General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) is a businessman, educator, writer and commentator.
General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Chairman and Founder of Enverra, Inc. a licensed investment bank; Chairman of Energy Security Partners, LLC; as well as numerous corporate boards including BNK Petroleum and Leagold Mining. He is active in energy, including oil and gas, biofuels, electric power and batteries, finance, and security. During his business career he has served as an advisory, consultant or board member of over ninety private and publicly traded companies. In the not-for-profit space, he is a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations, Director of the Atlantic Council; and Founding Chair of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock. A best-selling author, General Clark has written four books and is a frequent contributor on TV and to newspapers.
Clark retired as a four star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served in his last assignments as Commander of US Southern Command and then as Commander of US European Command/ Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. He later commanded at the battalion, brigade and division level, and served in a number of significant staff positions, including service as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5). He was the principal author of both the US National Military Strategy and Joint Vision 2010, prescribing US warfighting for full-spectrum dominance. He also worked with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the Dayton Peace Process, where he helped write and negotiate significant portions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. In his final assignment as Supreme Allied Commander Europe he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, a 78-day air campaign, backed by ground invasion planning and a diplomatic process, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He has also been awarded the Department of State Distinguished Service Award and numerous honorary doctorates and civilian honors.
Jeb Bush was the 43rd governor of the state of Florida, serving from 1999 through 2006. He was the third Republican elected to the state’s highest office and the only Republican in the state’s history to be reelected.
Jeb Bush was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2016 election cycle. Prior to his run for President and his two terms as Florida’s governor, Mr. Bush built a lifelong career as a successful businessman and entrepreneur, with a focus on real estate, investment and consulting. He is the author of three books focused on public policy.
Among his many philanthropic endeavors, Governor Bush is the founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national 501c3 education reform organization with a focus on helping build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her God-given potential.
He and his wife, Columba, live in Miami and have three grown children and four grandchildren. Governor Bush is the son of President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush.
Former two-term governor of Michigan Jennifer M. Granholm led Michigan though a period of unprecedented economic challenge and change. Granholm became the first woman to be elected as governor of Michigan in 2002, and in 2006 she was re-elected with what was at the time the largest number of votes ever cast for governor in the state. She was term limited in 2011. Prior to being elected governor, Granholm was the Michigan Attorney General from 1998-2002.
After leaving public office, Granholm joined the faculty at UC Berkeley, teaching courses in law and public policy, and is a Senior Research Fellow at both the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, and the California Institute on Energy and the Environment. Granholm is chair of the American Jobs Project, a multi-university research initiative focused on state-based policies to create jobs in clean energy, and does research in the subjects of artificial intelligence, employment and automation. She is a senior contributor to CNN, is the Managing Partner for the Sustainability Group of Ridge-Lane, LLC, is the CEO of Granholm Mulhern Associates, and serves on several boards of companies and nonprofits. She is also the co-author of the political bestseller, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future.
Governor Mike Huckabee is the host of the TV show “Huckabee” on TBN each weekend and is a Fox News contributor, NY Times best-selling author of 12 books, and a frequent speaker for corporate, civic, and non-profit groups all over the world. He was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest serving Governors in his state’s history. He left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on prevention. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials. He ran in 2008 and 2016 for President, finishing 2nd in the Republican primary in 2008.
Governing Magazine named him as one of its “Public Officials of the Year” for 2005, and Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America. He served as the Chairman of the prestigious National Governors Association as well as the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors Association, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission. He has been nationally recognized for his advocacy of the arts in education and raises money to provide musical instruments for children.
Huckabee an avid musician since age 11, is a bass player and often joins guest artists on his weekly television show, having played with Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Toby Keith, the late George Jones, and many others. He is co-owner of radio stations in Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri.
His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and music. He was named one of the “25 Most Influential People” for Conservation by Outdoor Life Magazine, and was named “Man of the Year” by the American Sportfishing Association in 1997. The former governor and his wife, Janet, spend time in Florida and Arkansas and have three grown children – John Mark Huckabee, David Huckabee and his wife, Lauren, and Sarah Sanders and her husband, Bryan – and six grandchildren.
Senator Mary Landrieu served in the United States Senate for three terms, first elected in 1996. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – and then, ultimately, as Chair of that Committee – she passed several important pieces of legislation; most notably the landmark Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA); the Israel American Energy Alliance; and the RESTORE Act – the single largest federal investment in the Gulf Coast in US history.
She also served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Appropriations Committee, and chaired the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. In her role as Chair of the Small Business Committee, she was the lead sponsor of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which helped to create and retain over 650,000 American jobs.
During her time in the Senate, Landrieu was known for her bipartisan approach to addressing national challenges and for her passionate advocacy for her home state of Louisiana, particularly in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, she served in the Louisiana State Legislature from 1979 – 1987. For eight years, she successfully championed causes related to women and children, flood protection, and education reform. In 1987, she was elected State Treasurer and served with distinction for two terms. Strong fiscal management, pension fund diversification, debt limitation, and the creation of the first-ever municipal investment fund (now valued at over $2 billion) are some of her noteworthy accomplishments.
Senator Landrieu serves on the Board of Directors of CenturyLink, the second largest US communications provider to global enterprise customers. In the non-profit space, she serves on the boards of the National Alliance for Pubic Charter Schools; Resources for the Future; and chairs the Board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (which represents over 150 Members of Congress who work in a bipartisan fashion, supporting and finding families for orphan children here in the US and around the world).
She graduated from Louisiana State University and is married to Frank Snellings, an attorney and real estate broker in Washington, DC. They have two grown children and one grandchild.
Trent Lott is a former Senate Majority Leader, Senate Republican Whip and House Republican Whip. Senator Lott represented the people of Mississippi in Congress for 35 years and is one of a handful of officials to have held elected leadership positions in both the House of Representatives and Senate. During his 16 years in the House and 19 years in the Senate, he worked closely with seven presidential administrations and was regarded as a savvy coalition builder and dealmaker.
Senator Lott joined the House in 1973, representing Mississippi’s Fifth Congressional District. From 1981 to 1989, he served as House Minority Whip, the second-ranking Republican in the House. In that position, he forged the bipartisan alliance that enacted Ronald Reagan’s economic recovery program and national security initiatives. He also founded the House’s first modern Whip organization with a focus on regular member-to-member contacts and extensive outreach to sympathetic Democrats to secure passage of major legislation.
In 1988, Senator Lott was elected to the Senate where he was a member of a group of pro-growth stalwarts who opposed the tax increase forced on President Bush in 1990. He became the Senate’s 16th Majority Leader in 1996 and, along with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, was instrumental in the passing of the historic welfare reform bill of 1996. The next year, Senator Lott worked with Gingrich and congressional Budget Committee chairmen John Kasich and Pete Domenici to produce a landmark budget and tax cut agreement that limited some federal spending while, more importantly, stimulating the economic growth that brought the federal budget into balance for the first time since 1968.
As the Republican leader in the Senate during the first two years of President George W. Bush’s administration, Senator Lott led the fight for passage of the President’s tax cut package, the President’s historic education reform bill, the largest increase in defense spending since the Cold War, the most significant trade legislation in a decade, and the resolution supporting the President of military action in Iraq. Senator Lott later helped to reach the compromises leading to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Tom Ridge is the Chairman of Ridge Global, LLC, Chairman of the Ridge Global Cybersecurity Institute and a Partner of Ridge Policy Group, LLC. He provides clients with solutions to cyber security, international security and risk management issues. Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania. During his DHS tenure, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000 employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Tom Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February I, 2005. Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Governor Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state’s advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and serves as Co-Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. He is on the board of the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and other private and public entities. He graduated from Harvard with honors. After his first year at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, he earned his law degree and, later, became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms.