Washington comes to Harvard today, as former and current government officials gather to form two panels at the Kennedy School of Government and the Law School.
Today at 3:00 p.m. three congressmen and the chairman of the Democratic National Committee will discuss political career opportunities at the Law School.
And tonight at 8:00 p.m., four past presidential advisers will examine the Iran-Contra scandal in a forum on White House management sponsored by the Institute of Politics (IOP).
The IOP discussion will focus on the handling of the Iran arms deal, trying to "distill from the crises some wisdom" on how the government may act more effectively in the future, said Ellen Hume, White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and moderator of the program.
Panelists will also examine what qualities are needed to serve as a presidential advisor, looking in particular at what made former White House Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan successful on Wall Street but a failure in the White House, she said.
According to Hume, three of the panelists are Republicans who have publicly criticized Regan since the scandal was uncovered, including Richard Cheney (R-WY), U.S. Representative and chief of staff under President Ford; David Gergen, special assistant to President Reagan; and John D. Ehrlichman, domestic affairs assistant to President Nixon.
These former officials, along with Hamilton Jordan, chief of staff under President Carter, will also be asked to explain how they handled their own crises while in the White House, Hume said.
The Law School panel, sponsored by the Harvard Law School Democrats, will point out the options that law students have in addition to going into corporate law, said Barbara A. Morris, one of the program's organizers.
Many students "don't know about the alternatives," said the second-year law student.
The speakers, all Law School graduates, include Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Mary.), who sits on the Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, Representative Anthony Beilenson (D-Cal.), Representative Sander Levin (D-Mich.), and Paul Kirk, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Frankfurter Professor of Law Abram Chayes, who argued on behalf of Nicaragua in its World Court case against the U.S., will moderate the panel.
The panelists will spend an hour discussing the paths their careers followed to Capitol Hill and then answer questions from the floor, Morris said.
"There are a lot of people here interested in going into politics somewhere down the road," she said, adding that even non-law students who have an interest in politics will find the discussion enlightening.