Jared Cohen to Discuss “Accidental Presidents,” Oct. 14

Jared Cohen to Discuss “Accidental Presidents,” Oct. 14

Photo of Jared Cohen

OVF/Common Ground will welcome Jigsaw founder and CEO Jared Cohen on Oct. 14.

From “His Accidency” John Tyler in 1841 to LBJ in 1963, eight U.S. vice presidents have ascended to the office of the president due to the death of an incumbent. Jared Cohen will share these men's stories and discuss their legacies in his lecture, “Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America.”

The Open Visions Forum (OVF) and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Common Ground Series will welcome Jared Cohen on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. for a virtual presentation and panel discussion on “Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America.” Panelists will include politics professor and University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD; Provost Christine Siegel, PhD; and professor of art history and visual culture, OVF Director Philip Eliasoph, PhD.

In the history of America, eight elected presidents have died in office – four from illness and four by assassination. Subsequently, from “His Accidency” John Tyler in 1841 to LBJ in 1963, eight vice presidents have risen to the U.S. presidency without being elected. These men will be the subject of Cohen’s lecture, based on his book Accidental Presidents. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham said of Cohen’s book, “History is the most contingent of enterprises, and little has proven more contingent than the nature of the American presidency. In this eloquent and often surprising book, Jared Cohen explores how fate has shaped the office – and all of us.”

In his Oct. 14 lecture, Cohen will take a close look at the men who vastly changed our nation’s history by becoming U.S. presidents without an election. Delving into the power – and the limits – of the American presidency in times of crisis, he will demonstrate how the character of the person in that powerful seat affects the nation and the world. Beyond this fascinating look at the White House, Cohen promises to discuss the hallmarks of leadership – in the board room and in the Executive branch of the U.S. government – past, present and future.

Jared Cohen is the founder and CEO of Jigsaw at Alphabet Inc. He also serves as an adjunct senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to Alphabet, he was Google’s first director of ideas, and chief advisor to Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt. From 2006 to 2010 he served as a member of the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. His fifth best-selling book, Accidental Presidents, examines the eight instances in American history when a president has died in office.

Cohen’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the LA Times, The Washington Post, TIME magazine, and Foreign Policy. He has been named to the “TIME 100” list, Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and Vanity Fair’s “Next Establishment.” Cohen received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Cohen grew up in Weston and is the son of psychotherapist Dr. Donald Cohen and Westport real estate agency owner, Dee Shapiro.

“Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America” with Jared Cohen is a premier Quick Center event and will take place in virtual format on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at quickcenter.com. As with all Open VISIONS Forum lectures, tickets are free for Fairfield University students, faculty, and staff.

Jared Cohen: “Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: quicklive.com

Additional Details:

This premier Quick Center event also free for President’s Circle, Bellarmine Society, and Quick Center Members. Members also have exclusive access to live chats with premier event speakers and artists, and other benefits. To become a Quick Center Member today, visit quickcenter.com. or call the box office at 203-254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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