Mark Kennedy Lecture Archive

Geometry of a Leader Retreat: Summer Leadership Fellows 2023

Geometry of a Leader

The Summer Leadership Fellows (SLF) program provides Bennies and Johnnies opportunities to engage in 10-week summer internships with non-profit and government organizations. Internships are the main feature of the SLF program. However, before, during, and after engagement with sites, students conduct multiple trainings with professionals. One of those opportunities was the “Geometry of a Leader” training led by Joe Cavanaugh ’81, Jane Leyden, and Dan Schwartz of Youth Frontiers. Summer Leadership Fellows, Bonner Leaders, and McCarthy Center Staff were all in attendance.

The “Geometry of a Leader” or G.O.A.L. programming operated on the analogy of a triangle – the strongest geometric shape. “Presence,” the base of the triangle, allows for both “humility” and “courage” to act in unison and create the shape, Without one side of the triangle, the shape – or leader – loses its credibility.

Bob Costa: Guest Speaker for Polidazzle 15

Award-winning journalist, Robert Costa, captivated Polidazzle guests with fascinating anecdotes from his experiences covering political figures like Sarah Palin, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump during their campaigns. Costa highlighted the significance of valuing democracy and encouraged local political engagement, civic literacy, and courageous leadership inspired by Senator Eugene McCarthy.

Bob Zoellick Lecture: April 28th, 2021

"U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy: Insights from an Insider"

Bob Zoellick served as the 11th president of the World Bank, Deputy U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Trade Representative, and served in the Department of Treasury and the White House. Zoellick currently works for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and is the non-executive chairman of AllianceBernstein, a leading global investment management firm. In his lecture, Zoellick discussed global affairs and his book "America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy". 

Lauren Simmons Lecture: November 18, 2019

"The Power of Being the OTHER in the Room"

Simmons graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a minor in statistics. In 2017, Simmons made history at 23 years old, becoming the youngest female and the second-ever African American woman to work as a trader at the New York Stock Exchange in 225 years. The 2019  keynote was given by Lauren Simmons, past Vice President of Investment Risk at CTRL USA, a private investment company. Her lecture, titled “The Power of Being the Other in the Room,” connected her personal story with words of wisdom for CSB/SJU students.

Dr. Hal Brands Lecture: November 7, 2018

"Election 2018: How the Midterm Elections May Impact Foreign Policy" 

Presented by Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Dr. Brands. Brands is the author of, What Good Is Grand Strategy? Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from 
Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush.

Susan Marvin Lecture: September 7, 2017

"All in the Family: Values and Purpose in Business" 

Susan Marvin serves as chairwoman of the Board of Directors of The Marvin Companies. She has been part of the third generation management team, and is one of 14 third and fourth generation Marvin family members operating the company today. Her lecture highlights her experience as a leader and her closely held values. 

Paul Grangaard Lecture: March 7, 2016

"Servant Leadership: Tips for Civic and Business Success"

Paul Grangaard will give a talk about servant leadership in business and personal life. The goal for the Frontiers of Freedom lecture series is to add real intellectual diversity to the McCarthy Center, to ensure that you hear both sides, so you can critically evaluate the challenges we face.

Matt Rhoades Lecture: September 15, 2014

"How Social and New Media is Transforming Campaigns" 

Matt Rhoades served as a political consultant and strategist for the Republican National Committee during the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Presidential elections and worked as Mitt Romney's campaign manager during the 2012 Presidential election. Rhoades is also the founder of the Super PAC America Rising.

Mark Kennedy Lecture: January 30, 2013

"Making Democracy Work"

The Honorable Mark Kennedy delivered this lecture on how to make democracy work in a bipartisan environment by using various tools and political strategies.

Steve Yurek Lecture: February 16, 2012

"Compromise in Washington: Yes It Still Exists!"

Steve Yurek has been Chief Executive Officer and President at The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Regrigeration Institute (AHRI) 2007. Mr. Yurek has also been Director-at-large at American National Standards Institute since January 1, 2009.

Yurek's lecture highlighted the current sitation in Washington and gave examples of how compromise still exists, even in today's highly partisan environment.

Dr. Christina R. Sevilla Lecture: April 12, 2011

"The U.S. Trade Agenda: Exports, Jobs, and Opportunities for Small Business"

Dr. Christina Sevilla is responsible for the USTR's consultations and outreach with state and local governments on trade policy issues, including matters pertaining to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other trade agreements.

She also manages the USTR's private sector advisory committee system established by Congress to advise the USTR, the President, and other Executive Branch agencies on trade issues.

Her lecture outlined the United States' trade agenda as well as President Obama's plan to keep the U.S. competitive in this globalized economy.

Mark Kennedy Lecture: November 11, 2010

"Purple, People, Power"

Unique perspective from leadership in business and Congress. Mark Kennedy brings extensive political, business and community leadership experience to his perspectives on winning. Kennedy has the unique combined perspectives of a first generation college graduate who has served as a senior executive in a Fortune 100 company (Macy's), led 20,000 teammates at a multibillion dollar retailer (subsidiary of SUPERVALU), served three terms in the U.S. Congress (2nd District 2001-3, 6th District 2003-7), and then returned to the private sector in a global role with a leading consulting firm.  His lecture examined how Democrats and Republicans can come together and work to create solutions.

Deborah Wince-Smith lecture: April 14, 2010

"The Innovation Imperative for the United States"

Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the president of the Council on Competitiveness, the only place where CEOs, university presidents, and labor leaders are working to ensure U.S. prosperity. Founded in 1986, this unique business-labor-academia coalition recommends actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.

She is internationally renowned as a leading voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology policy, energy, education, economics, and business.

As president of the Council, Ms. Wince-Smith spearheaded the groundbreaking National Innovation Initiative (NII), which played a pivotal role in creating a reinvigorated U.S. competitiveness movement. The NII shaped the bipartisan America COMPETES Act, created state and regional innovation initiatives, and brought a global focus to innovation.

Ms. Wince-Smith is a member of the Board of Directors of NASDAQ-OMX, Inc., and serves on the Audit, Compensation, and Finance Committees. She is also a Senate-confirmed member of the Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service, responsible for administering the Nation's tax laws, and the U.S. Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. She recently chaired the Secretary of Commerce's Advisory Committee on Strengthening America's Communities. She has served on four Cabinet-level advisory groups, including the Secretary of Energy's Task Forces on the Future of Science and Nuclear Energy.

Ms. Wince-Smith serves on the University of Chicago's Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory and was a long-standing member of the University of California President's Council on the National Laboratories, providing oversight for Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Ms. Wince-Smith also serves on the Board of Directors at the Albert Shanker Institute.

During her 17-year tenure in the Federal government, Ms. Wince-Smithheld leading positions in the areas of science, technology policy, and international economic affairs. Most notably, Ms. Wince-Smith served as the Nation's first Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy in the Administration of George H.W. Bush, overseeing Federal Technology Transfer Policy, implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act, and the White House National Technology Initiative. She was also the first Assistant Director of International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the architect of the landmark Head of Government Science and Technology Agreement with Japan.

Ms. Wince-Smith developed President Reagan's Competitiveness Initiative, and led the implementation of Executive Orders and new laws that transformed Federal technology transfer policy for U.S. national laboratories and American industry.

She began her career as a program director for the National Science Foundation, where she managed U.S. research programs withEastern European countries and U.S. universities. Ms. Wince-Smith earned her B.A., magna cum laude, from Vassar College and her master's degree in classical archeology from King's College at the University of Cambridge. In 2006, she received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Michigan State University.

The United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood at The Minneapolis Hyatt Regency: October 15, 2009

Ray H. LaHood became the 16th Secretary of Transportation on January 23, 2009.

In nominating him, President-elect Obama said, "Few understand our infrastructure challenge better than the outstanding public servant that I'm asking to lead the Department of Transportation."

Secretary LaHood's primary goals in implementing President Obama's priorities for transportation include safety across all modes, restoring economic health and creating jobs, sustainability -shaping the economy of the coming decades by building new transportation infrastructure, and assuring that transportation policies focus on people who use the transportation system and their communities.

As Secretary of Transportation, LaHoodleads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation missions.

Secretary LaHood said he would bring President-elect Obama'spriorities to the Department and see them effectively implemented with a commitment to fairness across regional lines, across party lines and between people who come to the issues with different perspectives.

Before becoming Secretary of Transportation, LaHood served for 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois (from 1995-2009). During that time he served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and, after that, on the House Appropriations Committee. Prior to his election to the House, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Robert Michel, whom he succeeded in representing the 18thDistrict, and as District Administrative Assistant to Congressman Thomas Railsback. He also served in the Illinois State Legislature.

Before his career in government, Secretary LaHood was a high school teacher, having received his degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He was also director of the Rock Island County Youth Services Bureau and Chief planner for the Bi-States Metropolitan Planning Commission in Illinois.

LaHood and his wife, Kathy, have four children (Darin, Amy, Sam, and Sara) and nine grandchildren.

Pictured above is Dan Wolgamott '13 with the Honorable Ray LaHood at the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency.

Wolfgang Ischinger at the Minneapolis Club: April 15, 2009

Ambassador Ischinger is the former German Ambassador to the US and the UK and is now the Global Head of Government Relations for Allianz, the largest financial service provider in the world.

Wolfgang Ischinger was born in Nürtingen/Baden-Württemberg, Germany, April 6, 1946. He studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972.  From 2006 to 2008, he was the Federal Republic of Germany's ambassador to London. Prior to this last assignment, he was the German ambassador to the United States of America for almost five years, and from 1998 to 2001 State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office. In 2007, he represented the European Union in the troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.

Pictured above are Debbie Kennedy, Lindsay Ganong '11, Will Ranieri '12, Mark Kennedy and Laura Schnieder '09 at the Minneapolis Club after the presentation given by former German Ambassador, Wolfgang Ischinger.

Sally McNamara visit: March 10, 2009

"A Conservative European Memo to Obama"

Sally McNamaraSenior Policy Analyst in European Affairs, Margaret Thatcher Center For Freedom
areas of expertise: European Affairs

summary: Sally McNamara is a Senior Policy Analyst in European Affairs at The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.

Formerly the Director of International Relations for the American Legislative Exchange Council, McNamara joined Heritage in 2006 and now concentrates on American relations withthe European Union and European countries, with particular focus on economic reform policy, trade issues and the War on Terrorism. She also analyzes NATO's evolving role in post-Cold War Europe.

Before coming to America in 2004, McNamara served as Chief Parliamentary Aide to Roger Helmer, a member of the European Parliament in Brussels. Previous to that, she acted as Regional Press Officer for the British Conservative Party in the East Midlands, U.K.

A native of Nottingham, England, McNamara holds an honors degree in politics from Loughborough University. She has held elective office, winning two election campaigns to serve on the Nottingham City Council. She resides in Washington, D.C.

The Thatcher Center was created in 2005 to study and help strengthen transatlantic relations. Its primary focus is to: preserve and improve relations between the U.S. and Britain; advance American and British interests in Europe, and promote joint American-British leadership in the global War on Terrorism.

Liam Fox visit: October 16, 2008

British Parliament member Liam Fox spoke on the growing threats to national and international security on October 28, 2008, at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

Fox was elected as the Member of Parliament for Woodspring in April 1992 and was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Howard, the then Home Secretary. In July 1994, he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip, and promoted to the position of Senior Government Whip the following year. He was a Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1996 until the 1997 general election.

In June 1997, Fox was appointed Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. He then served from 1999 to 2003 as Shadow Secretary of State for Heath before being appointed Co-Chairman of the Party in 2003. Subsequently, from May 2005 to December 2005, he served as Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Since December 2005, he has been the Shadow Secretary of State for Defense. Fox is also a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

State Department Chief of Staff Brian Gunderson speaks at SJU: September 16, 2008

"An Overview of U.S. Foreign Policy Today."

Mr. Gunderson came to the State Department from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where he served as chief of staff to Robert B. Zoellick. In that capacity, he helped manage USTR as the agency completed free trade negotiations withten countries and launched negotiations with twelve others.

Before joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Gunderson held many senior positions on Capitol Hill, culminating in chief of staff in the Office of the House Majority Leader (Rep. Richard Armey). He advised the congressional leadership on foreign policy, defense and international economics issues and played a key staff role in the passage of the 2001 and 2002 tax acts, trade promotion authority, China trade legislation, national security, appropriations and other major legislation.

Early in his congressional career, Mr. Gunderson had a central role in devising the military base realignment and closure process, which has closed over 100 unneeded military bases and continues to save $4 billion annually.

A native of Minnesota, Brian Gunderson was educated at the University of Dallas and Marquette University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps reserve from 1982 to 1988.