As one of its first acts, the Thompson Center hosted “Leadership Across the Branches,” a conference devoted to identifying leadership skills among public officials and disseminating that knowledge. The conference was a one-day public event in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, November 17, 2017. It showcased esteemed individuals from both parties of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches at the federal and state levels. Panelists discussed aspects of leadership in their work and offered suggestions on where more leadership and collegiality are needed. Multiple panels took place throughout the day. Panels explored Leadership in Congress; Leadership in the State Legislature; Public Leadership From the Media’s Perspective; Leadership in the Executive Branch; and Leadership and the Courts.
Conference speakers conveyed much about effective and collegial public leadership practices from which we can all borrow. The conference proved to be an excellent way for leaders across the branches to speak to one another’s needs as they worked together on common ground.
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Conference Schedule, with Attendant Speakers
Registration and check-in: Fluno Center
The Fluno Center will provide a continental spread for breakfast, which includes assorted granola, and breakfast bars, yogurt, and whole fruit.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Panel 1: Leadership in Congress:
Moderator: Professor Eleanor Powell (UW-Madison)
Speaker 1: Paul Carver (former policy advisor to Rep. Dave Obey)
Speaker 2: Representative Glenn Grothman
Speaker 3: Mark Hadley (Congressional Budget Office)
Speaker 4: Former Representative Scott Klug
General questions: What kinds of leadership practices in Congress have you seen work and fail? Where is more leadership necessary? What makes for an effective leader in Congress?
Break for snacks
Panel 2: Leadership in the State Legislature
Moderator: Professor Hilary Shager (UW-Madison)
Speaker 1: Speaker Robin Vos
Speaker 2: Minority Leader Gordon Hintz
Speaker 3: Majority Leader Jim Steineke
Speaker 4: Former Speaker and Ambassador Tom Loftus
General questions: What kinds of leadership practices in the state legislature have you seen work and fail? How can party leaders work together in today’s nationally polarized environment?
Panelists will take lunch in the dining room of the Fluno Center, which is across the hall from the main auditorium. Registered guests can enjoy sandwiches laid out near the auditorium.
Panel 3: Public Leadership From the Media’s Perspective
Moderator: Professor Michael Wagner (UW-Madison)
Speaker 1: A.B. Stoddard (The Hill)
Speaker 2: Manu Raju (CNN)
Speaker 3: Joy Cardin (formerly of Wisconsin Public Radio)
Speaker 4: David Tabacoff (former Fox News Executive)
General questions: What kind of leadership practices appear to work from the media’s perspective? What kind of actions can leaders take when dealing with the media to accomplish their goals more effectively?
Panel 4: Leadership and the Executive Branch
Moderator: Professor Susan Yackee
Speaker 1: Secretary Ray Allen
Speaker 2: David Maraniss
Speaker 3: Ave Bie
General questions: having worked in various executive agencies and executive positions, what kinds of leadership practices do you believe work? Who were some of the most effective leaders you have observed, and why were they effective? Where is more executive leadership necessary today?
Break for snacks
Panel 5: Leadership and the Courts
Moderator: Professor Ryan Owens
Speaker 1: Chief Justice Patience Roggensack
Speaker 2: Former US Solicitor General Paul Clement
Speaker 3: Judge Michael R. Fitzpatrick
Speaker 4: Professor Miriam Seifter (UW Law)
Speaker 5: State Solicitor General Misha Tseytlin
General questions: What can court officials do to prevent the polarization we see elsewhere? Where is more leadership needed today in the court systems? Who have been the most effective judges in terms of leadership?
Chancellor Rebecca Blank
Professor Ryan Owens