Monthly Archives: March 2019

Congratulations, Associate Professor Daniel Bessner

Congratulations to Daniel Bessner on his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure by the UW Provost. Two years ago, the Jackson Foundation celebrated Bessner’s induction as the first Anne H.H. and Kenneth B. Pyle Professor in American Foreign Policy. The professorship was established with a major gift from the Jackson Foundation. Dr. Kenneth B. Pyle and Senator Jackson shared a remarkable professional and personal rapport founded on their joint commitment to a strong and deeply knowledgeable American foreign policy community. We are so pleased that Bessner has already risen up the UW ranks.

Professor Bessner published his first book, Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual, last April. It has garnered positive reviews from diplomatic and intellectual historians, as well as in more popular venues such as The Los Angeles Review of Books. Daniel is hard at work on his next work about the history of the RAND Corporation.

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Jackson School Director Reşat Kasaba (left) with Daniel Bessner (middle) and Professor Arne Westad, visiting from Harvard University

Taking a page out of his own history book, Bessner is rising to the challenge of being a public intellectual, writing for public consumption in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Boston Review, and elsewhere. These pieces have engendered significant interest in the field and on Twitter, where scholars and experts frequently respond to and engage with Daniel and his ideas. We applaud this outreach, just as we recognize the research that underlies it. This is the Scoop Jackson ideal: scholarship and activism, expertise and outreach beyond academia. Daniel embodies it.

Professor Bessner has committed himself deeply to being a public historian. In the footsteps of both Ken Pyle and Senator Jackson, he is forging his own path forward. Congratulations, Daniel!

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Welcome, Board President Craig Gannett

We are pleased to announce that the Foundation’s Board of Governors recently elected Craig Gannett as President of the Board.  Craig is a partner resident in the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where he focuses on electric utility regulation, renewable energy development, and climate change-related regulation.

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Craig providing welcoming remarks at a program at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C

Early in his career, Craig served under Senator Jackson as counsel to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and later served as Senior Counsel to the committee.  In addition to his law practice, Craig teaches Climate Change Law at the University of Washington Law School, and is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics relating to energy and climate change.  He also chairs the Advisory Board to the UW’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Craig has long been engaged with the Foundation.  In addition to serving as a Vice President, he has chaired the Foundation’s Program and Activities Committee, which oversees grant proposal review and provides direction to staff regarding big-picture strategy and vision for our programs. As the Foundation has committed more attention to climate change, Craig’s substantive knowledge and national connections have helped to maximize our resources and enhance our effectiveness.

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Craig participating in a National Bureau of Asian Research program on China and the Rule of Law in Seattle

Speaking at our Board meeting after he assumed the presidency from outgoing President John Hempelmann, Craig commented that “we live in very troubling times.”  In addition to the erosion of human rights, the undermining of democracy at home and abroad, the denigration of public service, and the decline of civil discourse, he noted that the existential nature of climate change threatens to eclipse everything else.

The good news, he assured us, is that “we have the perfect antidote to these problems.”  The Foundation has a long history of working in precisely the areas that are most under assault, he said, and we have consistently advocated for the values employed so effectively by Senator Jackson – civilized, fact-based, bipartisan decisionmaking.  In addition, we have “our secret weapon,” the growing ranks of astute, young public and private sector professionals who have benefited from our Jackson Fellows leadership training program, now in its fourth year.  “They are ready to tackle these tough problems in the Jackson tradition, and I am confident that they will make a difference.”

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Craig (in the back by the bust of Senator Jackson) with the 2018 Jackson Fellows in Washington, D.C.

“Our challenge as a foundation,” Craig continued, “is to do more and to do it more effectively.” We have to “optimize every aspect of what we do – including governance, staff resources, external partnerships, and engaging and leveraging our board members — to help accomplish our mission.  We will also need to attract the financial resources necessary to meet the daunting challenges we face.  We have a huge opportunity before us, and our task is to see how much we can accomplish together.”

We share Craig’s enthusiasm and commitment.  You will enjoy seeing him in action, and we invite you to join us as we continue to address some of the most pressing problems of our time.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director