Jennifer Granholm & Torie Clarke

Consider Jennifer Granholm and Torie Clarke for a robust debate on the most talked about political issues of the day.

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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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Torie Clarke headshot

Torie Clarke

  • Former Pentagon Spokesperson
  • ABC Commentator
  • Senior Advisor for Comcast Corporation, 2004-2013
  • Contributor to the Tony Kornheiser Show on WTEM Radio

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.

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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.

Torie Clarke's Biography

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.