President Obama’s State of the Union address in January lasted an hour, but a few quick seconds of it could fundamentally transform the world and work of David Haussler ’75.
As a senior managing director of an investment advisory firm, Fritz Folts ’82 had spoken at numerous conferences and participated in industry roundtables before — but never across the table from the most powerful man in the world.
Folts was one of more than two dozen individuals from different industries and regions around the country to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama on July 11 at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The 90-minute discussion covered domestic and foreign policy, the current political environment in Washington, and the President’s immediate goals for the future. Additional time was set aside for participants to ask President Obama questions on other topics. Folts said he took his opportunity to commend the President — who had just returned from a trip to Africa — on an initiative to curb the illegal trade of wildlife around the world, including $10 million to protect against the poaching of rhinoceroses and elephants in Africa for their ivory tusks.
"I had plenty of time to think about what I would say, and I chose to speak on behalf of the animals that don’t have a voice," said Folts. "It’s admittedly a minor issue, but an issue the President knew well. I came away with an appreciation for how well-informed the President is on all issues — and the challenges we face as a nation."
Folts graduated from Connecticut College with a bachelor's degree in government and earned a master's degree in business from Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa, a bilingual English/Spanish program in Barcelona, Spain. He currently serves on the College's Board of Trustees and was recently a member of the College's Presidential Search Committee.
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