Conversation series to foster understanding on difficult issues

Executive power will be the focus of the first in a series of discussions at Cornell featuring prominent experts and commentators tackling different perspectives on challenging issues in law, politics, technology and sports.

The Peter ’69 and Marilyn ’69 Coors Conversation Series “aims to foster greater understanding across differences by bringing together speakers with a range of political viewpoints,” according to organizers.

Open to students, faculty and staff with a Cornell ID card, the four-part series kicks off Sept. 17 with attorneys Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III.

Katyal, a former acting U.S. solicitor general in the Obama administration, teaches law at Georgetown University and is a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells. He has argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court, including on the state of Hawaii’s behalf against President Trump’s travel ban.

Conway is of counsel in the litigation department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He boasts extensive litigation experience at the trial and appellate levels relating to securities, mergers and acquisitions, contracts, and antitrust matters. He is married to Kellyanne Conway, a close Trump aide.

Sarah Kreps, professor of government and adjunct professor of law, will moderate the conversation, starting at 5:30 p.m. in Statler Auditorium. The Cornell Political Union will host an open discussion following the event, from 7-8 p.m.

The series continues Oct. 3, posing the question: “Is Illiberalism Corroding Our Democracy?” Weighing in will be Ezra Klein, editor at large at, and conservative journalist and author Andrew Sullivan. Liz Anker, associate professor of English, will moderate the discussion, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Law School’s Landis Auditorium.

The series resumes next spring with a look at Big Tech. On April 22, Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle and Tim Wu, professor of law, science and technology at Columbia Law School, will address the question, “Have Tech Platforms Gotten Too Big and Need to Be Broken Up?”

Moderating will be Rick Geddes, professor and founding director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy.

The series concludes Oct. 22, 2020, with a conversation about the “Future of Division I College Athletics” featuring conservative commentator George F. Will and philosopher Martha Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago.

Media Contact

Abby Butler