Consider Wendy Davis and Torie Clarke for an insightful and robust program on the most debated political issues of the day.
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Former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is widely recognized as a passionate advocate for women’s healthcare and other national issues which threaten our individual freedoms. Sen. Davis prides herself on the ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives, while forging a path to consensus and compromise. She skyrocketed to near celebrity status after her historic 13 hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare services in her state.
A Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs at the multinational software corporation SAP and on-air commentator for ABC, Torie Clarke has advised some of the world’s top executives. Best known to the public as the chief spokesperson for the Pentagon on 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war, Torie Clarke has long been respected within the worlds of politics and public relations as one of the most insightful experts on communication in the age of transparency. The architect of the media "embedding" program in Iraq, Clarke has stood on the leading edge of this transformation of the information environment for more than two decades.
Her latest book, A Survivor's Guide to Washington: How to Succeed Without Losing Your Soul, was released in July 2014.
Wendy Davis is the founder of Deeds Not Words, an advocacy initiative that empowers millennial women to channel their passion and energy on issues of gender equality into actionable change. She was previously a Texas state senator and candidate for governor of Texas, who fought tirelessly for reproductive rights, equal pay for women, justice for sexual assault survivors, affordable quality education and equality for the LGBTQ community.
Wendy’s public service career spans 3 decades, serving as a Fort Worth city councilperson for 9 years prior to her election to the Texas State Senate. From very humble beginnings, Wendy worked as a single parent to forge a path to college, beginning at community college, earning a scholarship to Texas Christian University where she graduated first in her class, and ultimately graduating with honors from Harvard Law School.
Widely recognized as a leader on women’s equality, Wendy is best known for her historic 13 hour filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate to kill a legislative effort aimed at dramatically reducing women’s access to abortion care in her state. Her efforts were vindicated with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt which overturned Texas’ anti-abortion law.
A proud surrogate for Hillary Clinton, Wendy has traveled to numerous states throughout the country, speaking on behalf of Secretary Clinton. She is also a regular guest on both CNN and MSNBC.
Though she was unsuccessful in her bid to become Texas’ first Democratic governor in 20 years, Wendy shattered records in both fundraising and volunteer recruitment. With over $43 million raised in her gubernatorial race, Wendy is most proud of the fact that the average donation to her race was only $103, with over 183,000 unique contributors from all over the country supporting her election. In addition to raising an extraordinary amount of money during her campaign, Wendy also energized a record number of over 34,000 active volunteers, and built a social media following of over 550,000 Facebook followers and over 180,000 Twitter followers, who continue to follow her work today.
Noted for her talents as a legislative leader, in 2009 Wendy was named the Texas Legislature’s Rookie of the Year by Texas Monthly magazine and Freshman of the Year by AARP, was named to Texas Monthly’s Top Ten Best Legislators in 2013 and has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Women Who Dared award by the National Council of Jewish Women, the 2013 Champion for Social Change award by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and the 2011 Legislative Star by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.
Despite her well known work fighting for the opportunity for all Texans to realize their potential through education, employment and healthcare, Wendy is most proud of her role as mother to her daughters Amber (33) and Dru (27) and “Bubbie” to her new granddaughter, Ellis. Wendy resides and offices in Austin, Texas.
A Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs at the multinational software corporation SAP and on-air commentator for ABC, Torie Clarke has advised some of the world’s top executives. Best known to the public as the chief spokesperson for the Pentagon on 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war, Ms. Clarke has long been respected within the worlds of politics and public relations as one of the most insightful experts on communication in the age of transparency. The architect of the media “embedding” program in Iraq, Clarke has stood on the leading edge of this transformation of the information environment for more than two decades.
In a media environment in which transparency is inescapable, blogs are better trusted than the front pages and YouTube can draw more viewers than the evening news, the information space reaches everywhere—and everyone, from CEOs to frontline employees, is a communicator. No one understands that dynamic better—or has done more to help politicians, industries, and organizations harness the possibilities and navigate the perils of this new communications landscape—than Torie Clarke.
A nationally acclaimed expert on crisis communications as well as public outreach, she has been Senior Advisor of Communications and Government Relations to Comcast, President of Bozell Eskew advertising, head of the Washington office of the internationally known public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton and Vice President of the National Cable Telecommunications Association.
As Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs during the first moments of the war on terror, press secretary for George H.W. Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign and more, Ms. Clarke has witnessed history—and helped to make it—from vantage points ranging from Air Force One to the war room inside the Pentagon on 9/11. She has appeared on programs ranging from 60 Minutes to Good Morning America to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She has been a close advisor to Arizona Senator John McCain since his early days in Congress as well as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative during the first Bush Administration.
In her book, Lipstick on a Pig: Winning in the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game, Clarke offers a complete guide to the age of transparency. Entertaining, approachable and full of crucial insight and practical guidance, Lipstick on a Pig is indispensable not only for business figures and media relations specialists, but also for the vast range of communicators whose words and actions shape the public image of their organizations today.
Built around a series of questions Clarke has received in private conversations as well as through hundreds of public appearances, her latest, first-of-its-kind book, A Survivor’s Guide to Washington: How to Succeed Without Losing Your Soul, includes advice she solicited from admired and respected Washington figures. Sprinkled throughout are anecdotes from Clarke’s three decades in the back rooms, boardrooms and green rooms of the nation’s capital.
Clarke is a frequent contributor on the The Tony Kornheiser Show on WTEM Radio.