Tales From the Wild West (Wing): Reflections from White House Chiefs of Staff

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Tuesday, February 12th, 4:00pm – 4:55pm

 

The election chips have fallen and the country is gearing up for another four years of economic challenges and political wrangling. With divided government, compromises will be difficult and time consuming to reach, but will be necessary to deal with big issues the U.S. faces. Although the fiscal cliff has been averted for now, an unsteady economy and concerns over U.S. debt remain. This session will feature two former White House Chiefs of Staff who have served in the trenches under President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. BIO’s CEO and former Congressman, James C. Greenwood, will lead an in depth and lively discussion between Joshua Bolten and John Podesta, who will proffer their views of the political landscape, the outlook for the next four years, the outcome of these key issues and more.

Moderator:

  • James C. Greenwood, President & CEO, BIO

Panelists:

  • Joshua Bolten, 22nd White House Chief of Staff and Managing Director, Rock Creek Global Advisors
  • John Podesta, Former White House Chief of Staff and Founder and Chair, Center for American Progress

 

Joshua Bolten
22nd White House Chief of Staff and Managing Director, Rock Creek Global Advisors

Joshua B. Bolten served in the White House under President George W. Bush as Chief of Staff from 2006 to 2009, Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2003 to 2006, and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2001 to 2003. He was director of policy for then-Governor Bush during his first presidential campaign. In earlier White House service he was Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs in the Administration of George H.W. Bush.

His nearly 20 years in government service also includes positions as General Counsel to the US Trade Representative from 1989 to 1992, Chief Trade Counsel to the US Senate Finance Committee from 1985 to 1989, and an attorney in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the US State Department from 1981 to 1983. Bolten's previous private sector experience includes work as Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs, for Goldman Sachs in London and an attorney at O'Melveny and Myers in Washington, DC.

From 2009-2011 Bolten was a Visiting Professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is a member of the board of Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) and a member of the International Advisory Board of BP plc. In the non-profit sector, he serves on the boards of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (Vice Chair), the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (Co-Chair), and the ONE Campaign (where he was Interim CEO during the first half of 2011).  

A native of Washington, DC, Bolten received his undergraduate degree from Princeton in 1976 and his law degree from Stanford in 1980.

James C. Greenwood
President & CEO, BIO

James C. Greenwood is President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington, D.C., which represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the world's largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

Since his appointment in January of 2005, he has markedly enhanced the trade association’s capacity – increasing both its staff and budget by nearly fifty percent. BIO is now a world class advocacy organization playing a leading role in shaping public policy on a variety of fronts critical to the success of the biotechnology industry at the state and national levels as well as internationally. Mr. Greenwood represented Pennsylvania's Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1993 through January 2005. A senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he was widely viewed as a leader on health care and the environment. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Greenwood served as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation with oversight authority over issues in the full Committee's vast jurisdiction. He led hard-hitting investigations into corporate governance at Enron, Global Crossing and WorldCom; terrorist threats to our nation's infrastructure; and waste and fraud in federal government agencies.

Prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Greenwood served six years in the Pennsylvania General Assembly (1981-86) and six years in the Pennsylvania Senate (1987-1992). Mr. Greenwood graduated from Dickinson College in 1973 with a BA in Sociology. From 1977 until 1980, he worked as a caseworker with abused and neglected children at the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Service Agency. Mr. Greenwood is married with three children and resides in Upper Makefield, Pennsylvania.

John Podesta
Former White House Chief of Staff and Founder and Chair, Center for American Progress

John Podesta is Chair of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Under his leadership, American Progress has become a notable leader in the development of and advocacy for progressive policy.  Prior to founding the Center in 2003, Podesta served as White House chief of staff to President William J. Clinton. He served in the president’s cabinet and as a principal on the National Security Council. While in the White House, he also served as both an assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff, as well as staff secretary. 

Podesta served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration’s agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees.  Additionally, he has held numerous positions on Capitol Hill, including counselor to Democratic Leader Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996).  He is currently serving on the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

A Chicago native, Podesta is a graduate of Knox College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is currently a visiting professor of law. He is the author of The Power of Progress: How America’s Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate and Our Country.