President Jimmy Carter
President Carter was the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981 and 83rd Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Among his administration's accomplishments were the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, and the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union. His administration oversaw the founding of the Departments of Energy and Education and enacted strong legislation on environmental protection. In the decades since he left office, Carter has gained respect as an international mediator and peacemaker and has used his position as a former president to further many charitable causes. In 1982 he founded the Carter Center as a forum for issues related to democracy and human rights. He has also traveled extensively to monitor elections, conduct peace negotiations, and establish relief efforts. In 2002, Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize for his "efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
The Honorable James A. Baker, III
James A. Baker, III has served in senior government positions under three United States Presidents. He served as the nation's 61st Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Mr. Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the challenges and opportunities of the post Cold War era. Mr. Baker served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. From 1981 to 1985, he served as White House Chief of Staff to President Reagan. Mr. Baker's record of public service began in 1975 as Under Secretary of Commerce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993. Long active in American presidential politics, Mr. Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992. Mr. Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. Mr. Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts. He is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
Robert A. Pastor
Robert Pastor is the Director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management and Vice President of International Affairs at American University. Before coming to American, Pastor was Professor of Political Science at Emory University, and from 1985 until 1998, he was a Fellow and Founding Director of the Carter Center's Latin American and Caribbean Program and the Democracy and China Election Projects. At The Carter Center, he developed the technique of "election mediation" and organized the observation of more than 30 elections throughout the world. Pastor was the Senior Advisor to the Carter-Ford National Commission on Election Reform and also former President Carter’s personal representative to the Commission. A member of the Governing Board of Common Cause, he chaired their Task Force on Election Reform. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer, a Fulbright Professor in Mexico, and the initiator of the Humphrey Fellowship Program when he was National Security Advisor on Latin American Affairs from 1977-81. He received his M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University and is the author or editor of 16 books on U.S. foreign policy, democratization, and North America.
Ms. Betty Castor
Betty Castor was the 2004 Democratic Party nominee for the US Senate from Florida. She has held prominent leadership positions in education, most recently as President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards located in Arlington Virginia. Before joining the National Board, Castor served for six years as president of the University of South Florida, one of the largest metropolitan universities in the nation with four campuses and a medical school located in the Tampa Bay Area. Prior to joining the university, Castor served as Florida Commissioner of Education for seven years from 1986-93. She was the first woman ever elected to the Florida Cabinet and was a strong advocate for increasing teacher salaries and broadening the revenue base to support education at all levels. She served three terms as a state senator from the west coast of Florida, becoming the first female to hold the position of President Pro Tempore (1985-86) and chaired the Appropriations Committee on Education. She is currently a member of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF), a trustee of the Board of the National March of Dimes, a member of the Hillsborough County Education Foundation and the Tampa Bay History Center. She presently is the founder and president of political action committee called Campaign for Florida’s Future focused on increasing participation in public life by citizens in Florida and the nation.
Hon. Tom Daschle
Tom Daschle was a U.S. Senator from South Dakota from 1986 until 2004 and the Senate Democratic Leader from 1994 until 2004. Daschle first ran for office in 1978 when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served four terms and quickly became a part of the Democratic leadership. Daschle was then elected to the Senate in a close victory over incumbent Republican James Abdnor in 1986. In his first year, he was appointed to the powerful Senate Finance Committee, an unusual honor for a freshman. In 1988, then-Senate Democratic Leader George Mitchell named Daschle the first-ever co-chair of the Democratic Policy Committee, making him the first South Dakotan ever to hold a Senate leadership position. In 1992 and 1998, South Dakotans re-elected Daschle to the Senate by overwhelming margins. In 1994, he was chosen by his colleagues to succeed the retiring Senator George Mitchell as Democratic Leader. In addition to the Leader's post, Daschle also served as a member of the Agriculture Committee. In past Congresses, he has served on the Veterans, Indian Affairs, Finance and Ethics Committees. In 2005, Senator Daschle joined the Legislative and Public Policy Group of the law firm Alston & Bird, LLP.
Ms. Rita DiMartino
Rita Dimartino was the Vice President of Congressional Relations for AT&T where she assisted in AT&T's relations with the administration, with Congress, and with state governments. DiMartino was appointed in February 2002 as the Principal U.S. Delegate to the Inter-American Commission of Women and also the Principal Representative to the Inter-American Children's Institute. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed DiMartino as Ambassador to the UNICEF Executive Board. Her work as U.S. Representative included increasing UNICEF's financial support and accelerating the program's assistance in the areas of child health, nutrition, water supply, sanitation, and education. Active at all levels of Republican politics, DiMartino was elected Delegate-at-Large/Alternate Delegate to seven Republican National Conventions, served on the 1992 Platform Committee, and was elected Executive Vice Chair of The New York State Republican Committee in 1988. DiMartino is a member of: The Council on Foreign Relations; The City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees; the Hispanic Council on International Relations; the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and is the Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Bronx Lebanon Hospital. She was appointed to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board by President Bush on October 31, 2002 for a term ending September 22, 2005.
Hon. Lee Hamilton
Lee Hamilton is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Prior to becoming director of the Woodrow Wilson Center in 1999, Hamilton served for 34 years in Congress representing Indiana's Ninth District. During his tenure, he served as chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now the Committee on International Relations), chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East from the early 1970s until 1993, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. Hamilton also served as chair of the Joint Economic Committee, working to promote long-term economic growth and development. As chairman of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress and a member of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee, he was a primary draftsman of several House ethics reforms. Since leaving the House, Mr. Hamilton has served as a commissioner on the influential United States Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (the Hart-Rudman Commission), and was co-chair with former Senator Howard Baker of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos. Before his election to Congress, he practiced law in Chicago and Columbus, Indiana.
Ms. Kay Cole James
Kay Cole James was the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from 2001 to 2005. James most recently served as a Senior Fellow and Director of The Citizenship Project at the Heritage Foundation. She led Heritage's efforts to restore a strong ethic of citizenship and civic responsibility and provided expert opinion to elected and appointed officials nationwide on issues affecting parents, their children and society. Prior to joining Heritage, James served as Dean of the School of Government at Regent University and Chair of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. James served as Secretary of Health and Human Resources for former Virginia Governor George Allen where she designed and implemented Virginia's landmark welfare reform initiative. Under former President Bush, James was an Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services. Before serving in the Allen Administration, James was senior vice president of the Family Research Council in Washington, DC. She also served under President George H. W. Bush as associate director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and as assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed by President Reagan and reappointed by President George H. W. Bush as head of the National Commission on Children. James has served on the Fairfax County and Virginia State Boards of Education.
Dr. Benjamin Ladner
Benjamin Ladner was the President of American University in Washington, D.C from 1994 to 2005. As President, Dr. Ladner led the transformation of AU into a distinctive, global university with a reputation as "a private university with a public responsibility." AU is now one of the world's most diverse campuses, with students from 150 nations and all 50 states. Dr. Ladner brought significant reform to AU, reorganizing administrative and academic structures, streamlining budgets, and expanding international outreach. He boosted enrollments and student quality, invigorated fundraising, increased minority faculty and staff, raised faculty and staff salaries, and implemented widespread technological innovations. His comprehensive facilities development program has changed the face of the campus, with major renovations to more than 70 percent of the campus, including new homes for four of AU's six schools and colleges, plus award-winning landscape improvements. Dr. Ladner chaired the Board of Trustees of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, comprised of 14 colleges and universities, with 130,000 students. Dr. Ladner was president of the National Faculty, a national association of university professors founded by Phi Beta Kappa, based in Atlanta, GA. He has also been a professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Dr. David Leebron
David Leebron was appointed president of Rice University in Houston, TX in 2004. Leebron joined Rice from Columbia University School of Law, where he was Dean from 1996 to 2004 and a faculty member since 1989. From 1983 to 1989, he was a professor of law at New York University and director of NYU's International Legal Studies Program. A member of the bars of New York State, and, although currently inactive, Hawaii and Pennsylvania, he is on the American Bar Association Standards Review Committee and the American Law Deans Association Board of Directors, and he has served on the Association of American Law Schools Committee on Nominations. Additionally, Leebron is a member of the American Law Institute (ex officio), the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Society of International Law, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the editorial board of Foundation Press, an educational publisher. He has taught and published in areas of corporate finance, international economic law, human rights, privacy, and torts and is the co-author of a textbook on human rights. Most recently, he has written about problems in international trade law.
Hon. Nelson Lund
Nelson Lund is the Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment at George Mason University in Virginia. Lund has written widely in the field of constitutional law, including articles on constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Speech or Debate Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Uniformity Clause. In addition, he has published articles in the fields of employment discrimination and civil rights, the legal regulation of medical ethics, and the application of economic analysis to legal institutions and legal ethics. Lund left the faculty of the University of Chicago to attend its law school, where he served as executive editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and chapter chairman of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court. Following his clerkship with Justice O'Connor, Professor Lund served in the White House as associate counsel to the president from 1989 to 1992. Since joining the faculty at George Mason, Professor Lund has taught Constitutional Law, Legislation, Federal Election Law, Employment Discrimination, State and Local Government, and seminars on the Second Amendment and on a variety of topics in Jurisprudence.
Dr. Shirley Malcom
Shirley Malcom is Head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The directorate includes AAAS programs in education, activities for underrepresented groups, and public understanding of science and technology. Dr. Malcom serves on several boards-including the Howard Heinz Endowment, the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and the National Park System Advisory Board-and is an honorary trustee of the American Museum of Natural History. She serves as a Regent of Morgan State University and as a trustee of Caltech. In addition she has chaired a number of national committees addressing education reform and access to scientific and technical education, careers and literacy. Dr. Malcom is also a former trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She is a fellow of the AAAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served on the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation, from 1994 to 1998 and from 1994-2001 served on the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Dr. Malcom received her doctorate in ecology from Pennsylvania State University; master's degree in zoology from the University of California, Los Angeles; and bachelor's degree with distinction in zoology from the University of Washington. In addition she holds thirteen honorary degrees. In 2003 Dr. Malcom received the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the highest award given by the Academy.
Hon. Bob Michel
Bob Michel was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois from 1957 to 1993. He served as Minority Whip for the ninety-fourth through ninety-sixth Congresses and Minority Leader for the ninety seventh through one hundred third Congresses. Michel was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions from 1964-1992 and permanent chairman of the Republican National Conventions of 1984, 1988 and 1992. He served with the Thirty-ninth Infantry Regiment as a combat infantryman in England, France, Belgium and Germany from February 10, 1943 to January 26, 1946 and was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and four battle stars. Prior to his long career in Congress, Michel was administrative assistant to Representative Harold Velde from 1949-1956.
Hon. Susan Molinari
Susan Molinari is the President and CEO of the Washington Group, a government relations and lobbying firm. She was a member of Congress from New York from 1990 to 1997. In 1994 she was elected to the Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest ranking woman in Congress. In 1996, she was selected by Robert Dole to be the Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention in San Diego. Prior to Congress, Molinari was twice elected to the New York City Council, where she was Minority Leader.
Hon. Robert Mosbacher
Robert Mosbacher is chairman of Mosbacher Energy Company. He is the past chairman of the Republican National Committee and served as National Finance Chairman for the election campaigns of Presidents Ford and George H. W. Bush. He served as Secretary of Commerce under President Bush from 1989 to 1992. He was the point man and a leading advocate for NAFTA and received the Aztec Eagle Award from Mexico President Ernesto Zedillo. Mosbacher is a Trustee Emeritus for the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and past chairman of the Americas Society/Council on the Americas. Among civic activities, Mosbacher serves on the boards of the American Hospital in Paris Foundation, the Naval Academy Endowment Trust Board and the Odyssey Academy, Inc. He has served two terms as chairman on the Board of Visitors of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Institute.
Hon. Ralph Munro
Ralph Munro was the Secretary of State for Washington State from 1980 to 2001. Under Mr. Munro's leadership, Washington State saw significant advancement in the efficiency of state election services including absentee voting, voter registration, election reporting and voter information. His notable achievements include implementing the presidential primary allowing independent voters to participate in the nomination process; transitioning election equipment from lever machines to more technologically advanced optical scan systems; designing the "Motor Voter" registration system that offers citizens the opportunity to register to vote at the same time they obtain a driver's license; and supporting a program that allowed Washington-based Desert Storm troops to vote via fax from the Persian Gulf. Currently, Mr. Munro serves on the board of directors for VoteHere.net, a leading provider of secure Internet voting.
Mr. Jack Nelson
Jack Nelson was the Washington Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times. He covered the past six presidents and every presidential campaign from 1968 through 1996. Since retiring in December, 2001, he has taught as a visiting professor of the University of Southern California’s School of Journalism. In 2002 he was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He was presented the Drew Pearson Award for Investigative Reporting, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, and was named a Fellow by the National Society of Journalists. In 1960 he received a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. 1965 marked the beginning of his long career with the Los Angeles Times, where he served as Atlanta and then Washington's (1975-1996) bureau chief. In addition to his newspaper affiliations, Nelson has served as Chairman of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism's Advisory Committee, president of the Gridiron Club, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and founded the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In 1999 he was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Mr. Spencer Overton
Spencer Overton teaches law at The George Washington University Law School where his scholarly interests include property, campaign finance, voting rights, and race. Overton formerly taught at the University of California, Davis, and has given academic presentations at a variety of law schools, including Harvard, North Carolina, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and Washington & Lee. Prior to Overton's appointment at the University of California, he served as the Charles Hamilton Houston Fellow at Harvard Law School, where he co-taught a course on Law and the Political Process with Professor Lani Guinier. He also serves as a director of the National Voting Rights Institute and the Fannie Lou Hamer Project. Prior to joining academia, Overton practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of Debevoise & Plimpton, where he worked on several widely noticed cases, including investigations by Congress and the Justice Department into fundraising techniques employed by the Democratic National Committee.
Hon. Tom Phillips
Tom Phillips is the Spurgeon E. Bell Distinguished Visiting Professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston. Phillips was first appointed to the Texas Supreme Court as Chief Justice in 1988, and was subsequently elected and served until 2004. Phillips worked as an attorney with Baker Botts from 1974-1981. From 1981-87, he was a district judge for Harris County. He was elected President of the National Conference of Chief Justices (1997-98), and was a member of the Committee on Federal-State Relations of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Phillips attained his J.D. from Harvard Law in 1974. He served an elected term as President of the National Conference of Chief Justices (1997-8) and seven years as a member of the Committee on Federal-State Relations of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In addition to his views opposing judicial partisanship, Justice Phillips announced in the 2002 election that he would not accept any campaign contributions, acknowledging public concerns that contributions might undermine the courts' impartiality.
Ms. Sharon Priest
Sharon Priest was the first woman elected Arkansas Secretary of State in 1994. She has been elected to public office six times from 1986 to the present, including Little Rock Board of Directors (1986-90), Vice-Mayor of Little Rock (1989-90), and Mayor of Little Rock (1991-92). She currently chairs the Arkansas State Election Improvement Study Commission, the State Board of Election Commissioners, and the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission. She is a former president of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Prior to her work as an elected official, she worked as Director of Membership for Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and was founder and owner of the Delvin Company, a property management firm. She was a Toll Fellow in 1995, and has won numerous distinctions including the Excellence in Leadership Fellowship, Women Executives in State Government, 1997 and TIME/NASBE Award for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education, 1996.
Mr. Raul Yzaguirre
Raul Yzaguirre is presidential professor of practice in community development and civil rights at Arizona State University. From 1974 to 2004, Yzaguirre was president of the National Council of La Raza, the nation's leading Hispanic advocacy organization and the largest constituency-based national Latino organization. In 1964, he founded NOMAS, the National Organization for Mexican American Services. A proposal he wrote for NOMAS led to the creation of what is now National Council of La Raza, which he joined in 1974. In 1969, Yzaguirre founded Interstate Research Associates, the first Mexican-American research association, which he built into a multimillion-dollar nonprofit consulting firm. He helped establish several key national groups that have brought together a host of organizations in the Hispanic community including the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), the New American Alliance (NAA), and the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility (HACR). He has also been successful in bringing together diverse leaders in other communities through his work in the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Neighborhood Coalition, the Committee for Concerns of Blacks and Hispanics, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and INDEPENDENT SECTOR.