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Politics, Hollywood meet at USC Schwarzenegger Institute's inaugural symposium

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Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is merging his political and Hollywood lives for the USC Schwarzenegger Institute's first symposium.

The USC Schwarzenegger Institute's inaugural symposium will kick off on Sept. 24 with an all-star line up of politicians, journalists and Hollywood bigwigs to talk about leadership and innovation. 

It was announced last month that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would head up a new think tank at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. The institute is dedicated to finding bipartisan solutions to education, energy and the environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform. (KPCC’s AirTalk reported on the think tank when it was first announced.)

The symposium lineup includes two panels and a lunch discussion. ABC News’ Cokie Roberts will moderate the morning discussion on post-partisanship, with:

  • Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist
  • Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
  • Sen. John McCain, R-AZ
  • Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
  • Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge 

In a nod to the former governor’s movie career, the afternoon panel will focus on the perspectives of “media/Hollywood leaders,” according to the symposium's invitation. BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith will moderate with:

  • James Cameron, director
  • Rob Friedman, co-chairman, Lionsgate
  • Brian Grazer, chairman, Imagine Entertainment
  • Jimmy Iovine, chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M
  • Ron Meyer, president and COO, Universal Studios

The institute’s namesake will be a speaker on both the post-partisanship and Hollywood panels. Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California in 2003 following the recall of Gov. Gray Davis. He established the institute with $20 million in personal funds and donations from his fundraising activities.

During the lunch hour, NBC4 reporter Conan Nolan will moderate a discussion on the environment with Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and R.K. Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Schwarzeneggers seem to be keeping it all in the USC family. Schwarzenegger’s daughter graduated from USC in May and his son is currently a freshman at the university. 

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