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Strauss Center to Become New Home for the Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions

LBJ School Alumni, Faculty and Staff Play Key Roles in Working to Solve Global Challenges

AUSTIN, Texas-- Nov. 6, 2009-- The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law announced today that it will become the new base of operations for the Next Generation Project: U. S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions, an ambitious, nonpartisan, multiyear initiative started by The American Assembly at Columbia University.

Strauss Center Governing Board member and LBJ School of Public Affairs Interim Dean Admiral Bobby R. Inman, USN (Ret.), chaired the Next Generation Project’s senior advisory council.  “The Next Generation Project was a great success for The American Assembly.  It will have even greater impact in its relationship with The University of Texas and the Strauss Center,” he said.

Francis J. Gavin, Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, is Director of the Strauss Center and served as Project Director for the Next Generation Project. 

“The Next Generation Project will be an unparalleled resource for Texas as it integrates into a rapidly changing global landscape,” said Gavin.  “With this effort, we hope to bring the world to Texas and Texas to the world.”

The Next Generation Project was initiated in 2005 under the leadership of Richard Fisher, CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who at that time served as Chairman of The American Assembly.  It was based on the premise that U. S. foreign policy lacked focus and that the institutions established during the Cold War era were no longer meeting the global challenges of the new century. 

The project identified emerging leaders around the nation from every sector, including business, media, law and other private sector industries, as well as academia, NGOs, international institutions and all levels of government, to be part of an influential network of nearly 300 Next Generation Fellows.  

The Fellows participated in regional three-day assemblies across the nation, which produced new insights and fresh thinking about how the U. S. can generate and implement more effective, forward-looking global policies.  Many of the Fellows, as well as Next Generation Project speakers and special advisers, hold influential positions in the private sector, government and nonprofits.  A full list of the Next Generation Project Fellows, along with reports of recommendations from each assembly, can be found at

LBJ School Alumni, Faculty -- Active Partcipants in Next Generation Project

Three LBJ School alumni are Next Generation Project fellows and participated in previous Project Assemblies. Stacey Abrams (1998), a rising star in the Georgia legislature, is a National Fellow and Sara Meadows (2003) and Wesley Wilson (2001) are Regional Fellows. Joshua W. Busby, assistant professor at the LBJ School, is a member of the Project’s leadership team, serving as both a deputy director and discussion leader. In addition, Catherine Weaver, LBJ School Assistant Professor and Distinguished Scholar and Research Coordinator with the Strauss Center, is also involved in the project. Other UT-Austin participants include Michael E. Webber, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a research fellow at the Strauss Center, and Terri Givens, associate professor in the Government Department.

The Next Generation Project will transfer to the Strauss Center from The American Assembly through a series of three one-day assemblies held in Washington, D.C.  The meetings will cover a range of topics, including the Obama administration’s performance in U. S. global policy, combating terrorism and its role in American foreign policy and the status of reform in large-scale international institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, as well as the national security system.  These meetings will take place at Meridian International Center.  The Center for New American Security Fellows will also participate in the meetings.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded The American Assembly, which is affiliated with Columbia University, in 1950 as one of this country’s first nonpartisan, national public affairs forums.

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law is a nonpartisan research center at The University of Texas at Austin dedicated to promoting policy-relevant scholarship on the problems and opportunities created by our increasingly globalized and interconnected world. For more information on the Strauss Center, please visit