As I prepare to travel this week to Minneapolis for the faculty retreat and new student orientation, I wanted to let you know how eager and excited I am to be joining the Humphrey School community.
My final months as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration--during which I've been deeply engaged in efforts to respond to humanitarian requirements in the Horn of Africa and in Libya--has only underscored for me the importance of the critical mission of the Humphrey School. In short, the policy issues that democratic societies and their public institutions confront are enormously complex, and highly skilled and effective public servants will be essential to the efforts of the United States and other countries to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
At a time when the public service mission is under particular public scrutiny, I cannot think of a more compelling challenge than to sustain and strengthen the role of an institution that serves as a living memorial to the life of Hubert H. Humphrey. In addition, I look forward to building on the important accomplishments of my friend and former colleague Brian Atwood, as well as those of Greg Lindsey, who has served with great distinction as interim dean.
I want to express my deep appreciation to the dean's staff and center directors for preparing briefing materials, which I'm finding to be most valuable as I prepare for my new role.
I've reflected deeply on key objectives that have been articulated for the School by the Humphrey School community--in particular to strengthen teaching, research, and outreach programs and to expand the School's national and international reputation and profile, its revenues and endowments, and its impact on policy debates. I believe the School and its community have enormous assets to be deployed in service of these important objectives and I hope my upcoming visit provides an opportunity to begin a dialogue with you all on future directions.
I look forward to meeting many of you over the course of the next week and to joining you permanently in October.