NEH Chair Jim Leach to address USD campus community

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Jim Leach, chair of the National Endowment of the Humanities, will address the campus community at The University of South Dakota on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the Al Neuharth Media Center.

As part of his 50 state “civility tour,” Leach will present the program “Civility in a Fractured Society” at 4 p.m. in the Freedom Forum Conference Room. Additionally, Leach will meet with a delegation from USD and receive a tour of the National Music Museum, which is located on the USD campus.

“It’s a privilege to welcome Chairman Leach to our campus,” stated Matthew Moen, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USD and a former president of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Lohre Distinguished Professor. “As South Dakota’s public liberal arts university, it’s imperative that Chairman Leach sees first hand our commitment and interest in advocating the arts and humanities in American public life.”

Leach, the ninth chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, served 30 years representing southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives. While in Congress, he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

After leaving Congress in 2007, Leach joined the faculty at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School where he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs until his confirmation as NEH chairman. In September 2007, he took a leave of absence from Princeton and served as interim director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

A recipient of several awards, including the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities and the Woodrow Wilson Award from The Johns Hopkins University, Leach earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a master’s degree in Soviet politics from The Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife, Elisabeth, reside in the Iowa City and Washington, D.C. areas with their two children.

A photo of Leach is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Jim_Leach.jpg.