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K-State Today

July 25, 2011



Washington insider and retired lawmaker Alan K. Simpson presenting Landon Lecture Oct. 26

By Communications and Marketing

A former U.S. senator who has made his mark on Washington from the Carter to the Obama administrations will be Kansas State University's 159th speaker in the Landon Lecture Series.

Alan K. Simpson will speak at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at K-State's McCain Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Simpson speaks across the country on current events, the nation's economic future and the role of Congress in society. His 1997 book, "Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press," chronicles his personal experiences and views of the Fourth Estate.

"Alan Simpson's involvement in government at both the state and federal levels spans four decades," said Jackie Hartman, K-State's director of community relations and assistant to the president. "His experiences as a lawmaker and leader give him a special perspective, and we are fortunate to have him speaking on our campus."

Simpson served in the Wyoming Legislature for 13 years after he was elected in 1964. He served three terms in the U.S. Senate beginning with his election to the Senate in 1978.

Simpson made his mark quickly in Washington by accepting difficult assignments and sponsoring legislation that dealt with the establishment of federal standards for clean air and water, toxic waste cleanup and nuclear regulation. He was active on issues regarding veterans, aging, the environment and the nation's immigration laws.

After retiring from the Senate in 1996 he joined Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was a visiting lecturer and a director of the Institute of Politics.

He returned to Cody, Wyo., in 2000 and is a partner in the law firm Simpson, Kepler and Edwards. He teaches and is active with his alma mater, the University of Wyoming.

In 2006 he was named one of 10 members of the Iraq Study Group, charged with assessing the situation in Iraq and the U.S.-led Iraq War and offering specific policy recommendations. In 2010 President Barack Obama asked Simpson to co-chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly known as the Deficit Commission or Debt Panel.

Simpson's current involvement includes serving as co-chair of the Continuity in Government Commission, a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates and co-chair of the Commission on Writing.