CPD Elects Six New Directors

Apr 16, 2014

Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), today announced six new members elected to the CPD’s board of directors.  They are:

  • Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., President, Purdue University
  • Charles Gibson, Former Anchor, ABC World News with Charles Gibson
  • Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
  • Leon E. Panetta, Chairman, Panetta Institute for Public Policy
  • Olympia Jean Snowe, Former U.S. Senator
  • Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman, Former President, Princeton University

Fahrenkopf and McCurry noted that “Presidential debates reach more viewers and listeners than any other political programming.  They educate voters and motivate citizens to learn about the candidates and the issues.  The CPD is dedicated to developing formats that will allow these exchanges to best serve the public, and we are grateful to engage our six new directors in planning for 2016.  Their individual and collective experience in public service, media and education is extensive and respected.  We are honored to have them join the CPD.”

In addition to the co-chairs, the current CPD directors are Howard G. Buffett, John C. Danforth, John Griffen, Antonia Hernandez, Reverend John I. Jenkins, Newton N. Minow, Richard D. Parsons, Dorothy Ridings, and Alan K. Simpson.

The co-chairs also noted that the new directors would be involved in the CPD’s international work.  U.S. debates are watched in real time by world-wide audiences.  Groups in other countries, particularly emerging democracies, that seek to start their own debates contact the CPD for assistance on issues ranging from candidate negotiation to format and production.  For more than twenty years, the CPD has worked with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) to help these groups initiate or improve debates in their countries.  In connection with these collaborative efforts, NDI has launched www.debatesinternational.org, a website intended to serve as a resource for groups in other countries.  An informal association of those groups, Debates International, has contributed much of the material on the new website.

The CPD is underway with planning for the 2016 debates, and will announce site selection guidelines in early January, 2015.