Panel to discuss 'Celebrating Benedict: Faith and Public Service'

February 23, 2011

Please note: Denis McDonough, deputy national security adviser to President Obama, is no longer able to serve on this panel. Al Eisele, editor-at-large for The Hill, will take McDonough's place.

Four College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University graduates will serve on a panel titled "Celebrating Benedict: Faith and Public Service" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, in the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at Saint John's University, Collegeville.

Moderator E.J. Dionne will accompany invited guest panelists Al Eisele, editor-at-large for The Hill; Elizabeth Hayden, retired Minnesota District Court judge; Jeffery Korsmo, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Care Policy Center; and Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network.

The panel, presented by the Benedictine Institute of Saint John's, in cooperation with the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civil Engagement at Saint John's University, is free and open to the public.

Dionne is an author, Washington Post columnist and served as the inaugural McCarthy Lecturer in 2007 at Saint John's. He is also a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. Dionne received a bachelor's degree in social studies from Harvard University and a doctorate in sociology from Oxford University.

Eisele, a 1958 SJU graduate with a degree in English, has been involved in journalism, government, academia and business for nearly four decades. He was a Washington correspondent for the St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press and Knight-Ridder before becoming press secretary to Vice President Walter Mondale. Eisele later helped start the non-partisan Center for National Policy and was a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Hayden, a 1968 CSB graduate with a degree in social work, earned a law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law and served as assistant Stearns County attorney in St. Cloud and on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on General Rules of Practice. She is the first CSB alumna to be appointed to the bench and served as a district court judge for 24 years. She was appointed to preside over Minnesota's disputed 2008 U.S. Senate election recount.  

Korsmo, a 1980 SJU graduate with a degree in business management, received a master's degree in management and finance from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management. He has been a member of the Mayo Clinic administrative team for more than 25 years and has served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer.

LeCompte, a 1999 SJU graduate with a degree in sociology, studied at the University of Bogota, Colombia. He was named a Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace and was the national council chair of Pax Christi USA. LeCompte also served as the national organizer for the School of Americas Watch.

The Benedictine Institute seeks to sustain and strengthen awareness of Saint John's mission and the Catholic and Benedictine heritage that has been its hallmark since it was founded by the monks of Saint John's Abbey in 1857.

The McCarthy Center allows students and faculty extended opportunities for collaborative scholarship, creative and integrated learning and career mentoring experiences in the areas of public policy and public affairs.