UK Happenings

John Yarmuth to deliver UK Martin School's Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Lecture

John Yarmuth
Former U.S. House of Representatives budget committee chair John Yarmuth of Louisville has accepted an appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Martin School.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 6, 2023) — Former U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth of Louisville has accepted an appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. The appointment is effective immediately and will run through the 2023-24 academic year.

In addition, Yarmuth, who retired in January of 2023 after 16 years in the House representing Kentuckys third congressional district, has been selected to deliver the 2023 Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Lecture on Oct. 3, where he will be formally introduced to the campus community. The lecture is 4 p.m. at the William T. Young Library auditorium and the public is invited to attend.

Making the transition from Congress to a college campus will be an exciting change in scenery,” Yarmuth said. “Im looking forward to working with Martin School students and sharing my experiences in Congress with them. I cannot imagine a more satisfying or rewarding challenge than being involved in helping prepare the next generation of public policy leaders. I was proud to serve as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Budgets are a statement of our values and our priority was to ensure that our budgets expanded economic opportunities for all Americans."

Yarmuth, who joined the House Budget Committee in 2009, served as its ranking minority member from 2017-19 and chairman from 2019-2023. In his capacity as Committee Chair, Yarmuth sponsored and then coordinated House passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the landmark legislation that provided critical COVID relief and economic support to the American people.

This is an exciting development for our program on several fronts,” said Ron Zimmer, director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. First, it will give our students the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scene look at the Congressional budget process and see how it really works — how priorities are set, compromises made, and the general process involved in developing the federal budget. Second, we are excited to have Chairman Yarmuth serve as an ambassador for the Martin School. He will be a tremendous asset for us with student recruitment and engagement. Last but not least, the prestige of having a former house budget committee chair hopefully will reflect the quality of our program to a national audience and further enhance the Martin Schools reputation."

Zimmer pointed out that the 2022-23 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings had the Martin School in a third-place tie with the University of Georgia for the best public budgeting and finance program while also rating it the 28th best overall public affairs program in the country.

During his Martin School tenure, Yarmuth will serve as a guest lecturer, meet periodically with students and participate in various other Martin School events.

Yarmuth was first elected to Congress in 2006 and subsequently re-elected to seven consecutive terms before retiring in January 2023. A Louisville native, Yarmuth graduated from Yale University in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in American studies. His first Washington, D.C., experience was on the staff of the late U.S. house member Marlow Cook (R-KY) from 1971-75.  He has also been a writer, publisher, television commentator, associate vice president-University of Louisville and health care executive.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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