Skip to main content

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff on championing democracy and America

Chair of the House Intelligence Committee delivers 30th annual Leopold Lecture
Adam Schiff
Adam Schiff said the very idea of America is at risk. Photo by Genie Lemieux

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, told an enthusiastic Northwestern audience Oct. 3 that both this nation’s liberal democracy and even “the very idea of America” have been put at risk by President Donald Trump.

People around the globe look to the United States for hope, and even though it is far from perfect, it remains a promise the world over that people can live free, immigrants are welcome, and a free press and human rights are respected, he said. 

Schiff also reflected on Trump’s criticism of the press, his condemnation of entire faiths and his administration’s harsh treatment of those seeking refuge in the United States. “The very idea of America” as the globe’s foremost defender of human rights and freedoms is at risk, he said.

Richard W. Leopold Lecture

The Leopold Lecture series has brought a variety of distinguished speakers to the Northwestern campus, including U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Richard Lugar, presidential nominee George McGovern and former Mexico President Vicente Fox.

Professor Leopold’s undergraduate students established the Richard W. Leopold Lectureship within the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1990 to honor the late eminent diplomatic historian and dedicated educator. For more than 40 years, most of them at Northwestern, Leopold distinguished himself as an attentive teacher.

Generations of undergraduate students, many of whom enjoy successful careers as educators, writers, lawyers and public officials, remember Leopold’s scholarship, teaching and friendship. The lectureship honors Leopold’s contribution to the University and recognizes his enduring influence on the lives of his students.