USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy Symposium

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the inaugural USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy symposium. Nearly 1,000 attendees learned about successful, real-world, bipartisan solutions to education, energy and the environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform. The event stressed the importance of “reaching across the aisle” to address the major issues that our state and, consequently, our college is facing. I know that everyone at Saddleback recognizes the importance of collaboration, but it was extremely eye-opening to hear that sentiment from some of the most respected politicians and entertainment executives in the country.

The program included two distinguished panels and a lunchtime discussion.

The morning panel, “Political Leaders’ Views on the Importance of Post-Partisanship,” included Arnold Schwarzenegger, inaugural holder of the Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy at USC; Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida; Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate majority leader; John McCain, U.S. senator from Arizona; Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico; and Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts served as the moderator.

The lunchtime discussion, “Local Solutions to Global Problems,” featured R. K. Pachauri, chair of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. NBC 4-Los Angeles reporter Conan Nolan moderated the panel.

Finally, the afternoon panel, “The Power of People and Innovation,” included Schwarzenegger; Rob Friedman, co-chairman of Lionsgate; Brian Grazer, chairman of Imagine Entertainment; Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M and chairman and co-founder of Beats; and Ron Meyer, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, moderated the panel.

It was an honor to be invited to and attend this event. I am dedicated to sharing the lessons learned from this event with faculty, staff, administration, and students to find ways to improve collaboration within the entire Saddleback community.