Renowned Historian Niall Ferguson on Applying History to Public Leadership for Inaugural SPP Dean's Distinguished Lecture

March 22, 2017  | 2 min read



Renowned historian Niall Ferguson will present, "Why Leaders of the Future Need to Study the Past: The Case for Applied History," as the School of Public Policy's inaugural lecture of the Patricia Tagliaferri Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 29, at 6:30 pm in the Wilburn Auditorium.

While most graduate policy programs focus on the quantitative side of public policy, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy has understood from its founding that public leaders needed to consider the array of the social sciences in formulating sustainable public policy. This includes the study of history, and in this timely lecture, Dr. Niall Ferguson will make the compelling argument that policy failures - both domestic and international--have been founded on a misreading, if not complete ignorance of history.

How can leaders "think historically" when making decisions? Should the president have a "Council of Historical Advisers"? We will explore these and other important questions as Dr. Ferguson answers whether those who "don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, as well as an author of 14 books. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.

A reception will follow immediately after the lecture.


The Patricia Tagliaferri Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series was established through an endowment for the School of Public Policy by benefactor Dr. Gus Tagliaferri. From its founding, the School of Public Policy has uniquely considered the role all the liberal arts play in shaping sustainable policy and great leaders. The Tagliaferri Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series hosts leading scholars to explore the many facets, which comprise wise public decision making.