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Jim Hanchett
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Steve Hinnefeld
IU Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two prominent speakers headline SPEA’s 40th anniversary commemoration

Sept. 26, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A former top federal government official and an influential broadcaster will be speaking on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington as part of the 40th anniversary celebration at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Both speeches are free and open to the public.

"This year we are marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of SPEA in 1972, but this is much more than a celebration of our past," said SPEA Dean John D. Graham. "These speakers share in common an ability to describe for our students and the entire campus community the forces that will shape the future of our nation and our world."

Speakers will be John Fernandez, a former Bloomington mayor and U.S. Commerce Department official, on Oct. 2; and Philip LeBeau, correspondent for NBC News and CNBC, on Oct. 4.

John Fernandez

John Fernandez

Fernandez has devoted his career to development, serving as the U.S. Department of Commerce's assistant secretary for economic development for three years before his resignation in February. You can read more about his years with the federal government on the Commerce Department website.

A graduate of SPEA and a member of the School's Distinguished Alumni Council, Fernandez was mayor of Bloomington from 1995 to 2003 and is credited with playing a key role in the revitalization of Bloomington's now thriving downtown. He is now partner and innovation strategy specialist with SNR Denton in Washington, D.C.

"John Fernandez will be speaking about his experience in the public and private sectors and urban and rural economic development from a regional perspective," said SPEA professor Barry Rubin, who is coordinating the event. Fernandez will speak at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in PV169 on SPEA's first floor.

Philip LeBeau

Philip LeBeau

LeBeau, a Chicago-based correspondent, is considered the most influential broadcast journalist covering the auto and aviation industries. He routinely breaks news about both industries in his regular reports on CNBC and through his widely followed blog, "Behind the Wheel," on the CNBC website.

LeBeau has reported one-hour documentaries for CNBC including "Dreamliner: Inside the World's Most Anticipated Airplane," "Ford: Rebuilding an American Icon" and "Saving General Motors." LeBeau will speak about the trends influencing the future of the two key industries at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in PV161 on SPEA's first floor.

Fernandez and LeBeau have also agreed to meet with SPEA students in the classroom and more casual settings.

SPEA is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News and World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are ranked by the National Academy of Science as the best in the country.