Speakers Set for 2016 NCSL Legislative Summit

8/4/2016

NCSL NewsNCSL Announces Exciting  Lineup for Chicago Meeting 

Denver—Some of the country’s most knowledgeable and talented experts will share their insights on topics such as education, energy, the criminal justice system, human trafficking, and useful leadership skills during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 42nd annual Legislative Summit Aug. 8-11 in Chicago.

NCSL’s Summit is the largest and only gathering of its kind where legislators and legislative staff gather to promote bipartisan dialogue on some of the most pressing concerns and issues facing our states today. About 5,000 attendees are expected at the Summit, which will be held at the McCormick Place West.

Following are some of the meeting’s speakers:

Monday, Aug. 8

Ron Insana. A highly respected business journalist and money manager, Insana is one of the country’s leading commentators on domestic and global economics, financial markets and economic policy. The author of four books on Wall Street, he has interviewed presidents, billionaires, captains of industry, and foreign leaders. Insana is the keynote speaker for the Monday General Session. 4:15-5:15 p.m. (W375abc)

Ted Koppel. The 42-year veteran of ABC News, was anchor and managing editor of “Nightline” from 1980 to 2005. New York University recently named Koppel one of the top 100 American journalists of the past 100 years. His bestselling book “Lights Out” explores the possibility of a major cyberattack on America’s power grid. Koppel is a keynote speaker at the Energy Policy Summit. 10:15-11 a.m. (W190)

Lyndon Rive. The co-founder and CEO of SolarCity has helped the company become one of the most recognizable brands in clean energy. The company has grown to more than 13,000 employees and has entered new markets including 400 schools and universities, more than 100 national homebuilders, and numerous Fortune 500 companies. Rive is a speaker for the Energy Policy Summit. 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (W190)

Hugh Acheson. This a James Beard Award winning chef, author and restaurateur. He is also the founder of Seed Life Skills, a multimedia curriculum built to serve the needs of the modern classroom emphasizing retainable real life skills. Acheson competed in Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and served as a judge on five seasons of “Top Chef.” Acheson is the speaker for the Fighting Hunger in America luncheon. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (W175)

Tuesday, Aug. 9

Julia Stasch. The president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, she joined the foundation in 2001 as vice president for U.S. Programs. She previously worked for the city of Chicago as its commissioner of the Department of Housing and as chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Stasch is the speaker for the Law, Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee luncheon. 12:15-1:30 p.m. (W175)

Wednesday, Aug. 10 

Karlyn Bowman. She is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where she studies and writes on public attitudes. She edits AEI’s monthly polling newsletter, Political Report, and recently collaborated on a project on America’s changing demography nationally and in the states. Bowman is a keynote speaker for the Wednesday General Session. 1:30-2:30 p.m. (W375abc)

Jim Johnson. A professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of the nation’s leading demographers, Johnson’s research focuses on the changing U.S. population and its effects on competing in emerging consumer markets. Johnson is the keynote speaker for the Wednesday General Session. 1:30-2:30 p.m. (W375abc)

Melinda Gates.  She is a co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with Bill, Melinda shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the organization. Together, they meet with grantees further the foundation’s goal of improving equity around the world. Join Gates and fellow attendees in an informal discussion on Wednesday.  4:45-5:30 p.m. (W375d)

Thursday, Aug. 11

Mara Liasson. She is a contributor on the Fox News Channel and a panelist on Fox News Sunday. She is a national political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). She has covered several presidential elections and was NPR's White House correspondent during all eight years of the Clinton administration. Liasson is the keynote speaker for the Thursday General Session. 12:15-1:45 p.m. (W375abc)

A complete list of this year’s speakers can be found on our website along with the week’s agenda. In addition to speakers, NCSL.org also lists information about important meetings and events that will take place in Chicago.

All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. Registration is required, but free to credentialed members of the media. Online registration is open through Aug. 11; on-site registration for media is available between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at McCormick Place. Please review NCSL’s media policy before registering.


NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.