Sunday, April 15, 2018, 1:00-5:00 PM
Hiler Theater, Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Purdue University

Susan Abrams

Preserving Memory, Sparking Important Conversations, and Transforming our Future

Abrams will discuss how Illinois Holocaust Museum has become a global leader in preserving memory, sparking important conversations, and empowering visitors to transform our future. She will focus on the development of the Museum’s groundbreaking Take a Stand Center, a four gallery exhibition named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 12 top exhibitions globally in fall of 2017, when it opened. The Center begins with the Survivor Stories Experience in the Museum’s Holographic Theater, in which visitors learn the dangers of hatred, prejudice and indifference through an introductory film about the featured Survivor and a real-time conversation with that interactive Survivor hologram. The Center’s subsequent galleries bridge to our world today and inspire visitors to recognize the power of their voices and choices and then provide them with tools to become civically engaged.

Abrams will weave in the history of the Museum and its approach to the Holocaust, social justice, and human rights issues that have enabled it to become a leader in the fields of Holocaust and museum education.

Susan Abrams

2018 Rabbi Gedalyah Engel Lecturer
CEO, Illinois Holocoust Museum & Education Center


Susan Abrams has been CEO of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center since 2014. As CEO she has pioneered the use of interactive 3D holographic technology to preserve survival testemoney of holocaust servivors.

Abrams also serves on the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission. She is a member of the The Chicago Network, serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Business Association at Kellogg School of Management, and is a memory of the C100, which connects leading Northwestern alumnae to female students, graduates and the University to further the advancement of Northwestern women.

Abrams has previously severed as COO for JCC Chicago and has held leadership positions at Northwestern University and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

Abrams holds a MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where she was an Austin Scholar and an Ardis Krainik Scholar, a BSE from the Wharton School and a BA from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. She is author of The New Success Rules for Women: 10 Surefire Strategies for Reaching Your Career Goals.

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
A Message From Susan L. Abrams, Museum CEO
ABC 7 News: Technology tells survivors' stories at Illinois Holocaust Museum

Lee Hamilton

Civic Engagement: We All Have a Role

Former Congressman Hamilton will draw upon his years of experience in national politics and public service to offer perspective on the role and responsibility of citizens in promoting community dialogue, influencing public policy, and combatting the forces of hatred and discrimination.

"Our Democracy is not a product but a continual process. It is preserved not by monuments but deeds. Sometimes it needs refining; sometimes it needs amending; sometimes it needs defending. Always it needs improving." - Lee Hamilton

Lee Hamilton

Professor of Practice, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Indiana University


Lee H. Hamilton, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on Congress and representative democracy. Hamilton founded the Center on Congress at Indiana University in 1999 and served as its Director until 2015; after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented the Ninth District of Indiana from 1965-1999 and served as a member of the House Committee on International Relations. He also served as President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., from 1999-2010. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2015).

At Indiana University, Hamilton serves as a Distinguished Scholar in the School of Global and International Studies and as a Professor of Practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He is currently a member of the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, the CIA External Advisory Board, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Task Force on Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect on American Soil.

Among his published works are How Congress Works and Why You Should Care, Strengthening Congress, and A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and the Congress. He writes twice-monthly commentaries about Congress and what individuals can do to make representative democracy work better.

Hamilton graduated from DePauw University and Indiana University School of Law. A former high school and college basketball star, he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Indiana University Center for Representative Government Website
Publisher's Website: How Congress Works and Why You Should Care
Publisher's Website: Strengthening Congress
Publisher's Website: A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and the Congress
Lee H. Hamilton Commentaries