Gov. Ronnie Musgrove
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove
Governor Ronnie Musgrove was born in Tocowa, Mississippi. He is a graduate of Northwest Community College, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi Law School.
His term as governor followed a distinguished career of public service. A two-term state senator, Musgrove chaired the Education Committee. In 1998 he was recognized nationally as a leader among his peers, serving as chair of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors. He served as chair of the Southern Regional Education Board, as the chair-elect for the Southern States Energy Board, on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Executive Committee for the Democratic Governors’ Association, where he served as vice chair of policy.
In the face of a national recession, Musgrove’s efforts created more than 52,000 new jobs and brought more than $13.5 billion in new investments to the state. In August 2000, Musgrove crafted a new jobs program for the state called the Advantage Mississippi Initiative (AMI). After its passage, Mississippi was selected as the home for a new $1.4-billion Nissan Motor Company production plant. Throughout his career, Musgrove has been a champion of education. In July 2001, he signed a bill raising teacher pay in Mississippi to the Southeastern average.
Gov. Brad Henry
Gov. Brad Henry
Governor Brad Henry serves as Counsel to the national business law firm of Spencer Fane LLP and is a founding member of Henry-Adams Companies, LLC, a general and business development consulting firm.
Governor Henry served as Oklahoma's 26th governor. He was elected governor in 2002 and served two terms through January 10, 2011. Only the third governor to serve two consecutive terms, Governor Henry, a democrat, was re-elected in 2006 by the largest vote margin in modern times and the second largest margin in state history. During his time in office, Governor Henry consistently enjoyed high approval ratings in public opinion surveys of his governorship, earning him recognition as one of the most popular state chief executives in modern history.
A charter member of the Governors’ Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Governor Henry also served as Chairman of the Council of State Governments, the Southern Growth Policies Board, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. He currently serves on numerous boards, including the national board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the board of directors of NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV).
Governor Henry was a President's Leadership Scholar at the University of Oklahoma, where he received the Gold Letseizer Medal as the Top Senior Graduate and earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1985. In 1988, Governor Henry was awarded a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Law Review.
Prior to his election, Governor Henry practiced law with his father, Charles, in Shawnee, and served ten years in the Oklahoma State Senate, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee and serving as vice-chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee.
Gov. Matt Blunt
Gov. Matt Blunt
Governor Matt Blunt is President of the American Automotive Policy Council, a trade association representing the common public policy and trade interests of FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.
In 2004, Matt Blunt was elected the 54th Governor of Missouri, carrying 101 of the state’s 114 counties. As governor, he eliminated a $1.1 billion deficit and delivered balanced budgets, a surplus, tax relief and dramatic increases in education funding. He enacted economic growth measures to improve the state’s business climate leading to the creation of over 70,000 jobs.
Prior to his election as governor, Matt served in the Missouri House of Representatives and as Missouri’s Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, he reformed state election laws and used technology to increase customer convenience while also reducing costs.
Governor Blunt served 14 years in the Navy and Naval Reserve, which included assignments on the USS JACK WILLIAMS (FFG-24), and the USS PETERSON (DD-969). As a Reservist, he was mobilized after the September 11, 2001 attacks. LCDR Blunt received four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals as well as numerous other awards while on active duty.
Governor Blunt earned his bachelor’s degree in History from the U.S. Naval Academy. He, his wife Melanie, and their two sons, William Branch and Brooks currently reside in Delaplane, Virginia.
Suisheng (Sam) Zhao 赵穗生
Suisheng (Sam) Zhao 赵穗生
Suisheng Zhao is Professor and Director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. A member of the Board of Governors of the US Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific, a member of National Committee on US-China Relations, a Campbell National Fellow at Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a Research Associate at the Fairbanks Center for East Asian Research in Harvard University, he is the founder and chief editor of the Journal of Contemporary China. He received his Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of California-San Diego, M.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri and BA and M.A. degrees in economics from Peking University, and was Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College in Maryland, Associate Professor of Government and East Asian Politics at Colby College in Maine and visiting assistant professor at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at University of California-San Diego.
He is the author and editor of more than a dozen of books, including Debating Regime Legitimacy in Contemporary China: Popular Protests and Regime Performance (2017); The Making of China’s Foreign Policy in the 21st Century, Historical Sources, Institutions/Players, and Perceptions of Power Relations (2016); China in Africa: Strategic Motives and Economic Interests (2015): the Construction of Chinese Nationalism in the Early 21st Century: Domestic sources and International Implications (2014); The Rise of China and Transformation of the US-China Relationship: Forging Partnership in the Age of Strategic Mistrust, (2013); China’s Search for Energy Security: Domestic Sources and International Implications(2012); China and East Asian Regionalism: Economic and Security Cooperation and Institution-Building (2012), In Search of China’s Development Model: Beyond the Beijing Consensus, (2011), Village Elections in China (2010), China and the United States, Cooperation and Competition in Northeast Asia (2008), China-US Relations Transformed: Perspectives and Strategic Interactions (2008), Debating Political Reform in China: Rule of Law versus Democratization (2006), A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism (2004), Chinese Foreign Policy: Pragmatism and Strategic Behavior (2003), China and Democracy: Reconsidering the Prospects for a Democratic China (2000), Across the Taiwan Strait: Mainland China, Taiwan, and the Crisis of 1995-96 (1999). His articles have appeared in Political Science Quarterly, The Wilson Quarterly, Washington Quarterly, International Politik, The Hague Journal of Democracy, European Financial Review, The China Quarterly, World Affairs, Asian Survey, Asian Affairs, Journal of Democracy, Pacific Affairs, Communism and Post-Communism Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, and elsewhere.
Reta Jo Lewis, Esq.
Reta Jo Lewis, Esq.
Reta Jo Lewis is a Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. She serves as the principal liaison between GMF and Congress and is responsible for building and maintaining extensive congressional relationships in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Lewis directs GMF congressional initiatives designed to engage Members of Congress on a wide range of transatlantic policy issues and on opportunities for transatlantic cooperation between U.S. and European legislative and policy leaders. She also leads GMF’s signature Congress-Bundestag parliamentarian exchanges and the Technology Transatlantic Congressional Study Tour, which focuses on global digital and privacy issues. She joined GMF in 2015, as a Senior Resident Fellow with the Transatlantic Leadership Initiative Program, where she focuses on subnational diplomacy strategies and leadership development.
During the Obama Administration, from 2010 to 2013, she served as the U. S. Department of States’ first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, under Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Lewis led the office charged with building strategic peer-to-peer relationships between the Department of State, U.S. state and local officials, and their foreign counterparts. In her post, she served as the State Department’s lead interlocutor in negotiating and executing the first historic Memorandums of Understanding to solidify subnational cooperation and engagement efforts with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries and with targeted countries in the European Union. She traveled extensively throughout China meeting with Central and Provincial Government officials (Party Secretaries, Mayors, Governors), AmChams, Chinese Business Councils and city Secretaries of Trade and Investment and Education, in over twelve provincial localities. She was the principal negotiator between the U.S. and China on the establishment of the first U.S. Governor’s Forums that resulted in four U.S China Subnational Bilateral Exchanges, including one conducted by Vice President Joseph Biden and then Chinese Vice President (now President) Xi Jinping in February 2012. She was the principal architect that led the global engagement of U.S. state and local government leaders’ integration into and strategy regarding sustainability and climate change to RIO+20, COP-16, COP-17 and COP-18. In 2013, she was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.
From November 2008 to January 2009, she was the Director of Business Outreach for the Obama- Biden Presidential Transition Team. Earlier in her career, she served as the Vice President and Counselor to the President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Director of the Chamber’s effort focused on small business and outreach to women and minority-owned businesses. From 1993 to 1995, Lewis served as the Special Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and the Director of the northeast and southern region to President Bill Clinton. Her legal experience includes stints as a Shareholder in the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, in 1997 to 2000 and Of Counsel at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, prior to joining the Obama Administration from 2007 from 2009. She was a 2014 mayoral candidate in Washington, DC.
Lewis is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. She serves as an Associate Fellow for the Geneva Center for Security Policy, Global Fellows Institute and is a member of the Nielsen Corporation, African American Advisory Council. Earlier in her career, Lewis organized and was the National Tour Director for the Democracy for South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s 8-city, first USA Tour in 1990.
Amb. Kenneth Quinn
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn
Dr. Kenneth M. Quinn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, assumed the leadership of the World Food Prize Foundation on January 1, 2000, following his retirement from the State Department after a 32 year career in the Foreign Service.
Inspired by the vision of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the founder of the World Food Prize, Ambassador Quinn has endeavored to build this annual $250,000 award into “the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” Held each October in Des Moines on or around World Food Day (October 16), the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony, “Borlaug Dialogue” international symposium and Global Youth Institute have grown in size and stature under his direction.
With the support of the John Ruan family, Dr. Quinn has led the campaign which successfully raised over $30 million to restore the historic Des Moines Public Library and transform it into the World Food Prize Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates. He provided the personal leadership to have the building designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible level of energy efficiency and resource conservation.
During his diplomatic career, Ken Quinn served: as a Rural Development advisor in the Mekong Delta; on the National Security Council staff at the White House; as Narcotics Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Vienna; for four years as Chairman of the U.S. Inter-agency Task Force on POW/MIAs; and as Director of Iowa SHARES, the humanitarian campaign that sent Iowa doctors, nurses, medical supplies and food to starving Cambodian refugees.
A fluent speaker of Vietnamese, Dr. Quinn acted as interpreter for President Gerald Ford at the White House and personally negotiated the first ever entry by U.S. personnel into a Vietnamese prison to search for U.S. POW/MIAs. He was also a member of the first U.S. team to gain entry to a former Soviet prison in Russia.
Ambassador Quinn, a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, has a M.A. in Political Science from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Maryland. He and his wife Le Son have three adult children.
Ed Schafer is one of very few leaders with extensive experience and proven performance in both business and government. He has led a multinational consumer products business and several entrepreneurial start-up companies. In the public sector, he has been elected Governor of North Dakota twice and served as United States Secretary of Agriculture.
North Dakota voters heard his “Schafer Means Business” campaign focus and elected Ed their governor in 1992 and again in 1996. He approached his leadership for the state as if he were its CEO. Increasing investment in North Dakota was Ed’s top priority, and he did so by improving the state’s tax and regulatory climates. His creative priority-based budgeting initiatives and aggressive use of cutting edge technologies reduced the cost of government while his strong fiscal policies gave North Dakota the foundation for its current financial strength, budget surplus, and the lowest unemployment in the nation.
As Secretary of Agriculture, Ed oversaw a $95 billion operating budget and over 107,000 employees. He restructured and reshaped 29 agencies to modernize the focus of $285 billion in program delivery and built a new process for implementing the 2008 Farm Bill. Ed also initiated the Secretary’s Fight Hunger Initiative, directed the United States’ response to the World Food Crisis, and helped direct international trade negotiations on behalf of the federal government.
Ed has been equally effective as a business leader. As president of the international cleaning and personal care products company, Gold Seal, he oversaw a 50 percent increase in sales and tripled this private company’s net worth. He launched three new products, four product line extensions, and made three acquisitions. Ed negotiated the sale of the company realizing top dollar value for shareholders.
Meanwhile he started a beverage distribution company and boosted first-year sales fifty-fold before selling to the managing partner. He later founded and sold an aquaculture enterprise and a real estate development group. Following his governorship, Ed returned to the business world and co-founded a telecommunications company focusing on rural cell phone connectivity and broadband coverage.
Ed Schafer is serving on public and private corporate boards of directors and holds leadership positions in foundations and trade associations. He’s also an active member of many civic and service organizations.
He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in business, earned a Master of Business Administration at the University of Denver, and has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree from his Alma Mater. Two statewide organizations have named him “North Dakotan of the Year.”
Ed is married to Nancy Jones Schafer. They have four children a foster son and fourteen grandchildren. He holds United States government top secret clearance, rescue diver certification, and is CPR trained.
Mitch Landrieu is an American politician, lawyer, author, speaker, nonprofit leader, and CNN political commentator. He served as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans (2010-2018). When he took office, the city was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and in the midst of the BP Oil Spill.
Under Landrieu’s leadership, New Orleans was widely recognized as one of the nation’s great comeback stories. In 2015, Landrieu was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing, and in 2016 was voted “America’s top turnaround mayor” in a Politico survey of mayors. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Landrieu gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, which also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting the issue of race and institutional racism that still plagues America.
In 2018, he launched E Pluribus Unum, an initiative in the South created to fulfill America’s promise of justice and opportunity for all by breaking down the barriers that divide us by race and class. E Pluribus Unum is building a series of programs and initiatives to cultivate courageous leaders who are committed to realizing an inclusive vision for a new South, champion transformative policies to reverse the enduring harms of America’s Jim Crow era past for those who continue to experience them today and change narratives that perpetuate systemic and interpersonal racism in order to shift people’s attitudes and behaviors.
Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He and his wife Cheryl live in New Orleans, where they raised their five children.
Jim Sutter serves as USSEC’s CEO after spending significant time in the global oilseeds industry with Cargill, Inc. USSEC represents the full U.S. Soy Export Supply Chain, which runs from the Farm through the Export Elevator including all facets along the way and USSEC’s 100+ Members represent that full chain.
Since joining USSEC, Sutter has worked with their global team to differentiate and build a preference for U.S. Soy with strong emphasis on ensuring market access. Key initiatives have included building collaborative relationships with international Customers of U.S. Soy and multiple Organizations with whom we partner. Sutter grew up on a crop and cattle farm in northeastern Colorado and received a degree in Agricultural Business/Economics from Colorado State University.
President, US-China Business Council
On July 26, 2018, Craig Allen began his tenure as the sixth President of the United States-China Business Council (USCBC), a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing over 200 American companies doing business with China.
Prior to joining USCBC, Craig had a long, distinguished career in US public service.
His last government position was as US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam (December 2014–July 2018).
Before that, Craig served in Washington as Deputy Assistant Secretary for China (2012–2014) in the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA), and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia (2010–2012).
He served previously as Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in South Africa (2006–2010), and as Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Beijing (2003–2006). When in Beijing, he was promoted to Minister Counselor rank in the Senior Foreign Service.
While on a foreign service assignment to the National Center for APEC in Seattle (2000–2002), Craig worked on APEC summits in Brunei, China, and Mexico.
Earlier posts were as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer and Commercial Attaché at the US Embassy in Tokyo (1995–2000), as Commercial Attaché at the US Embassy in Beijing (1992–1995), and as Director of the American Trade Center in Taipei (1988–1992). He started his career in government in 1985 as a Presidential Management Intern in ITA at the Department of Commerce.
Craig received a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University (1985), and a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Studies from the University of Michigan (1979).
For over 30 years, with offices in Washington DC and San Francisco, CA, Steve Grand has provided strategic advice, research and planning coupled with creative, persuasive, winning media for political and corporate clients. He designs, produces and places messaging, advertising and long format content for political and corporate campaigns in all video distribution media. Political clients include Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, Governor Doug Burgum, and numerous Members of the House and Senate.
In addition to his extensive, winning political campaign work, Grand has advised corporate clients as well as Governors, Senators, Congressmen, state legislators political parties, Prime Ministers and Presidents and other elected and appointed officials in new technologies, education, telecommunications, broadcasting, computers, intellectual property, health care, the environment, transportation, energy, tourism, the economy, election law, and public perception of government as well as conducting message development and deployment.
Dr. Grand’s international work includes research, strategy, media and messaging in over 36 countries, including national election campaigns in Slovakia, Croatia, South Africa and seven national elections in the Netherlands. He has also done media, research, strategy and communications in places as varied as Sri Lanka, South Africa, Hungary, Jordan, Morocco, England and China. His international work also includes measuring and affecting American public opinion and attitudes about foreign countries and cultures.
A Rotary Scholar in England, Grand also holds a BA (magna cum laude) from Harvard University, a Masters in Communications Management, a Masters in Research Methodology and a Ph.D. in Communications from the Annenberg School for Communications at University of Southern California.
Dr. Grand has taught at the college level and lectured at numerous campaign schools and universities in the US and Europe. In 2011, Grand was named a Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government where he taught classes on public opinion, campaigns, media, messaging, production and persuasion.