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Former US Sen. Jeff Flake appointed distinguished dean fellow in The College

Former United States Sen. Jeff Flake

December 02, 2020

This fall, former United States Sen. Jeff Flake joined Arizona State University as a distinguished dean fellow with The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a role that will see Flake conduct seminars, visit classrooms, give public lectures, meet with students one-on-one and more. 

Flake was a guest lecturer in a number of classes this fall, including Discovery Seminar: Election 2020, instructed by Patrick Kenney, dean of The College; Philosophy, Politics and Economics, instructed by Ross Emmett; Just War, instructed by Luke Perez; Campaigns and Elections, instructed by Matthew Dempsey; and Speaking Politically, instructed by Tara Lennon. He also joined the ASU chapter of the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha for a virtual question-and-answer session

“Sen. Flake’s years of experience on Capitol Hill allow him to pass along invaluable lessons in public service and policy to our students and faculty,” Kenney said. “We are grateful to have him join us in The College and are eager to learn from him.”

Flake, an Arizona native, has held similar roles and given guest lectures at several universities around the country, including Princeton, Yale, Stanford and his alma mater, Brigham Young University.

From 2013 to 2019, Flake served as one of Arizona’s two senators in the U.S. Senate. While in the Senate, he chaired the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, as well as the Africa subcommittee of the Foreign Relations committee. Prior to that, he served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as executive director of the Goldwater Institute in Arizona. In addition, he directed the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia during that nation’s transition to independence. He is currently a contributor to CBS News.

Flake said he hopes sharing his firsthand experiences as a politician will help ASU students gain a deeper understanding of public service.

“Having been on the stage or with a front row seat for some of the significant public policy battles of the past two decades, I hope, has given me a useful perspective about contemporary politics — and more than a few interesting stories,” Flake said. “ASU students have already learned a lot in class and their assigned reading, and some already have some experiences with the political process. But I think my time in Washington allows me to peel back the curtain just a bit and let them know what it's like to be an elected official.”

Drawn to ASU and The College because of the work being done in the public policy and service arena, Flake said he most looks forward to engaging with students and helping them explore possible fields of study and career choices.

“ASU students are eager to learn and, gratefully, have a less jaded view than many in my generation,” he said. “I hope to encourage and inspire students to consider public service at some point in their careers.”

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