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2007 Roundtable

“Courting Disaster: The Fight for Oil, Water and a Healthy Planet”

On October 13, 2007, Stanford President John Hennessy, journalist Carlos Watson, and a panel of leading figures in international affairs, energy development, media, and government joined an audience of more than 5,500 people in Maples Pavilion for the second annual Roundtable at Stanford University. The wide-ranging discussion, entitled "Courting Disaster: The Fight for Oil, Water and a Healthy Planet," covered issues such as America's role in the world, the war in Iraq and unrest in the Middle East, terrorism and nuclear proliferation, the upcoming presidential election and climate change.

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2007 Panelists

John Hennessy

John L. Hennessy is Stanford University's 10th president and inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professorship, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, former provost and dean of the School of Engineering. Recognizing the need for multidisciplinary research to address today's challenges, he has launched university-wide initiatives in human health, environmental sustainability, and international affairs.

Carlos Watson

Carlos Watson
, JD '95, a former political analyst for CNN, currently heads a venture-backed television production company in New York. Watson was editor of the Stanford Law Review and student government president while at Stanford. His broadcast work includes two prime-time interview shows on CNBC, a hosting role at BET and three years of political analysis at CNN, where he covered the 2004 presidential elections. Watson has interviewed everyone from Oprah Winfrey and Heidi Klum to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hillary Clinton. His breakout show, "Conversations with Carlos Watson," premiered this year and was hailed as "the next generation of talk."

John Abizaid

John P. Abizaid retired from the United States Army after 34 years, during which he rose from an infantry platoon leader to become the youngest four-star general in the Army and the longest-serving commander of United States Central Command. General Abizaid is a highly decorated officer who has been awarded numerous service medals and holds military honors from Germany, France, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Australia, Afghanistan and Egypt. In June 2007, he returned to the Hoover Institution as the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

Pamela Matson

Pamela Matson is the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and the Burton and Deedee McMurtry University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. As a leader among scientists working to reconcile the needs of people and the environment in the 21st century, she works with multi-disciplinary teams of researchers and decision makers to develop land management approaches that are economically and environmentally sound. A MacArthur Fellow and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Science, she is the founding co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability.

Stephen Breyer

The Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, '59, was born in San Francisco in 1938. He is a graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard Law School. He taught law as a professor at Harvard Law School and at the Kennedy School of Government. He has worked as a Supreme Court law clerk, a Justice Department lawyer (antitrust division), an Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1980 he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President Carter, becoming Chief Judge in 1990. In 1994 he was appointed a Supreme Court Justice by President Clinton.

Thomas Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman
, a columnist for The New York Times, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. Mr. Friedman was bureau chief for The Times in Beirut and Jerusalem before writing, "From Beirut to Jerusalem," which won the National Book Award for non-fiction. His book, "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" won the 2000 Overseas Press Club award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy. His latest work, "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century," won the inaugural Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business Book of the Year award. He has a B.A. in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University and a Master of Philosophy degree in Modern Middle East studies from Oxford.

John Bryson

John E. Bryson, ’65, is chairman, president and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, a regulated electric utility, and Edison Mission Group, a competitive power generation business. Before joining Edison in 1984, Bryson was a partner in the law firm Morrison and Foerster. Previously, he served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission, chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board and was co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He earned his JD from Yale Law School.