The inaugural lecture last week in honor of Jim Schlesinger was a success. First we had John Deutch, MIT emeritus Institute Professor and former head of the CIA, speak at a Rainier Club lunch that drew diplomats, business people, and community leaders. In the afternoon he met with students at the Jackson School. And in the evening he gave an excellent, engaging lecture on nuclear deterrent policy and how that policy may or may not change going forward. We had 150 chairs filled with a line out the door for entry into the hall. The large audience included UW students, Navy ROTC members, as well as community members.
Professor Deutch also spoke about his relationship with both Jackson and Schlesinger. When Schlesinger became America’s first Secretary of Energy, Deutch served as Undersecretary of the Department.
The following day, Dr. Deutch worked with Jackson School students on their Task Force policy brief on nuclear proliferation and deterrence. It was a first-rate way to begin this important series, which we intend to continue to tie with the Jackson School’s Task Force program.
Board Member Larry Phillips wrote afterward, “John Deutch did a masterful job providing the historical context and ongoing debate, as well as the progress that has been made surrounding nuclear proliferation issues. He sounded the alarm about the costs associated with upgrades to our nuclear triad deterrent, and the lack of robust debate so far and the need for that to occur before those funds are expended. At the end he fielded questions from some pretty well-informed audience members, and did a good job providing substantive answers. The “refresher” on these issues was welcome and enlightening, especially so given the dearth of substantive discourse at the national level. It was a bit of a walk back in time, when serious issues were discussed, debated, and decided by serious people.”
The Jackson Foundation initiated this lecture series to honor Senator Jackson’s longtime friend and colleague Jim Schlesinger by bringing high-level foreign policy experts to the Jackson School. Given his personal history with Jackson and Schlesinger, Professor Deutch was the perfect choice to start off this series.
Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director