The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy’s will host a discussion with Cody Keenan, former White House director of speech writing when Barack Obama was president of the U.S. This event will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall in O’Hare Academic Building. To register, go here.
Cody Keenan will discuss the ten most dramatic days of Obama’s presidency — when a hate-fueled massacre happened at a Black church in 2015 and looming Supreme Court decisions put the character of the country on the line — and how a president’s words can bring a nation together or tear it apart. The discussion will be based on a book he’s written entitled “Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America.”
Keenan wrote with Barack Obama for nearly fourteen years, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago to director of speechwriting at the White House and Obama’s post-presidential collaborator. He’s been named the “Springsteen” of the Obama White House, Obama calls him “Hemingway,” and British GQ once listed him as one of the “35 Coolest Men under 38 (and a Half).”
Keenan got his start in public service as a young aide to the legendary senator Edward M. Kennedy. He holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Northwestern University, where he teaches a course on speechwriting.
A sought-after expert on politics, messaging and current affairs, he is now a partner at leading speechwriting firm Fenway Strategies and teaches a popular course on political speechwriting to undergraduates at Northwestern University.
To register for the event on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m, go here.
Featured image by Shane Collins