Michael Nutter and Jeff Flake face off in a civil and enlightening program. Both have deep and substantive understanding of the political dynamics railing America. Both are in-demand for their shrewd and timely commentary.
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Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, his hometown. He served 22.5 years as an elected official in Philadelphia, serving 14.5 years as a City Council member, and then 2 four year terms as Mayor, leaving office on January 4, 2016 due to term limits.
Mayor Nutter was considered one of the foremost leaders in innovation, tackling challenges of public safety, increasing funding for educating children, revitalizing the economy and spurring economic growth, restoring ethics and integrity to city government, ensuring fiscal discipline and making Philadelphia one of the great green and sustainable cities in America.
Known for keeping an active and engaged schedule as Mayor, Michael Nutter is doing the same as a private citizen. He's a Professor at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow with Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Program, Chair of the Mayors Advisory Board for Airbnb, and holds numerous Fellowships and Advisory positions in academic, political, non-profit and corporate entities. Mayor Nutter is actively engaged in the work of cities and trying to make them work better on behalf of their citizens.
Jeff Flake has nearly two decades of experience on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Heralded as an "ideal public servant" in The New York Times, Flake is renowned for his bravery in speaking out against the current administration, his principled stands on spending and free trade, and his shrewd negotiations and bipartisanship on complicated issues such as immigration.
A traditionally conservative Republican, Flake defended the core values and principles of his party-- and revealed how they are currently under threat-- in his New York Times bestselling book Conscience of a Conservative, which was described in The Washington Post as, "the single largest act of political bravery in the Trump era." His eloquent, impassioned and headline-making retirement speech, delivered from the Senate floor, further condemned the "new normal" in politics. He is a current contributor for CBS News where he will be launching a new series called Common Ground, which focuses on opposing groups coming together.
A passionate and principled defender of "country over party," Flake famously invited Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich on a six-day survival adventure on an island in Micronesia to develop an idea to end partisan gridlock. Their experiences were featured on a Discovery Channel reality TV show, Rival Survival.
Sought-out to speak everywhere from the Forbes Under 30 Conference to Harvard Law School, Flake shares substantive, candid insights on the current political environment and what is and isn't achievable in Washington, as well as shrewd analysis on foreign affairs, trade and the economy, and more.
After serving almost 15 years in the Philadelphia City Council, Michael A. Nutter was elected the 98th Mayor of his hometown in November 2007 and took office in January 2008. At his inaugural address, Mayor Nutter pledged to lower crime, improve educational attainment rates, make Philadelphia the greenest city in America and attract new businesses and residents to the city. He also promised to lead an ethical and transparent government focused on providing high quality, efficient and effective customer service.
With the support of an experienced, professional staff, Mayor Nutter made significant progress on every pledge: homicides were at an almost 50 year low at the end of his tenure; high school graduation and college degree attainment rates increased significantly; Philadelphia added hundreds of miles in bike lanes and trails and launched the first low-income friendly bike share system in America, called Indego; and Philadelphia’s population grew every year since 2008, including the largest percentage of millennial population growth in the nation. He actively recruited businesses to set up shop in Philadelphia, both domestically and internationally with tax reforms, better business services and international trade missions. And, despite the damaging impact of the Great Recession, Philadelphia’s economy demonstrated significant growth – since January 2014, more than $11.5 billion of economic development projects have been completed, are under construction or announced.
Mayor Nutter made a commitment to strong financial stewardship, vigorously managing the City through the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. As a result, Philadelphia’s credit rating was upgraded to the “A” category by the three major credit rating agencies for the first time since the 1970s.
In 2013, Philadelphia City Council passed his Actual Value Initiative, the City’s first ever property assessment system overhaul, transforming a broken and corrupt system into a fair, accurate and understandable system.
In affiliation with the National League of Cities, Mayor Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu launched Cities United, an initiative aimed at creating partnerships between cities, non-profits, and other stake holders to combat violence and crime among African-American men and boys. He also serves on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Council.
In June 2013, Mayor Nutter concluded his tenure as President of the United States Conference of Mayors, which is the official non-partisan organization of almost 1,300 U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 or more. As President, Mayor Nutter represented the Conference by strengthening federal-city relationships and promoting the development of effective national urban policy. In June 2015, Mayor Nutter completed his year of service as President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, which brings together municipal government officials from across the Commonwealth to advance policy initiatives state-wide.
In 2011, Esquire magazine named Mayor Nutter to its Americans of the Year list and in 2014, he was named Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine. During his tenure, Philadelphia City government received more than 150 awards for innovative programs, good government practices and excellence.
Since leaving public service on January 4, 2016, Mayor Nutter has remained active in public policy, government, and civic life. Since leaving office this year, a series of announcements were made demonstrating his continued commitment to public service and civic engagement. In January, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Mayor Nutter accepted an appointment to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Also in January, Columbia University/SIPA announced his appointment as a Professor, and in March, the Board of Trustees voted to appoint him as the Inaugural David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Policy. Also in February, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced his appointment as a Senior Fellow and national spokesperson for the What Works Cities program, working with Mayors all across the United States. In April, Drexel University announced that Mayor Nutter joined the Lebow College of Business as an Executive Fellow in Leadership, working with the Institute for Strategic Leadership (ISL). In July, Airbnb announced that Mayor Nutter will chair their first ever Mayor’s Advisory Council, an international group of former Mayors providing strategic advice on local government issues and public policy. In August, the University of Chicago Urban Labs announced that Mayor Nutter had been appointed to the position of Executive Fellow, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced his appointment as a Member of the Economic and Community Advisory Council and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced his appointment as a Distinguished Fellow. In November, The Brookings Institution announced that Mayor Nutter had been appointed as a Distinguished Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program. In December, Code for America announced that Mayor Nutter became a Board member. On January 3, 2017, Mayor Nutter became an Independent Director and Board member of the new publicly traded company, Conduent Corporation, the spin-off firm from Xerox Corporation. Mayor Nutter maintains active involvement in critical areas of education, media, public policy, political campaigns, the corporate community, and academic institutions across the country. He is active in the social media environment, and can be reached on Twitter @Michael_Nutter, or through his website WWW.MikeNutterLLC.com.
Mayor Nutter is a life-long Philadelphian, born and raised in West Philadelphia and educated at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been dedicated to public service since his youth. Mayor Nutter is happily married to his wife Lisa, and. a proud parent to Christian and Olivia.
“We are no longer used to great Senate speeches,” wrote Lawfare Editor in Chief, Benjamin Wittes, in October of 2017. “And then rises one Jeff Flake and delivers not merely a great speech but also a genuinely important one, perhaps the single most important address given on the Senate floor in my memory.”
Author of the New York Times best seller Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle, Senator Flake has taken a lonely stand for principle and civility in an era of hyper-partisanship.
After serving six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator Flake was elected to the United States Senate, where he served for six years. While in the Senate, Senator Flake chaired the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology & the Law, which sits at the intersection of innovation and regulation. He also chaired the Africa Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, where he passed landmark legislation on wildlife trafficking and democratic governance.
Prior to entering Congress, Senator Flake served as executive director of the Goldwater Institute in Arizona. He also directed the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia during that nation’s transition to independence. Senator Flake holds degrees in International Relations and Political Science from Brigham Young University.
Known for his ability to work across the political aisle, Senator Flake was the lead House Republican in the successful effort to prohibit spending earmarks, and the lead Senate Republican in the successful effort to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.
A sought-after speaker, Senator Flake delivered the 2018 commencement address at Harvard Law School. His 2018 Senate floor speech titled “Truth and Democracy” was carried live on CNN, MSNBC and the FOX News Channel. During his time in the Senate, Senator Flake was a frequent guest on NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, and CNN’s State of the Union.
Senator Flake is currently a contributor to CBS News. He also partners with CBS on a series called “Common Ground.” He will guest lecture at Princeton and speak at Yale in the Spring of 2019, and will be a Resident Fellow at Harvard University during the fall semester of 2019.
Senator Flake and his wife, Cheryl, live in Mesa, Arizona, and are the parents of five children.