Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Secretary Margaret Spellings on a Path to Bipartisanship in America 

Air Dates: March 11-17, 2024 

Working together across party lines is anathema to much of political Washington, but Margaret Spellings says doing so is the only way to create solutions that last. 

A nationally recognized leader in public policy, Spellings serves as President and CEO of the Bipartisan Policy Center. Previously, Spellings was President and CEO of Texas 2036, president of University of North Carolina System and president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas after she served as U.S. Secretary of Education. As secretary, she led the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, a bipartisan initiative to provide greater accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students. She also launched the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a plan to address challenges of access, affordability, quality and accountability in our nation’s colleges and universities. Before serving as secretary, Spellings was a White House domestic policy advisor, overseeing the agenda on education, transportation, health, justice, housing and labor.  

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Spellings discusses her work at the Bipartisan Policy center, emphasizing “the only way to successful public policy making that can last is through bipartisanship.” She also considers what has changed over time to create the partisan government many Americans are familiar with today. Spellings says the media has played a role, because “where people get information, facts and alternate facts is part of the fundamental issue.” She continues, saying, “we have an electoral system that rewards people on the extremes, often to the detriment of people who are trying to solve problems and get things done.” Spellings also determines how we might move to a more bipartisan government, adding, “it starts with us as voters and organizations like the one I lead for some expectations of something different.” 

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 5:00 a.m., 10:00 p.m. and Mondays at 2:30 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.