Washington Center

Center Forums: 2016

Center forums provide an opportunity for students to meet informally with politicians, policy makers, professionals, advocates journalists and prominent scholars. Recent speakers of note have included Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader, Washington Post Columnist Ezra Klein, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Forums are held most Monday nights during the term, either in the auditorium or the large meeting rooms on the first floor. Dinner is served starting at 6:40pm and the hour-long event starts at 7:00pm.

View forum speakers from previous years: 2015

If you have questions, suggestions, or contact with a potential speaker, please get in touch with Marc Sandalow.

February 1: Anita Dunn
Anita Dunn

Obama confidante Anita Dunn shared her path from White House intern for President Carter to White House Communications Director for President Obama.

February 8: Alli McCracken
Alli McCracken

Alli McCracken talked to students about getting arrested after making a citizen’s arrest of former Sec. of State Henry Kissinger at a Congressional Hearing last year. McCracken is national co-director of CODEPINK: Women For Peace, whose protests against U.S. militarism have included interruptions at political conventions and State of the Union addresses.

February 22: Networking Night

UC Davis alumnus, Professor Scott Talan, led a micro-lecture on how to use LinkedIn to maximize job prospects  and speed networking sessions for UC alumni and UCDC students. See pictures.

February 29: Felicia Escobar 

Felicia Escobar

Felicia Escobar, President Obama’s top immigration aide and UCLA Law graduate, told students that she was not optimistic about Congress agreeing to any substantial immigration reforms during the President’s final year in office.

March 7: Thea Lee

Thea Lee

Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff and trade expert at the AFL-CIO, urged students to read portions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to see for themselves how weakly workers are protected in the trade deal promoted by President Obama. Lee also criticized Uber and other companies offering cheap services in the gig economy for skirting labor laws.

March 28: Irene Glowinski
Irene Glowinski

Dr. Glowinski is the acting director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at NIAID. She majored in organic chemistry at American University in Washington, DC and received her Ph.D. in pharmacology at the University of Michigan. She oversees a billion-dollar budget and 200 people, who work in concert with researchers at private firms to combat Ebola, influenza, Zika virus, and tuberculosis, among other infectious diseases.

April 4: Hope HallHope Hall

Presidential Videographer Hope Hall described her long and winding road from being a UC Berkeley French and History major to following President Obama with a camera and producing The White House videos.

April 11: Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is the nation’s best known consumer advocate. An author, lawyer and presidential candidate, Nader’s 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed led to federal laws mandating seatbelts in automobiles. His work was instrumental in creating the EPA, OSHA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Safe Drinking Water Act. In the past decade, Nader has dedicated himself to taking on corporate interests and the nation’s two-party system. 

April 18: Marc Sandalow

Marc Sandalow

Washington, D.C.: From Swamp to Scandal

April 25: Jess Bravin
Jess Bravin

Supreme Court correspondent for The Wall Street Journal

May 2: Networking Night

Spring 2016 Networking Night for UC alumni and students.

May 9: Tiffany Loftin

Tiffany Loftin

AFL-CIO, Civil Rights Division

May 16: Steve Scully
Steve Scully

Political Editor, C-SPAN

May 23: Lauren Vrazilek
Lauren Vrazilek

UCDC alumnus and Deputy Press Secretary for Michelle Obama