Aug. 3-5, 2021
Designed for state legislators, legislative staff and policy pros.
The stakes are high as states work to move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Education, law enforcement, state budgets — every facet of state government has been impacted, and those who work in legislatures — like you — are instrumental in shaping their states’ futures.
There are virtual meetings — and there’s NCSL Base Camp 2021. This event takes the online experience to a new level, providing unique opportunities to engage with national experts, ask burning questions and walk away with new ideas covering every angle of state policy.
All sessions will be live to afford the greatest opportunities for interaction between you and our expert speakers. Attend sessions in real time Aug. 3-5 or access them on your own time after the event. NCSL Base Camp 2021 is designed for you, whatever route you choose..
Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University, where she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program. A former public school teacher, Darling-Hammond is past president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of its awards for distinguished contributions to research, lifetime achievement and research to policy. She is also a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education. Darling-Hammond, who holds a doctorate in education from Temple University, led the Obama education policy transition team in 2008 and the Biden education transition team in 2020.
David A. Williams serves as the director of policy outreach at Opportunity Insights, a Harvard University-based research and public policy lab dedicated to using big data to improve upward mobility in America. He supports research and evidence-based policy change by creating and leading partnerships with communities across the country. Before joining Opportunity Insights, Williams served as a member of the Detroit mayor’s economic development team, managing large-scale real estate and community revitalization projects, neighborhood planning initiatives and policies related to economic mobility, land use, and equitable development. Williams holds a bachelor’s and a law degree from Harvard.
David Wasserman, recognized as one of the nation’s top election forecasters, is House Editor for The Cook Political Report, where he analyzes U.S. House races. Prior to joining Cook in June 2007, Wasserman served for three years as House Editor of the political analysis newsletter Sabato's Crystal Ball. In that role, he correctly predicted Democrats would gain 29 House seats in November 2006. Wasserman’s catchphrase, “I’ve seen enough”—indicating that he is calling a race—is eagerly awaited by his 530,000 Twitter followers.
Teresa M. Bejan is an associate professor of political theory and a fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford. She is the author of "Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration" (2017). Her research on civility, free speech and tolerance has been featured by The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NPR, BBC, CBC and ted.com.
Four-star Admiral William H. McRaven commanded special operations forces at every level and served as the ninth leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command. His 37-year career included combat during Desert Storm and both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
After retiring from the military in 2014, McRaven served as chancellor of the University of Texas system, overseeing 14 institutions that educated 220,000 students and employed 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health care professionals, researchers and staff.
A nationally recognized authority on U.S. foreign policy, McRaven has advised Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. He has written four books, including the including the New York Times bestseller “Make Your Bed,” inspired by his viral 2014 UT commencement speech.
Raúl Burciaga has served as the director of the Legislative Council Service for the New Mexico Legislature since 2010. An attorney, Burciaga has worked as staff on impeachment investigations and legislative ethics committees. He belongs to the New Mexico Compilation Commission, which oversees the compilation and publishing of New Mexico laws, and the National Uniform Law Commission. Burciaga served for five years on NCSL’s Executive Committee, three of those as an officer. He completed the NCSL's Legislative Staff Management Institute at the University of Minnesota in 2004 and the Council of State Government’s Henry Toll Fellowship Program in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2012.
Sabrina Lewellen is deputy director and assistant secretary of the Arkansas Senate, where she has been on staff since 2003. From 2008 to 2013, she served as the Senate’s Constituency Services/Research & Special Projects manager. Lewellen currently serves on the NCSL Executive Committee and is a member of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries. In 2015, she received the Staff Achievement Award for her leadership as vice chairman and chairman of the NCSL Research and Committee Staff Section. A member of the 2009 class of NCSL’s Legislative Staff Management Institute, Lewellen has a bachelor’s in environmental science from Florida A&M and a law degree from Vanderbilt University.
Representative Scott Bedke is serving his 11th term in the Idaho House of Representatives and his fifth term as speaker, making him the longest-serving speaker in Idaho history. He topped a list of “100 Most Influential Idahoans” in 2015 for his “clout and ability to use it” and serves as vice president of NCSL. A fourth-generation rancher, Bedke is a former director of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and former president of the Idaho Cattle Association. Bedke is the father of four and grandfather of 14 and holds a bachelor’s in finance from Brigham Young University.
As the U.S. Census Bureau’s Chief of Decennial Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Kathleen Styles oversees communications related to the 2020 census, as well as oversight, redistricting and the decennial budget. Styles, who holds a degree from William & Mary Law School, has legal experience in both private and government practice, including expertise in litigation involving the census. She worked at the Census Bureau early in her career in a variety of legal, operational and policy roles, then spent eight years as the U.S. Department of Education’s first-ever chief privacy officer before returning to the bureau in 2019.
Mamie Voight is the interim president at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization focused on student access to college education. Previously, she served as a research and policy analyst and assistant director for research and policy at The Education Trust. She earned her B.S. in civil engineering from Villanova University, her M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Delaware, and her M.P.P. from Georgetown University.
Brian Baird is a former six-term congressman from Washington’s 3rd District and a clinical psychologist with a doctorate from the University of Wyoming. As founder of 4Pir2 Communication, Baird advises leading law firms, businesses leaders, congressional offices, patient advocacy organizations and political campaigns on communications, public policy and ethics. He also chairs a nonprofit organization working to establish the National Museum and Center for Service near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. After leaving Congress in 2011, Baird served as president of Antioch University Seattle. The author of three books, he has served as an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Amber Clayton oversees the Society for Human Resource Management’s Knowledge Center, which fielded more than 66,000 questions from members in 2020. She has participated in over 100 media interviews in the past year related to COVID and other trending topics, including interviews with CNBC, FOX, CNN, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. Clayton co-hosts the podcast “Honest HR,” where she uncovers and explores uncomfortable, complicated and sometimes wonderful truths of the workplace. She is SHRM-certified with a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Baltimore.
Josh Goodman helps lead research on fiscal management and place-based economic development programs as senior officer for Pew’s state fiscal health project. He has served as a primary author for Pew studies that examine how states should evaluate tax incentives and maintain budget discipline when implementing those incentives. Goodman was previously a staff writer for Stateline, a Pew initiative that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. Before joining Pew, he covered state and local government for Governing magazine. Goodman holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Virginia.
Open Primaries President John Opdycke has spent 25 years working as a political activist, strategist and one of the nation’s most vocal advocates for primary reform. He began his career as a fundraiser and researcher for the Rainbow Lobby, which advocated for ballot access and debate reform in the U.S. and supported the pro-democracy movement in the Congo. Opdycke has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, PBS and NBC, and has written for publications including USA Today, Newsweek and The Hill, among others. He lives in New York City, where he performs and directs improvisation at the Castillo Theatre.
Rachel Harmon is a leading scholar on policing and the laws that regulate police behavior. Author of the 2021 casebook “The Law of the Police,” she directs the University of Virginia Center for Criminal Justice and teaches criminal law and procedure, policing and civil rights. Harmon is a member of the American Law Institute and a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Harmon attended Yale Law School after receiving two master’s degrees from the London School of Economics as a Marshall Scholar. After law school, she clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and 2nd U.S. Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi.
Adam Kincaid is the president and executive director of the National Republican Redistricting Trust. Previously, Kincaid worked as special projects director at the Republican National Committee and as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s redistricting coordinator, southeastern political director and national data director. Kincaid got his start in politics as the voter programs director for the Georgia Republican Party and later became the deputy political director and director of policy and research for the Republican Governors Association. Kincaid holds a master’s in public administration with a focus on public policy from the University of Georgia.
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