April 27, 2007

Good Morning:

Each year the Milken Institute produces "The Global Conference," an event that brings together global leaders in business, finance, public policy, science, medicine and other fields to discuss and gain insight into important issues that touch all of our lives.

This week I participated in two of the conference panels: "Rebuilding New Orleans" and "Crisis Management." My fellow panelists on the rebuilding panel were Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, congressman, ambassador and civil rights leader, who grew up in New Orleans; John Kallenborn, president of the New Orleans Region of JP Morgan Chase Bank, North America; Sean Cummings, president of ekistics Inc., a New Orleans-based real estate development firm and Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu.

The "Crisis Management" panel included Larry Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center complex in New York; Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton and Bill Gray, Co-CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world's most highly regarded advertising agencies.

I was honored to be a part of this conference and learned a great deal from the discussions. It is a dubious distinction to be so closely associated with a disaster, to be sure, but in this role I hope to always positively represent all of you and the extraordinary efforts you have made over the last two years to assist in our recovery. Audiences are always riveted by our story, by the way.

Our work in rebuilding continues in many forms, such as the new Center for Public Service, which has galvanized Tulane University's commitment to New Orleans and engaged our students, faculty and staff in numerous projects that apply classroom instruction to everyday issues.

For example, Biomedical Engineering Professor David Rice and his students spent last year building devices for people with autism and other physical and mental challenges. Led by Latin American Studies Professor Jimmy Huck, faculty and students have studied the migrant worker influx and its cultural ramifications while teaching English through the Hispanic Apostolate. This coming summer, students from Tulane and other institutions will have the opportunity to intern with local non-profits and learn about our city's rich culture through "Semester in NOLA."

These are just some of the activities of this dynamic center. To find out how you can be a part of the Center for Public Service please visit

Finally, don't forget that former Vice President Al Gore will discuss "An Inconvenient Truth" at McAlister Auditorium May 1 from 2 to 3:45 p.m. This event is free and open the public.

Have a great weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638