International Attendees at NCSL's 2012 Legislative Summit

August 5-9, 2012

The National Conference of State Legislatures 38th annual Legislative Summit in Chicago, IL drew more than 250 international attendees from over 20 countries. These legislators and staff spent five days discussing policy issues, hearing from renowned speakers, sharing innovative ideas, and exploring the beautiful city of Chicago.
The conference was launched by an interactive roundtable session, titled International Comparisons and Universal Solutions--Roundtable Discussions, which highlighted the various countries present as well as the variety of ways to approach common issues and concerns worldwide. The session was hosted by the Honorable Teri Norelli, Representative, New Hampshire State Legislature, NCSL President, Co-Chair of the Task Force on International Relations. Various U.S. legislators and U.S. legislative staff joined the small groups, providing the U.S. perspective to these diverse discussions. NCSL former President and Massachusetts State Senator Richard T. Moore stated that “It is important that legislators and legislative staff attend the Legislative Summit because it is one of the best ways to connect with other lawmakers throughout the world, and serves as a forum for candid discussions on new and current policy.”
Immediately following the roundtable session, the international attendees were invited to participate in a special session, “Leadership is a Team Sport,” led by the Honorable Jay R. Kaufman, Representative, Massachusetts State Legislature. Most people drawn to public service are deeply committed to improving the lives of those they serve. However, it difficult to eradicate the injustice, poverty, disease and dislocation that afflict so many. Attendees were encouraged to explore how they and their fellow legislators, staff and constituents, can expand their leadership skills to effect the changes the global community needs. Please click here to view the elements of a leadership culture powerpoint and click here to view the Metrics of an Adaptive Leadership Culture document. To close out the first day of the conference, the Consulate of Canada in Chicago graciously hosted a reception for the international attendees and members of NCSL’s Executive Committee.
Monday morning begin by being welcomed to Chicago’s City Hall, where attendees had the privilege to hear from the Honorable Deborah L. Graham, 29th Ward Alderman and Committeeman and former state legislator to the Illinois General Assembly; Ms. Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer; Lois Scott, Chief Financial Officer; and Ms. Susana Mendoza, City Clerk. Please click here to view the bios of these speaker. Please click here to see photos of these events.
Following the visit to City Hall, legislators and legislative staff had more than 150 policy sessions to choose from during the remaining days of the conference. More than 500 faculty members were onsite, with some being the best and the brightest in their fields. Some of this year’s key note speakers included Ms. Diane Swonk, Chief Economist for Mesirow Financial; Illinois Governor Pat Quinn; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Mr. John Engler, former Michigan governor and current head of the Business Roundtable; Mr. Douglas Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar Inc.; Mr. Edward B. Rust Jr., CEO of State Farm Mutual and vice-chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Ms. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Historian. To view any materials from sessions you may have missed, please visit the resource document.
NCSL's President Richard Moore stated the following regarding the importance of the Legislative Summit. “Boarders are not immune from the effects of our global recession and unfavorable economic climate, and this annual conference allows legislators and staff to come together and compare notes on not only this issue but others facing their country. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to bring home new ideas on how to address all of our challenges head on.” It was an honor to welcome so many prestigious individuals to Chicago. NCSL looks forward to next year’s annual Legislative Summit it Atlanta. See you there!

For more information on the international attendees to the Summit, the program, or next year's program, please email

Updated August 23, 2012