Sen. Alan Simpson to Serve as Matsui Lecturer
March 17, 2017
Former Senator Alan K. Simpson will join the University of California, Berkeley as the Spring 2017 Matsui Lecturer, spending a week in residence to deliver a major public lecture, speak in classes, meet with students and faculty, and generally participate in the life of the campus, the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service announced.
Simpson, a Republican, served in the United States Senate for almost two decades, from 1979 until 1997, serving as Assistant Republican Leader to Senator Bob Dole in the Senate from 1984 to 1994. After leaving the Senate, Simpson served as Co-Chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, often referred to as the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and as Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
“Sen. Simpson is one of the nation’s leading public servants and one of its sharpest political analysts,” said Ethan Rarick, director of the Matsui Center. “We are honored that he will bring his thoughtful and candid views to the Matsui Center and the Berkeley campus. He also happens to be famous as one of the most humorous people in politics – our students are in for a treat.”
The Matsui Lectureship brings distinguished former Members of Congress to the Berkeley campus, offering students, faculty, and members of the community a chance to benefit from their experiences and observations. Sen. Simpson will be in residence at the Matsui Center from April 18-21, participating in many events throughout the week.
The Matsui Lecture, at which Sen. Simpson will be “In Conversation” with Ethan Rarick, will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 20th.
“I served in the Congress with Bob Matsui, and my wife Ann and I also knew Doris who succeeded him in office. I am most pleased and excited to participate in a program that honors Bob’s legacy of public service,” Simpson said. “Berkeley is a great University, and I am looking forward to having a spirited time with the students, faculty and other members of this renowned campus community.”
While in the Senate, Simpson served as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, and as a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Finance Committee. After retiring from congress, Simpson taught at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served as the Director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School. In 2010, President Barack Obama asked Simpson to co-chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Erskine Bowles, Democrat and former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton. Simpson also served as Co-Chair of the Continuity in Government Commission, and as a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates and of the Iraq Study Group.
Simpson, whose father served as Governor of Wyoming and in the United States Senate, is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and of the University of Wyoming School of Law. He was first elected to the Wyoming Legislature in 1964, and eventually served 13 years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader and Speaker Pro-Tem.
Simpson and his wife, Ann, live in Cody, Wyoming, where they are actively involved in their community and have three children and six grandchildren.
The Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service seeks to engage undergraduates in politics and public policy through internship programs, direct work with student political groups, and the presence of distinguished visitors on campus. The Matsui Center was founded in 2008 to honor the legacy of the late Congressman Robert T. Matsui, a Berkeley alum and one of California’s most distinguished public servants.
The Matsui Center is a component of the Institute of Governmental Studies, a multidisciplinary research unit of the University of California, Berkeley and California’s oldest public policy research center. IGS seeks to advance all three components of the University’s fundamental mission, conducting research, educating students, and engaging in public service.