Jennifer Granholm & Jeff Flake

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 Granholm headshot

Jennifer Granholm

  • 47th Governor of Michigan (2002-2011)
  • Senior Political Commentator, CNN
  • Distinguished Practitioner of Law and Public Policy at the UC Berkeley
  • Bestselling Author of "A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future"

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.

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Jeff Flake headshot

Jeff Flake

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  • U.S. Senator (R-AZ) (2013-2018)
  • U.S. Congressman (R-AZ) (2001-2013)
  • New York Times Bestselling Author of "Conscience of a Conservative"
  • Contributor, CBS News

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. 

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Biography

Jennifer Granholm's Biography

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm served two terms as Governor of Michigan, leading a state with a $40 billion annual budget and over 55,000 employees. As governor, Granholm pioneered clean energy innovation, economic development, and led the state through the national crisis in the turn-around of the American automotive and manufacturing sectors. She laid the ground for the improvement in Michigan’s economy after the auto industry bankruptcies, with bi-partisan efforts that engaged the private sector, fostered critical partnerships between industry, government and researchers, and created economic incentives in battery manufacturing, bio-energy, solar and wind power.

During her terms, the state attracted almost 4,000 companies, and Site Selection Magazine repeatedly named Michigan as one of the top three states in the nation for business locations or expansions. Under her leadership, Michigan was twice recognized by The Pew Center on the States as one of the best-managed states in the nation. According to the Gallup Job Creation Index, Michigan led the country in the improvement of job market conditions following the great recession. Prior to being elected Governor, she was Attorney General for the State of Michigan.

Granholm is currently a Managing Partner of RIDGE-LANE LP, where she leads the firm’s Sustainability practice. She also teaches policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI), and a Senior Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society (CITRIS). In addition to her work at UC Berkeley, Granholm is a member of the advisory board at The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP).

Granholm leads several initiatives focused on exploring how technological advancements impact jobs and the economy. She is the Chair of the American Jobs Project, a multi-state 25-university research project focused on advanced manufacturing jobs in clean energy. As an advisor to the Autonomous World Fund, Granholm also provides strategic guidance on automated/AI-connected, electric, and shared vehicles.

Granholm is a Senior Political Contributor to CNN and serves on the board of directors of Proterra and Marinette Marine Corporation. She's a Senior Advisor to Media Matters for America and the Chair of the American Bridge Foundation. In addition, she's the co-author of the political bestseller, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future. She is an honors graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School.

Jeff Flake's Biography

“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.