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 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.
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.
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.
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.