Introduction of Senator Todd Young's Richard G. Lugar Lecture and moderator John Stehr

Shreve Auditorium, Global and International Studies Building

Friday, March 06, 2020

U.S. Sen. Todd Young speaks during a question and answer session with former WTHR-TV anchor John Stehr during the America's Role in the World Conference at IU Bloomington.   Photo


Thank you for joining us for the second day of the fifth annual America’s Role in the World Conference. During this, Indiana University’s Bicentennial Year, the entire university community is celebrating all that makes Indiana University one of the nation’s great public research universities, including its longstanding commitments to international engagement, to diplomacy, and to the continual renewal of our democracy. This conference, which brings together some of the nation’s leading foreign policy voices to address pressing international challenges, helps our students—and all of us—to better understand and engage with the broader world—a need that is more acute and urgent than ever before.

This morning, we gather for the inaugural Richard G. Lugar Lecture, which honors the legacy of the late Senator Richard Lugar, one of the namesakes of the Hamilton Lugar School. Senator Lugar was one of Indiana's and our nation's most illustrious and visionary statesmen, a dedicated public servant, and a true titan of U.S. politics. Over the course of his years in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lugar had enormous influence in shaping American foreign policy. He was a leader in addressing the most critical challenges facing our state, nation and world, in areas including agriculture, education, domestic policy, arms control, and global food security.

And so, it is my great pleasure today to introduce the inaugural Richard G. Lugar lecturer, the Honorable Senator Todd Young.

Introducing Senator Todd Young

Senator Young is the senior United States Senator from Indiana.

In 1990, he enlisted in the United States Navy, and a year later, was offered an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated from the Naval Academy with honors in 1995 and accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. After training as a rifle platoon commander and serving as a Naval intelligence officer, he was then assigned to lead a recruiting effort in Chicago and northwest Indiana. During this time, he put himself through night school at the University of Chicago, where he earned his MBA with a concentration in economics.

In 2000, he was honorably discharged from the Navy as a Captain. He spent a year abroad, where he earned a Masters from the School of Advanced Study in London before returning to the United States to work for The Heritage Foundation and later as part of the staff of Senator Richard Lugar as a legislative assistant for energy policy.

In 2003, he returned home to Indiana and again put himself through night school, this time earning his JD from Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law. He and his wife, Jenny, were married in 2005 and worked together at a small law firm in Paoli, Indiana started by Jenny’s great-grandfather.

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2010, and represented Indiana’s 9th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017.

In 2016, he was elected to the United States Senate seat formerly held by another alumnus of IU’s McKinney School of Law, Dan Coats.

Senator Young was ranked as one of the most bipartisan Senators in the first session of the 115th Congress by the Bipartisan Index.

He currently serves on the Senate committees on

  • Foreign Relations;
  • Health, Education, Labor and Pensions;
  • Commerce, Science and Transportation;
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Senator Young has also championed the U.S. Department of Education's prestigious Title VI program, which works to develop and maintain capacity and performance in area and international studies and world languages. In 2018, we announced that a record number of 11 IU area studies centers and programs within the Hamilton Lugar School were awarded grant funding for 18 separate programs under the Title VI program. This was the best outcome for IU in the 60-year history of the program.

Senator Young is no stranger to this conference. He served as a panelist during the 2017 America's Role in the World Conference, and all of us are very pleased to welcome him back today as the inaugural Richard G. Lugar lecturer.

Introducing John Stehr

Following his remarks, Senator Young will take part in a discussion that will be moderated by John Stehr.

Mr. Stehr is a former network correspondent for CBS News, and is familiar to many of you from his more than 23 years as a news anchor at the NBC affiliate, WTHR, in Indianapolis. Mr. Stehr recently retired from WTHR, where he now holds the title Anchor Emeritus.

Mr. Stehr is the recipient of multiple Emmy Awards, winning two honors for "Best Anchor" and an award for his work on a documentary on Senator Richard Lugar's efforts to disarm Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  

Now, please join me in welcoming the inaugural Richard G. Lugar lecturer, the Honorable Senator Todd Young.