporations): $5,000 per table (10 tickets)

This event is being generously underwritten by Bill Brandt, the Chair of the National Advisory Council, and Patrice Bugelas-Brandt.

The dress code for this event is business casual.

6 -7 p.m.: Cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres

7 – 7:30 p.m.: Presentation of the Brandt and Anderson awards

7:30 – 8:30 p.m.: The State of American Politics: Where Do We Go from Here?

Sen. Alan Simpson “In Conversation” with NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith

The Julia Morgan Ballroom is located at 465 California St. at Montgomery St. on the 15th floor of the Mercants Exchange Building in San Francisco's Financial District.

Get directions to the event site (Google maps).

Complimentary valet parking will be available for all ticket holders beginning at 6 pm in front of 465 California St.

BART and MUNI Metro are located four blocks away (Montgomery station).

For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Cowden
Director of External Programming
ccowden [at]


Ethan Rarick
IGS Associate Director
erarick [at]