Business leaders honor ASU President Michael Crow with 2020 Eisenhower Award

CIA director Gina Haspel and 3M chairman and CEO Michael Roman were also selected for this year's Business Executives for National Security awards


October 8, 2020

More than 200 leaders and guests across the nation joined Business Executives for National Security (BENS) on Oct. 7 for its virtual presentation of the fall 2020 Eisenhower Awards. The event honored three extraordinary Americans in Michael Crow, Michael Roman and Gina Haspel, each of whom reflect the spirit and vision of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address and his call for each of us — as citizens, soldiers and public servants — to become involved so that “liberty and security can prosper together.”

BENS President and CEO, retired Army Gen. Joseph Votel noted that the honorees have built their remarkable careers by putting the country first. “Our three honorees are a testament to President Eisenhower’s enduring legacy and vision of national security as the work of a whole society. As true public servants, they do not seek the spotlight but were called to service by a deep and genuine commitment to our nation’s highest ideals.”  Michael Crow ASU President Michael Crow. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now Download Full Image

Michael Crow, In-Q-Tel chairman and Arizona State University president

Michael Crow is recognized for his service as In-Q-Tel chairman and as president of Arizona State University. Crow helped found In-Q-Tel as an innovative venture capital firm to invest in new technologies supporting the defense and intelligence communities. For the past 20 years, Crow’s leadership has helped our nation stay at the forefront of security practices and capabilities. As president of ASU, Crow leads an institution of outsize importance for preparing future leaders in technology, commerce, and public service. Crow accepted the award, remarking, “Americans have a shared responsibility to protect and strengthen our invaluable democracy. Perpetual innovation and accessible education are integral to that charge and ASU is committed to leading as a true national service university." 

Michael Roman, 3M chairman and CEO

As chairman and CEO of 3M, Michael Roman has led the company to seek solutions to many pressing challenges at the national level. None has been more urgent than its efforts to ramp up production of critical personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid unprecedented demand, Roman said the company is on pace to distribute 1 billion N95 respirator masks in the U.S. by the end of 2020. In his acceptance remarks, Roman emphasized the ingenuity, resiliency, and passion of his company’s people. “3M’s vision is simple, yet aspirational: to apply our science to improve every life. And I couldn’t be more proud of how 3Mers have found new and better ways to do that throughout the pandemic,” he said.

Gina Haspel, director of the CIA

Over a CIA career spanning more than 35 years, Gina Haspel has protected the U.S. from adversaries and led us through difficult crises. Votel commended Haspel for her courage and commitment to national security and hailed her groundbreaking achievements in counterterrorism. In her acceptance remarks, Haspel credited the people of the CIA. “Our officers are a national treasure, and it’s on their behalf that I accept this wonderful award. Thank you for this special honor, and thank you for everything you do to support the men and women of CIA,” she said. 

Votel thanked the event’s participants and sponsors and congratulated the honorees for their achievements in the service of U.S. national security. 

BENS is a nonpartisan nonprofit comprising over 400 business leaders who volunteer their time and expertise to assist the national security community. Past recipients of their Eisenhower Award include civil servants such as secretaries of state Michael Pompeo and Hillary Rodham Clinton; military leaders such as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford; and business leaders such as Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

ASU expert discusses partisan conflict in the U.S.


October 8, 2020

This fall there is more on Americans' minds besides cooler weather and autumn colors. With the changing of the season comes talk of elections.

Election season brings with it the discussion of topics like health care, immigration, national security and racial issues. Have varying opinions on these topics always existed amongst political parties in the United States? Does that divergence hold true among racial and ethnic groups as well? Download Full Image

Arizona State University Assistant Professor Narayani Lasala-Blanco, Robert Y. Shapiro  and Joy Wilke take a deeper look in their recent articleThe Nature of Partisan Conflict in Public Opinion: Asymmetric or Symmetric?” published in American Politics Research.

The data for this article was assembled from over a 45-year timespan and tracked Democratic and Republic opinion changes by race and ethnicity for many issue areasThe issue areas included in the analysis are: social safety net spending, health care spending, inequality, standard of living, environmental spending, government scope and performance, immigration, racial issues, abortion, gay rights, gay marriage, women’s role, national security spending, foreign aid, diplomacy and world affairs..

Lasala-Blanco, who is part of the School of Politics and Global Studies, spoke with ASU Now about a few takeaways from their research.

Question: What were some of your key takeaways when looking at the political parties as a whole?

Answer: The main takeaway is that reports in the media and think tanks incorrectly give the impression that all groups are equally polarized on all issues and that this polarization is symmetric — due to Republicans becoming more conservative and Democrats more liberal over time. If it weren’t for people of color, especially Blacks and Hispanics, the partisan conflict would be a lot more bitter and polarization in the country would be more extreme. This is very important as Blacks and Latinos are often portrayed as too liberal or even radical in issues such as immigration, racial issues and welfare when in fact, both Republican and Democrat Black and Latino opinion continue to be more moderate than their fellow white partisans.

Also, taking the time to track partisan opinion over time and for different groups allowed us to find out that symmetric polarization is a rare phenomenon; it only happens for a few issues even among white partisans.

Q: Do these partisan trends hold true when looking at those with and without college degrees?

A: Yes, the only difference is that those without a college degree had a much more conservative starting view on most issue areas. For example, Republicans especially have not changed their positions about race or immigration in the past four decades.

Q: Looking ahead, might we expect a continuation of partisan divergence when looking at political opinion on these issues? Or is there reason to expect less partisan polarization?

A: It seems like partisan divergence is here to stay in certain issues. However, the picture this data paints opens up significant opportunities for more moderate leadership and candidates in both parties to seize this opportunity and get elected, which in turn would contain partisan divergence in the general public. Also, population replacement will matter if trends continue as they are among groups. The bigger the influence Latinos and Blacks have, partisan divergence and extreme partisan conflict should decrease.

Matt Oxford

Manager of marketing and communications, School of Politics and Global Studies

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