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Idealism and Compromise in Politics and Life

November 5, 2009 at 4:15

Campus Center Carroll Room, Smith College

Farah Pandith '90Farah Pandith '90 was appointed Special Representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009. Her office is responsible for executing Secretary Clinton’s vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Prior to this appointment, she was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, focusing on Muslim communities in Europe. She also worked on issues relating to countering violent Islamic extremism.

Before joining the Department of State, she served as the Director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council, and before that as the Chief of Staff for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Special Representative Pandith received an A.B. in Government and Psychology from Smith College, where she was president of the student body. She has served as a Trustee of alma maters Smith College and Milton Academy. She is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

She was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, India.

Stephanie Cutter '90Stephanie Cutter '90 is currently a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Most recently, Cutter served as Adviser to the President, overseeing the political and communications strategy for the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. From January to May 2009, Cutter served as Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Treasury, handling the strategy behind the development and implementation  of the Obama Administration’s Financial Stability Plan.

Prior to the Obama Administration, Cutter was the Chief Spokesperson for the Obama-Biden Transition, developing message and communications strategies for the roll-out of the new Administration’s policies and cabinet. She was Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff on the Obama for America Campaign, and also held the title of senior adviser charged with developing and managing a nationwide surrogates program.

Before joining the campaign, Stephanie Cutter ran The Cutter Media Group, LLC, a strategic communications firm. A nationally recognized strategist, Cutter has been a featured speaker at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Smith College, American University, the University of Pennsylvania and dozens of political, corporate and media conferences. Cutter was recently named by the Boston Globe as one of the “Top 25 New Englanders to Watch,” and currently serves as one of National Journal magazine’ s 100 “political insiders” surveyed weekly on newsworthy political and public policy issues. She frequently appears as a Democratic strategist discussing the issues of the day on CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox News Channel.

Cutter is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center.

Julianna Smoot '89Julianna Smoot ’89 joined the Office of the United States Trade Representative in February 2009 as the Chief of Staff. Prior to joining the USTR, Ms. Smoot served as Senior Advisor to President Obama and served as Co-Chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. In January 2007, Ms. Smoot joined President Obama’s Presidential Campaign as the National Finance Director. Prior to working for President Obama, Ms. Smoot served as National Finance Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, chaired by Senator Charles Schumer.

Previously, Ms. Smoot served as Senior Advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and as Finance Director for Senator John Edwards’ race for U.S. Senate. Ms. Smoot has also held positions with Senator Richard Durbin and Senator Chris Dodd.

Julianna Smoot, a North Carolina native, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Smith College in Northampton, MA.

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