chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
July 02, 2024

Foreign affairs expert Richard Haass, former ABC president David Westin in ABA Speaker Series event

CHICAGO, July 2, 2024 — In its final installment, the American Bar Association Presidential Speaker Series will fittingly, in this election, year, feature “A Conversation with Richard Haass: The State of World Affairs and Obligations of Good Citizens” featuring Richard Haass, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of the ABA Task Force for American Democracy, in conversation with David Westin, anchor of “Bloomberg Wall Street Week” and former president of ABC News.  The program can be viewed online Thursday, July 11, at 3 p.m. EDT. No advance registration is required.

Topics will range from a discussion of Haass’ New York Times best-selling book “The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens,” to the state of democracy around the globe, U.S. foreign policy and an analysis of world affairs.

Haass is a veteran diplomat and respected scholar of international relations and senior counselor with Centerview Partners, an international investment banking advisory firm. He also is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).  Haass previously served as CFR’s president for twenty years, in the State Department under Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, at the White House under George H.W. Bush and at the Pentagon under Jimmy Carter. He was U.S. envoy to the Cyprus negotiations and the Northern Ireland peace process, and after 9/11 was U.S. coordinator for the future of Afghanistan. Haass is the author or editor of fourteen books on American foreign policy, one book on management and one on American democracy.

Westin was president of ABC News from 1997 through 2010. He oversaw the network’s global coverage including the 2008 economic crisis, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. Before taking the helm at ABC News, Westin was president of the ABC Television Network and general counsel of the parent company, Capital Cities/ABC. He was a partner and associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington and, immediately after law school, clerked for J. Edward Lumbard on the Second Circuit and for Lewis F. Powell on the Supreme Court. He serves on the boards of Riverdale Country School and Yonkers Partners in Education.

During Westin’s tenure at ABC News, the organization earned 11 George Foster Peabody Awards, 13 Alfred I. DuPont Awards, four George Polk Awards, more than 40 News & Documentary Emmys and more than 40 Edward R. Murrow Awards.

The ABA Presidential Speaker Series, an initiative of ABA President Mary Smith, is a collection of diverse virtual conversations with globally recognized figures, spotlighting trailblazers and thinkers shaping our collective future. Under the theme “Lifting Our Voices, Charting the Future,” these fireside chats promote dialogue, civility and exposure to diverse viewpoints, innovative ideas and career insights.

Previous episodes featured Ivo H. Daalder, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and current chief executive officer of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (view here); civil rights icon Dolores Huerta (view here); Native American women “firsts,” including Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (view here); experts on artificial intelligence from the ABA Task Force on Law and Artificial Intelligence on how AI will affect the legal landscape (view here); Martin Scorsese, Academy Award-winning director, producer, screenwriter and director of the film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” along with Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, principal chief of the Osage Nation (view here); former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson and former federal judge J. Michael Luttig, co-chairs of the ABA Task Force for American Democracy, discussing “Democracy in Peril” (view here); former Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier and former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault discussing “The Business of Democracy” in a special Black History Month program (view here); former U.S. treasurer and chair of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission Rosie Rios (view here); a special Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month program with Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii (view here); and “A Conversation with Pinterest CEO Bill Ready and CLO Wanji Walcott”(view here).

Fostering civic dialogue and highlighting differing perspectives and experiences, these special programs are free to ABA members and the public. More information on the Presidential Speaker Series can be found at

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.