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Back Issues of PDAA Today

Back issues of PDAA Today, PDAA’s quarterly print newsletter are now online and available for download.

Mike McCurry Highlights Foreign Policy in 2016 Election

Mike McCurry at PDAA

Mike McCurry, at the February 18, 2016 PDAA lunch, describes the polarization of the American electorate. (A. Kotok)

(Updated 20 February 2016) PDAA’s February 18, 2016 lunch program featured veteran political strategist and former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry who described the role of foreign policy in the 2016 presidential elections, and the state of presidential politics overall. PDAA’s luncheon program came less than two weeks before Super Tuesday with primaries scheduled in 12 states, including Virginia, and a week after the New Hampshire primary.

McCurry described to an overflow audience how the tone of the campaigns, fueled in part by public frustration with politics as usual, has created a polarized atmosphere not seen in presidential politics for many decades. With issues including Syrian refugees, response to ISIS, and relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, noted McCurry, the presidential candidates are offering voters very different, and often controversial, proposals to global challenges.

McCurry also outlined plans for the presidential debates, since he co-chairs the Commission on Presidential Debates, which sponsors the general election debates between candidates for President and Vice President of the United States.

He served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1998 and as spokesman for the Department of State from 1993 to 1995. Currently a partner at Public Strategies Washington Inc., where he provides counsel on communications strategies and management to corporate and non-profit clients, McCurry also serves as a professor of public theology at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

He was director of communications for the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 1990 and served as press secretary to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and later to Senator Patrick Moynihan in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

McCurry serves on numerous boards or advisory councils including Share Our Strength (a national nonprofit that seeks to end childhood hunger), the Children’s Scholarship Fund, the White House Historical Association and the Executive Committee of the Global Health Initiative of the United Methodist Church.

McCurry received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 1976, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University in 1985, and a Master of Arts from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2013.

Jon Schaffer introducing McCurry

PDAA vice-president Jon Schaffer introduces McCurry to the overflow audience. (A. Kotok)

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