Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and deputy chair of The Elders, has been appointed by the Haas Center for Public Service as the spring 2014 Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor.
Brundtland will be on campus from March 10 to May 8 this academic year, and plans to host workshops and discussions with students and faculty on public service.
According to Thomas Schnaubelt, executive director of the Haas Center, the goal of inviting Brundtland to campus was to have a visitor from the international sphere.
Brundtland is an advocate for health as a basic human right and has a unique background as a physician, academic and stateswoman. The Elders, the independent group for which she is currently deputy chair, was founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela and works to promote peace and human rights.
Schnaubelt explained that though students are encouraged to come up with topics for discussion for Brundtland, she will be focusing on her experience moving from domestic to international politics.
“She’s done some incredible things with respect to sustainable development and health as a human right,” Schnaubelt said. “I think that she will be very inspirational to students, faculty and our staff during her time here.”
Brundtland will hold five different workshops for students, covering various topics such as sustainable development, global collaboration, science in government, her experiences from Norway and world politics and world leaders in the age of government.
In the future, the Haas Center hopes to bring more guests who have taken creative steps in activism or social entrepreneurship, according to Schnaubelt.
“The intention is to actually elevate the visibility of multiple forms of public service or, as we like to call them, pathways of public service,” Schnaubelt said. “[It] really gives the students the opportunity, as well as faculty the opportunity, to interact with people who’ve just made significant public impact in their careers.”