Speaker Series

JeffTalks is a signature speaker series featuring 15-minute talks from members of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation community on topics of personal and professional interest.

Most recently, three Foundation alumni delivered talks at the Foundation—Payvand Ahdout (JS ‘10), Steven Lewis (JF ‘18), and Ameet Sarpatwari (JS ‘03). 


Payvand Ahdout
Payvand is an associate professor at UVA’s School of Law

Federal Courts and Political Disputes
by Payvand Ahdout (JS ‘10)

From injunctions barring the construction of the Southern border wall to congressional subpoenas against the U.S. President’s closest advisors, federal courts are in the news more than ever before. This talk examined how courts are involved in the political disputes of our time.   


Steven Lewis
Steven is the curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Public Trust in Institutions: 
Lessons from Museums
by Steven Lewis (JF ‘18)

Public trust in institutions is at an all-time low. Using the American Alliance of Museums’ 2021 Museums and Public Trust study, this talk examined ways in which museums could offer lessons in rebuilding and maintaining public trust.



Ameet Sarpatwari
Ameet is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the assistant director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law

Dysfunction in the Pharmaceutical System
by Ameet Sarpatwari (JS ‘03)

Americans spend far more per capita on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world. This talk examined the scope of the problem, its underlying drivers, and possible reforms.