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An Insider’s Guide to Government

December 09, 2020

Two former White House Chiefs of Staff – John H. Sununu and Andrew Card – joined Professor Paul DeBole’s class virtually this fall to talk about their careers in politics.

Former NH Governor John Sununu speaks to a Lasell class on ZoomFormer New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu (left) spoke with students in DeBole’s American Presidency class on December 3. Sununu was also the White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush. He shared his perspective on and involvement with the Bush administration’s reaction to the invasion of Kuwait, including the assembly of an international coalition of nations in response.

“Governor Sununu is an engineer – he has a PhD from MIT – and so it was really interesting to hear him talk about his very strategic, systems-oriented approach to government,” said DeBole.

Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card speaks with Lasell University students over ZoomEarlier in the semester, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card (right) spoke with students about his experience under President George W. Bush. Card, who also served as United States Secretary of Transportation in the early 1990s, talked about his career in state and federal government positions and also emphasized his belief in civic engagement.

“‘We the People’ isn’t just a set of words in our constitution,” he said. “It is an invitation for everyone to participate in government.”

Card also shared his recollection of September 11, 2001, and what it was like to deliver news of the terrorist attacks to President Bush while visiting a Florida elementary school.

DeBole, assistant professor of political science, frequently invites high-profile guest speakers with plentiful experience in the field to speak with his students. It’s a valuable glance into the day-to-day lives of top federal, state, and local officials – and a great opportunity for students to envision themselves in those positions.