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Past Speakers

Esther L. George

May 14, 2019

President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

As CEO and president of the Kansas City Fed, George leads a workforce of more than 1,900 employees located at the Bank’s Kansas City office and Branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha. The Kansas City Fed oversees seven states: western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and northern New Mexico. Throughout this region, the Kansas City Fed plays a role in national monetary policy, supervises financial institutions and provides payment and financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. Treasury.

George joined the Fed in 1982 and served much of her career in the Division of Supervision and Risk Management. She began by becoming a commissioned bank examiner and eventually served for ten years as the District’s chief regulator. She was directly involved in the Tenth District’s banking supervision and discount window lending activities during the banking crisis of the 1980s and post-9/11.

During the financial crisis, George served as the acting director of the Federal Reserve’s Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.  She currently serves as the executive sponsor of the Federal Reserve System’s efforts to improve the U.S. payments system. 

George hosts the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. In 2019, she will be a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which is responsible for setting U.S. monetary policy.

His Excellency Ron Dermer

April 2, 2019

Israel's Ambassador to the United States

Ron Dermer was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. He earned a degree in Finance and Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University. For three years, he was a columnist for the Jerusalem Post. 

In 2004, Ron co-authored with Natan Sharansky the best-selling book, The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, which has been translated into ten languages. From 2005-2008, Ron served as Israel’s Minister of Economic Affairs in the United States.  From 2009-2013, he served as Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He became Israel’s 18th Ambassador to the United States on September 30th, 2013.

He is married to Rhoda and has five children.

Steve Nelson

February 19, 2019

CEO, UnitedHealthcare

Steve Nelson is chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare, a $180 billion division of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) – No. 5 on the Fortune 500 list. UnitedHealthcare serves one in eight Americans, making it the single largest business dedicated to health and well-being in the United States.

Previously Steve served as chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare & Retirement business, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to seniors and Medicare beneficiaries. Other past roles include leading UnitedHealthcare’s Community & State business, an organization that delivers Medicaid solutions in 30 states and the District of Columbia, serving 6.7 million beneficiaries, and leading the West Region of UnitedHealthcare’s Employer & Individual business. Before coming to UnitedHealthcare, Steve was president of the Eastern Region and Senior Products Division at HealthNet (NYSE: HNT) and served for 10 years in executive roles at the Henry Ford Health System.

Major Garrett

December 17, 2018

Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News

For 30 years Major Garrett has reported from the front lines of the nation’s pressing issues, doggedly chasing and breaking news stories. He began his illustrious journalism career as a police and general assignment reporter, and has since covered Congress for two major magazines and served as White House correspondent for three television networks. He is the Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News, and was the network’s chief political reporter covering the 2016 Republican race for the White House. He traveled the country extensively beginning in the summer of 2015, and covered every GOP debate and significant campaign event for CBS. Major also hosts the CBS News podcast “The Takeout” and serves as Correspondent at Large for National Journal. He has been called “one of the smartest people in the briefing room” by Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and “a tireless reporter and tremendous addition” to Washington bureaus by CBS News President David Rhodes.

A truly non-partisan reporter, Major is available to speak and moderate panels on the state of politics today, the inner workings of Congress, and the role of the media. His humorous, direct, and dynamic speeches call upon personal anecdotes from his time on the Hill, well-built relationships with top political players, as well as tales from the presidential campaigns he’s crisscrossed the country covering. He breaks down complex hot-button policy issues and is universally recognized as balanced, having worked for the White House teams of both CNN and Fox News.

Known for asking tough questions of all political actors regardless of party lines, Major’s extensive and award-winning print and television work is well-known and has drawn the public wrath of Presidents Obama and Trump among others. He has worked with outlets including U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, and Mother Jones

Major has written three books. His third, Enduring Revolution, was hailed as one of the best non-fiction political books of all time. Major regularly appears on CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, and NPR to discuss his campaign reporting, the White House, and Congress.

Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez

November 27, 2018

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce 2005-2009, Champion of Free Trade Award Recipient

Carlos Gutierrez is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group. Secretary Gutierrez served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2005 to 2009 under President George W. Bush, where he worked with foreign government and business leaders to advance economic relationships, enhance trade, and promote U.S. exports. Secretary Gutierrez also played a key role in the passage of landmark free trade agreements that remove trade barriers, expand export opportunities, and boost global investment. 

Previously, Secretary Gutierrez spent nearly thirty years with Kellogg Company, a global manufacturer and marketer of well-known food brands. After assignments in Latin America, Canada, Asia, and the United States, he became President and Chief Executive Officer of Kellogg in 1999 − the youngest CEO in the company’s hundred year history. In April 2000, he was named Chairman of the Board of Kellogg Company.

Secretary Gutierrez joined ASG from Citi, where he was Vice Chairman of the Institutional Clients Group and a member of the Senior Strategic Advisory Group. 

He currently serves as the Chair of the National Foreign Trade Council and of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Cuba Business Council, and is on the boards of the Chamber’s U.S.-India Business Council and the Boao Forum for Asia. 

He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Meridian International Center, and serves on the boards of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, MetLife, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Time Warner, Viridis Learning, the George W. Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Advisory Council, and Republicans for Immigration Reform.  

Secretary Gutierrez was born in Havana, Cuba. He is married to Edilia, and has three grown children.

He is based in Washington, DC.