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Speaker Series

In addition to numerous other classroom and external engagements, the Department of Humanities hosts two of the Academy’s most popular annual events: The Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellowship and the Elenchus Fellowship.

The Coast Guard Foundation Hedrick Fellowship

This day-long event honors distinguished citizens shaping the course of our nation. We learn from the leadership experiences of America’s most notable political, military, and industry leaders.

The Hedrick Fellowship is named for Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Hedrick of Wichita, Kansas whose generous gift established the annual event. This long-running speaker series is made possible through the continued support of the Coast Guard Foundation.

  • Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Transportation (2023)
  • Chuck Hagel, former Secretary of Defense (2022)
  • Norman Mineta, former Secretary of Transportation (2020)
  • Charles Bolden, Jr., Marine Corps Major General (Retired), Astronaut, former Administrator of NASA (2019)
  • Ambassador John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State; Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq (2018)
  • Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey and EPA Administrator (2017)
  • James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (2016)
  • Thomas Friedman, Author and Intellectual (2015)
  • Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (2014)
  • Andrew H. Card, Jr., former White House Chief of Staff (2013)
  • Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator (2012)
  • Anthony Zinni, former Commander, U.S. Central Command (2010)
  • Sandra Day O’Connor, former Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (2009)
  • James A. Baker, III, former Secretary of State (2008)
  • William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense (2007)
  • Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security (2006)
  • Togo D. West, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2004)
  • President George H. W. Bush (2002)
  • James D. Watkins, Secretary of Energy (2001)
  • William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense (1998)
  • Warren Burger, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1992)
  • Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of Defense (1990)
  • President Jimmy Carter (1988)
  • James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense (1986)
  • William F. Buckley, conservative and journalist (1985)
  • President Gerald Ford (1984)
  • Edmund S. Muskie, former Secretary of State (1983)

The Elenchus Fellowship

The Elenchus Fellowship, taking its name from Plato’s Socratic method, challenges us to examine and question what we hold to be true, by engaging in an introspective conversation about humanity and duty.

Elenchus Fellows explore broad questions of human dignity and the philosophical, cultural, and political qualities of civilization. We consider what constitutes our duty to others.

The Elenchus Fellowship is possible thanks to a generous anonymous gift.

  • Dr. Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of the Central European University in Budapest (2018)
  • David Gergen, co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, and CNN political analyst (2017)
  • Ms. Juliette Kayyem; Author and Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2016)
  • The Honorable Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security (2015)
  • David D. Caron; Dean and Professor of Law of the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London (2014)
  • Ms. Soledad O’Brien; Broadcast Journalist, Producer, and Philanthropist (2013)
  • Mr. Joseph Kennedy, U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts (2012)
  • Dr. Richard Shultz of the International Security Studies Program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (2011)
  • Dr. Joel Rosenthal of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (2010)
  • Mr. Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard (2009)
  • Professor Samantha Power of the Carr Center for Human Rights, Harvard University (2008)
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