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Former Gov. Thompson to give Offner Lecture Sept. 30

September 11, 2014

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will give this year’s Paul Offner Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street. A short reception will precede Thompson’s speech.

Photo: Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson

The legacy of Offner, a former Wisconsin state senator, is celebrated with a public lecture series sponsored by the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Speakers have backgrounds and careers that span government, research and education, just like that of Offner.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Gov. Thompson’s reputation for this year’s lecture,” says Susan Yackee, director of the La Follette School. “His long political career at every level of government and his insights on solving thorny policy issues match exactly what we hope to capture in our Offner Lecture series.”

Thompson and Offner served together in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1974-76. Offner then moved to the Wisconsin Senate, where he served until 1984, while Thompson remained in the Assembly until he became governor in 1987.

Photo: Paul Offner

Paul Offner

Thompson was the longest-serving governor in Wisconsin’s history, from 1987-2001, when President George W. Bush named him secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After that, Thompson was a partner with the law firm Akin Gump and chairman of global health care practice for the international professional service firm Deloitte Touche. Thompson has served on the board of 22 other organizations.

At the time of his death on April 20, 2004, Offner was a consultant at The Urban Institute, where he contributed to breakthrough research on poverty in America.