LBJ School of Public Affairs marks 50th anniversary with special programs in 2020

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December 16, 2019
LBJ School 50th Anniversary logo

AUSTIN, TEXAS — In 2020, the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin turns 50, marking a half-century since one of the most action-oriented policy presidents in American history declared his intention to educate new generations of young people to become bold "thinkers and doers." During the landmark anniversary year, the LBJ School will present three daylong programs that spotlight contemporary, high-profile voices known for their imaginative and thoughtful leadership in their chosen arenas.

The 50th anniversary will be celebrated under the banner "In the Arena," after President Theodore Roosevelt's famed 1910 Sorbonne speech in which he argued:

Theodore Roosevelt quote: It is not the critic who counts ... The credit goes to the man who is actually In the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.

Speakers include distinguished scholars, business and political leaders, creative thinkers and disruptors. They join the school to engage in dialogue on innovations in medicine, energy, science and space; promising ideas, policies and leadership in the environment, technology and human migration; and new and unpredictable pressures on democratic institutions. Each day closes with a signature LBJ Forum.


  • Genius for Good | Wednesday, March 11 | Austin, Texas
  • Humanity: It's Time | Thursday, April 30 | Austin, Texas
  • Democracy's Destiny: In a New Generation’s Hands | Fall | Washington, DC

TIME logo will support the special anniversary as the media partner of the LBJ 50th.

"This once-in-a lifetime anniversary not only reflects the force of 50 years of impact by those who taught at and attended the LBJ School, but more importantly, it also musters this force to forge new pathways to think about and act upon the future," said Angela Evans, dean of the LBJ School. "We thank the LBJ Foundation for its support of this ambitious endeavor and its shared commitment to ignite emerging generations of young people driven by purpose and a desire to build a better world."

In addition to three daylong programs, the school will host an alumni-focused Grand Reunion Celebration on Aug. 28, 2020 in Austin to celebrate its past, legacy and future.

Information on how to attend the LBJ School's 50th anniversary events will be available in 2020. Stay updated on 50th Anniversary events at


Confirmed participants include:

  • Anousheh Ansari, first Iranian-American in space; CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, @AnoushehAnsari
  • Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, @BoeingDefense
  • Pedro Conceição, director of strategic policy at the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at the United Nations Development Programme, @pedrotconceicao
  • Trammell S. Crow, founder of EarthX
  • Susan Dell, co-founder and chairman of the board of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, @SusanDell
  • Dr. Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, UT Austin professor of chemistry; developer of “The Cancer Pen,” @livia__se
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Tom Freston, chairman of ONE; former CEO of Viacom and MTV Networks
  • Mei Mei Hu, co-founder and CEO of United Neuroscience, @UNSTechBio  
  • Laura Huffman, Texas state director of the Nature Conservancy, @laurajhuffman
  • Dr. Clay Johnston, dean of Dell Medical School; VP for Medical Affairs at UT Austin, @ClayDellMed
  • Dina Powell McCormick, member, Management Committee, Goldman Sachs; former deputy national security adviser for strategy to President George W. Bush, @GoldmanSachs
  • Adm. William McRaven, U.S. Navy (Ret.); LBJ School professor in national security 
  • James B. Milliken, chancellor of The University of Texas System, @jbmilliken
  • Dr. Vivienne Ming, theoretical neuroscientist; entrepreneur; author; co-founder of Socos Labs, @neuraltheory
  • Farah Pandith, foreign policy strategist; former diplomat, @Farah_Pandith
  • Martine Rothblatt, founder of Sirius Satellite Radio; CEO of United Therapeutics
  • Dr. Rajiv Shah, CEO of The Rockefeller Foundation, @rajshah
  • Timothy Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics, @TimShriver
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, @SlaughterAM
  • Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, @blueorigin
  • Sherrie Westin, president of social impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, @SherrieWestin


About the LBJ School of Public Affairs

The LBJ School, one of the nation's top 10 public affairs schools, offers master’s degrees in domestic and global affairs, making a difference, not only within the walls of academia, but also in the public and social dialogue of the world. Its effectiveness in channeling the purpose and passion of students into professional careers is evident in the success of more than 4,500 graduates who are the living legacy of President Johnson's bold and fearless action. The school celebrates a half-century of impact in 2020. For more, visit


For further information:

Susan Binford, 512-415-4820