The William D. Ruckelshaus Center University Of Washington Washington State University Extension Ruckelshaus Center Home Page


Chairman's Circle Luncheon

2013 Luncheon

In August 2013, the Center hosted its third annual Chairman's Circle Luncheon, featuring former Sen. Alan Simpson, a trusted bipartisan leader to whom President Obama turned to co-chair America's debt reduction commission. He provided candid views on politics, the economy, and the hard and tough choices that lie ahead for America's leaders. Known for fearlessly confronting intractable issues, Alan Simpson most recently served as the co-chair, with Erksine Bowles, of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a bipartisan group looking to erase the United States' multi-trillion dollar debt. With quick wit and a straightforward style, Simpson tackles the most controversial of topics on the national agenda - bringing both honesty and sensible solutions for moving the country forward.

Former Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Simpson provides audiences with anecdotes, humor and cutting edge commentary on politics, the media, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid reform, the economy and much more. The Senator served on the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. Simpson is a member of the National Board of Advisors for the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. He was a founding Advisory Board member of the University of Wyoming's Ruckelshaus Institute.

Watch Sen. Simpson's luncheon address and media availability provided by TVW.

2012 Luncheon

In August 2012, the Center hosted its second Chairman's Circle Luncheon, featuring Ronald Brownstein, author of The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of presidential campaigns. Brownstein is the political director of Atlantic Media Company, publisher of the Atlantic, National Journal, and The Hotline. Brownstein formerly served as the National Affairs Columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has also served as the Times' National Political Correspondent and the author of the weekly Washington Outlook column. Mr. Brownstein served as the National Journal's White House and National Politics Correspondent. He appears regularly on MSNBC programs, including Hardball, Andrea Mitchell Reports and Morning Joe, and previously served as a political analyst for CNN. He also appears regularly on Meet the Press, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos and previously served as a regular panelist on Face the Nation.

Over 100 influential community leaders were in attendance for Brownstein's engaging remarks on "Civil Public Discourse in an Era of Hyper-Partisanship." The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast event featuring him on the same day, which the Center co-sponsored.

The Chairman's Circle Luncheon discussion was highlighted in a recent article titled, "How political polarization tied this country in knots" featured on

2011 Luncheon

In August 2011, the Center hosted it inaugural Chairman's Circle luncheon, featuring renowned historian Dr. Douglas Brinkley. Dr. Brinkley has published extensively on American environmental history, including the widely-acclaimed "The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America" and the recently-published "The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960." He has written about American leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Henry Ford, and conducted oral histories of Neil Armstrong, Stuart Udall and others. Dr. Brinkley spent two days interviewing Bill Ruckelshaus, as a part of his upcoming book on 1960s-70s environmental policy, to create an oral history of Bill's life and remarkable contributions to public service, corporate leadership, and collaborative policy.

The luncheon immediately followed the interviews. Dr. Brinkley discussed his body of work. He and Bill shared their reflections on the oral history, and answered questions from the audience. Over 100 people attended, including the presidents of both universities, the oral history sponsors (Meridian Institute, Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and TVW), table sponsors (Green Diamond Resource Company, Madrona Venture Group, and Puget Sound Energy), many members of the inaugural Chairman's Circle, Advisory Board members, and other distinguished guests.

The Chairman’s Circle is a group of the Ruckelshaus Center's most dedicated supporters. Membership in the Circle includes invitations to special events such as this luncheon.

Bill Ruckelshaus   Douglas Brinkley, Elson Floyd, Bill Ruckelshaus, Michael Young and Michael Kern



Updated on October 17, 2013





2012 Chairman's Circle Luncheon


Seattle Chamber Logo


Jim Sinegal


Cascina Spinasse LogoPeter Goldmark Logo

Ronald Brownstein


Meridian Institute Logo
The Johnson Foundation Logo
Jackson Foundation Logo
TVW Logo

Chairman's Circle Luncheon

Douglas Brinkley

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center, PO Box 646248, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6248, 509-335-2937, Contact Us