Journalism school to join Washington think tank

The Schieffer School of Journalism is partnering with a think tank in Washington, D.C., and this evening starts a series of monthly dialogues with Bob Schieffer to discuss national issues, a university official said.

The purpose of the dialogues is to bring the Schieffer School to the attention of national news, discuss important issues relative to the public and employ TCU graduates, said Larry Lauer, vice chancellor for marketing and communication.

Over time, the school hopes to find ways to involve students and faculty in Washington experiences, he said.

“How soon that will happen is in the works. We will have to evolve. This is just the beginning of a presence in Washington through visibility,” Lauer said.

The partner think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides strategic insights and policy solutions to decision makers in government and international institutions, according to its Web site.

Lauer said he went to the “Economist” magazine workshop in Washington where he met the president and CEO of CSIS, John Hamre. The pair realized they had mutual interests in national issues and began planning a partnership, he said.

“We are delighted to partner in this project with Bob Schieffer and the Schieffer School at TCU,” Hamre said in a press release. “Bob is the most universally respected journalist in the business. His fairness combined with his depth on the issues establishes a standard for all his colleagues to emulate.”

Lauer said the reason the school partnered with CSIS is because it is one of the most prestigious and bipartisan think tanks in Washington.

Schieffer agreed to host the series of dialogues in Washington once a month.

“This is a great opportunity for the Schieffer School, since CSIS is one of the most respected institutions of its kind in the world,” Schieffer said in a press release. “Their resident fellows and associates are called upon by every major news organization every day to provide insight into the complex issues facing the world.”

The first session will feature R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs; Lt. Gen. David Barno, former U.S. army commander of combined forces in Afghanistan; Steve Coll, CEO of the New America Foundation; and Rick Barton, senior adviser in the international security program at CSIS.

Each dialogue will discuss international issues that affect everyone, Lauer said. Most of the discussions will be about national security issues, such as U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, Lauer said.

Tommy Thomason, director of the Schieffer School, said there is no end date established because the dialogues’ popularity will determine how long it will run.

“It is important to the Schieffer School to introduce important issues and do it in a way that is credible,” Thomason said. “Washington provides the perfect audience for this partnership.”

At 5 p.m.at www.schiefferschool.tcu.edu, viewers can watch the first discussion which will involve the status of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.