John J. Rhodes Lecture

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The 2019 John J. Rhodes Lecture

John Brennan headshot

John Brennan

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Barrett Honors College presents the John J. Rhodes Lecture in Public Policy & American Institutions featuring John Brennan,former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in his keynote titled " The State of Political Discourse in America" Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 7:30pm at Tempe Center for the Arts - 700 W. Rio Salado, Tempe, AZ 85281

Speaker Biography

John O. Brennan was sworn in as director of the Central Intelligence Agency on March 8, 2013. Asdirector, he managed intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence and liaison
relationships with foreign intelligence services.

Before becoming director, Brennan served at the White House for four years as assistant to the Presidentfor Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. During that time, he advised the President on
counterterrorism strategy and helped coordinate the U.S. government’s approach to homeland security,including its policies for responding to terrorism, cyber-attacks, natural disasters and pandemics.

Brennan began his service in government at the CIA, where he worked from 1980 to 2005. He spent mostof his early career in the agency’s main analytic arm, the Directorate of Intelligence, specializing in the
Near East and South Asia before directing counterterrorism analysis in the early 1990s. In 1994 and 1995,he was the agency’s intelligence briefer to President Bill Clinton.

Brennan graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. While enrolledat Fordham, he studied abroad at the American University in Cairo. He later attended the University of
Texas at Austin, where he earned a master’s degree in government with a concentration in MiddleEastern studies.

Brennan was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He is married and has three children.


History of the Lecture

The John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, celebrates the career of public service of one of Arizona’s and the nation’s most distinguished leaders. The Rhodes Chair is dedicated to deepening theoretical and practical understanding of the many voices and forces that influence public policy. The Chair honors the values of personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, respect for persons, and international farsightedness exemplified in the Honorable John J. Rhodes’ career.

The John J. Rhodes Chair was named an Arizona Heritage Chair by former ASU President, Lattie Coor. ASU Heritage Chairs honor the achievements and values of Arizona leaders whose life work helped shape the character of both Arizona and our metropolitan area. An archive of John J. Rhodes’s congressional papers is available in the Special Collections at Hayden Library on the ASU Tempe Campus. John Jacob Rhodes – The Honorable John J. Rhodes represented Arizona in the United States House of Representatives for 30 years, from 1952-1982. During his distinguished career, John Rhodes served as the Minority Leader of the House from 1973 – 1981. Congressman Rhodes exemplified the values of personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, respect for persons of all political beliefs, and international foresight. His dedication to the country was perhaps best exemplified by his leadership role during Watergate, where ultimately, along with Senators Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott, he was one of three Republican congressional leaders who influenced Richard Nixon to resign as President.

In Arizona and Washington, John Rhodes was known as a gifted legislator and a leader who was willing to work with leaders from both parties. Through his entire career in Congress, he worked tirelessly, along with other great Arizona leaders, to bring the Central Arizona Project to fruition.

Upon his retirement, John Rhodes’ family and many of his friends wanted to establish an enduring tribute to his leadership. Because John and his wife, Betty, had long been supporters of higher education, the family chose an endowment for the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions and selected Barrett, The Honors College at ASU to become the Chair’s “home.” The Rhodes Chair reflects John Rhodes’ commitment to public service and higher education. The Chair is dedicated to discussion and dialogue about the most challenging issues facing our society, now and in the future. Holders of the Rhodes Chair are individuals whose work embodies John Rhodes’ commitment to the betterment of our nation through inspired and fair-minded leadership and devotion to service. An archive of John Rhodes’ congressional papers is available in the Special Collections at Hayden Library on the ASU Tempe Campus.


Year Presenter Title
2003 Jean Strouse
2002 Donald Fixico
2001 Jonathan Weiner
2000 Senator Alan Simpson
1998 Henry Kissinger
1989 Carlos Fuentes