Jennifer Granholm 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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Jennifer M. Granholm is a former two-term governor and former attorney general of Michigan. She currently serves as the co-chair of Priorities USA Action and is the Director of The American Jobs Project at UC Berkeley, where she also teaches courses in law and public policy.
After leaving office, Granholm hosted Current TV’s national political analysis show The War Room with Jennifer Granholm and co-authored the Washington Post political bestseller, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future. Today, Granholm advocates for a national commitment to advanced manufacturing, worker training, and clean energy.
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.
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.
Former two-term governor of Michigan Jennifer M. Granholm, who is credited with leading Michigan though a period of unprecedented economic challenge and change, is an authority on leadership; politics; economic diversification; clean energy policy; advanced manufacturing; and industrial clusters.
Granholm became the first woman to be elected as governor of Michigan in 2002, and in 2006 she was re-elected with the largest number of votes ever cast for governor in the state. Due to the meltdown in the auto industry and the global shift in manufacturing jobs, Michigan had the toughest economy in the nation and Granholm worked relentlessly to diversify, add new jobs and add emerging sectors, such as clean energy, to Michigan’s economic portfolio. As a result of her leadership, Michigan led the country in the improvement of job market conditions between 2009 and 2010, according to the Gallup Job Creation Index
As governor, Granholm pioneered clean energy policies, working with business and labor, Republicans and Democrats to create new economic opportunities and jobs in Michigan. She led an aggressive strategy to make Michigan the hub of clean-energy development in North America by developing entire supply chains in Michigan, fostering critical partnerships between industry, government and researchers and by creating economic incentives that made Michigan the place to locate. Granholm’s plan included specific clustering strategies targeted at battery manufacturing, bio-energy, solar, and wind power.
In addition to diversifying Michigan's economy, Granholm focused on creating jobs, attracting international investment, improving education, and training Michigan’s workers to promote the state’s long-term economic health. She pushed Michigan to double the number of college graduates and signed into law a college prep curriculum for every high school student in Michigan, in addition to some of the toughest turnaround requirements for low-performing schools in the nation. In 2007, she launched the No Worker Left Behind program, which gave unemployed and under-employed citizens the opportunity to attend community college or technical school and receive training for high-demand jobs by offering state-paid tuition to Michigan’s displaced adults.
Prior to her tenure as Governor, Granholm served as Michigan’s attorney general, from 1998-2002. After her last term as Governor, Granholm began teaching courses in law and public policy at UC Berkeley, where she continues to serve as faculty. In addition, Granholm is a senior research fellow at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, a project scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a senior advisor to Correct the Record, and an ABC News contributor. She is also co-author of the political bestseller, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future and an avid supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, where she is a senior partner on energy policy.
Granholm is an honors graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband have three children.
Senator Jeff Flake is a fifth-generation Arizonan who was raised on a cattle ranch in Snowflake, Arizona. Snowflake was named in part for Senator Flake's great-great grandfather.
Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Jeff served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001-2013 representing the East Valley.
As a member of the U.S. Senate, Jeff sat on the Judiciary Committee where he also served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee where he also served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Water and Power, and the Foreign Relations Committee where he also served as chairman of Subcommittee on African Affairs.
After serving a Mormon mission in southern Africa, Jeff graduated from Brigham Young University, where he received a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Political Science.
In 1987, Jeff started his career at a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm, but soon returned to Africa as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia. In this role, Senator Flake helped monitor Namibia's independence process and saw that nation usher in freedom and democracy.
In 1992, Jeff and his family moved back to Arizona where he was named Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute. In this role, Jeff worked to promote a conservative philosophy of less government, more freedom, and individual responsibility.
Jeff and his wife, Cheryl, live in Mesa and have five children.