Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will visit Washington University in St. Louis on Monday, Feb. 27.
His visit is part of the School of Law’s 150th anniversary celebration, and it also will include an Assembly Series presentation at 3 p.m. in Graham Chapel. The program is free and open to the public, though priority seating will be given to the campus community.
The program, “A Fireside Chat with Mitt Romney,” will feature brief remarks from the statesman, followed by a conversation with law and policy experts including Nancy Staudt, dean of the School of Law and the Howard & Caroline Cayne Professor of Law; Adrienne Davis, vice provost and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; and Adam Rosenzweig, professor.
“In conjunction with our celebration of 150 years as a national leader in legal education, we are honored to host Governor Mitt Romney, who has a long-standing commitment to public service,” Staudt said. “As governor of Massachusetts, he used his legal education to create innovative policies and programs — including ‘Romneycare,’ which is often called the forerunner of ‘Obamacare.’”
The career trajectory for Romney, who holds a joint JD/MBA degree from Harvard University, mirrored that of his father, George Romney. He ran a large corporation, American Motors, before being elected governor of Michigan. After losing a presidential bid to Richard Nixon, the elder Romney served as Nixon’s secretary of housing.
The younger Romney forged a successful career in business with Bain & Company. He left in 1984 to co-found the investment firm Bain Capital. During his tenure as chief executive officer, Romney became known for his ability to restore financial health to failing companies.
Romney gained national attention in 1999 when he took over as president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He was credited with rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics from financial and ethical problems, which he detailed in his book, “Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games.”
On the heels of that success, Romney won the 2002 election to be governor of Massachusetts. Hallmarks of his administration included the reduction of a $3 billion deficit and the institution of a major health-care reform initiative providing near-universal insurance for Massachusetts residents. The law served as a model for the Obama administration’s national health-care overhaul.
Romney made his first bid for the U.S. presidency in 2008 but lost the nomination to U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona. He published his second book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,” before announcing his candidacy again in 2012. This time he secured the Republican nomination, but lost to Barack Obama.
Since 2012, Romney has not held public office but has remained a major figure in Republican politics. After Donald Trump’s election in November, Romney was among a short list of contenders for secretary of state, but ultimately was not selected.