Keynote Speaker Mickey Edwards

Mickey Edwards

Professor, Presidential Advisor, Congressman, Political Activist

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About Speaker  Mickey Edwards…

Mickey Edwards has built not one but a series of overlapping careers – a political leader, a reformer, a journalist, a teacher, an author, a public speaker, an activist, and a mentor to some of the nation’s most prominent public figures.

Edwards was a member of Congress for 16 years, rising from back-bencher to one of his party’s top leadership positions, chairing his party’s policy committee, and serving as a ranking member of both the House Appropriations and Budget committees and the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations.

As a Republican – and as a conservative when American conservatism was considerably different than it is today – he was one of the three founding trustees of the Heritage Foundation and national chairman of both the American Conservative Union and Washington’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference.  He directed joint House-Senate task forces advising Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, served on a congressional steering committee advising George H. W. Bush’s presidential campaign, and was a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign.  While still a Republican Edwards is now highly critical of both political parties and a leader of a national reform movement to (as the subtitle of his 2013 book announces) “turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans.”

Edwards’ speaking engagements have taken him all across America, again before a wide variety of civic, business, and professional audiences including  the League of Women Voters’ annual convention, the Association of Opinion Journalists (editorial writers and columnists), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Center for the American West, the American Bar Association (a featured speaker at national meetings in New York and Jackson Hole, Wyoming), the Goldwater Institute, the Clinton Library, the Arizona Town Hall on Civic Leadership, the Morrison Institute, the National Association of Corporate Directors, the National Constitution Center, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Global Green USA, Minnesota Business Partnership, and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (a very small sample) and major universities including (again, a small sample) Harvard,  Stanford, Columbia, Texas, Tulane, Fordham,  Penn,  Bates (Muskie Lecture), Notre Dame (Hesburgh Lecture), Michigan State, Wisconsin, Marquette, NYU, Texas Tech, Central Florida, Oklahoma, University of Memphis Law School,  LSU (Manship Lecture), University of Chicago Law School,  Furman, Nebraska, Brigham Young, and many others.

Mickey Edwards is currently a vice president of the Aspen Institute where he directs a highly selective leadership program for elected officials.  Graduates of Edwards’ program include DNC Chair and former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, members of the U.S. House and Senate (Gabby Giffords was the first graduate of the program to be elected to Congress),  six who have been elected governors of their states, and the mayors of such cities as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, etc., as well as state legislative leaders and a host of high-ranking statewide elected officials.  The purpose of the program is to promote civility in public discussion and reduce partisanship in public office.

In 2014, Edwards was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mickey is married to Dr. Elizabeth Sherman, an award-winning professor of government at American University and former director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.


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