Madeleine Albright


Previous Symposia


Laura W. Bush

2023 - A Conversation with Laura W. Bush, First Lady of the United States

Laura W. Bush

Laura Bush was First Lady from 2001 - 2009 and is an advocate for literacy, education, and women's rights. After leaving the White House, President and Mrs. Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy center established to solve today's most pressing challenges by developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action.


Thomas L. Friedman

2022 - The American Presidency Through A Global Lens

Thomas L. Friedman

Friedman is renowned for his direct reporting and accessible analysis of complex issues shaping the world. According to Foreign Policy magazine, "Friedman doesn't just report on events; he helps shape them." Winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, he has covered the monumental stories from around the globe for The New York Times since 1981. Vanity Fair called him "the country's best newspaper columnist."


David Gergen

2021 - Democracy Going Forward: The State of the American Presidency

David Gergen

David Gergen is a professor of public service and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, positions he has held for over a decade. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and works actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best seller, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 2001).


Doris Kearns Goodwin

2020 - Presidential Leadership in Turbulent Times

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize- winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Her seventh book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” is a culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career of studying the American presidents, focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Goodwin weaves her discussion of the times when these Presidents led the country into a look at our current affairs. (photo gallery)


Caroline Winterer

2019 - Origins of the American Presidency

Caroline Winterer

American historian with special expertise in American thought and culture, and the Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities and director of the Stanford Humanities Center. Most recent book:  American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (view)

2019 Larkin Panel on Origins of the American Presidency

2019 - Origins of the American Presidency

Panel Scholars

Scholars from around the world presented their research. Topic: European Origins of the American Presidency (view panel)  Presenters: Blair Worden, University of Oxford; Eric Slauter, University of Chicago; Max Skjönsberg, University of St. Andrews. Topic: The Politics of Constitution Making and the Federal Union (view panel) Presenters: Jonathan Gienapp, Stanford University; Claire Arcenas, University of Montana; Daniel Hulsebosch, New York University Law School. Topic: Political Theory and Practice among the Early Presidents (view panel) Presenters: Lindsay Chervinsky, Southern Methodist University; François Furstenberg, Johns Hopkins University; osemarie Zagarri, George Mason University.


Speaker at podium

2018 - Covering the Presidency in the Modern Media Age

Eugene Robinson

Robinson shared his wide-ranging experience of life taking him from childhood in the segregated south to the heights of American journalism. His remarkable storytelling ability has won him wide-acclaim, most notably as the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America's first African-American president. (view)


Michael Beschloss

2017 - Critical Moments of the American Presidency: Past, Present, and Future

Michael Beschloss

Renowned presidential historian Michael Beschloss traced the critical moments and presidential qualities of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan, as well as the most recent presidents. He also will examine what qualities through history have made great presidents and, in our own day, what make great leaders of all kinds. (view)


The President and American Capitalism Since 1945 - Panel

2016 - The President and American Capitalism Since 1945

Keynote Address by Brian Balogh / Scholar Panels

Brian Balogh presented the keynote address titled "Shopper in Chief: Presidential Leadership in America's Consumer's Republic." Balogh is the Compton Professor at the Miller Center and the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia.  He founded the Miller Center National Fellowship and currently chairs that program.  His most recent book is "A Government out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America." 15 academic scholars from across the country presented during panel sessions. (view 9 am panel) (view 1 pm panel) (view 3 pm panel) (view keynote)


David McCullough

2015 - Truman’s Presidency and World War II at 70

David McCullough / Moderated by Wilson D. Miscamble

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough spoke about “Truman’s Presidency and World War II at 70." Moderated by Wilson D. Miscamble, prize-winning author and historian. (view)


Carl Bernstein and  Bob Woodward

2014 - Inside the White House From Nixon to Obama

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein / Moderated by Timothy Naftali

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists Woodward and Bernstein set a new standard for Washington journalism and in-depth, behind-the-scenes reporting on the American presidency. Starting with the publication of their first shared Watergate byline, "All the President's Men," in June 1972, and continuing with reporting and commentary, Woodward and Bernstein have revealed the inner-workings of government, politics and the hidden stories of Washington and its leaders. Moderated by Timothy Naftali, former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and current senior research fellow at the New America Foundation. (view)


Mark E. Neely, Jr.

2013 - Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency and Civil War America

Mark E. Neely, Jr.

Mark E. Neely, jr. Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author and Historian. The 2013 Larkin symposium also featured panels of scholars who presented their research. (view Neely lecture) (view panels)


Madeleine Albright

2012 - Economy and Security in the 21st Century

Madeleine K. Albright

Prior to her appointment as the first female secretary of State in 1997, Madeleine K. Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet and National Security Council. (view lecture excerpt)


Daniel Ellsberg

2011 - The Pentagon Papers Forty Years Later

Daniel Ellsberg

Lecture and public screening of the critically acclaimed film, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, with a discussion led by George Herring, the leading authority on the Pentagon Papers and the Vietnam War. (view lecture)


Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering

2010 - America's Future in the Middle East: What is Obama to Do?

Thomas R. Pickering

A veteran diplomat looked at challenges and opportunities from Iran to Israel and beyond Thomas R. Pickering is one of America’s most senior and experienced diplomats, with a distinguished career spanning five decade. (view lecture)


Mary Frances Berry

2009 - Civil Rights and the Presidency: From Nixon to Obama

Scholar Panels

Panels of scholars presented their research, featuring Mary Frances Berry, Ronald W. Walters, Thomas Bortstelmann, John D. Skrentny, Robert C. Smith, Charles L. Zelden and Richard L. Pacelle, Jr. (view)


Helen Thomas

2008 - Women, Washington, and the War

Helen Thomas

Legendary journalist, bestselling author, and former UPI White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy. Drawing on fifty-seven years of White House reporting she delivers a hard-hitting analysis of Washington, the war in Iraq, and the status of women in the political arena.


David Halberstam

2007 - Selling War in a Media Age: The Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century

Keynote by David Halberstam / Scholar Panels

Pulitzer Prize–winning Author and Historian David Halberstam and Scholar panels explored the interaction between the executive branch and public opinion during and after major conflicts in the nation’s history. Scholar Panels featured George C. Herring,  Emily S. Rosenberg,  Mark A. Stoler,  Marilyn B. Young,  Robert Schulzinger,  Kenneth Osgood,  Chester Pach and  Lloyd Gardner.