Former DNC chair Dean to discuss politics, Obamacare at Benedictine

March 25, 2014


Lisle, Illinois ~ Past chair of the Democratic National Committee and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will visit Benedictine University to discuss his experiences in politics, the future of the Democratic Party and his views on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22 on the second floor of the Krasa Student Center.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend this free event.

Dean was invited to speak at Benedictine – the fastest-growing university in the country – as part of the nonpartisan Center for Civic Leadership’s (CCL) speaker series. Established in 2005 under the direction of former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, a 1968 Benedictine graduate and Distinguished Fellow, the CCL seeks to shape a new generation of public leaders and responsible citizens.  

“The CCL is pleased to welcome Gov. Howard Dean to Benedictine,” said Phil Hardy, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science and acting CCL director. “Dean brings tremendous experience in both Democratic politics and the field of medicine. His background, both as a medical doctor and former presidential hopeful, will allow him to discuss health care reform and the Affordable Care Act from a unique vantage point.

“We look forward to hearing him outline the challenges that lie ahead for the new health care law, as well as the electoral prospects for the Democratic Party as we approach the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential contest,” Hardy added.  

Dean will also visit with local high school and community college students to discuss “Reforming Health Care in the United States” as part of the CCL’s Youth Government Day, an annual event at Benedictine created to engage young people on the importance of government by examining some of the most pressing political issues affecting their country, state and community.

Dean first entered politics in 1982 as a state representative in Vermont after transitioning from a career as a full-time practicing physician. In 1991, he was elected governor of Vermont, a seat he held for six terms.

In 2003, he left the Vermont governorship to run for president of the United States. During this campaign, he implemented innovative strategies for fundraising, voter outreach and feedback through the use of the Internet and social media – techniques which were used by both parties in the 2008 election.  
Dean is past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Governors’ Association and the New England Governors’ Conference.

As chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Dean created and implemented the “50 State Strategy,” an ambitious effort to forgo the old approach of campaigning in traditional Democratic strongholds in favor of cultivating candidates in every state and level of government. Under his leadership, significant resources were dedicated to revitalizing the Democratic Party by building and strengthening the organizational tools, technological capabilities and infrastructure required to win elections while laying the foundation for a long-term Democratic majority.

Today, Dean serves as a senior strategic advisor and independent consultant in the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs practice at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, where he specializes in the areas of health care, early childhood development, alternative energy and the expansion of grassroots politics around the world. He also serves as a contributor for CNBC and as a board member of the National Democratic Institute, where he focuses on Southeast Europe and China. He is the founder of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee.

Before entering politics, Dean earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Yale University in 1971, and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1978. Upon completing his residency at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, he went on to practice internal medicine in Shelburne, Vt.   


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.

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