Two former members of Congress are visiting Birmingham next week to provide a rare insight into the US political system, as well as share their personal experiences with students.

The University of Birmingham will host Republican George Nethercutt and Democrat David Skaggs as part of the Congress to Campus programme. During the visit, the Congressmen will discuss the current state of politics in the United States, how the system of representative democracy works and help students understand a “behind-the-scenes” view of the American political system.

The Congressmen will present a special lecture at the University entitled Atlantic versus Pacific focus in US foreign policy on Monday 17th October at 5pm and participate in a ‘Question Time’ style debate on Tuesday 18th October at 4:30pm.

The two-day visit will also feature a series of discussion groups with sixth formers and students on a variety of topics including the Obama administration and the upcoming election, the emergence of the Tea Party movement, the war on terror, and the US reaction to the Arab Spring, among others.

Visit organiser, Dr. Julie Gilson, Senior Lecturer from the Department of Political Science and International Studies, said: “This is an ideal chance for people to find out firsthand what life in US politics entails. With another US election in the not too distant future, the Congressmen’s visit will provide the opportunity for students and the wider community to consider how American policy making has an impact not only in the USA, but globally.”

George Nethercutt served as a member of the US House of Representatives for 10 years representing Washington’s 5th Congressional district, until choosing to run for the US Senate in 2004. David Skaggs spent 12 years in Congress as US representative from the 2nd Congressional District of Colorado and three terms in the Colorado House of Representatives.

Organised by the United States Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC), the Congress to Campus programme brings bipartisan former members of the US House of Representatives and young people from schools, colleges and universities together to discuss political issues of domestic and international importance.

Both the lecture and the debate are open to members of the public; however, tickets are limited and must be booked in advance. For further information and to reserve tickets, contact: 0121 414 3497.

  • Congress to Campus at the University of Birmingham takes place on Monday 17th October and Tuesday 18th October 2011.
  • George Nethercutt and David Skaggs are available for interview during the visit.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Catherine Byerley, International Press and PR Officer, University of Birmingham, Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8254, Email:  or Dava Guerin in the US, Tel: (215) 262-0740, Email: or Liz Ardagna, Tel: (202) 507-4847, Email:, FMC