Dukakis Center hosts live session on the future of public service with General Mark Welsh
In an age of growing political polarization, the Dukakis Center closed the gap between the two partisan poles in American political life, if only symbolically, if only for one night. The occasion was the most recent episode this past Friday, June 17, of Dukakis Center Live on Anixneusis Web TV. Host David Wisner, Executive Director of the Dukakis Center at ACT, welcomed General Mark Welsh, former Air Force Chief of Staff and current Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, for a wide-ranging discussion of the state of public service at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Mark Welsh has studied at US Air Force Academy, National War College, MIT, and Harvard Business School, among others, and has received numerous awards and decorations. He is a former Joint Chiefs of Staff member, and has served at NATO and the CIA.
The exchange between senior administrators of academic institutions named after the two opponents in the 1988 US Presidential election, Michael S. Dukakis and George H.W. Bush, the eventual victor, ranged from military and government service to volunteerism and public service in the university curriculum.
Welsh and Wisner traded anecdotes on the lives and careers of the namesakes of their two programs and reflected on the increased internationalization of public service training. Indeed, both speakers noted the appeal of public service programming among international students attending an American institution at home or abroad. Throughout, Dean Welsh exuded a resolute sense of optimism in the appeal of service-based endeavor among young people attending American universities, noting that some three-quarters or more of graduates of the Bush school go on to careers in the public sector. Wisner offered similar testing data, highlighting the political awareness and public engagement of ACT students and alumni.
Dr. Wisner said, "Hosting General Welsh in this session was among the most satisfying things I have ever done while directing the Dukakis Center. My principal takeaway: a public service ethos is alive and well on American university campuses. This is the heartbeat of democracy in America. Meaningful opportunities exist for young people in public service, both across the United States and worldwide."
This was the penultimate episode of Dukakis Center Live for the 2021-22 academic year at ACT. The finale will take place on Friday, July 1, at 7 PM, and will feature Jenifer Neils, outgoing Director of the American School of Classical Studies, and Scott Sprenger, President of the American University of Rome. Join us to discuss "Americans Abroad: Soft Power in the Twenty-First Century."
Video is available on the YouTube channel of Anixneusis Web TV.