Denis McDonough, former White House chief of staff, will present a fireside chat on politics, climate change, and foreign policy as part of Niagara Univerity's “Transformative Visions” presidential speaker series on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.

Niagara University will present the second in its “Transformative Visions” presidential speaker series on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at 7 p.m. Denis McDonough, former White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama and former White House deputy national security advisor, will present a fireside chat addressing politics, climate change, and foreign policy. The presentations will be accessible to the community through Zoom:

Currently senior advisor at the Markle Foundation, Denis McDonough is working to create a skills-based labor market that enables all Americans to succeed in the digital economy. He also serves as senior advisor for technology and global policy for Macro Advisory Partners, a strategic advisory firm which helps to navigate the intersection of global markets, geopolitics, and policy, and is executive fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, where he teaches a global policy seminar for graduate and undergraduate students.

McDonough served as the White House chief of staff for President Barack Obama, providing strategic advice on domestic policy, national security, and management issues facing the federal government. Prior to that role, McDonough served as assistant to the president and principal deputy national security advisor. He chaired the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee, leading a multiagency team to address complex national security challenges, including crisis management, as well as policy decisions related to the Iran nuclear negotiations, strategic arms reductions talks with Russia, the United States rebalance to Asia, the Afghanistan surge, and the Iraq drawdown.

“As the 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches, the major party candidates have attempted to define the issues, and for better or worse, to offer a vision of how they would seek to transform America and the world,” said the series organizers, Kevin Hinkley assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Dave Reilly, chair of political science. “As Election Day approaches, we can expect to see and hear bold statements about the defining issues of our time and the power of the people to chart our future course. We believe that a fundamentally different approach is needed. The challenges facing America and the world are complex, magnitudinous, and recalcitrant to simple solutions. Niagara University’s ‘Transformative Visions’ series is intended to offer our students a model of inquiry, discourse, imagination, and action.”

 Upcoming presentations in this series include:

“Criminal Justice, Policing, and Prisons,” featuring Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of the Alliance of Families of Justice and the first Black woman to serve as executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m.

“Environmental Justice, Indigenous Resistance,” featuring Dina Gilio-Whitaker, policy director and senior research associate at the Center for World Indigenous Studies, and lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.

For more information about the series, contact Kevin Hinkley,, or Dr. Reilly,