Former US Congressman Chet Edwards, who represented the Brazos Valley area for two decades in the US House of Representatives, recently visited the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University to speak with students, faculty, and staff about leadership and public service. Edwards met with several members of the Bush School community in the morning for an informal discussion on motivations for public service, his career in the US Congress, and current events. After meeting with two classes, US State and Local Government and Leadership in International Affairs, Edwards gave a talk during the lunch hour entitled “Government and Leadership.”
Edwards represented the Brazos Valley area in the Texas Senate from 1983 to 1990 and as a US representative from 1991 to 2010. Shortly after graduating from Texas A&M in 1974, he began his career in politics working for US Congressman Olin Teague as a congressional aide. After receiving an MBA from Harvard University, he became the youngest member of the Texas Senate at the age of 30. In 2008, then Senator Obama listed Edwards among his top four potential running mates.
During the morning discussion and in his class visits, Edwards commended students at the Bush School for their desire to enter public service during a time of cynicism toward government. At several points during his talks, he discussed the common bond of Americans in wanting to make a difference and how that was a driving force in his time in government. With a career that has spanned both state and national politics, Edwards shared his insights on the current state of the US Congress and the need for increased bipartisanship built on trust and mutual respect. Edwards also took time to praise President George H. W. Bush and his commitment to public service, a commitment Edwards strove to emulate during his time in office.
“Congressman Edwards has served the people of the Brazos Valley for nearly three decades in state and national government, and it was a tremendous honor to host him at the Bush School,” said Dr. Arnold Vedlitz, executive associate dean of the Bush School. “Students, faculty, and staff who were able to attend his talks were given unique insights into leadership and government from a man who has led a commendable career in public service.”
The talk can be viewed on the Bush School’s YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/1MmJEXO.