Julian Castro & Will Hurd

Political masterminds Julián Castro and Will Hurd are experts on getting things done in a partisan environment. In this engaging session, they come together to share their takes on today’s hot topics, activism, public service, passing legislation, and the future of politics.

While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Hurd “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades – substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

As Mayor of the second-largest city in Texas, Castro revitalized San Antonio’s most neglected neighborhoods, attracted $350 million in private sector downtown investment that sparked the creation of thousands of new housing units. He also increased opportunities for education, expanding Pre-K funding and programs offering college guidance to San Antonio-area students. From everything from access to education and technology to the creation of safe and affordable housing, Castro has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative partnerships, programs and achievements in the public sector.

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Julián Castro headshot

Julián Castro

EXCLUSIVE NEW
  • Democratic Presidential Candidate for the 2020 Election
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014-2017)
  • Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009-2014)
  • Political Analyst, NBC News and MSNBC

Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and successful public servant for nearly two decades. A former Democratic candidate for President, Castro served as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014. Today, Castro serves on the board of directors of the LBJ Foundation and is a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. 

As mayor, Castro brought a strong focus to expanding educational achievement and making America’s seventh largest city a leader in the 21st century global economy. Under Castro’s leadership, San Antonio implemented Pre-K4SA, a high quality early childhood learning initiative that has earned praise as one of America’s strongest public pre-kindergarten programs. During his tenure, San Antonio ranked first on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities List, received an A+ grade for doing business by Forbes, and was the only Top 10 city at the time to achieve a Triple A bond rating with each of the three major ratings agencies. A native Texan, Castro made history in 2012 when he became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. 

His memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream, is a candid account of race and poverty in America. Born to unmarried parents in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of a struggling city, Castro details his unlikely journey to becoming an emerging national icon.

From education to technology to safe and affordable housing, Castro has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative partnerships, programs and achievements in the public sector. In sharing lessons learned from the struggles and successes of his political journey, he gives audiences insight into how any group can make a significant change when it comes to America's most pressing issues. He empowers groups to engage and take action, even when things seem at their most bleak. Castro’s own personal story is proof that the American Dream still lives, and in his inspiring talks, he shares actionable items people can accomplish in their day-to-day lives to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

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Will Hurd headshot

Will Hurd

EXCLUSIVE NEW
  • U.S. Representative (R-TX) (2015 - 2021)
  • Former CIA Officer
  • Partner at Crumpton Group
  • Cybersecurity Executive at FusionX

Will Hurd is currently a managing director at Allen & Company and former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA. For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress.

After stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets, and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business, Will helped build a cybersecurity company that prepared businesses for the next domain of conflict – cyberspace.

While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades – substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Will is a native of San Antonio and earned a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University. Additionally, he is growing the US transatlantic partnership with Europe as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund, an OpenAI board member, and most recently served as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He is also the author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, due February 2022.

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Biography

Julián Castro's Biography

Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and successful public servant for nearly two decades. A former Democratic candidate for President, Castro served as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014. At HUD, Castro managed 8,000 employees and a budget of more than $46 billion, and he led progress at the Department that earned it recognition as one of the most improved federal agencies. Castro also co-chaired the United States delegation to the United Nations Habitat III conference, spearheaded efforts to reduce homelessness, and created Connect Home, a public-private partnership to deliver broadband to public housing residents.

Previously, as mayor of America’s seventh largest city, Castro brought a strong focus to expanding educational achievement and making San Antonio a leader in the 21st century global economy. Under Castro’s leadership, San Antonio implemented Pre-K4SA, a high quality early childhood learning initiative that has earned praise as one of America’s strongest public pre-kindergarten programs. During his tenure, San Antonio ranked first on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities List, received an A+ grade for doing business by Forbes, and was the only Top 10 city at the time to achieve a Triple A bond rating with each of the three major ratings agencies.

A native Texan, Castro began his public service career in 2001, becoming, at the age of 26, San Antonio’s youngest city councilman in history at the time. Castro made history again in 2012, when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, the first Latino to do so.

Following his service in the Obama administration, Castro served as the Dean’s Distinguished Fellow and Fellow of the Davila Chair in International Trade Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Castro’s memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up From My American Dream was published by Little Brown in 2018.

Today, Castro serves on the board of directors of the LBJ Foundation and is a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. 

Castro received a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Erica, have a daughter, Carina, and a son, Cristián. Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, represents the 20th Congressional District of Texas.

 

Will Hurd's Biography

Will Hurd is currently a managing director at Allen & Company and former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA. For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress.

After stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets, and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business, Will helped build a cybersecurity company that prepared businesses for the next domain of conflict – cyberspace.

While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades – substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Will is a native of San Antonio and earned a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University. Additionally, he is growing the US transatlantic partnership with Europe as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund, an OpenAI board member, and most recently served as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He is also the author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, due February 2022.