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Veteran’s Day Conversation: Defending Our Constitution

Great Hall
$15 ($12/members, $5/students)
This event has passed

In honor of Veteran’s Day and our exhibition We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy, we invite you to join us for a conversation in the Great Hall with Rick Waddell, retired lieutenant general in the United States Army Reserve and former assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commander Susan Kilrain, NASA astronaut, distinguished Navy test pilot, and aerospace engineer.

Tickets are $15 ($12 for members, $5 for students), reserve your spot online or by calling Guest Services at (479) 657-2335 today.

This evening talk will also be livestreamed. Sign up for eNews for updates on livestream information.

Unfortunately, Gen. Wesley Clark will not be joining this event as previously posted. 

President George Washington sits holding a document and sword, with ships sailing in the background
Gilbert Stuart, George Washington [The Constable-Hamilton Portrait], 1797, oil on canvas, 59 x 46 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2005.27. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.

Can’t make it in person? Join us virtually on November 10 and watch via livestream. Sign up for eNews to be notified about livestream information.

About the Speakers

Rick Waddell

Rick Waddell

Rick Waddell is a semi-retired businessman, former government official, and retired Army Reservist. In his business career, Rick spent seventeen years working in South America for four of the world’s largest companies, living twelve of those years in São Paulo. His teams found six billion barrels of oil equivalent, and he ran the largest mining construction project then underway globally. As a civilian government official, Rick served as the director of the Capstone, Keystone, and Pinnacle courses at National Defense University, then served as assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser in the Trump Administration.

Rick served twelve years on active duty in the Army as a combat engineer, culminating as a director for Europe on the NSC in the Clinton Administration. In his Reserve career, Rick deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan part of every year from 2004 to 2013. He served as the deputy commander for reserve affairs at US Southern Command, commanded the 76th Division (Operational Response), and served as the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior military adviser to the secretary of state. Rick is the first Army Reservist promoted to lieutenant general in a normally active duty billet since Lieutenant General Jimmy Doolittle, who served during World War II.

Among other degrees, Rick holds a BS from USMA, an MA from Oxford earned as a Rhodes Scholar, and a PhD from Columbia. He is currently a venture partner at New North Ventures and a Senior Fellow for Flatter, Inc., a company that services the Capstone, Keystone and Pinnacle courses at the National Defense University.


Commander Susan Kilrain

Commander Susan Kilrain

Commander Susan Kilrain is a renowned astronaut, a distinguished Navy test pilot and aerospace engineer, and a world traveler. She is the youngest person, and one of only three women, to pilot the space shuttle. She served twenty years in the Navy paving the path for women along the way. She has flown more than 3,000 flight hours in over 30 different aircraft, and she was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal. CDR Kilrain flew as pilot of STS-83 and STS-94, spending more than 20 days in space. Her first mission was cut short due to a potentially life-threatening shuttle system failure. When not training for a space flight, she worked in Mission Control during the launches and landings for other space shuttle missions. She has also worked at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC in the offices of Safety and Legislative Affairs.

Prior to joining the Navy, Susan was a wind tunnel project officer at Lockheed Corporation and earned her master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Susan is currently a consultant and motivational speaker, specializing in encouraging young women and underprivileged teens to excel in STEM careers. She is also a partner at New North Ventures and an educator with STEM Punks. Susan is married to Vice Admiral Colin Kilrain, who currently serves as the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior military adviser to the secretary of state. They have four children and reside on the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. She is an avid photographer, astronomer, and world traveler.


Lectures & Talks sponsored by

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We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin.

Learning and engagement programming for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by

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