San Francisco Harper Lecture with William Howell: The Case for a More Powerful US President

Chicago Booth Alumni Club of San Francisco

The University of Chicago Alumni Association

May 2, 2013: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

In this talk, William Howell will discuss the various sources of institutional dysfunction in Washington. Rather than attempt to reform Congress, the party system, or the electoral system, as many others have argued, however, Howell suggests a course of action that would consolidate and advance historical trends to a more powerful chief executive. To make his case, Howell draws our attention to a leadership deficit in addressing deep, trenchant social problems. If we are to make substantial headway in addressing issues such as climate change, the tax code, energy policy, immigration reform, and the like, the president must stand at the forefront of policy debates: defining the problem, characterizing the possible solutions, and charting a course forward. But to acquire this leadership, we must grant the president greater proposal powers than he (and someday she) currently has.

William Howell is the Sydney Stein professor in American politics at the University of Chicago, where he holds appointments in the Harris School of Public Policy, the Department of Political Science, and the College. William has written widely on separation-of-powers issues and American political institutions, especially the presidency. His two most recent books, both forthcoming in 2013, are The Wartime President and Thinking about the Presidency: The Primacy of Power. While continuing to investigate various dimensions of wartime domestic politics, Howell's projects also focus on the president's influence over education policy and the influence of ideological extremism in distributive politics.


Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
757 Market Street
San Francisco, California


$20/person general admission
$10/recent graduate (College graduates of the past 10 years and professional school graduates of the past 5 years.)
Includes program and refreshments


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Register By Phone: 773.702.7788

Deadline: 5/2/2013


6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Registration and reception

7:00 PM-8:30 PM: Presentation and discussion


Kelly Doody