Matsui Lectureship

Every year the Matsui Center invites a distinguished former Member of Congress to the Berkeley campus for the Matsui Lectureship (alternating between Republicans and Democrats). During their residency, the Matsui Lecturer meets with students, faculty and researchers, speaks to classes, participates in the intellectual life of the Matsui Center and the Cal campus, and is the featured speaker at a major public event on critical issues of the day.

Past Events

2022 Matsui Lecture: The Future of Democracy, A Conversation with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

2022 Matsui Lecture: The Future of Democracy, A Conversation with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

The Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service is pleased to announce that Former United States Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will be the 2022 Matsui Lecturer.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was elected to represent Florida's 27th congressional district in 1989, becoming the first Cuban American elected to Congress. She served as Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2013. A leading Republican moderate, Ros-Lehtinen was ranked the most bipartisan House Republican during the 115th United States Congress, according to The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy's Bipartisan Index. She chose not to seek re-election in 2018 and left office in 2019.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin cropped photo

American Politics and Education: The Rise of the Radical Center

Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will be "In Conversation" with Ethan Rarick, Director of the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service.

Retired U.S. Senator Alan Simpson

Sen. Alan Simpson: "The Future of Today's Generation in American Politics"

Sen. Alan Simpson, one of America's most acute political observers, will discuss the future of American politics -- where is the country headed, and what are the implications for today's young people? Sen. Simpson, who served 18 years in the United States Senate representing Wyoming, will be "In Conversation" with Ethan Rarick, director of the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service.

Global Threats Facing the Next President

As Americans select their next president, one of the country’s leading national security experts discusses the international threats that will confront the next occupant of the Oval Office. In conversation with Matsui Center Director Ethan Rarick, former Congresswoman Jane Harman will consider issues such as global terrorism, the dangers of failed states, and the changing international status of China and Russia.

Jane Harman is the Director, President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. During nine terms in Congress, Harman served on all the major security committees—Armed Services, Intelligence, and Homeland Security. She has long been recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues, and has received numerous awards for distinguished service.

Co-sponsored by the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service, the Institute of Governmental Studies and the Institute of International Studies and the Blum Center for Developing Economies

Congressman George Miller: Is the American Dream Still Alive? Congress, Labor & Income Inequality

Former Congressman George Miller is widely recognized as a national leader on labor issues. Miller was Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor and a member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. Miller is responbile for reinstating the Davis-Bacon Act wage protections for Gulf Coast workers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in addition to sponsoring the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 and authoring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight against pay discrimination. 

Miller, a Democrat, served in the House of Representatives for 40 years, from 1975 until 2015, representing portions of California’s Solano and Contra Costa counties, which included his hometown of Richmond. During his tenure, Miller worked with seven sitting U.S. Presidents and became the fifth most senior member of the House of Representatives. In addition to labor issues, Miller was a force behind key education, environmental, and health care legislation. While in Congress, he served as Chairman on the House Committee on Natural Resources and established and chaired the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families.

Some of his key legislative acts include co-authoring the Republican-led No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated better education for minority and poor children, and helping to write and pass the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act.

After 40 years in office, his extensive legislative list also includes passing of the 1992 federal water law that required the Central Valley do more to protect fish and wildlife, expanding the federal student loan program, hiking the minimum wage, and incorporating physically handicapped children into mainstream classrooms.

Additionally, Miller was co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee for 10 years, during which his leadership is credited for helping Democrats retake the House in 2006, leading to Pelosi's historic ascension as the first female speaker of the House.

This event is co-sponsored by the UC Labor Center and the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

Responding to Iran's Nuclear Ambitions: Diplomacy, Sanctions, and Other Alternatives

Join us for the Spring 2014 Matsui Lecture. Congressman Berman, former Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, will pull from his years of experience in international relations to examine the current state of  Iran and nuclear weapons.

Co-Sponsored by: Berkeley Political ReviewInstitute of International StudiesUnited Nations Association-East BayThe Commonwealth Club's Middle East Forum

2013 Matsui Lecture: Can the World Feed 9 Billion People? A Global Agricultural Development Initiative

Co-sponsored by the Institute of International Studies, Institute of East Asian studies, the Blum Center and Master of Development 

During his 26 years in Congress and subsequent service as president of the Asia Foundation, Rep. Douglas Bereuter confronted issues of global poverty, food production, and sustainability. In this year's Matsui Lecture, he addresses these critical issues facing the United States and the world.