The Goldfarb Lecture Series was established in 2000 through the generosity of the Goldfarb Family, including William H. Goldfarb ’68 and Paula S. Goldfarb ’00. The Goldfarb Lectures bring nationally recognized practitioners and scholars to Colby to offer their views on major contemporary issues in politics and public policy.  The annual theme and the selection of speakers are determined by a committee composed of students and faculty in the Government Department.

Goldfarb Lectures and Government Department Dinners
The Government Department normally presents three major lectures related to the annual theme for the series, one to be delivered by a member of the faculty, and two to be offered by outside experts:

  • The Faculty Lecture, typically held in the fall term, is preceded by a dinner to which all students in the department are invited.
  • The fall Guest Lecture is  accompanied by a dinner to which all seniors are invited; we induct new senior members of Pi Sigma Alpha at that time.
  • The spring Guest Lecture is preceded by a dinner to which selected juniors, all seniors, and alumni are invited. We normally induct juniors into membership of Pi Sigma Alpha at that time.
Previous Annual Themes & Goldfarb Lectures
2008-2009: Political Transformations and Transitions
  • Professor Anthony J. Corrado, Professor of Government, “Perspectives on the Election of 2008”
  • Stuart Krusell ’85, International Republican Institute, “Iraq: From 20/20 Hindsight to Future Vision”
  • Paul C. Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Organizational Performance Institute at the Wagner School at New York University, “Making Tough Decisions on the Policy Issues that Matter”
  • Professor Mary Alice Haddad, Assistant Professor of Government and East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, “Japanese Democratization from the Bottom Up”
  • Senator Susan Collins, United States Senator (R-Maine), “In Defense of Bipartisanship”
2007-2008: Governmental Power and Terrorism in America
  • Richard Clarke, Chief Counter Terrorism Advisor under President Clinton and Senior Executive Advisor under President George W. Bush until 2003, “America’s Response to Terrorists’ Threats”
  • Richard Pious ’64, Professor of American Studies and Political Science at Barnard College, “The War on Terrorism and Presidential Power”
  • Richard J. Powell, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine, “Term Limits in Maine: Thoughts on the Upcoming Referendum”
  • Ronald B. Rapaport, John Marshall Professor of Government at William and Mary and Co-Author of the book Three’s A Crowd: The Dynamic of Third Parties, Ross Perot, and Republican Resurgence, “Third Parties in Presidential Elections”
  • Jim VandeHei, Co-founder and Executive Editor of, “The 2008 Presidential Campagin: How did We Get to Where We Are Now — and What’s Next?”
2006-2007: Perspectives on American Politics and Policy
  • Professor Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University, “Anti-Americanisms in World Politics”
2005-2006: The Ascent of China
  • Professor G. Calvin Mackenzie, Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of Government, “Beyond Ideology: America, China, and the Realities of the 21st Century”
  • The Honorable Su Ge, Minister Counselor, People’s Republic of China, “China’s New Agendas and Sino-American Relations.”
  • The Honorable James Lilley, former United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China, “The United States and China: Realities and Fantasies in our Most Important Bilateral Relationship”
2004-2005: The 2004 Elections in Perspective
  • Professor Mark Brewer, “The 2004 Election: What Should we Be Watching?”
  • Thomas Mann, The Brookings Institution, “Countdown 2004: What Will Washington Be Like in the Years Ahead?”
  • Peter Hart ’64, Stu Rothenberg ’70, and Amy Walter ’91, “Election Post-Script: Implications for the Future”
2003-2004: Human Rights
  • Professor Kenneth A. Rodman, William R. Cotter Distinguished Teaching Professor of Government, “Compromising Justice: The United States’ Opposition to the International Criminal Court”
  • Geoffrey Bindman, English Human Rights Advocate, “Enforcing Human Rights in the Modern Context: the Lessons of Pinochet”
  • Aryeh Neier, Open Society Institute, “The Human Rights Movement as a Force in International Affairs”
2002-2003: The Value of Public Service
  • Governor Angus King, Governor of Maine, 1995-2003, “Reflections on my Years in Public Service”
  • E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, “American Civil Society: Community, Religion, and National Service”
2001-2002: Catastrophic Terrorism and the American Response
  • Professor L. Sandy Maisel, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government, “Terrorism at Home: The Challenge to American Principles and Patience”
  • Ambassador Robert Gelbard, United States Ambassador to Bolivia, “Terrorists Strike the United States: The View from Abroad”
  • The Honorable John Deutsch, former Director of Central Intelligence, “Catastropic Terrorism”
2000-2001: Inaugural Year
  • Ambassador Dennis Ross, Special Middle East Coordinator for President William J. Clinton, “The Politics of the Middle East”