Published on Nov 2005
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“At a time when partisanship is driving too many Washingtonians apart, Kathy Kemper’s INFO gatherings have performed a real and increasingly rare service: they’ve brought Republicans, Democrats and the press together for civilized conversation about the most important issues of the day.”
In Washington, it is vitally important to bring together diverse groups of people from various political backgrounds and professions to exchange ideas. That’s why I launched the Institute for Education and our INFO Policy Roundtables 15 years ago.
The roundtables are educational, bipartisan breakfasts held once a month by invitation only. These small forums bring together politicians, journalists, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet Secretaries, Nobel laureates and senators to talk policy and politics. Always off-the-record and filler with candid banter, the breakfast provide an opportunity to set aside differences and discuss the important issues of the day.
In July, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to an INFO gathering that included media VIP’s Tim Russert, Bob Woodward, and Andrea Mitchell. On September 13, we celebrated our 160th speaker with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Our guests included journalist Judy Woodruff and Kuwaiti Ambassador Salem Al-Sabah. Today we are working on a new initiative called “The Politics of Common Ground,” designed to bring Republicans and Democrats together to help build personal friendship and (we hope) begin much needed change in the tone of discourse in Washington.