LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced the start of its 20th programming year with a slate of signature events featuring world-class leaders, including KU alumni.
Gerald Seib, a veteran journalist from The Wall Street Journal and KU graduate, will serve as the Fall Dole Fellow, with his discussion group series focusing on the 2022 midterm elections. Seib worked for The Wall Street Journal for almost 45 years. He served as the journal’s executive Washington editor and wrote the weekly “Capital Journal” column for 29 years. He also reported from the Middle East for the publication in the mid-1980s, covered the White House, moderated three presidential debates and interviewed every president since Ronald Reagan.
Hosted by Dole Fellows, Discussion Groups focus on a specific topic or issue and feature guest experts in that field. They provide unique opportunities for KU students and the wider public to interact directly with the guests. Seib’s series on the 2022 midterm election will feature national pollsters as well as prominent politicos and journalists. Each session takes place at 4 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 14, 21, 28; Oct. 19 and 26; and Nov. 2, 9, and 16. These events will also be livestreamed via the Dole Institute’s website. The Dole Fellows Program is made possible by Newman’s Own Foundation. Seib will be in-residence this fall, and in addition to discussion groups, he will work closely with members of the Dole Institute Student Advisory Board. His residency is sponsored by the Dolph Simons Family Fund.
The Dole Institute and the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications will welcome Seib and his wife, Barbara Rosewicz, who are both graduates of the school, to campus next month. Rosewicz will be a Hearst Visiting Professional in Residence this fall at the journalism school, working with faculty on projects for the Eudora Times and in-depth reporting stories. Rosewicz is a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and most recently was project director for The Pew Charitable Trusts. She also chairs the William Allen White Foundation.
Former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos will receive the 2022 Dole Leadership Prize at a public program at the Dole Institute on Sept. 20. The Dole Leadership Prize is a bipartisan award presented annually to an individual who demonstrates the importance of involvement in political and civic affairs. Santos was identified for recognition by the late U.S. Sen. Bob Dole in honor of his successful efforts to bring peace to Colombia.
Santos graduated from KU with degrees in business and economics and completed post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Harvard University.
In his career of service to Colombia, Santos was chief of the Colombian delegation to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London; he was the elected by Congress as designate to the presidency (equivalent of vice president), and Colombia’s first foreign trade minister, as well as finance minister and national defense minister. He served two terms as president of Colombia from 2010-2018, with one of the cornerstones of his administration being his work on a peace process with FARC, the Colombian guerrilla organization.
As a result of his commitment to achieve peace in Colombia, he was the sole recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for “his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end,” according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Santos is only the third foreign recipient of the Dole Leadership Prize, joining Poland’s former president Lech Walesa and Viktor Yushchenko, former president of Ukraine. Other winners include former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, civil rights icon John Lewis and former secretary of state James Baker. The prize carries a $25,000 award, to be directed by Santos to the charity of his choice.
Sherrie Rollins Westin, president of Sesame Workshop, will deliver the fifth Elizabeth Dole Women in Leadership Lecture on Oct. 5. Inaugurated in 2017, the annual lecture features women who break barriers, make significant contributions to their fields and reach positions of leadership.
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.” Rollins Westin leads the organization’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and around the world. She serves as Sesame Workshop’s chief mission ambassador, raising awareness, developing strategic partnerships and cultivating philanthropic support to further the workshop’s mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder.
In her career, Rollins Westin also served in U.S. government roles as assistant to the president for public liaison and intergovernmental affairs for then-president George H.W. Bush and assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In December, Bill Lacy, director emeritus, will return to the Dole Institute as guest moderator for his signature Post-Election Conference. On Dec. 7 and 8, the comprehensive biennial conference, which follows each national election, will feature political experts, including state and national strategists, pollsters, journalists and campaign officials who analyze how and why elections were won and lost, and what that will mean for the next two years.
“We are excited to kick off our 20th programming year by sharing this slate of world-class leaders in politics, journalism and public service,” said Audrey Coleman, director of the Dole Institute. “The Dole Institute continues to distinguish itself as a unique and much-needed forum for civil discussion and bipartisan perspective on politics, policy and leadership.”
Announcement of these signature programs comes in honor of the late senator Bob Dole’s birthday on July 22. The senator, who passed away last December, would have turned 99.
Program times and additional fall programing will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation, as well as civil discourse, in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located in KU’s west district and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive, and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.