Skip to content

The Sanford School of Public Policy is proud to announce an upcoming event that promises to be both inspiring and enlightening.

Join us on Sept. 7, 2023, for the Fall 2023 Rubenstein Lecture titled "Yes, We Can Do Big Things: Lessons Learned from Rebuilding America" featuring a talk by Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to President Biden, as he shares invaluable insights gained from his experiences in rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and his vision for rebuilding America on a larger scale.

Man, smiling

Event Details

  • Date: September 7, 2023
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Reynolds Industries Theater
  • Admission: Free and open to the public

Landrieu, a former Mayor of New Orleans, played a pivotal role in the city's recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He was recognized for his remarkable leadership, earning him the title of "America's top turnaround mayor" by POLITICO Magazine.

Now, as Senior Advisor to President Biden, Landrieu brings his wealth of experience and insights to the national stage.

At the event, Landrieu will delve into the lessons he learned while rebuilding New Orleans and how he is applying those insights to his current task of aiding President Biden's efforts to rebuild America's infrastructure. He will discuss his approach to implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a historic $1.2 trillion opportunity to invest in critical areas such as roads, bridges, airports, high-speed internet, clean energy, and more.

This event is a unique opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from a seasoned leader who has faced and overcome significant challenges. Landrieu's talk will highlight the importance of resilience, community engagement, and innovative solutions in the face of adversity. His insights will offer a glimpse into the transformative potential of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its ability to create jobs, revitalize communities, and drive sustainable growth.

In 2016, Landrieu visited the Sanford School as an "Innovator in Residence." At that time, on Sanford's Policy 360 podcast, he talked about how he had been able to spur transformational change in New Orleans.

"The mayor has convening power. And one of the great things that a mayor can see is a lot of people at one time, because we're blessed with having to go to so many places and talk to so many people," he said. "If you use your convening power to bring people together ... you'll recognize, 'Wow, I was across town and there was another person I met that wanted to do that, and that's something that I need.' So you facilitate a meeting, bring people together ... and then you help show them how you can leverage their assets in partnership with what the city has. And if the mayor and his team are willing to take a risk, you can try something different. Those are really the seeds of innovation."

The Fall 2023 Rubenstein Lecture is named for benefactor David M. Rubenstein, a Duke alumnus and former chair of Duke’s Board of Trustees. This endowed lecture series brings high-profile thought leaders and policymakers to campus each year. Previous speakers include former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health.

Don't miss the chance to be a part of this remarkable event and hear Mitch Landrieu's compelling narrative on how "Yes, We Can Do Big Things." Register for this free event here.