The Sussman Lecture Series

The Sussman Lecture Series is dedicated to studying issues that define our public life and engaging students and citizens in constructive dialogue regarding these issues.

Founded on the premise that good public policy is best achieved when policymakers have access to high quality information, political processes are open and well-understood, and citizens are informed and active participants, The Harkin Institute seeks to create opportunities for thoughtful policy discourse in a nonpartisan environment.

The Sussman Lecture Series hosts a notable public policy figure to discuss topical current events with a small audience. The series was established by Richard Sussman, AS’51, and his late wife Lila. Tickets are required and seating is limited to provide an intimate experience for attendees.

WATCH: Fall 2021 Sussman Lecture with Annette Gordon-Reed

Author and professor Annette Gordon-Reed delivered the virtual Sussman Lecture, On Juneteenth, on Thursday, October 14. Gordon-Reed is one of the most authoritative voices on race and history in America and the first African-American recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for history.

In 2022, Americans will observe Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., as a federal holiday for the first time. As awareness for this significant date grows, it is important to reflect on the real meaning of freedom for formerly enslaved Americans.

Upcoming Sussman Lecture | An Evening with Charlie Cook

Renowned political analyst Charlie Cook will return for his annual Harkin Institute event, An Evening with Charlie Cook, on Tuesday, December 7, at 7 p.m. The event will take place virtually. Cook will discuss the state of American politics, including challenges in Congress, redistricting and issues on voters’ minds ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Address: 2800 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311

Phone: (515) 271-3592

Fax Number: (515) 271-3631


Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.