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ACLU Director and Former Campbell Soup CEO to Speak at Tufts

Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup, speaks on Nov. 5. Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, talks on Nov. 13.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Anthony Romero is speaking on Nov. 16. He is actually speaking on Nov. 13. Sorry for the confusion — CO

Two notworthy people will be speaking at Tufts University this month.

On Nov. 5, Doug Conant, the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, will be recognized as the first Corporate Citizen Fellow of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship.

On Nov. 13, Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, will give an address as part of the Richard E Snyder President's Lecture Series.

Below are the announcements from Tufts:

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU

Tufts University will present Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, as the 16th speaker in the Richard E. Snyder President's Lecture Series on November 13 at 4:30 p.m. in Distler Performance Hall at the Granoff Music Center on Tufts University's Medford/Somerville campus.

Members of the public can reserve tickets for the free lecture by calling 617-627-3787. Tickets for members of the Tufts University community will be available Monday, November 5 at Student Services in Dowling Hall.

Romero’s discussion at Tufts, "Sticks and Stones: Freedom of Expression and Political Correctness," will look at the impact of the "political correctness movement" on the First Amendment and freedom of expression, noting that freedom of expression is not confined to speech but impacts what is not said, not written, and not thought. Romero will discuss the importance of pushing back the boundaries of free speech as new media and communications vehicles continue to emerge, as well as the definition of what is "acceptable" speech in the face of those who cry "dangerous" or "offensive."

The ACLU’s sixth executive director, Romero assumed this position just seven days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis. Under Romero’s leadership, the ACLU gained court victories on the Patriot Act and filed landmark litigation on the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. Romero also led the ACLU in establishing the John Adams Project, a joint effort with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to assist under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantánamo military commissions.

Romero is the first Latino and openly gay man to serve as executive director of the ACLU. In 2005, he was named one ofTime Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America and has received dozens of public service awards and an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law.

Endowed by Richard E. Snyder, who graduated from Tufts in 1955 and is the former chairman and CEO of Simon and Schuster, this lecture series was established in 2004 to bring to Tufts speakers who have challenged conventional wisdom in their professional work.

Previous lecturers in this series have included historian Niall Ferguson, journalist Bob Woodward, political philosopher Michael Sandel, psychologist and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self Sherry Turkle, physicist Freeman Dyson and author Michael Pollan.

Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company

Doug Conant will be recognized as the first Corporate Citizen Fellow of  the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University on November 5 for his exemplary leadership and emphasis on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He will deliver a public lecture followed by questions from the audience on November 5 at 4:30 p.m. in Alumnae Lounge in the Aidekman Arts Center, on the Tufts University’s Medford/Somerville campus.

Conant’s lecture, Embracing the Genius of the “and" - Delivering Economic "and" Social Value will be a discussion on the importance of creating a "mission driven" approach to leading an organization, establishing a mind-set and culture designed to inspire employees to do "extraordinary things in the marketplace and the workplace."

The Tisch College Corporate Citizen Fellow award recognizes executives who have led a significant change in their company’s core operations to improve their company’s societal impact and provides a forum for developing the next generation of corporate leaders. Throughout the day, Conant will meet with Tufts student groups and classes to expand their understanding of how private sector leadership can result in positive societal impact.

"We are honored that Doug Conant will be our first Corporate Citizen Fellow," said Nancy Wilson, interim dean at Tufts Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. "His work exemplifies corporate citizenship and leadership which has gone beyond corporate philanthropy and cause co-branding to truly change products and processes."

Conant served as president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company from 2001 until 2011. During that time, he drove the creation of a top-to-bottom strategy around corporate social responsibility and sustainability. As a result of this leadership, Campbell’s today includes sustainability and corporate social responsibility as one of its seven core business strategies – driving innovations in product design and manufacturing. Conant also built a strong corporate culture at Campbell’s, working to create a diverse, engaging workplace. The advancement of women in the workplace, supporting the employment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and a commitment to adopting healthier lifestyles is now strongly emphasized at Campbell’s.

Conant joined Campbell after 25 years of experience from three of the world’s leading food companies: General Mills, Kraft and Nabisco. Immediately prior to coming to Campbell, he was president of the $3.5 billion Nabisco Foods Company, where he led his team to improved marketplace performance and five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth.

Conant currently devotes his time to helping advance the agendas of organizations at the board level. He is chairman of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy and an active member of the board of the following organizations: National Organization on Disabilities, the Partnership for Public Service, Students in Free Enterprise, Catalyst, The Conference Board, the Families and Work Institute, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and most recently, the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships. He is also a former chairman of both the Grocery Manufacturers Association and The Conference Board. Conant earned his B.A. degree from Northwestern University and his M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

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