What, exactly, is presidential leadership? What is the current state of executive power in the U.S.? What lingering effects will the current financial crisis have on future presidents? And what are the prospects for the upcoming presidential election?
Writer and educator Dr. Walter Broadnax addresses those questions in Leadership Challenges for the Presidency: A World of Opportunities and Hazards on Wednesday April 4, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
A modern president faces almost impossible expectations, Dr. Broadnax points out. While the Constitution makes it clear that power is spread evenly among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches, only the Presidency has one readily identifiable individual who in the minds of citizens bears all the responsibility and blame.
"FDR became powerful because he was able to clearly articulate the feelings and beliefs of the lion's share of the people," Dr. Broadnax says. "The challenge to a modern president is that there is so much communication. Whereas FDR could dominate the conversation, it's very difficult for a modern president to do that. No sooner does he make a speech than you have the naysayers making their own arguments through a variety of media."
Dr. Broadnax' presentation is the 2012 Hauptmann Lecture presented by Park University. The annual lecture examines international politics, public administration, and democracy.
The Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Broadnax has served in senior and executive-level positions both in academia and in public service.
He is a past Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, past president of the New York Civil Service Commission, and past director of Children, Youth and Adult Services for the State of Kansas.
Broadnax currently serves on the Advisory Board of Harvard University's Taubman Center and is a Trustee Emeritus of Syracuse University and the CNA Corporation. He was the founding director of the Innovations in State and Local Government Program, a joint venture of the Ford Foundation and Harvard University.
Born in Arkansas and reared in Kansas, Broadnax received his B.A. degree from Washburn University, an M.P.A. degree from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
He has taught or held administrative positions at Clark Atlanta University, American University in Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard,
Admission is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Co-sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the Mid-America Regional Council.