John Kerry to speak at Tufts in November

John Kerry poses for a portrait. via Wikimedia Commons

Former Secretary of State John Kerry will speak in Cohen Auditorium on Nov. 28 as part of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

According to Tisch College’s press release provided to the Daily, Kerry will focus on his career in public service and experience as an anti-war activist after returning home from serving in Vietnam.

Kerry is one of the leading forces in Massachusetts politics and an elder statesman of the Democratic Party. He was elected a U.S. senator from Massachusetts in 1985, beginning a nearly three-decade tenure that would see him mount an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2004 and which culminated in his assumption of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairmanship in 2009. Kerry left the Senate to become Secretary of State in 2013.

Dean of Tisch College Alan Solomont will appear alongside Kerry during the event to lead a “fireside chat”-style discussion, rather than having Kerry deliver prepared remarks.

“Having a conversation gives us the ability to guide the [discussion] and to talk about a variety of things, including what got him into public service,” Solomont said. “This is really an opportunity for students and faculty to get to know this figure.”

Solomont said he has known Kerry since the early 1970s from working on a community newspaper that covered Kerry’s ill-fated campaign for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District seat. He said it was an honor to have Kerry come to campus.

Jennifer McAndrew, director of communications, strategy and planning for Tisch College, said that hearing from Kerry about his lifetime of public service will serve students well.

“Kerry is someone who has a really broad experience set in public policy, from working on local issues like education funding to experience on the world stage as Secretary of State,” McAndrew said. “I think a lot of students can learn from that.”