2024 Matsui Lecture: Congress and the Crisis in American Democracy

Tuesday, March 12th, 2024 - The Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service is pleased to announce that Former United States Representative Mickey Edwards will be the 2024 Matsui Lecturer. The Matsui Lecture is delivered each year by a distinguished former Member of Congress. In addition to speaking at a large public event, the Lecturer also speaks to classes, meets with students, and participates in the intellectual life of the Matsui Center and the Cal campus. Following a pandemic-related hiatus, we are thrilled to restart the Matsui Lecture series this spring and carry on the tradition of bipartisan engagement on campus.

About the Speaker:

Mickey Edwards has built not one but a series of overlapping careers – a political leader, a reformer, a journalist, a teacher, an author, a public speaker, an activist, and a mentor to some of the nation’s most prominent public figures.

Edwards was a member of Congress for 16 years, rising from back-bencher to one of his party’s top leadership positions, chairing his party’s policy committee, and serving as a ranking member on both the House Appropriations and Budget committees and the House subcommittee on Foreign Operations.

Edwards was a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation, directed joint House-Senate policy task forces advising Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign, and an advisor to the State Department under Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Now a registered Independent, Edwards is critical of both political parties and of the modern party system, as described in his book, “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans.”

After leaving Congress, Edwards taught at Harvard for the next eleven years, and was voted the top professor in the Kennedy School. He then joined the Princeton faculty before returning to Washington as a vice president of the Aspen Institute, where he created a public leadership program for young elected officials, many of whom have gone to become governors, members of Congress, mayors, Cabinet Secretaries, and in one case, Vice President of the United States.

While teaching at Harvard, Edwards was a weekly political columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, among other and broadcast a weekly solo political commentary on NPR’s “Alll Things Considered”. He has written for publications as diverse as Daedalus, The Nation, Time, The Atlantic, Persuasion, American Purpose, and The National Interest.

Edwards was part of the American Society for International Law select task force on the International Criminal Court and the American Bar Association special committee to investigate the use of presidential signing statements, and has chaired Constitution Project task forces on the war power and the constitutional amendment process, and Council on Foreign Relations task forces on foreign assistance programs and congressional reform. He was the first chairman of the United States Global Strategy Council.

Edwards is now back at Princeton as a visiting professor and director of the Princeton University Initiative on Reclaiming the Constitutional Powers of Congress.

He is married to Elizabeth Sherman, a sociologist and a retired professor of government at American University.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

4:00pm to 5:15pm

Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720

Registration Link: 

Event Contact: ezrabristow@berkeley.edu

Congress and the Crisis in American Democracy: A Conversation with Former Congressman Mickey Edwards

Click here to watch the event recording