Speaker Archives

Menard Family Distinguished Speaker Series

Spring 2021

J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

J.D. Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq. A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and is a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm. He is the author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in CrisisHillbilly Elegy tells the true story of upward mobility and examines the social, regional, and class decline of white working-class Americans.

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Emily Chamlee-Wright

Free Speech on Campuses and Our Road Back to Good Conversations

Emily Chamlee-Wright is the president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies, which supports and partners with scholars working within the classical liberal tradition to advance higher education's core purpose of intellectual discovery and human progress. Prior to joining IHS in 2016, Dr. Chamlee-Wright served as provost and dean at Washington College and professor of economics and associate dean at Beloit College. She has six books to her credit and is an expert on the complex and often fraught topic of free speech policy and governance in higher education. She earned her PhD in economics from George Mason University.

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Ambassador Susan Schwab

Trade Talks and Trailblazing: Lessons from a Former U.S. Trade Representative

Ambassador Susan Schwab served as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) from 2006-2009 and deputy USTR from 2005-2006. Earlier in her career, she served as assistant secretary of commerce and director-general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, as a trade staffer and legislative director for Senator John C. Danforth, and as a foreign service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. She began her career as an agricultural trade negotiator at USTR. In academia, she served as dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. She holds a bachelor's degree from Williams College; a master's degree from Stanford University; and a Ph.D. from The George Washington University.

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Robert Koopman

COVID-19: Implications for the Future of Globalization and Integration

Robert Koopman serves as the Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division at the World Trade Organization. Prior to this post, he served as the Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is also an associate professor at the Graduate Institute of Geneva and research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research.

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Fall 2020

Arthur Brooks

Arthur C. Brooks is Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Arthur C. Patterson Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty in July of 2019, he served for ten years as president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy think tank in Washington, DC. Brooks is the author of 11 books, including the national bestsellers “Love Your Enemies” (2019), “The Conservative Heart” (2015), and “The Road to Freedom” (2012). He is a columnist for The Atlantic, host of the podcast The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks, and subject of the 2019 documentary film “The Pursuit.”

Watch Clip "Inequality of Dignity"        Watch Clip "Fighting Poverty"

Edward Glaeser

Pandemics and Geography: How Does COVID-19 Change America's Spatial Economy

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992.

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Spring 2020

Johan Norberg

Why I am an Optimist. Why this is the Golden Era of Human Development, and Why You Don't Know It. 

Johan Norberg is an author, lecturer and documentary filmmaker, with documentaries on globalization, economic development and free trade. He is the author and editor of several books, including Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, named a "book of the year" by The Guardian, The Economist and The Observer. He is a native of Sweden, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, and the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, Belgium. For his work, Norberg has received the Distinguished Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award from the Atlas Foundation, the Walter Judd Freedom Award, the Julian Simon Memorial Award and the gold medal from the German Hayek Stiftung, that year shared with Margaret Thatcher.

Watch Clip "History of Socialism in Sweden"

Fall 2019

John Allison

The Philosophical Fight for the Future of America

John Allison is the former chairman and CEO of BB&T Corp., the 10th-largest financial services holding company headquartered in the United States. He is the author of “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope” and “The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why the Future of Business Depends on the Return to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” He was president and CEO of the Cato Institute, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace, from 2012 to 2015. He is currently an executive-in-residence at the Wake Forest School of Business.


IDEAS Research Workshop

Spring 2021
Marian Tupy | Most Things are Getting Better, Yet People Remain Pessimistic

Dr. Marian Tupy is the editor of Human​Progress​.org, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and co‐​author of The Simon Project.

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Ben Winchester | Rewriting the Rural Narrative

Dr. Ben Winchester is a senior research fellow with the Extension Center for Community Vitality at the University of Minnesota Extension. Presentation

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Greg Lukianoff | America's Failed 40-Year Experiment with Hate Speech Codes, and the Global Costs

Greg Lukianoff is an attorney, New York Times best-selling author, and the President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

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Adam Thierer | What Vision Will Govern the Future of Innovation

Adam Thierer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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Maria Minniti | Innovation and Regulations in an Emerging Industry

Dr. Maria Minniti is the Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and director of the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society at Syracuse University.

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Patrick Wolf | Three Empirical Studies on School Choice and Student Outcomes

Dr. Patrick Wolf is a distinguished professor of education policy and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice at the University of Arkansas.

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Marta Podemska-Mikluch | Foregone Innovation

Dr. Marta Podemska-Mikluch is an associate professor of economics and the Marcia Page and JOhn Huepenbecker Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship at Gustavus Adolphus College.

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Fall 2020
Matthew Clancy | The Case for Remote Work

Dr. Matthew Clancy is an assistant teaching professor at Iowa State University affiliated with the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Department of Economics.

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Edward Timmons | Too Much License?

Dr. Edward Timmons is a professor of economics and director of the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at Saint Francis University. 

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James Caton | Virtue in Civic Discourse and the Roots of Liberalism

Dr. James Caton is an assistant professor of economics and a faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise at North Dakota State University. 

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Wenhong Chen | Zoom or Doom in the Age of CyberSovereignty and Digital Nationalism

Dr. Wenhong Chen is an associate professor of media studies and sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. 

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Bradford Wilcox | For the Sake of the Children

Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox is director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.

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Rajshree Agarwal | Fostering Enterprise and Creating Value in Trade 

Dr. Rajshree Agarwal is chair and professor in entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland and director of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets. 

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Jan Pfister | Innovating Under Pressure and the Speeding Up of Organizational Life

Dr. Jan Pfister is a senior lecturer at Turku School of Economics and a research fellow at the House of Innovation at Stockholm School of Economics. 

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More Events

Panel with NDSU Public Health
Featuring Dr. Ali Mokdad, Dr. Lynn Blewett, Dr. Stefanie Haeffele
Moderated by Dr. John Bitzan and Dr. Pamela Jo Johnson

Panelists address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic such as the economic, health, and social costs of the pandemic and policy responses; the difficult balance in addressing economic, health, and social concerns; and the types of policies that are likely to accelerate the return to a society that is physically and mentally healthy, where economic opportunities are growing, and where there is a greater sense of community.

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