Kevin A. Hassett, director of economic policy studies and a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, will give a talk, “Capitalism and the Poor,” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 3:30 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech’s Latham Ballroom as the BB&T Distinguished Speaker, hosted by the Pamplin College of Business.

The talk, part of the BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism, is free and open to the public, no tickets required. Free parking is available at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Find more parking information online, or call 540-231-3200.

Before joining the institute, Hassett was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University. He also served as a policy consultant to the Treasury Department during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations, as an economic adviser to the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, chief economic adviser to Sen. John McCain during the 2000 presidential primaries, and senior economic adviser to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign. Hassett also writes a column for National Review.

Featuring two speakers each year, the BB&T lectures discuss current issues in business management and government policy, in addition to topics related to capitalism. The series is part of a Pamplin College teaching program to explore the foundations of capitalism and freedom. The program’s courses, undergraduate and graduate, examine alternative economic systems, including socialism and communism, and compare them with the economic solutions offered by free markets. For more information, please contact finance professor and program director Douglas Patterson.

Previous BB&T speakers include veteran financial journalist John Berry, Greg Ip of The Economist, Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan, and Pamplin alumnus and Forbes newsletter editor Vahan Janjigian. The program was established in 2007 in the college’s finance department with a $1 million gift from BB&T Charitable Foundation.