Now in its 7th season, The Jefferson Series hosted another sold out audience on January 28, 2020 for the New Albany Center for Civil Discourse & Debate presentation featuring a discussion with former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and former Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett, moderated by Paul A. Beck, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and member of the Emeritus Academy at The Ohio State University.

Speaker Gingrich and Ms. Jarrett engaged in a dynamic discussion about policy, governance and the current political climate as well as topics including healthcare, education and foreign relations with China and Russia.

Earlier in the day, Gingrich and Jarrett interacted with nearly 1,000 high school students from area schools at The Jefferson Series Student Lecture. Both speakers offered advice to the young people in the audience and responded to their questions. “Listen, learn, help and lead,” said Newt Gingrich. “If you listen and learn and help people, they will ask you to lead. When they ask you to lead, the first thing you do is you tell them your plan and you go back to listening. Then they will become your advisors.”

“If I hadn’t had the courage to go off my path, that very, very well planned plan, that I had made when I was not much older than you, then I wouldn’t be here with you today,” said Valerie Jarrett. “So take risks, opportunity rarely knocks at opportune moments. Every great opportunity that I’ve had has come from relationships that I had built where I was.”

Following the student discussion and Q&A portion, Kathryn Selfe, a senior at Licking Valley High School said, “Today’s Jefferson series was an eye opening experience on how to be better involved in my community and my government, and create the change I want to see in the world.”

Before the evening event, the speakers visited the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in downtown Columbus and were given a tour by President and CEO Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter.

The evening lecture was made possible by the The Jefferson Series donors and sponsors. The Barbara W. & Philip R. Derrow Family Foundation, Donna & Nick Akins Fund, Karen & Irving Dennis Family Fund, Ben W. Hale Jr. Memorial Fund, Redgrave Family Fund, Ryan Family Fund, Lynne & Steve Smith Family Fund, Michael & Nanette Triplett Family Fund, Leslie H. Wexner Jefferson Series Fund, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Battelle, Conway Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, Beatrice Wolper, Trustee, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, AEP, Bob-Boyd Lincoln of Columbus, Columbia Gas (NiSource Company), Fifth Third Bank, Messer, White Castle.