Jeffrey Rosen, a noted legal commentator and law professor at George Washington University, provides the capstone address for College of the Atlantic's inaugural Champlain Institute.Jeffrey Rosen, a noted legal commentator and law professor at George Washington University, provides the capstone address for College of the Atlantic's inaugural Champlain Institute. Credit: NCCBAR HARBOR –  National Constitution Center President and Chief Executive OfficerJeffrey Rosen, J.D. gathers top legal and political scholars and writers for a deep look into the state of our American democracy from Monday, July 31 and through Friday, August 4.

Curated around a different topic each year, the COA Champlain Institute invites scholars, writers, and thought leaders to weigh in on the most pressing issues of our time. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are so pleased to welcome Jeffrey Rosen as host of the first Champlain Institute,” said COA Dean of Institutional Advancement Lynn Boulger. “We are looking forward to a week of stimulating ideas and thoughtful presentations on this important and timely topic.”

New Yorker magazine Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza kicks off the 2017 Institute with The Press and the Future of American Democracy on Monday, July 31. Lizza, also an on-air contributor for CNN, has covered most of the country’s major political stories since 1988, including the last four presidential elections. He holds the 2012 National Press Club Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence, among many other awards.

Rosen, who is the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, leads a Coffee and Conversation discussion the following morning with Professor of Anthropology Lawrence Rosen, JD, PhD and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Lauren Coyle JD, PhD, entitled, What Can Anthropology Teach Us about the Future of American Democracy? Coyle’s research and teaching at Princteon University revolves around the intersections of legal and political anthropology.

Also on Tuesday, August 1, The Champlain Institute hosts a special, on-the-road broadcast of Maine Public Radio’s live midday show, Maine Calling. Rosen will take calls, emails, tweets, and written questions from the live audience on current constitutional issues. A Q&A with program host Jennifer Rooks will follow.

Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Michael Gerhardt presents The Constitution and the Future of American Democracy on Wednesday, August 2. Gerhardt has specialized in constitutional conflicts and been active as a special counsel, scholar, adviser, expert witness, and public commentator on all the major conflicts between presidents and Congress over the past quarter century.

Thursday morning, August 3, Kenji Yoshino, J.D. will discuss The Future of Equality in American Democracy. Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law. He has published broadly in scholarly journals and is the author of “Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights” and “A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare’s Plays Teach Us About Justice.”

Rosen’s capstone address, What Would Madison Think of American Democracy Today? is set for Friday, August 4. In Federalist Paper no. 51, James Madison “worries about how to create institutions which would check personal ambition and the ‘encroachment’ of one branch of government by the other” (Liberty Project).  Rosen will discuss Madison’s papers, the separation of powers, and the checks and balances that support our democracy.

Rosen is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School and a commentator on legal affairs. A graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School, Rosen is a contributing editor for The Atlantic and has been legal affairs editor at The New Republic, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. He is “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator,” according to legal historian David Garrow.

The College of the Atlantic Champlain Institute is an annual, weeklong, public forum of ideas and exchange around a curated topic. For more information, visit, or email dean of advancement Lynn Boulger at Check out COA’s online calendar for other great summer events.

College of the Atlantic is the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2016, both The Princeton Review and the Sierra Club named College of the Atlantic the #1 Green College in the United States. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in human ecology – the study of how humans interact with our natural, social and technological environments. Each student develops their own course of study in human ecology, collaborating and innovating across multiple disciplines.