Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, co-chairmen of the Commission on Presidential
Debates (CPD), today announced that the Reverend John I. Jenkins, President of the University of
Notre Dame, has been elected to the CPD’s board of directors. The CPD is the non-partisan, nonprofit
organization that has sponsored and produced all presidential and vice presidential debates
“Father Jenkins is a respected voice in higher education, and we are very pleased he will join the
CPD’s board as we launch plans for the 2012 debates,” Fahrenkopf and McCurry said. “He has
demonstrated, through his words and actions, a serious and sustained commitment to civil
discourse in society, which is consistent with the Commission’s commitment to respectful and
informed political dialogue.
“University leaders have unique links to young voters, who can bring their technological savvy and
energies to next year’s debates. The CPD is committed to building a ‘season of conversation’
through the election year. Students create extended, connected communities that will enhance
the educational value of the debates, particularly through pre- and post-debate discussion of the
issues. We look forward to the benefits of Father Jenkins’ experience in designing opportunities
for sustained, vigorous, and civil conversation.”
Father Jenkins has been a member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1990 and president since
2005. He is a Nebraska native, and holds degrees from Notre Dame, Oxford University and the
Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
In addition to sponsoring and producing the general election debates, the CPD engages in voter
education initiatives, provides technical assistance to sponsors of non-presidential debates, and
has established an International Debates Network to help other countries that seek to make
debates part of their political process. The CPD will announce sites and dates for the 2012
debates later this fall, and will have additional announcements regarding format and Internet-
based programs early next year.
Additional information is available at www.debates.org.