Former U.S. Senator, Rhodes Scholar, best-selling author and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame Bill Bradley will deliver the 2009 convocation address at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, on May 23, Interim Dean Admiral Bobby R. Inman, USN (Ret.) announced today.
“Bill Bradley is a highly respected bipartisan statesman whose remarkable achievements span the political, business, sports, academic and civic arenas,” said Inman. “Here at the LBJ School, our goal is to equip our students with the skills they need to solve problems in settings that require mobilizing key institutions and the public–which is the essence of leadership. Sen. Bradley has embodied this quality throughout his career and done so with a rare combination of integrity, tenacity and grace. We are honored to have Bill Bradley as our convocation speaker.”
“The LBJ School is a fitting legacy for one of America’s great presidents,” said Bradley. “Its faculty and students are world class and they embody the American spirit of public service. I’m honored to be the convocation speaker.”
“We are pleased to have Sen. Bradley address this year’s graduates of the LBJ School of Public Affairs,” said Ellen Satterwhite, president of the Graduate Public Affairs Council (GPAC), the student governing body for the LBJ School. “Senator Bradley inspires notions of excellence in public life and truly understands the challenges of good policymaking and one who is willing to tackle complex issues–he’s the policymaker’s politician.”
Bradley served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997 representing the state of New Jersey. Whether passing legislation or shaping national opinion, Bradley focused on large-scale reform in his three terms. He was an advocate for expanded global trade and federal budget priorities that bolstered the national economy and met critical human needs. His signature accomplishment was the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which simplified the tax code, lowered tax rates for millions of Americans and eliminated tax shelters worth billions of dollars to special interests.
In 2000, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1977, time when they won two National Basketball Association championships. In 1982, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bradley holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Bradley has also written six books on American politics, culture and economy, including his latest book, “The New American Story,” in which he explores how countries are bound together as never before. Bradley observes that in order to solve our nation’s most pressing problems we need to embrace an “ethic of connectedness,” which he describes as a combination of collective action and individual responsibility.
In 1996, he authored a best-selling memoir, “Time Present, Time Past,” about his life as a senator and his travels throughout the country. In 1998, his book of basketball-inspired essays, “Values of the Game,” was a New York Times bestseller.
Bradley sits on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, dedicated to advancing cooperation among nations and promoting international engagement by the United States; QuestBridge, a program that links low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities; Sound Portrait Productions, an independent production company dedicated to telling stories that bring neglected American voices to a national audience; and DonorsChoose.org, a Web site where teachers submit proposals for materials or experiences their students need and are paired up with donors.
Bradley is a managing director at Allen and Company LLC. From 2001 to 2004, he was chief outside adviser to McKinsey and Company’s nonprofit practice. Bradley was a senior adviser and vice chairman of the International Council of JP Morgan and Co., Inc. from 1997 to 1999. During that time, he also worked as an essayist for CBS Evening News and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Maryland. Bradley hosts a weekly talk show, “American Voices” on Sirius Satellite Radio, that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of Americans famous and unknown.