Amy Walter
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter and Popular On-Air Political Analyst

For more than 25 years, Amy Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with unparalleled access to campaign insiders and decision-makers. Known as one of the best political journalists covering Washington, she is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the non-partisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, where she provides analysis of the issues, trends, and events that shape the political environment. A contributor to the PBS NewsHour, she provides weekly political analysis for the popular “Politics Monday” segment and is a featured contributor for the network’s election and convention special coverage events. She is also a regular Sunday panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press and CNN’s Inside Politics, and appears frequently on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News Channel. From 2017 until early 2021, Walter was the host of the weekly nationally syndicated program “Politics with Amy Walter” on The Takeaway from WNYC and PRX. She’s also the former political director of ABC News.


In her presentations, Walter expertly breaks down the electoral process, congressional culture, and the Washington political scene. Her astuteness, wit, and range of expertise creates an engaging, compelling presentation, and her reliable and accurate analysis has earned her numerous accolades. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Amy Walter takes audiences on an insider’s tour of Washington through the eyes of the woman with her finger on the pulse of politics.


Political History. Before ABC, she was the editor-in-chief of The Hotline, Washington’s premier daily briefing on American politics. There she served as the political publication’s primary voice for three years, and she provided regular analysis of the national political environment in her weekly National Journal column, On the Trail. Walter has provided election night coverage and analysis since 1998 and was a member of CNN’s Emmy-award winning election night team in 2006.


Accolades and Education. Named one of the “Top 50 Journalists” by Washingtonian magazine, as well as one of its “50 Most Powerful Women,” Walter was dubbed one of the most powerful people in politics in George magazine for her insights into the mechanics that make the political machine run. She also won the Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award for her spot-on election predictions and has been frequently quoted as a congressional election expert in newspapers such as the Wall Street JournalWashington Post, and the New York Times. Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report founder and contributor and political analyst for National Journal and NBC News, said, “Today, her work is trusted and respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. She knows how to get beyond bluster and spin to unearth — and explain — what really matters in a political arena. And, she has a proven track record of success, which is essential for those whose jobs depend on accurate political forecasting.”


Walter graduated summa cum laude from Colby College. She was also honored by her alma mater her with an honorary PhD, and now serves on the Board of Advisors. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where she was an inaugural fellow.

Bill McBride
Executive Director of the National Governors Association (NGA)

Bill McBride is a veteran state and federal policy strategist who has served since 2019 as Executive Director of the National Governors Association (NGA), the 115-year-old bipartisan organization that serves all 55 Governors of the nation’s states, commonwealths and territories.


Working with Republicans and Democrats, states large and small, Bill leads a diverse team of more than 80 professional staff to amplify the voice of Governors in Washington, D.C., and across the country.


State-based innovation drives meaningful change across the nation. NGA supports Governors in their efforts to collaborate on bipartisan solutions around economic growth, workforce development, infrastructure investment, homeland security, cybersecurity, community renewal, and health care and education priorities.


A proud Michigander, Bill has had a distinguished career as Chief of Staff to two Michigan Members of Congress, as well as serving two Michigan Governors in senior roles.


Bill earned his BA Degree at Michigan State University and his MA at George Mason University.


He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.

Jennifer M. Granholm
Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Jennifer M. Granholm was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of Energy on February 25, 2021.


Secretary Granholm is leading DOE's work to advance the cutting-edge clean energy technologies that will help America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while creating millions of good-paying union clean energy jobs and building an equitable economy. Secretary Granholm is also overseeing DOE’s core missions of promoting American leadership in scientific discovery, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing nuclear danger, and remediating the environmental harms caused by legacy defense programs.


Prior to her nomination as Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm was elected Governor of Michigan, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011. 


After two terms as governor, Jennifer Granholm joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on the intersection of law, clean energy, manufacturing, policy, and industry. 


Secretary Granholm is an honors graduate of both the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband, Daniel G. Mulhern, have three children.

Alejandra Y. Castillo
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce

Alejandra Y. Castillo was sworn in as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development on August 13, 2021, becoming the first woman of color to hold this position. In this unprecedented moment of growth and opportunity, she leads the only federal agency focused exclusively on economic development.


She guides the implementation of over $5 billion dollars in funding, powering the U.S Economic Development Administration (EDA) and its mission to make the transformational investments in America. During the implementation of the American Rescue Plan alone, she oversaw the investment of $3 Billion dollars across nearly 800 projects, resulting in more than 200,000 jobs secured across the nation.


 As the daughter of immigrants and small business owners, her journey is the embodiment of the American Dream. Her own experiences have helped affirm her commitment to EDA’s number one funding priority: equity. 


Spanning over three decades and three Presidential administrations --Biden, Obama, and Clinton—her career has focused on creating equitable and inclusive opportunities for all Americans. Her career has also included shattering glass ceilings and providing inspiration to multiple generations of diverse leaders.


Castillo first joined the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2008 as a Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for the International Trade Administration. Additionally, Castillo served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House during the Clinton Administration. Prior to EDA, Castillo was the Chief Executive Officer of YWCA USA, where she championed the 163-year-old organization delivering critical social, educational, and economic development services throughout its 204 associations.


Julie A. Su
Acting Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor

Julie Su became Acting Secretary of Labor on March 11, 2023. She was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve as the deputy secretary of labor on July 13, 2021. As deputy secretary, she served as the de-facto chief operating officer for the department, overseeing its workforce, managing its budget and executing the priorities of the secretary of labor.


Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Labor, Acting Secretary Su served as the secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The LWDA enforces workplace laws, combats wage theft, ensures health and safety on the job, connects Californians to quality jobs and career pathways, and administers unemployment insurance, workers compensation and paid family leave. She also served as California labor commissioner from 2011 to 2018.


Prior to her appointment as California labor commissioner, Acting Secretary Su was the litigation director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the nation's largest non-profit civil rights organization devoted to issues affecting the Asian American community. Su is known for pioneering a multi-strategy approach that combines successful impact litigation with multiracial organizing, community education, policy reform, coalition building and media work.


Frequently named to top-lawyer lists such as the Daily Journal's "Top 75 Women Litigators" in California and California Lawyer's "Super Lawyers," she was the first labor commissioner to be included among the Daily Journal's "Top 75 Labor and Employment Lawyers." She has also been named one of the 50 most noteworthy women alumni of Harvard Law School and one of the 100 most influential people in Los Angeles in Los Angeles Magazine.


Su has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School and began her career with a Skadden Fellowship. Su speaks Mandarin and Spanish.

Congresswoman Virgina Foxx
United States Representative, North Carolina

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th District in the United States House of Representatives. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. From 2013 to 2016, she served as Secretary of the House Republican Conference.


As the Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Foxx led efforts to modernize and reform the nation’s workforce development system. In 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which provided a long overdue reform of the Workforce Investment Act, was signed into law.


Prior to serving on Capitol Hill, Foxx spent 10 years in the North Carolina Senate. Dr. Foxx began her career as a secretary and research assistant at UNC-Chapel Hill. She taught at Caldwell Community College, was a sociology instructor at Appalachian State University and held several administrative positions at ASU, including Assistant Dean of the General College. Dr. Foxx also served as Deputy Secretary for Management in the N.C. Department of Administration for Governor Jim Martin. Prior to her election to the Senate in 1994, she served as President and later a consultant at Mayland Community College from 1987-1994.


At Mayland Community College, Dr. Foxx implemented several nationally recognized programs including a curriculum evaluation program which has been adopted by major universities. In another major success, she raised over $1 million in private funds for an on-campus, state-of-the-art child development center built by prison inmates. At ASU she implemented a model orientation/academic advising program which is still in existence.