Arts / Faith and Humanities / Campus Community

A ‘Conversation’ Around the Pressing Issues of the Day

Written by Lincoln Vander Veen

October 12, 2022

Graphic featuring photos of Dr. Vin Gupta, Sara Nelson and SPD Chief Adrian Diaz.

Institute of Public Service-hosted event will feature Seattle PD Chief Adrian Diaz, public health physician and doctor Vin Gupta, MD, and Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson.

Seattle University’s Institute of Public Service (IPS) will host new Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson and public health physician and professor Dr. Vin Gupta on Thursday, October 20, from 6:30–8 p.m., to kickoff its 2022-2023 “Conversations” series, in partnership with Seattle Channel. The theme of the evening is “Anxiety Overload: Coping with the Pandemic, Public Safety and Declining Women’s Rights.”

“The Conversations series presented by the Institute of Public Service is a premier example of Seattle University's commitment to respectful dialogue and a robust exchange of ideas,” says President Eduardo Peñalver. “We like to say that we are ‘Seattle's University.’ I've also heard us described as ‘Seattle’s Living Room.’ Hosting events like this is one way we live that out.”

The event, combining issues related to the pandemic, public health and safety and women’s rights, will be an insightful look into a few of the biggest societal drivers of anxiety in Seattle and throughout the country. The discussion will be moderated by IPS Professor Dr. Larry Hubbell and journalist and SU’s Professional-in-Residence Joni Balter.   

“Many of us feel anxious about a wide variety of pressures…,” says Balter. “How are we supposed to remain upbeat with so many sources of anxiety nipping at our consciousness? As a program that trains public administrators, we will discuss policy solutions that can take these discussions beyond simple acknowledgment of significant societal problems.” 

Register for this free event 

About the speakers:

  • Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has been a dedicated member of the Seattle Police Department for more than two decades. His work building relationships that bridge race, ethnicity and every flavor of humanity can be seen across the department and in every neighborhood in Seattle. Chief Diaz began his career in Patrol, the Mountain Bike Unit and the Anti-Crime Team before joining the Investigations Bureau. He is also a Master Defensive Tactics instructor at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. He served as Assistant Chief of a newly created Collaborative Policing Bureau prior to being promoted to the Deputy Chief.

  • Dr. Vin Gupta, MD, MSc, MPA. is a practicing pulmonologist and affiliate faculty at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Evans School. In parallel, he is a Commissioned Officer (O-4, Major) in the United States Air Force Medical Reserve Corps, serving as the Officer-in-Charge of the Critical Care Air Transport Capability at Joint-Base Lewis McChord. Outside of his civilian and military clinical responsibilities, Dr. Gupta serves as Chief Medical Officer of New Health Initiatives at Amazon’s Lab126 and is a medical analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Additionally, he serves as a medical advisor to several organizations, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball. 

  • Seattle Councilmember Sara Nelson is a small business owner, former public servant and “policy nerd” who watches the Seattle Channel for fun. She brings a pragmatic, collaborative approach to addressing our current challenges and improving quality of life for all Seattleites. Nelson got her start in local politics as a City Council Legislative Aide in 2002, and helped pass landmark legislation to increase affordable housing, transit service and environmental protections. She served through 2013 but left City Hall for a couple years to help launch her family business, Fremont Brewing, in 2009.