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Political strategist, commentator David Axelrod to headline spring democracy series at ASU

January 26, 2024

This spring, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the Democracy at Work event series, bringing to campus top politicians and political leaders to conduct discussions about America's democracy. 

Portrait of David Axelrod.
David Axelrod, courtesy photo

The event series will be led in collaboration with David Axelrod, former chief of staff for President Barack Obama and a preeminent American political strategist and commentator.

During each event in the series, Axelrod will interview guests about the role democracy plays in higher education, the current political landscape and the election process.

Michael Crow, who has been ASU’s president since 2002, has led the university in an ambitious new direction by modeling the New American University, founded on access and innovation in higher education. ASU’s charter states that the institution is measured by “whom it includes and how they succeed,” and that it assumes “fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.”

Democracy at Work series events include:

Feb. 28 | A conversation with David Axelrod and ASU President Michael Crow

5 to 6 p.m., ISTB7 auditorium (WCPH 107)

March 25 | A conversation with David Axelrod, Karl Rove and David Plouffe

Noon to 1 p.m., Old Main, Carson Ballroom

Karl Rove is a Republican political consultant, policy advisor and lobbyist, and is the former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. At the White House, he oversaw the offices of strategic initiatives, political affairs, public liaison and intergovernmental affairs.

David Plouffe is a political and business strategist, best known as the campaign manager for Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign. He also served as White House senior advisor to Obama and chief advisor at Uber Technologies Inc., where he remains a member of the board of directors.

Axelrod was the founding director of the University of Chicago's nonpartisan Institute of Politics and currently serves as a distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago, professor of practice at ASU and senior political commentator for CNN.  

He is the host of "The Axe Files," a top-rated podcast featuring in-depth conversations with public figures across the political spectrum. A former political writer for the Chicago Tribune, Axelrod has produced media strategy and advertising for 150 campaigns across the U.S., culminating in Obama’s historic elections. Axelrod is also the author of The New York Times best-selling memoir “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics.”

All events are free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in several lots and garages near each venue. Learn more and RSVP at

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