Jim Messina 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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When political strategist Jim Messina used big data and technology to help President Barack Obama win a second term in the White House, Bloomberg Businessweek called it “the highest-wattage crash course in executive management ever undertaken.” Since then other nations' governments, including the European Union and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, have brought Messina into their camps to help them win their fights. Currently the CEO of the Messina Group, Messina provides businesses across industries guidance to harness cutting-edge strategies to break into new markets, win a competitive play, and harness consumer loyalty. In-demand for his shrewd political commentary, Messina regularly appears on major networks to decode what is happening in Washington and shed light on current events. Audiences who hear Messina speak are wowed by his quick and sharp insights into politics today, and the strategies and technological forces at play.
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.
CEO, THE MESSINA GROUP
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and President Barack Obama’s 2012 Campaign Manager
Jim Messina is arguably one of the world’s most successful political advisors. The mastermind behind President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, Jim Messina seized the reins on what Bloomberg Businessweek dubbed “the highest-wattage crash course in executive management ever undertaken”—and succeeded, earning the President another term in the White House. With the guidance of technology’s foremost leaders, Jim abandoned every step of a traditional presidential campaign and merged technology and politics in a way that was both unpredictable and unprecedented.
Jim’s strategies established the modern presidential campaign—Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt called it “the best-run campaign ever.” The American Association of Political Consultants later crowned him the Campaign Strategist of the Year (2013).
Since then he has gone on to advise Presidents and Prime Ministers on five continents including: UK’s Theresa May and David Cameron, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri, Italy’s Matteo Renzi and in 2016 helped Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy win a surprising re-election margin.
In 2013, Messina launched The Messina Group. In this role, Messina provides strategic consulting to businesses around the world. The firm has been involved in winning public policy campaigns on five continents. Clients include Uber, Airbnb, Google, Delta Air Lines, Hutchison Whampoa, and over 70 others.
Previously, Jim served as Deputy Chief of Staff in President Barack Obama’s White House, where he was integral to the passage of the historic health care bill, the economic stimulus act credited with saving the US economy, and the landmark repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
Messina continues to advise and guide Democratic candidates and organizations at all levels, as well as providing insight on news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, BBC and others.
Jim serves on the boards of Organizing for Action (OFA), Virgin HyperloopOne, Google’s Advanced Technology Panel, Vectra.ai, Pillpack, Patient Safety Movement Foundation, LanzaTech, Hyp3r, the United States Soccer Foundation, and the Montana Land Reliance.
“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.