In the News: 2014 Boe Forum Speaker Announced


Former Microsoft executive Robbie Bach has been announced as the speaker for the 2014 Boe Forum on Public Affairs. The topic of his October presentation, “Privacy at Risk: Challenges to Protecting Personal Identity and Data," is both a timely and important one for consumers in the digital age. Bach was influential in the launch and expansion of Microsoft Office and led the creation and development of the Xbox and its eventual successor, the Xbox 360, as Microsoft’s chief Xbox officer. He joins a long list of distinguished speakers in the annual lecture series.

The following story about the announcement was published by the Argus Leader on August 1, 2014.

Microsoft Exec is Boe Forum Speaker

By Austin Ashlock, Argus Leader

The Center for Western Studies at Augustana College announced Thursday that former Microsoft executive Robbie Bach will be the speaker for the 2014 Boe Forum on Public Affairs Oct. 28.

In his presentation “Privacy at Risk: Challenges to Protecting Personal Identity and Data,” Bach will speak about challenges faced in cyber security, data breaches and government surveillance.

During his 22-year career at Microsoft, Bach played an essential role in the launch and development of Microsoft Office and the Xbox series, as well as Xbox Live.

Bach retired as president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division in 2010.

Center for Western Studies executive director Harry Thompson said Bach’s experience and knowledge of online services and his advocacy for cyber security and personal online data more than qualify him to speak on the issue.

“Given the concerns the public has had about government interference and corporate data breaches, I’m hopeful that he will be able to bring a firsthand perspective on the complexity of all this,” he said.

While with Microsoft, Bach frequently lobbied in front of Congress on policy issues for Internet regulation.

Thompson said he hopes the students and the public walk away from the forum with more knowledge on how they can protect themselves digitally.

“We hear a lot about it, but this is a chance for the community to listen to someone at the forefront,” Thompson said.

The Boe forums began in 1995 and have brought international and national leaders to Sioux Falls to speak on controversial issues. Past Boe Forum speakers include former President George H. W. Bush and president of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.

The forum will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Elmen Center and is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved beginning Sept. 8.