New home for Arizona State University in Washington DC

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

PLuS Alliance partner university Arizona State University (ASU) has celebrated the opening week of its brand new home in Washington DC, the Ambassador Barbara Barrett & Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center.

The center significantly expands the university’s presence in the US capital, creating exciting new opportunities for both students and faculty and serving to amplify ASU’s voice in national and global conversations.

The ASU community will benefit from innovative partnerships with key think tanks, non-profit organisations, federal research agencies, and policy councils, strengthening relationships with some of the world’s most influential decision makers and gaining a new platform to address society’s greatest challenges.

ASU President Michael Crow said that the Barrett and O’Connor Washington Center would honor its namesakes – Ambassador Barbara Barrett and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor – by producing and advancing constructive ideas, and moving beyond arguing that provides no value.

“Our job is not to argue politics, or to argue for this or for that. Our job is to talk about the future. The one place you need to be to carry out the conversation, to think about new ideas and to bring everyone together is Washington, because everyone is there from everywhere, all over the United States and all over the world.”

Representatives from the PLuS Alliance joined ASU students, faculty, alumni, and members of government and industry as they converged on the new site for a jam-packed series of events, panel discussions, and thought-provoking presentations. The week’s activities were a strong reminder of ASU’s reputation as a leader in innovation, exploring topics from the future of design and athlete education, to free speech, zombies, and cyber-attacks.

Highlights of the week included an inside scoop on ‘Covering Washington in the Trump Era’ with correspondents from CNN, The Washington Post, and CBS This Morning, as well as a panel discussion on ‘Restoring Trust in American Policing’ and a public deliberation on the challenge of planetary defense, held in partnership with the Museum of Science, Boston. President Crow also took part in panel discussions exploring how self-driving cars will shape our cities, with special guests including Waymo, Lyft, and the Toyoto Research Institute for North America.

Managing Director of PLuS Alliance, Paul Ramadge, who attended the opening, said that the new Washington Center reflected ASU’s commitment to effecting real change in the local and global community.

“The big global issues facing us today – across social justice, sustainability, health, and tech and innovation - are debated day in, day out in Washington DC. The decisions made in this city have an undeniably enormous impact, not just on Americans, but on the rest of the world. It’s hugely exciting for the PLuS Alliance to see one of our partner universities grow its presence here and we look forward to the new opportunities for global collaboration that this generates. Congratulations to ASU on a wonderful opening week!”

Wish you had been there? You can check out some of the best images from opening week here and catch up on the panels and presentations on ASU Now’s blog.

You can read more about the new ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center here.

Image credit: Craig and Barbara Barrett pose with ASU President Michael Crow and ASU Foundation CEO Grechen Buhlig in the lobby of the new Barrett & O'Connor Washington Center (Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now)