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    Inaugural Humanities in Action Lecture Announced

    Denis McDonough, former chief of staff to President Obama and current senior principal at the Markle Foundation, will be the featured speaker at The University of Scranton’s inaugural Humanities in Action Lecture Series, sponsored by the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities. The conversation with McDonough will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center.
    October 29, 2019

    The outlook, skills and training required for jobs in the future will be discussed by Denis McDonough, former chief of staff to President Obama and current senior principal at the Markle Foundation, where he chairs the Rework America Task Force.

    “From the White House to the Work Force,” featuring a conversation with McDonough, will launch The University of Scranton’s Humanities in Action Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities. The discussion will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

    Markle is engaged in a nationwide initiative aimed at driving innovations that expand opportunities for employment and broaden ways for all Americans to learn and train for the work of the future, according to its website. The foundation’s Rework America Task Force, which McDonough chairs, is a national initiative to transform the labor market so that all Americans can thrive in the digital economy.

    At the Humanities in Action Lecture, University of Scranton philosophy professor Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., and Scranton Times-Tribune education reporter Sarah Hofius Hall will lead a question and answer session with McDonough. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions as well.

    About Denis McDonough

    From February 2013 to January 2017, McDonough served as White House chief of staff for President Barack Obama. In that role, he managed the White House staff, as well as cabinet secretaries and agency leaders. He advised the president on domestic policy and national security challenges facing the country, management issues facing the federal government and devised and enforced plans and accountability for performance and goals, maintaining the Obama Administration’s reputation for an effective, ethical operation. He planned and coordinated efforts to recruit and retain key talent – including an unprecedented expansion of technology experts and engineers within the White House and across the federal government.

    Prior to his role as chief of staff, McDonough was assistant to the president and principal deputy national security advisor. He chaired the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee. Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, McDonough served as senior foreign policy advisor for Obama for America.

    Currently, McDonough also serves as senior advisor for technology and global policy for Macro Advisory Partners, a strategic advisory firm which helps to navigate the intersection of global markets, geopolitics and policy. In addition, he is an executive fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, teaching a global policy seminar for graduate and undergraduate students. He serves on the board of directors for Catalyte, the National Democratic Institute and the SAFE Project, and is on the advisory council for the Tent Partnership for Refugees.

    McDonough earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from St. John’s University in Minnesota and his master’s degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

    About the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities

    In May 2019, the University established the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities to advance the University’s liberal arts tradition and enhance the core role it plays in the formation of students to become “men and women for others.” The Center, named after the parents of benefactor and current University Trustee James M. Slattery ’86 and his wife, Betsy, will serve as a national model for humanities in action. Through the Center’s programs, elevated discourse on an array of topics and civic engagement will be encouraged by members of the University community, as well as by residents throughout the greater Scranton area.

    For more information about the Humanities in Action Lecture, call 570-941-7401.

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