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Politics - Keynote Speakers

George J. Mitchell

Senator George Mitchell has an international reputation for always being willing to take on tough jobs and uses his expertise to help settle challenging situations. He has led a distinguished career in public service, spending 15 years in the Senate. More recently, Senator Mitchell served as a US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from January 2009- May 2011. He is also the author of five books, the most recent, a memoir entitled The Negotiator: Reflections on an American Life. For six consecutive years he was voted “the most respected member” of the Senate. Committed to fairness, Senator Mitchell is the man called on to handle delicate issues, to straighten out disagreements, and help solve the most challenging investigations. He customizes his presentations for audiences and speaks on a range of topics including global politics, foreign policy, US politics, business leadership, conflict resolution and negotiation. His experience is unparalleled and his intellect captivates all audiences.

Gene Marks

Gene Marks is an expert on growth, management, and profitability for small and medium-sized businesses. A small business owner himself, Gene is also a weekly columnist for the New York Times, Forbes, and The Huffington Post. He has authored five books on topics that pertain to small and medium-sized businesses, including his most recent title, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash: Simple Lessons from Smart Business People. Gene's engaging and exciting presentations help business owners, executives, and managers to understand the current political, economic, and technological trends that will affect their companies. With straightforward language, humor, and expertise, Gene will provide your audience with strategies and tools that they can use immediately to strengthen business and grow revenue. From budgets to bonus programs and health care reform to social networking, Gene understands the issues that affect small businesses. Let him teach your audience how to triumph in today's climate and turn seeming challenges into profitable opportunities!

Katty Kay

As a British journalist in Washington, DC, Katty Kay offers a fresh perspective on the unfolding drama of American politics that only an outsider can provide. Katty is the current lead anchor for BBC World News America and covers topics ranging from global affairs to insights on American politics. She is a keen observer of America’s role in a rapidly changing world. She is also the co-author of two New York Times Bestsellers, The Confidence Code, and Womenomics. The Confidence Code examines the science and art of self-assurance and its role in success. Womenomics urges women to write their own rules for success. Katty’s knowledge and observations provide a perspective that brings audiences to a better understanding of what is happening in the world today and how it can affect businesses.

Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward is a legendary two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist, bestselling author and associate editor for the Washington Post. Bob is the most famous investigative journalist; he delivers the ultimate inside scoop about the behind-the-headlines wrangling of Washington and its leaders. He is the author of 12 #1 bestsellers, including All the President’s Men and The Final Days. He captivates audiences with stories that are sometimes surprising, at times shocking, and always fascinating. Bob engages his audiences by blending stories that are both up to the minute and from the past. In an age of 24-hour news, social media, and snarky politics, Bob helps people get behind the spin to understand what’s really going on in the halls of power.

Chris Bashinelli

Chris “Bash” Bashinelli gave up an acting career to exchange with the world. As Host of Bridge the Gap on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, Bash takes us on an introspective adventure- walking in the shoes of people halfway around the world and encouraging us to think differently about our lives. Bash has spoken around the world, from the United Nations General Assembly Hall, to Fortune 500 Companies, to entrepreneur organizations in Saudi Arabia. He is the youngest male ever to singlehandedly moderate the UN International Day of Peace. He is also a contributing writer for Huffington Post, Lonely Planet, Delta Sky and the Daily News Zimbabwe. Bash’s keynotes embody themes of service, productivity and cultural understanding. He helps audiences better realize their potential to become Global Citizens- productive members of their organization, their family, and ultimately- the world!

Craig Crawford

Craig Crawford is one of today’s most exciting political analysts who is well known for his thought provoking blog which covers a wide range of national issues, his lively discussions with Imus in the Morning, and his regular appearances on television as a political commentator. The Washington Post called Craig “one of the capital’s most celebrated journalists.” He is a veteran Washington journalist, and recently worked as the communications director for Jim Webb for President. Craig is also the author of Attack the Messenger, The Politics of Life, and co-author of Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do. Craig is a diverse speaker who has the ability to discuss many topics: politics, the media, current events, presidents, political campaigns, and other Washington areas of interest.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

A brilliant strategist and one of the most respected international affairs experts in America, Dr. Brzezinski served as National Security Advisor to President Carter. The son of a Polish diplomat who left Europe just prior to World War II, Brzezinski is the author of numerous books, including "The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the 20th Century", "The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership" and "The Grand Chessboard". A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work on American-Chinese relations, Brzezinski is a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and professor of American Foreign Policy at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Brzezinski offers an unparalleled perspective on the world in which we live. He enlightens audiences with his views on U.S. foreign policy, current international affairs the new world order. He can address global trouble spots and the political implications of the evolving global marketplace. As an international advisor to multi-national corporations, Dr. Brzezinski addresses, and is well-versed on, the most important international issues facing the world & business today.

Todd Buchholz

Todd Buchholz is an international economist, hedge fund manager, former Harvard lecturer and frequent TV and radio commentator. He has written several bestselling books on the economy, including New Ideas from Dead Economists, New Ideas from Dead CEOs and Market Shock. Buchholz is a widely sought after keynote speaker addressing a variety of topics, from the U.S. financial markets to geo political debates to economic policies that impact business strategies around the globe. With an incisive wit and entertaining style, Buchholz’s keynote presentations reveal the economic challenges and opportunities faced by our changing society and proposes important strategies for success.

Jeff Bush

What if the key to understanding our present could be found in a more thorough understanding of our past? Jeff Bush has a unique ability to look at history and then decode what is relevant, interesting and useful. This enables him to provide his audiences with an approachable, multifaceted means to understand the issues that faced our nation then, and today. He is able to simplify complex information and provide practical, usable takeaways that people can implement in their businesses. Jeff does more than 200 presentations yearly to a client base that includes Fortune 500 firms from Wall Street to Main Street and everywhere in between. Jeff has been featured in Investment News and has been an analyst on POTUS Sirius/XM radio. Jeff's dedication, forward thinking, and strategic abilities have resulted in performance records, industry awards, and leadership accolades.

Tom DeFrank

Long-time, award-winning journalist, Tom DeFrank, is one of the most respected members of the political press corps. His depth of experience in covering Presidents, Congress and elections gives him a unique vantage point to give audiences not only the backstory of today's events but the historical context and perspective needed for a complete understanding of current events. DeFrank began his career at Newsweek serving as White House Correspondent and Deputy Bureau Chief of the magazine's Washington bureau (1970-1996) and then served as Washington Bureau Chief for The New York Daily News (1996-2013). Today he is Contributing Editor for the National Journal. He has reported on the activities of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama. DeFrank provides audiences a glimpse of the executive office very few get to see, with a highly anecdotal and conversational look at presidential personalities revealing the human—and humorous—side of the office.

Andy Friedman

According to CNBC, Andy Friedman is “one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on all things political.” An expert on political affairs, Andy is known for predicting the outcomes of Washington tax and fiscal deliberations and providing financial advisors and investors with strategies to consider in light of the changing political landscape.
Andy was a senior partner with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., for almost 30 years, serving as head of the tax and corporate groups. Andy appears on CNBC, which refers to him as “Wall Street’s Tax Expert” and calls him "one of Washington's savviest political observers." Andy also has appeared on the Larry Kudlow Show, the Fox Business Channel, and POTUS radio. Andy is included in Best Lawyers in America and Chambers' America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which notes that “Andy’s ability to combine vast knowledge and a practical mindset permits him to convey the most complex of tax concepts in layman’s terms. He is the expert’s expert. If every lawyer were like him, the world would be a much better place.”

Edward Guay

Edward Guay is the principal of Wintonbury Risk Management, a political, economic, investment, and business risk consultancy. Mr. Guay previously served as the Chief Economist of CIGNA Corporation and as Senior Managing Director of CIGNA Investment Management. He has a long history of accurately predicting major shifts in business, financial, and political conditions. Mr. Guay is a frequent speaker on current economic and political issues, demographics, investment topics across all asset classes, international developments, national security issues, and on future risks and opportunities. His value is in helping clients reduce risks and prepare for the opportunities generated by predicted change. Audiences enjoy hearing him speak on the risks and opportunities in the world from a US perspective.

Bruce Judson

Bruce Judson is a best-selling author, Internet business innovator, and successful entrepreneur. Currently, he is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, Judson served as a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is the former General Manager of Time, Inc. New Media and co-founder of Time Warner's initial Web activities. Judson's business experience and varied interests have made him one of the nation's leading experts on the evolution of media and advertising; how to use Web-based services for entrepreneurial success; and the impact of rising economic inequality on our society and economy.

Jim Morris

Jim Morris' Cinderella story is testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. His life story is the subject of the Walt Disney film "The Rookie" starring Dennis Quaid. As a high school baseball coach, he made a bet with his players that if they won the championship, he would try out for the major leagues. Jim then went to an open tryout, where he changed diapers and then went out and threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph to the amazement of scouts in attendance. People at the age of 35 aren't supposed to throw 98 mph. After some heated discussion with his family, Jim signed a pro contract to play baseball at the age of 35. Jim is much more than just a sports personality. Imagine having Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart over for a cup of coffee and that's what it's like to bring Jim to your corporate meeting, church, school, or fundraiser. A school teacher by trade, Jim is a polished speaker but never slick. Audiences connect with him because he's one of them. In a world lacking in real-life heroes, Jim's message about following your dreams and keeping your promises resonates with audiences.

Marvin Zonis

At Chicago Booth, Zonis has taught courses on International Political Economy, Leadership, and E-Commerce. He was the first professor at the Business School to teach a course on the effects of digital technologies on global business. He also consults to corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them to identify, assess, and manage their political risks in the changing global environment. Zonis has a unique awareness of the intersections of politics, economics, emergent technologies, emotions and leadership. In the face of current global challenges, business leadership, and a true understanding of what defines leadership, is more essential than ever. Zonis has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy. He is a leading authority on the Middle East, and has spent the last 50 years studying the volatile mix of Islam, terrorism, and the Middle East. He has lived in Iran, hitchhiked through Afghanistan, studied Islam in Iraq beginning in 1964, and traveled extensively throughout the region. His latest book is Risk Rules: How Local Politics Threaten the Global Economy (May 2011). Zonis has appeared on numerous television news programs, including Nightline and CNN's Larry King Live. He was the International Editor of WBBM-TV, Chicago and was the Middle East Consultant to ABC/Capital Cities television.

John Morgan

If his license did not read John Morgan than you would never believe him when he tells you that he is not really George W. Bush. John travels as “the face” of George W. Bush to bring entertainment to any corporate or business event. As an entertainer John does a hilarious but respectful impression of President Bush that has a few famous George W. faux pas, blended with a mix of parody songs and inspiring message about hope and determination. John’s performances electrify any event and are customized to focus on the purpose and theme of your gathering. His tailored appearances combine comedy, music, and motivating insights that keep audiences laughing while being inspired.

John Wasik

As the award-winning author of 16 books, John Wasik has spoken to audiences from coast to coast on investing, retirement and protecting your money. As former special projects editor for Consumers Digest magazine, he has won 18 awards for his columns and investigative reporting, including the National Press Club award for Consumer Journalism. As a former personal finance columnist/blogger for Reuters, the world's largest news service, he covered investing/investor protection, financial planning, taxes, insurance, retirement, college and life planning. John regularly comments on top economic news in all media and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NPR and PBS.

Willie Geist

Willie Geist is an American television personality. He is a co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and co-anchors the third hour of Today Show. Geist also hosts a satirical video blog on MSNBC.com called Zeitgeist. Geist also is a frequent fill in for Matt Lauer on the Today Show. He is the author of the The New York Times bestselling book American Freak Show, released on October 12, 2010, and of Loaded! Become a Millionaire Overnight and Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks or Your Money Back!, a satire of the popular self-help genre, released on May 10, 2011.

Betsy Myers

A sought-after speaker, Betsy Myers is a leadership expert who served as Chief Operating Officer of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign, President Clinton’s White House Senior Adviser for Women’s Issues and as Executive Director of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Center for Public Leadership. Betsy has a unique background in politics and academia and is committed to personal and interpersonal leadership development. Speaking on various topics such as leadership, career development, teamwork, women’s issues, and diversity, Betsy has inspired hundreds of audiences ranging in size from groups of 10 to over 750 people. The presentations she delivers range from themes such as “Authentic Leadership” and how “Leadership Creates a Feeling” as well as topics about work-life balance. Betsy Myers is currently speaking and leading workshops around the world on the changing nature of leadership. She is the best selling author of Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, which was released September 2011.

Capitol Steps

The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. The group was born in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin. So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and they created song parodies & skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor. In the years that followed, many of the Steps ignored the conventional wisdom ("Don't quit your day job!"), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 30 albums, including their latest, Desperate Housemembers and Barackin' Around the Christmas Tree .

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