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The World Affairs Council presents discussion by internationally known competitiveness expert Deborah L. Wince-Smith, on November 18, 2010.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Vassar alumna Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Washington-based Council on Competitiveness, will deliver the lecture “The Innovation Imperative for the United States,” on Thursday, November 18, at 7:00pm in the Villard Room of Vassar College’s historic Main Building. Free and open to the public, this event is jointly sponsored by the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Dutchess Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Vassar College’s Political Science Department.

Wince-Smith leads the Council on Competitiveness, an organization founded in 1986 that links CEOs of major American corporations, heads of American labor unions, and presidents of major American universities in order to develop strategies for making America more competitive in the global marketplace. As president of the Council, she was instrumental in launching the 2004 National Innovation Initiative (NII), which helped shape the bipartisan America COMPETES Act of 2007. She is also the first president of the newly formed Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, the first global, public-private network devoted exclusively to promoting global economic growth through collaboration in innovation. 

An internationally known voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology policy, energy, education, economics and business, Wince-Smith appears regularly on national television networks including Bloomberg, CNBC, and Fox News, and has served in various capacities in both private and governmental sectors. 

Wince-Smith began her career as a program director for the National Science Foundation, where she managed U.S. research programs with Eastern European countries and U.S. universities. During her 17-year tenure in the federal government Wince-Smith most notably developed President Reagan’s 1988 Competitiveness Initiative, served as the nation’s first assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy in the administration of George H.W. Bush, and served on four Cabinet-level advisory groups, including the Secretary of Energy’s Task Forces on the Future of Science and Nuclear Energy.

Wince-Smith is currently a member of the board of directors of NASDAQ-OMX, Inc., the University of Chicago’s Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory, and the Smithsonian National Board, among others. She is a Senate-confirmed member of the Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service and serves on the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. 

An anthropology major and member of Vassar College’s class of 1972, Wince-Smith earned her master’s degree in classical archaeology from King’s College at the University of Cambridge. In 2006, she received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Michigan State University.

The World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that sponsors programs to enhance interest in and understanding of global affairs among citizens of the Mid-Hudson Valley. The Dutchess County Regional Chamber supports local business and sponsors monthly programs of interest to the local business community.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, November 3, 2010