Brookings Institution president to speak about polarization in American politics Feb. 7

Statesman Talbott to offer solutions, examine roles of universities and think tanks

Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and former deputy secretary of state from 1994-2001, will present “Angels of Our Nature: Polarization in America and Its Challenge to Universities and Think Tanks” at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, in Whitaker Hall Auditorium at Washington University in St. Louis.

Talbott’s policy address will focus on the challenge of polarization in American politics, considered by many to be at its worst level since the late 19th century.


In addition to explaining the factors driving our current predicament, Talbott will emphasize the urgency of the problem, intertwined as it is with a number of pressing public policy challenges.

He will reflect on the role of universities and think tanks, bastions of fact-based research and academic freedom, as antidotes to the current maladies of America’s political climate.

As deputy secretary of state in the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton, Talbott was deeply involved in both the conduct of U.S. policy abroad and the management of executive branch relations with Congress.

An expert on U.S. foreign policy, with specialties in Europe, Russia, South Asia and nuclear arms control, Talbott entered government after 21 years with Time magazine.

He has written several books on diplomacy and U.S. foreign relations, including his recent book, Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming, with William Antholis.

At WUSTL, Talbott is a member of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy advisory committee. He has been instrumental in forging the new academic alliance between Brookings and WUSTL, which includes joint projects, faculty exchanges and research collaborations, expanded internship opportunities for students, and co-sponsored lectures and workshops.

A reception will follow the lecture.

Talbott’s address is co-sponsored by the Brookings Institution; Washington University in St. Louis; Office of the Provost; Washington University School of Law; Arts & Sciences; Olin Business School; School of Engineering & Applied Science; Washington University D.C. Programs; Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences; McDonnell International Scholars Academy; John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics; Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; and the Assembly Series.

For more information, call (314) 935-4620.