2017 AASCU Annual Meeting: Speakers

John N. Friedman

John FriedmanJohn N. Friedman is an associate professor of economics and international affairs and public policy at Brown University. His research brings together theory and data, harnessing the power of large administrative datasets to yield policy-relevant insights on a wide range of topics, including taxation, healthcare and education quality. His work has appeared in top academic journals and in major media outlets. His most well known papers estimate the long-term effects of teachers on student outcomes such as college attendance and earnings; in just one year, a great teacher can raise the lifetime earnings of a single class of students by nearly $1.5 million. President Obama cited this work in his 2012 State of the Union Address.

Over the past seven years, Friedman and his collaborators at the Equality of Opportunity Project have released a series of path-breaking studies that illuminate the landscape of opportunity for children in America. It examines the role that higher education plays in upward mobility, and prominently features some AASCU member institutions.

Friedman has also worked as special assistant to the President for economic policy at the National Economic Council in the White House from 2013-2014.  He holds a Ph.D. in economics, an A.M. in statistics and a B.A. in economics, all from Harvard University. He is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Frederick M. Lawrence

Fred LawrenceAn accomplished scholar, teacher and attorney, Frederick M. Lawrence is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression and bias crimes. Lawrence is the 10th secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, America's first and most prestigious honor society, founded in 1776. He is also a distinguished lecturer at the Georgetown Law Center and a visiting professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and has previously served as president of Brandeis University, dean of the George Washington University Law School, and visiting professor and senior research scholar at Yale Law School. Lawrence’s legal career was distinguished by service as an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York in the 1980s, where he became chief of the Civil Rights Unit.

Lawrence has published widely and lectured internationally. He is the author of “Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law” (Harvard University Press 1999), examining bias-motivated violence and the laws governing how such violence is punished in the United States. He is an opinion contributor to The Hill and U.S. News; frequently contributes op-eds to various other news sources, such as Newsweek, The Boston Globe, the Observer, the NY Daily News and HuffPost; and has appeared on CNN among other networks.

Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey ToobinA high-profile senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin is one of the country’s most esteemed experts on politics, media and law. The author of critically acclaimed bestsellers, Toobin has provided analysis on some of the most provocative and important events of our time.

Toobin received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After a six-year tenure at ABC News, where he covered the country’s highest-profile cases and received a 2000 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzales custody saga, Toobin joined CNN as a legal analyst in 2002, where he now serves as the Senior Legal Analyst. 

Also a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1993, he has written articles on such subjects as the Bernie Madoff scandal; the case of Roman Polanski; and profiles of Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens, and Chief Justice John Roberts. Prior to joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh.

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