Previous Tanner Lectures

Tanner Day at the Maxwell School: The Future of Citizenship and Public Service

The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman

October 4, 2017

In Partnership with the National Academy of Public Administration

Keynote Address by The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA Administrator (2001 – 2003) and former New Jersey Governor

Public service has been severely challenged by several long-term trends: declining public trust in government and low public esteem; political polarization, partisanship and incivility; negative press coverage; and greater direct political attack on government from different groups and institutions.

Many observers have described public service as being in a state of crisis. In such a climate, how can the human capital for governing be secured and enriched? How can citizens across all sectors sustain and nurture their own commitments to public service?

Exploring these questions, Tanner Day at Maxwell began with keynote remarks by Governor Whitman, delivered as part of the Tanner Lecture on Ethics, Citizenship, and Public Responsibility, a public forum for exploring questions about ethical citizenship in provocative and challenging ways.



Enjoy portions of the Keynote Address in the video above. See Tanner Day at Maxwell: On the future of citizenship and public service for more information about the conference and full-length videos of the panel sessions.

The Athenian Oath and Political Leadership in America.

Michael Nutter, 98th Mayor of Philadelphia

October 14, 2016

Michael NutterMichael Anthony Nutter is an American politician who was the 98th Mayor of Philadelphia. Elected on November 6, 2007, he was reelected to a second term on November 8, 2011. He is a previous member of the Philadelphia City Council from the 4th district and had served as the 52nd Ward Democratic Leader until 1990. Mayor Nutter also served as the President of the United States Conference of Mayors from June 2012 to June 2013. He received an honorary doctorate in public service honoris causa from Saint Joseph's University in 2015.



A Global Conversation.

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001)

April 5, 2016

Madeleine AlbrightMadeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001), delivered the Tanner Lecture on Ethics, Citizenship, and Public Responsibility at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs on April 5, 2016. Dr. Albright, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama in 2012, discussed her forty-year career in international affairs as well as current threats and challenges in U.S. foreign policy. Dr. Albright was joined in conversation by James B. Steinberg, dean of the Maxwell School and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2009-2011).

In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet.

Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, she served as President of the Center for National Policy, a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff, and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie.

Dr. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Chair of Albright Capital Management, an affiliated investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She is also a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and serves as President of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She is also on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy. Dr. Albright also serves on the Boards of the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen to chair a group of experts focused on developing NATO’s New Strategic Concept.



Ethical Leadership in Higher Education: Who Wants This Job Anymore?

Donna Shalala, President and CEO of the Clinton Foundation, Former President of the University of Miami

October 23, 2015

Donna ShalalaDonna E. Shalala is President and CEO of the Clinton Foundation. Previously, she served as President of the University of Miami, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and President of Hunter College of the City University of New York. From 1993 to 2001 she served in the Clinton Administration as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the longest serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history. She had previously served in the Carter Administration as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Dr. Shalala received her A.B. degree from Western College for Women, and earned her Ph.D. from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Miami.

Other notable positions include Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran from 1962 to 1964 (she was one of the first volunteers), Co-chair of the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, and member of the Council of Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on the Emerging Global Health Crisis.

Dr. Shalala has received numerous significant national and international awards for her varied public service. Among these are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nelson Mandala Award for Health and Human Rights, the National Public Service Award, induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year, U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Leaders, and the Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award.  She has been elected to seven national academic academies and the Council on Foreign Relations, and has received more than four dozen honorary degrees.



Environmental Citizenship and Ethical Collective Action: Why Re-establishing America’s Conservation Ethic is a Global Imperative

Collin O'Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

February 23, 2015

Collin O’Mara joined the National Wildlife Federation, America’s oldest and largest wildlife conservation and education organization, as president and CEO in July 2014. Previously he led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. He was the state’s top environmental official and, at the time of his appointment, the youngest state cabinet official in the nation. O’Mara spearheaded a range of initiatives, including a comprehensive strategy to confront childhood obesity by reintroducing children to the outdoors; a multi-year initiative to expand and connect the state’s trail system; and an effort to establish the region as a world-class conservation and low-impact recreation tourism destination. He also led the largest investment in environmental infrastructure in Delaware’s history. Prior to his position with Delaware, O’Mara served as the clean tech strategist for the City of San Jose, California, where he was the primary architect of the city’s Green Vision; and as director of SyraStat for the City of Syracuse, where he oversaw the city’s performance management and accountability program. He is a Syracuse native.


Public Responsibility and the Federal-State Disconnect

Richard Ravitch, former Lt. Governor, New York

October 10, 2014

Richard RavitchRichard Ravitch is a lawyer/businessman/public official who has been engaged in both private and public business for more than 50 years.  He was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HRH Construction Corporation and after his years of public service for the State of New York, he became Chairman and CEO of the Bowery Savings Bank.  In 1975, at the request of Governor Hugh Carey of the State of New York, Mr. Ravitch assumed the Chairmanship of the near-bankrupt New York State Urban Development Corporation, successfully keeping the corporation solvent and completing construction of 30,000 low-income housing units. For five years beginning in 1979, he served as Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, reorganizing the MTA and improving the region’s transportation infrastructure. In 1988, he was the Chairman of the Charter Revision Commission of the City of New York.

In 1999, Congress created the Millennial Housing Commission to examine the federal government’s role in meeting the nation’s growing affordable housing challenges.  Mr. Ravitch was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the Commission which led a diverse group of 22 housing experts in an intensive 17 month process to rethink America’s affordable housing policy. The Commission presented its report to Congress in May, 2002. The report recommended a series of initiatives to create new housing tools, reform several current programs and streamline existing programs. Mr. Ravitch recently served as Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York. Mr. Ravitch recently co-chaired the State Budget Crisis Task Force with former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul A. Volcker.


Civility and Citizenship: Reinventing the Great Society

Governor Lincoln Chafee

April 24, 2014

Governor Lincoln ChafeeSince 2011, Lincoln Chafee has served as the Governor of Rhode Island. From 1999 to 2007, he served in the U.S. Senate.  Prior to the Senate, he served on the Warwick City Council, and as the City’s Mayor. As Governor, Chafee has wrestled with an inherited financial crisis, and has focused his efforts on education and workforce revitalization. He also signed a marriage equality act, pushed forward health care reform, and initiated green projects.

Politically, Governor Chafee has been literally at the center of the issue of polarization. A centrist Republican and the descendent of a long line of prominent Republicans, Chafee left the Republican Party in 2007. He was elected Governor as an independent.

In May 2013, he became a Democrat, and in September he announced that he would not seek re-election as Governor.


Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Social Change

Jessica Jackley

March 18, 2014

Jessica JackleyIn 2005, Jessica Jackley co-founded Kiva, an innovative micro-lending website. She went on to co-found and serve as CEO of ProFounder, a crowd-funding platform providing tools to small business entrepreneurs to access capital and harness community involvement. She is a now a Venture Partner with the Collaborative Fund, and a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford University. A highly sought-after speaker, she has received numerous awards for her work, including The Economist’s “No Boundaries” Innovation Award.


Markets, Morals, and Civic Life

Michael Sandel

October 24, 2012

Michael SandelMichael Sandel, the nation’s leading public intellectual on issues of social justice and fairness, is known for the way he draws in his audiences and then challenges them to examine the moral and ethical assumptions underlying hotly debated political and social issues. His latest bestseller, What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, explores the moral dilemmas facing a capitalistic society, and questions the role of markets in people’s lives. Among his other works is the highly acclaimed Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?

Michael Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard, where he has taught political philosophy for over 30 years. A recipient of the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Sandel was recognized by the American Political Science Association for a career of excellence in teaching. Among his many honors, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, and has delivered the BBC Reith Lectures. Sandel is a graduate of Brandeis and received his doctorate from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. In addition to his books, his writings have been published in The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times, and he has appeared on the BBC, PBS, Morning Joe, The Colbert Report, and Good Morning America.


Inaugural Tannner Lecture on Ethics, Citizenship, and Public Responsibility

Senator William W. Bradley

April 10, 2012

In 2005, Jessica Jackley co-founded Kiva, an innovative micro-lending website. She went on to co-found and serve as CEO of ProFounder, a crowd-funding platform providing tools to small business entrepreneurs to access capital and harness community involvement. She is a now a Venture Partner with the Collaborative Fund, and a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford University. A highly sought-after speaker, she has received numerous awards for her work, including The Economist’s “No Boundaries” Innovation Award.


Lynn Tanner, Bill Bradley, and Dean James Steinberg

Bill Bradley and Dean Steinberg

Bill Bradley Giving Inaugural Tanner Lecture

Grant Reeher Introducing Tanner Lecture Series