Obama's adviser David Axelrod to speak at UNL Oct. 9
Released on 08/19/2009, at 12:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 9, 2009
WHERE: Nebraska Champions Club
David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Oct. 9.
Axelrod will speak at 6 p.m. at the Nebraska Champions Club for the Peter J. Hoagland Integrity in Public Service Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public, with a limited number of seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Host for the event at UNL is the department of Political Science. Champions Club is located directly west of Memorial Stadium on Stadium Drive and Vine streets.
Prior to being named President Obama's senior adviser, Axelrod was senior adviser to the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition and Senior Strategist to Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency. Since 1988, Axelrod has been Senior Partner at the consulting firm AKP&D Message and Media in Chicago. In that capacity, he managed media strategy and communications for more than 150 local, state, and national campaigns, with a focus on progressive candidates and causes.
In 2006, Axelrod ran the independent expenditure media program for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, helping Democrats regain the majority in the House of Representatives. That same year, Axelrod served as media adviser to Deval Patrick, who was elected Massachusetts's first Democratic governor in 16 years and the state's first-ever African American governor. In 2004, when President Obama was a member of the Illinois State Senate, Axelrod helped him defeat a primary field of six other Democrats and go on to a landslide win in his U.S. Senate campaign.
Before entering politics in 1984, Axelrod spent eight years as a reporter for The Chicago Tribune, where he covered national, state, and local politics. In 1981, he became the youngest political writer and columnist in the paper's history. He also served as the Tribune's City Hall bureau chief. Active in charitable work in Chicago, Axelrod has supported Special Olympics and Misericordia. In 1998, he and his wife, Susan, helped found Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, which has raised more than $9 million so far for scientists searching for a cure.
Axelrod, 54, was born in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School and the University of Chicago. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and has lectured on political media at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Susan Landau and has three children, Lauren, Michael, and Ethan.
Peter Hoagland, an Omaha native, for whom the lecture series is named, graduated from Stanford University in 1963 and from Yale Law School in 1968. He served as a Nebraska state senator before winning a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1988. He served three terms before losing by less than 1 percent of the vote to John Christensen in 1994. Prior to being elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 1978, Hoagland worked with Nebraska Common Cause to write and pass into law the Nebraska Open Meetings Law. In addition, he helped to create the Political Accountability and Disclosure Committee, which regulates political activity in Nebraska. While in the state legislature, Hoagland was known for his work on legislation supporting environmental causes and on issues affecting financial service companies in his home district which included Omaha and the surrounding area. During his time in Congress, Hoagland was known as a student of the issues and for his bipartisan approach to legislation. He was placed on the Ways and Means Committee out of respect for his legislative ability. He died Oct. 30, 2007, at age 65 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
The lecture series was created in 2008 by Hoagland's friend and former chief of staff Jim Crounse, with a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The lectures will occur annually and alternate between UNL and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This is the second lecture in the series.