Sen. Chris Van Hollen will come to the University of Maryland on Sept. 28 for the Anwar Sadat Forum to speak about partisanship in the United States.
The event, titled “The American Partisan Divide: From the Travel Ban to Charlottesville,” will take place in Stamp Student Union’s Hoff Theater at 4 p.m.
Van Hollen was elected to the Senate in November after serving seven terms in the House of Representatives, where he represented Maryland’s 8th District. He was the first senator-elect to be tapped to chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, The Diamondback reported.
In January, he was among a group of Senate Democrats who introduced the Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2017, which would guard the personal information of young undocumented immigrants to prevent the Trump administration from targeting them for deportation.
Van Hollen was chosen as the forum’s speaker due to his vast experience in both foreign and domestic policy, as well as being a Marylander who is well-known throughout the state, said Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development.
“I’m just absolutely delighted to have Van Hollen come in,” Telhami said. “He’s an extraordinary politician and just … very thoughtful, very engaging.”
The forum is a conversation with the guest speaker, Telhami added, so he wants students to come and share their concerns about diversity issues from campus to a national scale.
“We’re facing all sorts of issues that directly relate to our campus, particularly ones that have to do with diversity,” Telhami said. “We are more than one America.”
Telhami said he established this event when he arrived at the University of Maryland 20 years ago.
The forum is named in memory of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his “legacy of leadership for peace,” according to its website. Its goals are to continue a dialogue for peace in the Middle East and worldwide, “bridge the gap” between the worlds of policy and academia and “maintain an active and rigorous research agenda,” according to the site.
The forum has hosted speakers such as former President Jimmy Carter in 1998, former South African President and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 2001 and the Dalai Lama in 2013.