A native of Connecticut, Greg Manz is the Principal of Wytherson LLC, a boutique public affairs firm, who has acted as a spokesman for both U.S. presidential and senatorial campaigns. After serving as President Donald J. Trump’s Pennsylvania Communications Director, he joined the Pennsylvania Republican Party as its chief communications strategist. In addition, Greg mostly recently served as a political intelligence researcher for War Room: Impeachment.
Greg, who resides in Washington, D.C., is a former NCAA Division I ice hockey player and a proud graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.
SHARYL ATTKISSON — INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST
Sharyl Attkisson is a nonpartisan investigative journalist, five-time Emmy Award winner, and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting. She is author of two New York Times best sellers: “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote,” and “Stonewalled.” She is host and investigative reporter for the Sunday morning national TV news program, Sinclair’s “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson,” which focuses on investigative and accountability reporting.
For thirty years, Attkisson was a correspondent and anchor at CBS News, PBS, CNN and in local news.
In 2013, she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for her reporting on “The Business of Congress,” which included an undercover investigation into fundraising by Republican freshmen. She received two other Emmy nominations in 2013 for “Benghazi: Dying for Security” and “Green Energy Going Red.” Additionally, Attkisson received a 2013 Daytime Emmy Award as part of the CBS Sunday Morning team’s entry for Outstanding Morning Program for her report: “Washington Lobbying: K-Street Behind Closed Doors.”
In September 2012, Attkisson received the Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism and the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting for the “Gunwalker: Fast and Furious” story.
Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2009 for her exclusive investigations into TARP and the bank bailout. She received an Investigative Emmy Award in 2002 for her series of exclusive reports about mismanagement at the Red Cross.
Attkisson also received Emmy nominations for her investigations into Firestone tires (2001), prescription drug and vaccine dangers (2003), investigating aid to Haiti earthquake victims (2011) and Follow the Money (2011).
Attkisson is one of the few journalists to have flown in a B-52 on a combat mission (over Kosovo) and in an F-15 fighter jet Combat Air Patrol flight. She is a fifth degree black belt Master in TaeKwonDo.
Previously, Attkisson hosted a medical news magazine on PBS called “HealthWeek,” anchored and reported for CNN, and reported at several local news stations. She is a graduate of the University of Florida School of Journalism and Communications.
DR. CHRISTOPHER BALDING — Associate Professor, Fulbright University Vietnam
Christopher Balding is an associate professor at the Fulbright University Vietnam after nine years at the HSBC Business School of Peking University Graduate School in Shenzhen, China.
Considered to be one of the leading experts on the Chinese economy and financial markets, he is a Bloomberg View contributor and advises governments, central banks, and investors around the world on China.
He has appeared on Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the BBC, CNBC, and Al-Jazeera providing insight the Chinese economy. Speaking regularly at universities and conferences around the world, Christopher brings unrivalled data knowledge and insight to bear that stem from his eight years living in China.
A leading expert on sovereign wealth funds, his book Sovereign Wealth Funds: The New Intersection of Money and Power published by Oxford University Press has been called an “excellent source”.
Focusing on their evolution from one simple cash management operation to giants of global finance with trillions of USD in assets under management, his book brings new insights into their history, policy motivations, success, and failures.
A polymath in academic research spans topics from international trade and finance health status of international adoptees in the United States appearing in leading international journals such as the Review of International Economics, Health Policy and Planning, the Journal of Emerging Market Finance, the International Finance Review, and the Journal of Public Economic Theory.
Current working papers include research into the returns on carry trade returns under fixed exchange rate regime with capital controls using copper as collateral to disguise capital flows and implied homicide rates of international adoptees.
He received his PhD from the University of California, Irvine and has a M.A. and a B.A. from the George Washington University.
J. KYLE BASS — Hayman Capital Management Founder and CIO, China expert
Mr. Bass is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Hayman Capital Management, an investment manager of private funds focused on global event-driven opportunities.
Mr. Bass is a founding member of the Committee on the Present Danger: China. He is also Chairman of the Board of The Rule of Law Foundation (https://rolfoundation.org). Mr. Bass is the former Chair of the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), which manages approximately $45 billion. Mr. Bass has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. In 2015, Bass was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Global Patent Market as named by Intellectual Asset Management magazine. Mr. Bass has lectured on global economics at various universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Texas, and the University of Virginia. Mr. Bass was the recipient of the 2019 Foreign Policy Association Medal for his responsible internationalism.
Before forming Hayman, Mr. Bass was a Managing Director at Legg Mason and a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in finance. Mr. Bass serves on the board of the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation (www.texasdpsfoundation.org) and is on the advisory board of Predata, a machine learning and predicative analytics platform.
SENATOR TOM COTTON (R-AR)
Tom Cotton is a United States Senator from Arkansas. Tom’s committees include the Banking Committee, where he chairs the Economic Policy Subcommittee, the Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Air Land Power Subcommittee.
Tom grew up on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. He graduated from Dardanelle High School, Harvard, and Harvard Law School. After a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals and private law practice, Tom left the law because of the September 11th attacks. Tom served nearly five years on active duty in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer.
Tom served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours, Tom served with The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Tom’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Between the Army and the Senate, Tom worked for McKinsey & Co. and served one term in the House of Representatives.
Tom and his wife Anna have two sons, Gabriel and Daniel.
STEVE CORTES — Host, The Steve Cortes Show
Steve Cortes hosts The Steve Cortes Show daily on Chicago’s AM 560 The Answer. He has been a trusted commentator on both political and financial issues for over a decade. He’s regularly appeared on CNBC, FOX Business, FOX News, and CNN, where he’s been a contributor since 2018. During the 2016 presidential election, Cortes was named to the Trump campaign’s Hispanic Advisory Council, and he has regularly appeared on television and at rallies, speaking in support of President Trump. His columns appear at RealClearPolitics and Human Events.
Before his involvement in politics, Cortes spent over two decades working in the financial sector as a trader and a strategist, providing risk management strategies to banks and hedge funds. He is the author of the book Against the Herd: 6 Contrarian Investment Strategies You Should Follow which was published in 2011.
Cortes is the son of an immigrant. His father came to the United States from Colombia. Cortes is a graduate of Georgetown University where he played football and was a George F. Baker Scholar. While at Georgetown, he was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship. He lives in Chicago with his wife and four children.
CURTIS ELLIS — Policy Director, America First Policies
Curtis Ellis is policy director with America First Policies. He was also a senior policy advisor with the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign in 2016.
SIMONE GAO — Journalist, Epoch Times / New Tang Dynasty Television
Simone Gao is an award-winning journalist, host of Zooming In with Simone Gao, an in-depth report program on current affairs at New Tang Dynasty Television.
BILL GERTZ — AUTHOR
Bill Gertz is an internationally recognized national security journalist, currently National Security Columnist for The Washington Times (www.washingtontimes.com).
He is the author of eight books, four of which were national bestsellers. His most recent book is “Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy,” a sobering look at the threat posed by China. His 2016 book,”iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age” highlights 21st Century threats posed by information warfare and cyber attacks. Bill wrote “Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security,” (Regnery, May 1999) that was on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks. His second book, “The China Threat: How the People’s Republic Targets America,” (Regnery) was released in November 2000, followed by “Breakdown: How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11,” in August 2002 that was a national bestseller.
Bill wrote “Treachery: How America’s Friends And Foes Are Secretly Arming Our Enemies,” in 2005, a candid look at the growing problem of arms proliferation. The book was a national bestseller. In 2006, his fifth book was published. “Enemies: How America’s Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets — And How We Let It Happen,” was a bestseller and is a critical look at recent spy cases and counterintelligence failures. It also calls for using aggressive counterintelligence techniques to stop Islamist extremists in the global war on terrorism.
“The Failure Factory: How Unelected Bureaucrats; Liberal Democrats and Big Government Republicans Are Undermining America’s Security and Leading Us to War,” was published in September 2008. It is a critical look at the problem of an out-of-control government bureaucracy.
For more than 20 years, Bill has written a weekly Washington Times column called Inside the Ring, a chronicle about the ups and downs of the U.S. national security bureaucracy. He also writes a column for Asia Times.
He also has written articles for Commentary magazine, National Review, The Weekly Standard and Air Force Magazine. Bill also has been a media fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University, California.
Bill has an international reputation. Vyachaslav Trubnikov, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, once called him a “tool of the CIA” after he wrote an article exposing Russian intelligence operations in the Balkans. In the United States, a senior CIA official once threatened to have a cruise missile fired at his desk at The Washington Times after he wrote a column critical of the CIA’s analysis of China. China’s communist government also has criticized him for his news reports exposing China’s weapons and missile sales to rogues states, accusing him of “spreading lies about China.” The state-run Xinhua news agency in 2006 identified Bill as the No. 1 “anti-China expert” in the world. Bill insists he is very much pro-China — pro-Chinese people and opposed to the communist system. During the 1990s, U.S. State Department official Nicholas Burns, frustrated by Bill’s prolific news reporting on internal information about U.S. national security and foreign affairs, only half-joking once compared him to Moamar Gadafi and Saddam Hussein.
Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey said of Gertz: “When I was DCI [Director of Central Intelligence] Bill used to drive me crazy because I couldn’t figure out where the leaks were coming from. Now that I’ve been outside for two years, I read him religiously to find out what’s going on.” Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson told the author: “We talk about your stories at Cabinet meetings.” Defense Secretary William S. Cohen once remarked to a Chinese general in charge of military intelligence that Bill “has access to more intelligence information than anyone I know.” Senior CIA officials, too, have criticized him during closed hearings before Congress regarding his news reporting based on extraordinary access to classified information.
Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld once told him: “You are drilling holes in the Pentagon and sucking out information.”
Among his major newspaper exclusives are reports revealing how China conducted the first flight test of a revolutionary hypersonic strike vehicle that is now close to deployment; frequent confrontations between U.S. warships and a Chinese naval vessels in the South China Sea; and a U.S. intelligence report warning that malicious software developed in Balarus had compromised Obamacare computer networks.
Other exclusives have included reports on China’s deployment of a new long-range missile, the DF-41; how the Obama administration ignored a major Russian treaty violation by developing intermediate-range missiles banned under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and how secrets related to the U.S. F-35 jet fighter were stolen through Chinese cyber espionage and incorporated into China’s new J-20 stealth fighters.
Bill also was the first to report on Russia’s secret development of a new high-speed, long-range nuclear-armed drone submarine.
Bill has been a guest lecturer at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.; the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Defense University at Fort McNair, Washington, DC; the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC and Hillsdale College. He has participated in the National Security Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
He studied English literature at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and journalism at George Washington University, Washington, DC. In March 2014, Bill was awarded the Reed Irvine Award for Investigative Journalism by Accuracy in Media. In September 1999, Bill was awarded the Western Journalism Center award for investigative journalism. The United States Business and Industrial Council awarded him the “Defender of the National Interest Award” in June 1998, and in 1997 he was recognized by The Washington Times for excellence in achievement.
ROSEMARY GIBSON — Author, China Rx
Rosemary Gibson is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker, and advisor to organizations that advance the public’s interest in health care.
A national authority on health care reform, Medicare, patient safety and overtreatment in medicine, she has written critically acclaimed books: Medicare Meltdown (2013), Battle Over Health Care (2012), Treatment Trap (2010), and Wall of Silence (2003).
She is the 2014 recipient of the highest honor from the American Medical Writers Association for her outstanding contributions to the field of medical communication. Her writing has given voice to the public’s interest in critical health care issues of the day.
Rosemary serves as Senior Advisor at The Hastings Center and a Section Editor for Less is More in JAMA Internal Medicine.
She is a board member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and serves on the CLER Evaluation Committee to advance safety in sponsoring institutions.
At Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rosemary was chief architect of its $200 million national strategy to establish inpatient palliative care programs that now number 1600, an increase from about 10 in the 1990s. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She worked with Bill Moyers on the PBS documentary, “On Our Own Terms.”
Rosemary led national quality and safety initiatives in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement including Pursuing Perfection, Transforming Care at the Bedside, and Rapid Response System implementation. With nurse leaders she established QSEN and the Nursing Quality Alliance.
She is a public member of the American Board of Medical Specialties Health and Public Policy Committee and Consumers Union Safe Patient Project. She served on the AHRQ Technical Expert Panel for Consumer Reporting of Adverse Events.
Rosemary has given presentations and grand rounds on patient safety at hundreds of hospitals; keynoted meetings of the National Quality Forum, The Joint Commission, AONE, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Federation of State Medical Boards, National Summit on Overuse held by The Joint Commission and AMA, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, among others. She has served as faculty for the Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camp and the Dartmouth Summer Symposium on Quality Improvement and was its 2013 “wizard.”
She speaks to public audiences at diverse venues such as the New York Public Library, the AARP National Convention, George Mason University, the Woman’s National Democratic Club, Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, Maine Quality Counts, Maine Area Agencies on Aging, among others. She speaks to state policy makers at the National Council of State Legislators and the National Academy of State Health Policy.
Her books have been reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Washington Post, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Health Affairs; referenced in proceedings of the U.S. Senate; mentioned in Congressional testimony; noted in the WSJ, NYT, USA Today, Consumer Reports, Boston Globe, O Magazine, Reader’s Digest, US News and World Report, Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St Louis Post Dispatch, Governing magazine, among others. Rosemary has appeared on Chicago Tonight, WBGH’s Greater Boston, Fox News, The Doctors, and C-Span Book TV.
Her books have received international acclaim. Wall of Silence was translated into Japanese, and the Chinese translation of Treatment Trap won the prestigious Open Book Award from China Times.
Earlier in her career, Gibson was a senior associate at the American Enterprise Institute, Vice President of the Economic and Social Research Institute, a policy think tank, and consultant to the Medical College of Virginia and the Virginia state legislature’s Commission on Health Care. She served as a volunteer and Board member at a free medical clinic in Washington, D.C.
MILES GUO — Whistleblower; Chairman, Guo Media
Guo Wengui, also known under the names Guo Wen Gui, Guo Haoyun, and Miles Kwok, is a Chinese billionaire businessman who later became a political activist and controls Beijing Zenith Holdings, and other assets. At the peak of his career, he was 73rd among the richest in China.
LIANCHAO HAN — Vice President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China
Dr. Lianchao Han is a long time pro-democracy activist. He began his advocacy in the late 1970s in China as a student leader in Hunan and was one of the organizers of the early student protests for free elections in China. Dr. Han worked in the Chinese Foreign Ministry after graduating from law school. He later left China to study in the U.S.
After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Dr. Han was one of the founders and the first vice president of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars, the largest overseas pro-democracy organization, and successfully worked to influence the U.S. human rights policy toward China.
He worked in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, serving as legislative counsel and policy director for three active U.S. Senators, responsible for legislative strategy in the areas of federal budget, taxation, Social Security and economic policy. Dr. Han is a registered U.S. patent attorney and specializes in intellectual property protection strategies and innovation-related issues. Dr. Han is also an expert on China’s economic and political development, and currently serves as a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute. Dr. Han holds graduate degrees from China Foreign Affairs University, Yale University, George Mason University and Johns Hopkins University.
KIMBERLY LEONARD — Senior Healthcare Writer, Washington Examiner
Kimberly Leonard is a senior healthcare writer for the Washington Examiner. She previously covered healthcare for U.S. News & World Report, where she wrote about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, social issues in medicine and health industry trends. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.
Jay Kansara is a Hindu-American leader. He was the Director of Government Relations at the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) based in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw relations with American federal, state and local governments. He also engaged NGOs, foreign governments, and all relevant stakeholders to ensure policy concerns of the Hindu American community are given due consideration by key entities. In April 2015, he was invited to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee shortly after visiting Bangladesh to convey his findings on growing political and religious extremism there, and expounding upon implications on US counter-terrorism efforts in South Asia. Jay initiated HAF’s annual advocacy forum in Washington, D.C. for Hindu Americans across the United States to address the community’s policy concerns at the federal level.
BRIAN KENNEDY — CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON THE PRESENT DANGER: CHINA
Brian T. Kennedy is chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China. He is president of the American Strategy Group; he is a Senior Fellow, board member, and former president of the Claremont Institute.
CURT MILLS — Senior Writer, The American Conservative
Curt Mills is a Senior Writer at The American Conservative covering national security, the Trump presidency and the 2020 campaign. Previously, he reported for The National Interest, The Washington Examiner, and US News & World Report, and is a 2019 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and fellow at the Claremont Institute. He is a native and resident of Washington, D.C.
STEVE MOORE — ECONOMIST
Stephen Moore was an economic advisor to the Trump 2016 campaign. He is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy.” Along with Steve Forbes and Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, he is the co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.
MAURA MOYNIHAN — Tibetan activist, author, and documentarian
Maura Moynihan is an author, film producer and artist based in New York City. She has worked for many years as a journalist and researcher in Asia.
Dr. JOE NORMAN — Postdoctoral Fellow, New England Complex Systems Institute
Dr. Joseph W. Norman is a recovering academic and an applied complexity scientist. He focuses on complex systems engineering and design, systemic and large-scale risk, systems strategy, and systems-thinking education. He is engaged in the pursuit of liberty, localism, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.
DR. TOM PRICE — Former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Thomas E. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, most recently served as the 23rd Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). He brought to the Department a lifetime of service and a dedication to advancing the quality of health care in America – both as a physician and policymaker. During his congressional career, Dr. Price served in various leadership roles including Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
JACK POSOBIEC — China analyst and One America News Network host
Jack Michael Posobiec III is a correspondent and host for One America News Network. In 2016, he was the Special Projects Director for Citizens for Trump, the largest Trump grassroots organization in the United States. Jack is a veteran intelligence officer of the United States Navy with multiple deployments overseas. Originally from Philadelphia, Jack resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Tanya and their young son. He has written two non-fiction books: Citizens for Trump: The Inside Story of the People’s Movement to Take Back America and 4D Warfare: A Doctrine for a New Generation of Politics.
DAVE RAMASWAMY — Founding Principal, IndusLatin Ventures
Dave Ramaswamy is Founding Principal of IndusLatin Ventures, advising commercial farming/agribusiness projects.
In the U.S., he divides his time between Washington D.C.
From 2008 to 2010, Dave worked in the agribusiness sector in Argentina , Uruguay and Brazil. His goal is to accelerate rural African development by developing high-yield agriculture and integrating farm-to-fork value chains. He is combining farming skills and technology from North and South America, with local African expertise regarding soil, weather and crops.
Dave has lived/worked in the United States, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ethiopia, India and Australia. In addition, he has traveled to 47 U.S. states and 60 countries on six continents. As a result, he brings a global business perspective to his work, while respecting local political, economic, social and technological practices/norms.
Dave received a B.S. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and holds an MBA in Marketing and International Business from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he received the Dean’s Service Award. In 2004, he was selected to be a Marshall Memorial Fellow, by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He has spoken at many international conferences including engagements at Harvard, MIT and the World Economic Forum.
Dave is proficient in Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.
Dave thinks many African countries importing food is as ridiculous as Kansas importing corn, or California importing grapes. His dream is to see countries in sub-Saharan Africa achieve food security and have healthy, prosperous, water-rich and energy-abundant rural communities. He believes economic and human development in Africa begins at the farm.
MARIA LUISA ROSSI-HAWKINS — US Correspondent, Mediaset TV
JIM SCHULTZ — PARTNER, COZEN O’CONNOR
Jim advises clients on matters before federal and state agencies, including regulatory and compliance issues in jurisdictions across the country. He counsels clients on internal and government investigations, government contracting and procurement, congressional inquiries, federal and state campaign finance and election laws, federal and state ethics issues, and complex litigation matters. He has also represented colleges and universities in National Collegiate Athletic Association investigations. Jim not only has a keen understanding of the challenges businesses face in highly regulated environments, he is also uniquely experienced at handling high-profile legal matters that are likely to attract considerable media attention. He is also a political and legal contributor to CNN, appearing on AC360, Cuomo Prime Time, CNN Newsroom, The Situation Room, State of America, and New Day.
Jim served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel. In addition to having provided legal counsel to the President of the United States and his senior staff, Jim has provided legal counsel to the Governor of Pennsylvania and his senior staff and cabinet and a number of federal and state elected officials and handled high profile matters for private sector clients.
In his role as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Associate Counsel to the President, Jim provided counsel to the White House on matters involving government contracting, procurement, trade and transportation, and infrastructure. Jim had liaison responsibilities to the Department of Transportation and the General Services Administration. He played a significant role in the drafting and review of executive orders and was involved in the interview and selection process for United States Attorneys and Federal District and Circuit Court Judges. Jim served as an ethics official for the White House and had the responsibility of providing counsel on ethics and compliance matters including those involving the Ethics Act, Hatch Act, Stock Act, gift rules, financial disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Jim also served as counsel to the Presidential Transition and was as a member of the legal team during the 2016 Republican National Convention. Throughout the 2016 election cycle, Jim was a frequent contributor on NBC 10 Philadelphia.
From 2011-2014 Jim served as General Counsel to Governor Thomas W. Corbett and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In that role, he provided legal counsel to the governor and his executive staff. Jim managed a legal organization of nearly 500 lawyers who served as counsel to 36 executive agencies and independent boards and commissions. He provided counsel on all major procurements, transactions, litigation, and the preparation of legislation and regulations on behalf of the administration and Commonwealth agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction. He managed a vast portfolio of work, including agriculture; banking and securities; primary, secondary and higher education; energy; environment; insurance and health care; labor and employment; municipal finance; pensions; taxes and revenues; and transportation and infrastructure. His responsibilities also included initiating and overseeing internal investigations as well as state agency engagement with the federal government on legal matters.
Having served as General Counsel to a legal organization with an outside counsel budget in excess of $30 million, Jim understands the fiscal challenges in-house legal departments face when it comes to outside counsel legal fees. While serving as General Counsel to the Commonwealth, Jim successfully implemented a program to reduce outside counsel fees by nearly twenty percent during his tenure. Jim was a featured panel speaker at the 2014 InsideCounsel magazine SuperConference, where he presented his model approach to many of the country’s leading in-house counsel.
Prior to joining Governor Corbett’s administration, Jim spent three years as Of Counsel at Cozen O’Connor handling litigation matters throughout the country. Jim also served as a senior aide in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he worked closely with the U.S. Attorney on public policy initiatives throughout the region. He was the liaison to federal, state, and local government and law enforcement officials and agencies. Early in his career, prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jim spent four years as a litigator handling cases throughout the region and country.
Jim is active in politics and in the community. He is co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s political giving committee and Governor Tom Wolf appointed him to the board of directors of the Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corporation in September, 2019. Additionally, he was recently elected to serve on the board of councilors to The Pennsylvania Society and is on the board of trustees of Rosemont College. He is also on the Visit Philadelphia board of directors and is a board member of the ICSC PAC and co-chair of the advocacy subcommittee. Jim has served as a campaign adviser and legal counsel to candidates running for federal, state, and local office. In 2004, he served as the regional field director for Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. Dedicated to his community, Jim has served as chairman of the executive committee for the Steward’s Alliance of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, an organization dedicated to the Archdiocese’s schools for special needs students. He also served as a founding member of the Athletic Advantage Fund and on the executive committee of the Christian Street YMCA. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, the President’s Leadership Council for Drexel University, and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
Jim earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law, where he served as a student law clerk for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas Saylor. He earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University, where he was a member of the Temple Owls football team. Immediately following law school, Jim served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Vincent A. Cirillo, President Judge Emeritus of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Mark Simon is Managing Director of Lai’s Trust, majority owner of Next Digital, publishers of Apple Daily and Next Magazine. Simon also serves as a Director with Next Animation, and has a column with Next Magazine. He has held multiple positions in Next Digital, including General Manager of Apple Daily. Simon has lived in Hong Kong on and off for the past 25 years.
BRIG. GEN. DR. ROBERT SPALDING — Author, Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept
General Spalding is a national security strategist and a globally recognized expert on Chinese economic competition and influence. He retired from the US Air Force as a brigadier general. He is a former pilot of the B-2 Stealth Bomber, as well as former director for strategic planning at the National Security Council in the White House. He was the chief architect for the widely praised National Security Strategy.
Rob has lived in Mainland China, both as an Olmsted Scholar and as the senior defense official at the US Embassy in Beijing, and traveled extensively throughout Asia. He is fluent in Mandarin. During the 2016 UUV Incident, Rob averted a diplomatic crisis by negotiating with the Chinese PLA for the return of the UUV, without the aid of a translator.
Rob is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C.
BRADLEY THAYER — Co-author, How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics
Bradley A. Thayer is a professor of political science at the University of Texas San Antonio and the co-author of How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics.
JASON DESENA TRENNERT — CHAIRMAN, STRATEGAS RESEARCH PARTNERS
Mr. Trennert is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Strategas and its related companies. In addition, as Chief Investment Strategist, Mr. Trennert is known as one of Wall Street’s top thought leaders on the subject of markets and economic policy. His research pieces are read by leading institutional investors and corporate executives across the globe.
In 2006, Mr. Trennert co-founded Strategas, which originally began with just five employees. Today, the firm employs over fifty research analysts, institutional salesmen, and sales traders at its offices in New York, Washington D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Prior to founding Strategas, Mr. Trennert was the Chief Investment Strategist and a Senior Managing Director at International Strategy & Investment (ISI) Group where he built and oversaw two of that Firm’s most popular research efforts, its Company Surveys, and Investment Strategy groups. Widely quoted in the domestic and foreign press, Jason is a regular guest on business news programs broadcast by CNBC, CNBC Italia, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, among others. He is the author of three books about investing and the investment business. My Side of the Street was published by St. Martin’s Press in May 2015. He has penned several op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Investor’s Business Daily.
Mr. Trennert’s two most notable calls involved coining the phrase “TINA” as it relates to equities in a world of perpetually low interest rates and his early recognition of the potential allure of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. His op-ed “The Stock Market and “The ‘TINA’ Factor” was published in The Wall Street Journal in April 2013. “What the Donald Got Right” was published in Investor’s Business Daily in May 2011. His piece “Donald Trump is Underowned” appeared on the website Real Clear Markets in August 2015. Mr. Trennert credits his often out-of-consensus calls to his frequent travels to visit clients in 44 states and 20 foreign countries.
He is committed to a number of Italian, Italian-American, and Catholic causes in New York and abroad. Mr. Trennert is a member of the investment committee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and sits on the advisory board at Hollow Brook Wealth Management LLC.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and BS in International Economics from Georgetown University.
ROBERT A. WINTERS — INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST
Dr. Robert Winters is an infectious disease specialist in Santa Monica, California and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Providence St. John’s Health Center and UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica. He received his medical degree from Tel Aviv University Sackler and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Michael Yon is a former Green Beret, native of Winter Haven, Fl. who has been writing from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. No other writer has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars. Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat writer of his generation. His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.
Michael had previously written a critically acclaimed memoir, Danger Close. He was authoring another book when two of his friends died on consecutive days in Iraq (one of them being Winter Haven native Scott Helvenston). Following accounts in the American press, Michael became concerned that we were losing the war. At the same time, friends in the military said that the media was not telling the whole story. Not wanting to take sides in the increasingly acrimonious argument over the war, Michael simply wanted to learn the truth for himself, and to write without fear or favor. He decided to go to Iraq, financing his trip from his own pocket for more than half a year, then eventually receiving generous contributions from readers of his online magazine: MichaelYon-Online.com. As early as February 2005, Michael described the violence in Iraq as a civil war. In 2006, he said we were losing in Afghanistan. In 2007, he was the first writer to claim the success of “the Surge.” When he first voiced these opinions, they were extremely controversial. Now they are conventional wisdom.
In 2008 Michael published his second book, Moment of Truth in Iraq, which is packed with exciting and heart-rending tales from the battlefields.
Even as main stream media is quietly pulling their reporters from Iraq in the wake of a weakened economy, Michael is preparing to return to Afghanistan in 2009, and from his observations and insight, Afghanistan is going to be much worse than anything we saw in Iraq and the conflict there could continue for decades.
Writing from a war zone is very rough on equipment, Michael is constantly having to have his equipment repaired and replaced. Without the continued support and contributions of readers it will be impossible for him to continue his mission in Afghanistan and writing on the victory in Iraq.