LBJ School professor leads American Assembly initiative to revamp U.S. international institutions

Sept. 6, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas—The American Assembly has appointed Francis J. Gavin, assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, as director of its Next Generation Project: Creating Better Global Institutions for America. 

The American Assembly, an affiliate of Columbia University, is a national, educational, nonpartisan institution that aims to “illuminate issues of public policy.” The Next Generation Project is designed to stimulate new thinking about the international institutional framework that has served the United States for more than 50 years but may need to change to adapt to the new century’s challenges. It will engage both the next generation of emerging political, academic, professional and civic U.S. leaders and senior experts who have played or now play a major role in making American international policy. The project will include a series of national assemblies preceded by regional assemblies across the country, cosponsored by several of the nation's leading public policy institutions and universities.

“Frank has the requisite brainpower to master the complexity of this project and the respect of the policy making community and academia,” said Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas who developed the Next Generation Project during his tenure as chairman of the American Assembly. “Most importantly, he has an entrepreneurial instinct and presence that we found almost unique among the very strong candidate group we reviewed.”

Admiral Bobby R. Inman, former director of the National Security Agency, trustee of the American Assembly and LBJ School interim dean, added, “Frank Gavin is one of the brightest young leaders of his generation.”

“I am very honored to be working on such an exciting project with the American Assembly, one of the most distinguished public policy forums in the world,” said Gavin. “Calling together the nation’s best talent to study how best to improve both our national and global institutions is of vital importance to our future prosperity and security; this exercise will also highlight the exciting new directions the LBJ School and UT are taking to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.”

A historian, Gavin’s teaching and research interests focus on U.S. foreign policy, national security affairs, nuclear strategy and arms control, presidential policymaking and the history of international monetary relations.

Gavin joined the LBJ School faculty in fall 2000. He was previously an Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs and an International Security Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. His publications include numerous scholarly articles, book reviews and editorials. Gavin has won several prestigious awards and honors, including the 2002-03 Smith Richardson Junior Faculty fellowship in International Security and Foreign Policy and the 2003-04 Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship at The University of Texas at Austin. He received doctor’s and master’s degrees in diplomatic history from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of studies in modern European history from Oxford, and a bachelor’s degree in political science (with honors) from the University of Chicago.

Founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1950, the American Assembly brings together leaders from a broad range of backgrounds and opinions to prepare consensus statements and recommendations addressed to policymakers, lawmakers and the public. In more than 100 national American Assemblies and in regional and international forums, thousands of public opinion leaders and decision makers have gathered from throughout the country and the world. Through commissioned research, publications and meetings, the American Assembly provides a singular venue for examining and shaping the formulation of sustainable public policy.

For additional information visit the American Assembly Web site or contact David H. Mortimer of the American Assembly at 212-870-3500.

For more information contact: Megan Scarborough, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 512-471-8954.