Western democracy: when electors choose the grossly incompetent.

Friday, February 15, 2019 2:00 PM

USFSP Student Center
USFSP University Student Center
200 6th Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Topic Panelists

Richard Briffault
Richard Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. His research, writing and teaching focus on state and local government law, the law of the political process, government ethics and property. Since 2014 he has been the Chair of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board. He was a member of New York's Moreland Act Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (2013-14). He served as a member of or consultant to several New York City and State commissions dealing with state and local governance including the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency & Competitiveness (2007-08), the Temporary New York Commission on Constitutional Revision (1993-95), the New York City Real Property Tax Reform Commission (1993), and the New York City Charter Revision Commission (1987-89). He is currently the Reporter for the American Law Institute's project on Principles of Government Ethics. He is co-author of the textbook State and Local Government Law (8th ed. 2016); principal author of Dollars and Democracy: A Blueprint for Campaign Finance Reform (Report of the Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of New York City Bar Association); and author of Balancing Acts: The Reality Behind State Balanced Budget Requirements as well as more than seventy-five law review articles. He is also vice-chair of Citizens Union of the City of New York. Professor Briffault joined the Columbia faculty in 1983. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Columbia University and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard University. He was law clerk to the Honorable Shirley M. Hufstedler of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was Assistant Counsel to New York Governor Hugh L. Carey.
William Jordan
William Jordan served for 30 years (1981-2011) as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service specializing in the Arab world and France. His overseas assignments included Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Tunis, Tunisia; Damascus, Syria; Amman, Jordan; Paris, France; and Algiers, Algeria, where he served in his final posting was as Deputy Chief of Mission. His responsibilities in the Arab world included reporting and analyzing foreign policy trends, especially as they related to the United States, as well as internal politics, human rights conditions, and the rise of radical Islamist forces. From 1997-2001, Mr. Jordan was the reporting officer in Paris for labor issues and internal politics. He returned to Paris in 2007-2009 to work on the Near East and North Africa as well as Russia (including during and after the 2008 Georgia crisis). Since retiring in Paris, Mr. Jordan has become an independent analyst, with frequent appearances on France 24, BBC radio, Radio France International, and CNN International. He has also lectured on foreign affairs at the French Ecole militaire and at the Paris campus of New York University. Mr. Jordan's foreign languages include Arabic and French.
Paul Kubicek
Paul Kubicek is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1995. He has also taught in Turkey, Ukraine, and Austria, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Slovenia in 2007. Much of his research is on democratization, the European Union, Turkish politics and foreign policy, and post-communist Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has published in journals such as Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Political Studies, and Democratization. His two most recent books are Political Islam and Democratization in the Muslim World (2015) and (co-editor) Democratic Consolidation in Turkey: Micro and Macro Challenges (2016). He also serves as a contributor to Freedom House's annual Freedom in the World report and is the editor of Turkish Studies.
Eric Lynn
Eric Lynn served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense and as Special Advisor on the Middle East in the Policy Office of the Secretary of Defense. He advised three U.S. Secretaries of Defense (Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel) at the Pentagon, as well as the Undersecretaries for Policy, focusing on National Security and a range of Middle East issues. In multiple roles, Eric worked personally for the Secretary of Defense and served as Senior Policy Advisor to General John Allen. While working in the Pentagon, Eric traveled overseas over 50 times with Secretaries of Defense and others for engagements with the heads of state and military leadership. Notably, Eric served as the Secretary's lead on the Iron Dome counter rocket system since its inception in 2009. He was the Secretary of Defense's representative to the State Department's Israeli-Palestinian negotiations team. A St. Petersburg, Florida native, Eric has worked extensively in National Security policy and U.S. politics. Eric served as Middle East Policy Advisor to President Barack Obama in 2007- 2008. He advised President Obama on national security, Middle East policy and coordinated outreach to the Jewish community nationwide. Previously, Eric practiced law as an attorney in Florida and Washington DC, working on public policy, litigation, and regulatory work. He served on senior policy staff in Congress, as a top advisor on foreign policy and defense. Eric led international Congressional delegations and advised Members of Congress on a range of legislative issues within the Energy and Commerce Committee. Since leaving the Department of Defense, Eric runs a strategic consulting business, serving clients with such diverse needs as national security strategy, international dynamics, and business strategy. This includes work with current and former Military Leadership and high ranking international officials. Eric studied International Relations, History and Business at Northwestern University, studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and holds a law degree from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Tracy, have two young children.