Conference Speakers

 

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Charlie Black


Image of Charlie BlackCharlie Black is chairman of Prime Policy Group, and was the founder of the firm’s predecessor, BKSH & Associates Worldwide. Black is best known as one of America’s leading Republican political strategists. He served as senior adviser to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In 1990, Black served as chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee and served as a principal public spokesman for Bush in the 1992 presidential campaign. He served on President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns as a volunteer political adviser and surrogate spokesman. During the 2008 election cycle, Black served as the senior political adviser to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.

An attorney with more than 40 years of experience in government, public affairs and politics, Black has managed the successful elections of several U.S. senators and representatives. He served as political director of the Republican National Committee under Chairman Bill Brock.

A native of North Carolina, Charlie is a member of the North Carolina Bar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Florida and a juris doctorate from The American University. Charlie resides in Alexandria, Va., with his wife, Judy.

Donna Brazile

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Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, vice chair of voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim national chair of the Democratic National Committee, as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute.

She first got involved in politics at the age of nine, when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing set was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she became the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign.

Author of the best-selling memoir “Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics,” Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for Universal Uclick, a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and O, the Oprah Magazine, and an on-air contributor to CNN and ABC, where she regularly appears on ABC’s This Week.

Brazile is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Grambling College, Northeastern Illinois University and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Joel Brenner

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Joel Brenner is the former head of national counterintelligence for the director of national intelligence and chaired the National Counterintelligence Policy Board. He is also the former senior counsel and inspector general of the National Security Agency, where he was in charge of internal investigations, audit and inspections in the world’s largest intelligence agency.

Brenner specializes in cyber and physical security, data protection and privacy, intelligence law, the administration of classified information and facilities, and the regulation of sensitive cross-border transactions. He has years of experience inside and outside government involving national and homeland security matters, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., known as CFIUS; the liability of foreign governments; export controls; securities regulations; and grand jury proceedings. He has also written about intelligence oversight, privacy and presidential authority to suspend or prohibit foreign takeovers of U.S. firms. Brenner is often quoted in the national media on data security, privacy and intelligence issues.

Brenner is the author of “America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime and Warfare” and “Glass Houses: Privacy, Secrecy and Cyber Insecurity in a Transparent World.”

Dan Glickman

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Dan Glickman (@DanRGlickman) is vice president of the Aspen Institute and executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, which is a non-partisan public policy education and civility-building program for members of the U.S. Congress. He is also a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Glickman served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1995 to 2001. Under his leadership, the department administered farm and conservation programs; modernized food safety regulations; forged international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets; and improved its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights.

Before his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture, Glickman served for 18 years in the U.S. Congress, representing the 4th Congressional District of Kansas. During that time, he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal farm policy issues. He was an active member of the House Judiciary Committee; chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and was a leading congressional expert on general aviation policy.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Michigan and his juris doctorate from the George Washington University. He is a member of the Kansas and District of Columbia bar associations.

Carlos Gutierrez

Carlos Gutierrez is the former CEO of Kellogg Company, a former secretary of commerce, and the former vice chairman of Citigroup’s Institutional Clients Group. The son of Cuban immigrants who began his career selling cereal to small grocers in Mexico City, he rose to become the youngest CEO in Kellogg’s 100-year history.

As secretary of commerce, Gutierrez was a core member of President George W. Bush’s economic team. During his tenure, Gutierrez made it a top priority to open global markets for U.S. companies, and he played a key role in the passage of CAFTA-DR, a landmark trade agreement that expanded opportunities for U.S. exports throughout Latin America.

After his time as Secretary of Commerce, he joined Citigroup as the vice chairman of the Institutional Clients Group and a member of its Senior Strategic Advisory Group. He was also an adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, a member of the Debt Reduction Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the founder and chairman of Global Political Strategies, a strategic consulting service.

Gutierrez left Citigroup to lead the creation of the SuperPAC Republicans for Immigration Reform.

He is currently with the Albright Stonebridge Group and sits on the Time Warner board.

Randel K. Johnson

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Randel K. Johnson is senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he is primarily responsible for labor, immigration and employee benefits issues pending before Congress and the federal agencies.

Johnson regularly testifies before Congress and is widely quoted in the media on employment and immigration issues as a recognized expert in these fields. He serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Forum and the Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services agency and on the Quality Alliance Steering Committee.

Previously, Johnson was a member of the Department of Homeland Security Data Management Improvement Act Task Force on border entry and exit issues, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Immigration Task Force, the 21st Century Workforce Commission, and the Carnegie U.S.-Mexico Migration Study Group.

Before joining the Chamber, Johnson was the Republican labor counsel and coordinator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Johnson is a graduate of Denison University and the University of Maryland School of Law and earned his Master of Laws in labor relations from the Georgetown University Law Center. He received a graduate certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for Senior Managers in Government and is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Frank Keating

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Frank Keating is president and CEO of the American Bankers Association and the former governor of Oklahoma.

He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. His 30-year career in law enforcement and public service included stints as an FBI agent; U.S. Attorney and state prosecutor; and Oklahoma House and Senate member.

He served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the Treasury, Justice and Housing departments. His Justice and Treasury service gave him responsibility for all federal criminal prosecutions in the nation and oversight over agencies such as the Secret Service, U.S. Customs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service and all 94 U.S. Attorneys.

As governor of Oklahoma, Keating won national acclaim in 1995 for his compassionate and professional handling of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City.

Keating recently served on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force, and is chairman of the advisory board of George Washington’s Mount Vernon and serves on the boards of the National Archives, the Jamestown Foundation and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Angela Maria Kelley

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Angela Maria Kelley joined the Center for American Progress in 2009 as vice president for immigration policy.

The Center for American Progress is a public policy think tank that has published numerous reports and analyses on immigration issues including the economic impact of state anti-immigrant laws, the economic value of immigration reform, the cost of mass deportation, and the integration trends of America’s newcomers.

Before joining American Progress, Kelley served as director of the Immigration Policy Center, a research and rapid-response organization providing policymakers, academics, the media, and the general public with access to accurate information about the effects of immigration on the U.S. economy and society.

Prior to that, Kelley was deputy director at the National Immigration Forum, where she headed its legislative, policy and communications activities and oversaw its operations. During her service at the forum, Kelley was a frontline negotiator as Congress debated proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Kelley, the daughter of South American immigrants, began her career as an attorney for a legal services agency in Washington, D.C., representing low-income immigrants on immigration and family matters. She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and a Georgetown University Law School Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.

Gary King

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Gary King (@GaryKingforGov), Democratic candidate for governor of New Mexico, is currently the New Mexico attorney general and the only current AG in the nation who is also a scientist with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

King maintained a private practice as an attorney before serving for 12 years in the New Mexico Legislature. During 10 years as the chairman of the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, he worked on health care, environmental and civil rights issues.

Elected attorney general in 2006, King spearheaded the effort to get legislation passed that, for the first time, made it a felony crime to engage in the practice of human trafficking. He was invited to Geneva, Switzerland, by a United Nations committee to present this legislation as a model for other nations around the world that are seeking to end the practice of human slavery.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Colorado University at Boulder. He then attended law school at the University of New Mexico, where he received his J.D.

Since 1987, he has been married to Yolanda Jones King, also a scientist and community leader. King grew up with his ranching family in Stanley, N.M.

Susana Martinez

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Susana Martinez (@Gov_Martinez) is New Mexico’s first female governor and the first Hispanic female elected governor in the history of the United States.

She was named one of Time Magazine’s100 Most Influential People in the world in 2013. As governor, Martinez has worked with the Legislature to implement reforms to the New Mexico tax code, public education system and business regulation.

Prior to being elected governor, Martinez was the District Attorney for the Third Judicial District in Doña Ana County, a position she held for 14 years. As district attorney, Martinez successfully prosecuted and convicted the killer of NMSU student Katie Sepich, later fighting to pass “Katie’s Law,” which requires a DNA sample to be taken from anyone arrested for a violent felony in New Mexico. As governor, she prioritized expanding “Katie’s Law” to require a DNA sample for all felony arrests, signing the expansion into law in 2011.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Law.

Martinez has made Las Cruces her home since the 1980s. Her husband, Chuck Franco, concluded his three-decade career in law enforcement serving as the Doña Ana County undersheriff.

Leon Panetta

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Leon Panetta served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. He oversaw the final removal of American troops from Iraq, as well as the beginning of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

Before joining the Department of Defense, Panetta served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011. Most notably, he was responsible for overseeing the operation that resulted in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.

Before joining CIA, he spent 10 years co-directing with his wife, Sylvia, the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay.

From July 1994 to January 1997, Panetta served as chief of staff to President William Clinton. Prior to that, he was director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position that built on his years of work on the House Budget Committee. Panetta represented California’s 16th (now 17th) Congressional District from 1977 to 1993, rising to House Budget Committee chairman during his final four years in Congress.

Panetta holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a law degree, both from Santa Clara University. The Panettas reside in Carmel Valley, Calif., and have three grown sons and six grandchildren.

 

Mary G. Wilson

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Mary G. Wilson (@MaryGWilson) served as the 17th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States and chair of the League of Women Voters Education Fund from 2006 to 2010.

Prior to becoming president, she served as LWVUS Board Advocacy Chair, and helped guide the league in its Democracy Agenda, an advocacy and public education effort to strengthen and renew the basic tenets of American democracy. She has also served in numerous capacities with her local league in central New Mexico and with the state league.

Wilson, a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law, is an attorney with 38 years of experience in estate planning, regulatory compliance, commercialization and privatization, corporate and environmental law.

Prior to starting her own law firm, she served as an attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as an assistant chief counsel with the U. S. Department of Energy, and as general counsel for EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, Inc. She is a partner in the Law Offices of Wilson & Associates, P.C., in Albuquerque.

Wilson has lived in New Mexico since 1979 and currently resides on a ranch in Torrance County with her partner, José Mora.

 

John D. Zepper

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John D. Zepper is director of computing and network services at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, where has responsibility for delivering computing systems capability and for providing secure and efficient information technology solutions to mission applications at Sandia National Laboratories.

His experience at Sandia has included managing the advanced networking groups and many years in code development in the engineering sciences group developing and deploying coupled multi-physics applications. Zepper has spent the past few years working on scalable IT systems for virtualization, blade servers, gigabit passive optical network (GPON), storage area networks, high availability, disaster recovery, business continuity and collaboration solutions.

Zepper was recently selected by Popular Science as “Grand Award Winner in Engineering” for GPON, named best innovation of the year. He also received a Lockheed Martin Nova award for the development of a supercomputer called “Red Storm” with Cray. He was also involved with research and development for an R&D 100 submission for groundbreaking work in “3D Torus Topology for InfiniBand Supercomputer Interconnects,” and deployment of an energy-efficient institutional computing platform called “Red Sky,” which was the 10th fastest supercomputer in the world in November 2009.