audience members

Throughout the academic year, the Woodrow Wilson School hosts talks and forums that address a broad range of policy topics and provide real-life insights into the interplay of public policy, politics and personal action. Subscribe to our Weeks Ahead e-newsletter to receive reminders about these events.

Public Affairs Lectures

Paul Volcker ’49 - former chairman, Federal ReserveThe Wilson School’s 4:30 p.m. public affairs events bring senior-level figures from the worlds of policy, diplomacy, academia and the media to address pressing issues of public policy and international affairs in each of our four fields of study. These events are held two or three times a week and are typically open to the public and on the record. Media are invited. A small, private dinner with students or a book sale/signing and reception often follows.

John Doar ’44, Nicholas Katzenbach ’45, Harrison Jay Goldin ’57We organize the afternoon talks around general themes such as good governance, technology, the Middle East and inequality. To address current policy issues in the news, we host “Up to the Minute” talks that focus on world events as they unfold. 

Some of our speakers spend a longer time on campus, as part of the Program in Leadership and Governance.  Over a three day period, these guests not only deliver a lecture but meet with students over meals, in classes, and in one-on-one office hours.


Lunch-Timer events provide an informal setting at which our students can engage in lively discussions with officials and practitioners from various fields. These events, open only to Wilson School students and faculty, are extremely popular. Following the Lunch-Timer talks, students are able to meet one-on-one with the speakers, schedule permitting.  

Policy Forums

With the Wilson School acting in the role of a facilitator, these half-day forums provide a “neutral territory” for policymakers, stakeholders and researchers to discuss pressing and often controversial issues. Students are encouraged to help shape these forums and to attend.