Bob Blaemire

Spring 2022

The spring 2022 Discussion Group Series is led by author and political consultant Robert ‘Bob’ Blaemire. The series will discuss former Democratic and Republican Senators, their accomplishments, and their challenges. Featuring former campaign staffers and notable politicos as his guests, Blaemire will lead conversations about times when the Senate and Congress worked together and when many bipartisan acts were passed.

Blaemire completed his B.A. in Political Science and his M.A. in Legislative Affairs at George Washington University. He began his career working for Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), rising from volunteer worker to Office Manager to Executive Assistant in the Senate Office. In 1982, he began providing political computer services in 1982, eventually joining with and starting the Washington Office of Below, Tobe & Associates. In 1991, Blaemire created Blaemire Communications, a political computer services firm serving Democratic campaigns, progressive organizations and political consultants. He published a biography of his former boss, Senator Birch Bayh, in 2019.

Discussion Group Topic
Giants of the Senate

Michele L. Watley

Fall 2021

Michele L. Watley is the founder and owner of The Griot Group, a consulting practice that partners with clients to bring together the people, institutions and resources necessary to create impact through strategic communications and advocacy. She is a results-driven practitioner that has worked with candidates and organizations across the U.S., representing a vast range of political ideologies at the federal, state, and local levels of government.

During the 2016 electoral cycle, Watley served as the national African American outreach political director for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and as the statewide political director for Koster for Missouri. In both roles Watley successfully targeted voters to build broad coalitions of support within communities that were not previously engaged. Prior to the 2016 campaign season, Watley served as a regional director for Missouri Secretary of State, Jason Kander.

The fall 2021 discussion group series will examine how the political issues, leaders, and events of the past couple years have brought us to our current political climate and explore how these factors will impact the upcoming 2022 election season.

Discussion Group Topic
What’s the Matter with American Politics: How Fake News, Black Women, COVID-19, Presidents 45 and 46, and Protests Might Shape Politics in 2022

Patrick Tuohey

Spring 2021

Patrick Tuohey is the current Director of Policy for the Better Cities Project, which aims to deliver the best in public policy research from around the country to local leaders, communities, and voters. He is also a former Senior Fellow for Municipal Policy with the Show-Me Institute.

Discussion Group Topic
The Modern American City: Past, Present, and Future

Colleen McCain Nelson

Fall 2020

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Vice-President of the Kansas City Star.

Discussion Group Topic
Politics, Pandemic and Protests

Ron Marks

Spring 2020

Marks is a 35-year veteran of the U.S. national security community. A former CIA official, Marks was a clandestine service officer and a Senate Liaison for five Directors of Central Intelligence. He went on to serve on Capitol Hill as Intelligence Counsel to Senate Majority Leaders Robert Dole and Trent Lott. Marks maintains his involvement with intelligence matters as a member of various intelligence community advisory groups both in and outside the government.

Since leaving government, Marks has been a successful senior defense contractor and a software executive. After leading national security business ventures at Science Applications International Corporation and SRA International, Marks was picked to re-open British Telecom’s Federal Practice. He was then hired to re-establish the Washington, D.C. office of Oxford Analytica, a UK based international consultancy firm, and led it for six years.

Marks is currently President of ZPN Cyber Strategies. He is Chairman Emeritus of Intelligence and Cyber Studies at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (now Texas A&M) in Washington, D.C., as well as an adjunct instructor at John Hopkins’ Krieger School where he teaches Homeland Security Intelligence, and a Senior Instructor with The Intelligence and Security Academy.

Discussion Group Topic
Spying in the Cyber Age

Nancy Bocskor

Fall 2019

Nancy Bocskor, tagged a “Democracy Coach” by a major German newspaper, teaches citizens in the United States and internationally how to communicate with passion to affect change in their communities. She is the director of the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas.

Bocskor has worked in 28 countries across six continents, teaching advocacy, fundraising and storytelling to democratic activists, at the invitation of NGOs, universities, the U.S. State Department and embassies. In 2016, she was selected by the Washington Academy of Political Arts & Sciences as one of the “Top 12 Women Changing the Face of Political Communications in Latin America.” She is the author of “Go Fish: How to Catch (and Keep) Contributors: A Practical Guide to Fundraising,” and serves on the boards of Running Start, Veterans Campaign Workshop and PLEN (Public Leadership Education Network).

Discussion Group Topic
Create Change: Women, Democracy and Global Politics

Ethan Corson

Spring 2019

Ethan Corson is a Kansas native who moved home to lead the Kansas Democratic Party after spending nearly a decade in Washington, D.C. working at the highest levels of law, government and politics.  He practiced law for seven years at a leading international law firm before being appointed to two senior executive positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  While at the Department of Commerce, he worked as a senior adviser to former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and later, as chief of staff for the International Trade Administration. He is also an alumnus of the 2012 Obama campaign.

Corson holds a law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, a bachelor’s degree Washington University, and an associate’s degree from Garden City Community College.

Discussion Group Topic
International Trade In the 21st Century

Kelly Dietrich

Fall 2018

Kelly Dietrich is a KU alumnus and the founder of the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC), which equips Democratic candidates with the tools needed to start, run and win campaigns up and down the ballot. He owns eighteen years of experience in Democratic politics, working campaigns all across the country at every level of government. His specialty is new campaign creation, strategy and fundraising.

After getting his start on a congressional campaign in Kansas in 1997, Dietrich went on to work and advise dozens of candidates for U.S. House, Senate, governor, mayor and more. For several years he owned a national political consulting company with four partners and offices in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Kansas City. Building businesses and winning campaigns are his passions. For the fun “non-work” stuff, Dietrich is a poker enthusiast, die-hard Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan and avid movie buff.

Discussion Group Topic
Political Campaigns, Top To Bottom: Data, Door Knocking and the 2018 Midterms

Jim Jonas

Spring 2018

Jim Jonas is a political communications consultant with nearly two decades of experience in independent political reform and campaigns. In 2014, Jonas served as the campaign manager for Greg Orman’s independent campaign for U.S. Senate in Kansas.

Discussion Group Topic
Rise of the Independents: Candidates and Reform in 2018 and Beyond

Cherylyn Harley LeBon

Fall 2017

Cherylyn Harley LeBon is a lawyer, strategist, executive coach and commentator. She works at the intersection of business and politics and advises CEO’s, corporations, trade associations, and non-profits and has advised political candidates at all levels.

Her previous work has seen her serve as a senior executive in the federal government, a Vice-President at a national industry trade association; as a spokesman at a political organization; and as Senior Counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee where she was responsible for judicial nominations; human and civil rights, and a variety of other business issues.

A frequent media contributor and commentator, she has appeared on MSNBC and FOX News and written for a variety of publications.

Discussion Group Topic
The Elusive Quest for the Lacrosse Mom: How do Politicians, Corporations, Organizations and the Community Engage Women?

Christina Luhn

Summer 2017

Christina Luhn is the organizer and founder of the Cali-Baja initiative, a bi-national economic development strategy on the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work in the California-Baja Mexico border region brought together diverse groups of stakeholders to focus on economic collaboration and development. The Cali-Baja initiative’s success has allowed Luhn to present to groups along both the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders interested in creating their own cross-border collaborations, and the initiative has received recognition from both the U.S. and Mexican governments.

Luhn’s career has focused on international relations with an emphasis on America’s interactions with the developing world. She previously worked as an adjunct professor at several institutions throughout San Diego and Kansas City, including the UMKC and Rockhurst. Luhn has worked as a staff assistant on the National Security Council under President Reagan, as a legislative assistant for Rep. Larry Winn (KS) and as a graduate research assistant for the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Discussion Group Topic
Beyond the Border: U.S.-Mexico Relations


Henry “C.J.” Jackson

Spring 2017

Henry C. “C.J.” Jackson is the author of POLITICO’s definitive evening wrap on the 2016 presidential race, the 2016 Blast. He also co-teaches a class on covering presidential elections in the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications. He is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering national politics, campaigns and elections. Before joining POLITICO, Jackson spent nearly 10 years with The Associated Press, including six years as a national writer based in Washington, D.C., where he covered Congress, politics and a variety of policy beats. Before moving to Washington, Jackson served as a political writer for the AP in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jackson covered the beginnings of Barack Obama’s groundbreaking Iowa campaign, including the first print interview after then-Sen. Obama declared his presidential campaign. He has interviewed an array of presidential hopefuls, including all of the candidate who ran for president in 2016 not named “Donald Trump.” Jackson was born and raised in New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2004.

Discussion Group Topic
President Trump: The First 100 Days

Johanna Maska

Spring 2017

Johanna Maska is former Director of Press Advance for the Obama White House, managing President Obama’s public image on trips across the United States and to 40 countries including extended tours of Asia, South America, Europe and Africa. She played a key role in President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

Maska left the White House in 2015 to join the executive team of the Los Angeles Times, from which she continued on to found Ad Astra Strategies, where she is a growth and strategy advisor to early stage companies. Maska graduated from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2004.

Discussion Group Topic
President Trump: The First 100 Days

Steve Kraske

Fall 2016

The 2016 presidential election has defied expectations and explanations at every turn. Dole Fellow Steve Kraske and his special guest speakers will lay out a guidebook on the art of presidential campaigns, the 2016 cycle and interpreting results on election night.

An associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC and host of KCUR’s “Up to Date” program since 2002, Steve Kraske is a veteran of political correspondence. He started with the Kansas City Star in 1986 as a police reporter, and has since seen a storied career that has covered state and local politics in Missouri and Kansas in addition to 11 national political conventions. Kraske is now a member of The Star’s editorial board.

Kraske graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in journalism, and was a 1992 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

Discussion Group Topic
Toss Out the Playbook: Trump, Clinton and the Wacky Politics of 2016

Joyce London Ford

Spring 2016

Named a 2010 “Diversity Hero” of Massachusetts lawyers, Judge Joyce London Ford is no stranger to adversity. As the nation’s first African-American chief U.S. magistrate judge, former professor and legislative assistant, Ford will lead a series that examines the interactions of governance and the law. At each discussion group, she will be joined by distinguished guests for conversations about their unique interactions with justice in the political system.

Discussion Group Topic
A View From the Bench: Politics and Public Policy

Judy Lloyd

Fall 2015

As a veteran of Senator Bob Dole’s campaigns and the office of the Majority Leader, among many other roles, Judy Lloyd is a well-established leader in her own right. A longtime student of women in leadership, she’s at the helm for this series examining women leaders in public service and business and their countless accomplishments. Each Tuesday of the semester, Lloyd will welcome different guests for a discussion on the bold and unique paths they’ve taken throughout their careers.

Judy Lloyd has served 32 years as a government affairs professional, private sector small businesswoman, special events planner, advocate, and community leader. She is currently a senior district representative for a California state senator and owns her own company, Altamont Strategies, which oversees government affairs, events, advocacy and development. Lloyd has a particular interest in women in leadership and public service, the topic of her fall Study Group series.

With a background in a variety of disciplines, Lloyd has enjoyed a long career in public service. In 1982, Lloyd began her work in politics with a state senate campaign in Cortland, New York and by 1984 had joined a national presidential campaign staff. She has worked in the office of the U.S. Senator Majority Leader, U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She served on diplomatic missions to Europe and Russia (1991) and the Middle East (2004). Her work has involved her in campaigns at the local, state and national level.

Lloyd is a graduate of Clarkson University and has earned accolades from the San Francisco Business Times, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and the Astra Women’s Alliance.

Discussion Group Topic
First in Their Class: Authentic Women & the Originality That Got Them There

Bob Steil

Summer 2015

In this summer Study Group series, Dole Fellow Bob Steil will take a closer look into the inner workings of the political process through the examination of government relations activities with a special focus on the integral aspects of lobbying. Special guests will explore the various facets of this field on both state and federal levels.

Discussion Group Topic
Government Relations and Lobbying: A Primer

Jimmy LaSalvia

Spring 2015

Gay activist Jimmy LaSalvia, a conservative, looks at a variety of cultural issues including gay marriage, the war on women, and the rise of Fox and MSNBC from a nonpartisan perspective as we begin the 2016 Presidential elections. Join us as we ask, what created these critical issues? And how large will they loom in 2016?

LaSalvia is a strategist, commentator and speaker. In 2009, LaSalvia founded GOProud to represent gay conservatives and their allies; he served as its full-time executive director until 2013. Under his leadership, GOProud became one of the highest-profile gay political organizations in the country. Prior to GOProud, he served on the national staff of Log Cabin Republicans first as Grassroots Outreach Director, then as Director of Programs & Policy. LaSalvia helped to build the organization across the country and lobbied to pass legislation in numerous state capitols and in Washington, DC. A long-time conservative activist, LaSalvia has held volunteer and professional staff positions in political campaigns and party organizations in South Dakota and Kentucky.

In early 2014, LaSalvia announced that he had left the Republican Party and changed his voter registration to “no party.” His decision to join the New Majority of voters who aren’t represented by either major political party received significant media attention. Now, he is focused on working outside of the traditional political party system to make our country better and change the world.

LaSalvia has appeared on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and other television networks. He has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post and other national and international newspapers and media outlets. His public speaking engagements have included speeches at Columbia University, Princeton University, Tufts University, George Washington University, Smith College and over a dozen other colleges and universities. He is also a frequent speaker and panelist at political conferences and programs.

LaSalvia was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1970 and grew up in a well-traveled military family. He graduated from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Discussion Group Topic
All Politics is Personal – A Gay Conservative Looks at the Culture Wars

Dave Helling

Fall 2014

10-second sound bites, 300-word articles, 140-character Tweets. That’s how we digest today’s political headlines. Go behind the byline with Dole Fellow Dave Helling and his special guest speakers as they dissect the evolution of political journalism and share insight on the 2014 elections that only veteran political journalists can provide.

Dave Helling has been involved in radio, television, and print media since 1977. Currently, he is a multi-media reporter for The Kansas City Star, providing videos for web, as well as regular contributions to the print edition. He produced the “Truthwatch” series of stories, examining claims made in political advertising and is a longtime political and government reporter.

Helling came to Kansas City in 1984 as a reporter/anchor for WDAF-TV Kansas City and from 1999 to 2005 was a reporter/anchor for KCTV-5 Kansas City. In previous positions, he has been a reporter for the Washington, D.C. Bureau of KARD-TV Wichita, KHGI-TV Kearney, Neb., and KHAS Radio, Hastings, Neb. Born in Texas and raised in Overland Park, Kansas, Helling is a 1973 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School and a 1977 graduate of Creighton University, Omaha. Awards include Freedom of the Press Award, ACLU; three Emmy nominations; and Silver medalist, New York Film Festival.

Discussion Group Topic
Behind the Byline: Political Journalists on the Midterm Election


Mark Sump

Spring 2014

Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns launched a new era of political communications, taking direct voter contact and mobilization of voters to levels never seen before. These innovative strategies created two historic victories and generated a 60-percent voter turnout rate for the first time in many decades. This spring, Dole Fellow Mark Sump delves into these political communication methods to reveal how they resulted in two Obama victories.

Sump is President and CEO of ACTIVATE, a political consulting firm focusing on technologies that improve and encourage grass roots participation in Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations across the country. Sump has worked in four presidential campaigns and dozens of congressional and state-wide races. As a consultant, Sump helps campaigns design and implement sophisticated grassroots efforts and is known for his introduction of the robocall technology to political campaigns in 1998. In 2005, Sump invented Activate, the first virtual dialing technology that allows volunteer campaigns to make phone calls with the same speed and efficiency of professional companies.

Discussion Group Topic
The Brave New World of Political Communications: Lessons from the Obama Campaigns

Sarian Bouma

Fall 2013

Sarian Bouma is the founder and CEO of Capitol Hill Building Maintenance, Inc. and is currently a consultant on small business startups and international trade policies. She is a member and advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Advisory Committee and serves as Commissioner of African Affairs for the state of Maryland. During her tenure with The Brookings Institution, Bouma served at the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health and worked directly under the chairmanship of the late Hon. Congressman Donald Payne. Bouma has 25 plus years of direct management experience with finance, planning, facility maintenance, staffing, scheduling, evaluation and budget control. Bouma is also a motivational speaker and author of Welfare to Millionaire: Heart of a Winner.

Discussion Group Topic
Exploring Untapped Markets: Global Entrepreneurship and Politics

Steve Glorioso

Summer 2013

Tip O’Neill used to say, “all politics are local.” Kansas City Democratic political consultant Steve Glorioso’s varied career in local, national and international politics provides him the background and experience needed to present you with a real-world survival guide to community politics. Covering corruption, transparency, leadership styles and basic forms of local government.

Discussion Group Topic
A Practical Guide to City Politics

Brigadier General Roosevelt Barfield

Spring 2013

Integrating diplomacy and defense and forging international security partnerships makes political-military affairs a timeless political topic. Spring 2013 Dole Fellow, Brigadier General Roosevelt Barfield (Ret.), explores the definitions, perspectives and stakeholders responsible for political military strategy. The first step in engagement is getting to know the key players on a personal level.

General Barfield served as the Deputy Director of Operations in the Operations & Logistics Directorate of the United States Africa Command. As the Deputy Director, he supervised the four operations divisions in the execution of future operations, current operations, anti-terrorism and force protection and information operations. General Barfield received his Reserve Officer Training Corps commission as a mechanized infantry second lieutenant from the University of Kansas in 1981. He has been deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Discussion Group Topic
U.S. Engagement: Political-Military Affairs

Nancy Dwight

Fall 2012

What we see and what actually happens in a campaign are two very different things. With one of the most important elections of our generation coming up, join the Dole Institute Fall Fellows, Nancy Dwight and Steve Hildebrand, for a look at Election 2012 from an insider’s perspective.

Dole Fellow Nancy Dwight is chairman of Dwight Partners, a New England consultancy specializing in strategic communications and organization building for corporate, political and non-profit clients. Dwight has nearly 40 years of experience in professional politics and nonprofit leadership. She was Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 1980’s. Dwight served on the Bush-Cheney Steering committees in New Hampshire for the 2000 and 2004 Presidential campaigns and the Romney for President Committee in 2008.

Discussion Group Topic
Election 2012: An Insider’s Look at the Presidential Election

Steve Hildebrand

Fall 2012

What we see and what actually happens in a campaign are two very different things. With one of the most important elections of our generation coming up, join the Dole Institute Fall Fellows, Nancy Dwight and Steve Hildebrand, for a look at Election 2012 from an insider’s perspective.

Dole Fellow Steve Hildebrand served as President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Campaign Manager during the historic 2008 presidential campaign. He was at the forefront of all strategic decisions and helped craft the overall campaign from the beginning until Obama’s victory on Nov. 4, 2008. Hildebrand’s extensive political career has included managing races in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota as well as running two political parties. He oversaw the Midwestern states for the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign in 1996. He also served as campaign manager for Senator Tim Johnson’s campaign in 2002 and Tom Daschle’s campaign in 2004, and as Political Director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1997-1998.

Discussion Group Topic
Election 2012: An Insider’s Look at the Presidential Election

Tom King

Spring 2012

Tom King is a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Political Director who has been involved in more than 200 political campaigns over the past 20 years. During that time he has worked on campaigns on every level, from State Representative to Mayor to United States Senate. Previously a partner at Fenn & King Communications to concentrate on personalized service by taking only a handful of races. He has won numerous awards for various political television advertisements. King is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and formerly served as an aide to Boston Mayor Kevin White.

Discussion Group Topic
Presidential Play-By-Play

Elizabeth Conatser

Spring 2012

Since 2003, Elizabeth Conatser has been the owner of a professional fundraising and event planning firm specializing in Republican political candidates, initiatives and non-profit organizations. She has a diverse fundraising background, and has raised millions of dollars for Republican Congressmen and Senators, as well as Presidential campaigns, and Republican political committees. Conatser provides her clients a multitude of fundraising services including campaign finance plans, complete event planning and execution, major donor fundraising and political action committee (PAC) fundraising.

Discussion Group Topic
Put Your Money Where Your Vote Is

Lisa Spies

Spring 2012

Lisa Spies is a political fundraiser with over ten years of experience raising national and PAC contributions. Spies is the PAC Finance Director, Director of Women for Romney, and the Director of Jewish Outreach for Romney for President, Inc. In addition, she is fundraising for Congresswoman Connie Mack’s (FL) bid for the U.S. Senate and is the D.C. Finance Director for Senator David Vitter (LA). Spies is the Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Women’s Committee. During the 2010 election cycle, she directed key fundraising efforts for Senator John Thune (SD), Senator Vitter and Congressman Mike Pence (IN). Described as a “Super-Fundraiser” by Capitol File Magazine in 2006, Spies directs multi-million dollar national fundraising efforts including high-dollar donor events, PAC events and direct mail and internet programs, as well as conferences of all sizes.

Discussion Group Topic
Put Your Money Where Your Vote Is

Susan Bryant

Fall 2011

Susan Bryant served as chair of the Wake County, North Carolina Republican Party. Wake County (Raleigh and its suburbs) has the largest number of registered Republicans in the state. Bryant taught at Yale University, Harvard University and American University as well as making numerous national media appearances.

Discussion Group Topic
A Run For the White House

Tom Baxter

Fall 2011

Tom Baxter is editor of the Southern Political Report and senior vice president of InsiderAdvantage, its parent company. Baxter has written about politics in the South since 1987, joining InsiderAdvantage in 2007 to edit a website and newsletter devoted to that subject. He has appeared on CNN, Fox and other channels, and was political consultant for CBS-Atlanta during last year’s elections.

Discussion Group Topic
Southern Politics

Kevin C.M. Benson

Summer 2011

Benson was the chief army planner for the invasion of Iraq and was also involved in planning the drawdown of U.S. forces there. Benson completed his PhD at KU and also ran the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Discussion Group Topic
Boots on the Ground

Walt Riker

Spring 2011

Walt Riker has spent more than three decades on the front lines of high pressure, high profile communications. As a former television reporter, Capitol Hill Press Secretary and Vice President of Global Media Relations for McDonald’s, he has been in the center of a virtual 360 degree career in news media, crises, politics, public relations, marketing, message development, issues management, speech writing and strategic thinking.

Riker will examine the progress and challenges of corporations, as they strive to give back to the environment and community, both locally and globally.

Discussion Group Topic
Corporate Responsibility

Dennis Moore

Spring 2011

KU Alumnus Dennis Moore graduated from the Washburn University School of Law in 1970 and began his career as an attorney. In 1977, he was elected Johnson County, KS District Attorney and spent 12 years in this position. From 1989 to 1999, Moore practiced law in the Kansas City area, the last 8 of those years in a firm that he started. In 1998, Moore decided to run for US Congress in Kansas, Third District and won. He served 5 more terms for a total of 12 years in Congress. From early years in the military to District Attorney to Congressman, Dennis Moore has dedicated his entire career to public service.

Moore will examine the political and practical aspects of congressional duties.

Discussion Group Topic
Life in Congress

Joseph C. Phillips

Fall 2010

Phillips is a television actor, best known for the role of Lt. Martin Kendall, Lisa Bonet’s husband, on the hit series The Cosby Show. He has appeared on dozens of television shows, including General Hospital, Without A Trace, and Castle. A syndicated columnist, Phillips’ “The Way I See It” appears weekly in more than 30 publications across the country. Phillips is author of He Talk Like a White Boy. He has been National Co-Chair of the African American Steering committee for Bush/Cheney ’04, a member of the Republican National Committee’s African American Advisory Board, and a 2005 Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow.

Discussion Group Topic
Black Conservatism in America

Kevin Jackson

Fall 2010

Jackson is a leader in the consulting industry in America, having some of the world’s largest companies as his clients. Jackson is also a highly sought national speaker. He is author of The BIG Black Lie. Jackson has appeared numerous times on the Glenn Beck show, The Factor with Bill O’Reilly, and MSNBC. Jackson hosts a radio show and does many guest appearances on some of the more prominent conservative radio shows around the country. Jackson writes his almost daily blog, The Black Sphere, and is a contributing writing to Breitbart’s Big Government, American Thinker, and his work has been featured in Townhall magazine.

Discussion Group Topic
Black Conservatism in America

Peter Fenn

Fall 2010

Peter Fenn is president of Fenn Communications Group, one of the nation’s premier political and public affairs media firms. They have worked in more than 300 campaigns, from President to Mayor, and represented a number of Fortune 500 companies. Prior to forming the firm, Fenn was the first Executive Director of Democrats from the 80’s, a political action committee. He also served on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee and as Washington Chief of Staff for Senator Frank Church. In 1983, Fenn founded and was the first Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Discussion Group Topic
Midterm Elections 2010

Wilma Goldstein

Spring 2010

Goldstein has had a long and illustrious career in politics and government, with a particular emphasis on women’s issues. Goldstein served for 7 years as manager of The Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), part of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Other managerial experience includes working as the Executive Director of The National Women’s Business Council, and in multiple positions for the RNC and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Goldstein also designed and implemented survey research programs for more than 100 U.S. House and Senate races.

Discussion Group Topic
Landing THAT JOB in Washington

David Strauss

Spring 2010

Strauss was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Chairman of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Advisory Committee on in 2009. Prior to this appointment, Strauss served for nearly three decades in senior positions in the federal government, including four years as deputy chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore.

Discussion Group Topic
Surviving in 2010: Blue Incumbents in Red Districts

Newt Gingrich

Fall 2009 - Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Gingrich served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He visited the Dole Institute to speak with students and the community on his career & current events.

The visiting fellowship program invites political professionals who may not otherwise be able to make a semester-long commitment to mentoring students at the University of Kansas

Michael McKenna

Fall 2009

Thought only politicians wielded power in Washington? Think again. Join Michael McKenna as he explores the political power behind issue campaigns. The group will explore all aspects of issue campaigns, including the history of issue campaigns, research behind them, and the power of grassroots support and media coverage, and the real truth behind lobbying.

McKenna is president of MWR strategies, a governmental affairs consulting firm.

Discussion Group Topic
We’ve Got Issues

Kay Waldo Barnes

Fall 2009

Join 2009 Dole Fellow Kay Barnes for “You Be the Mayor” a weekly study group that examines the challenges and choices facing mayors and municipalities. This series will examine a mayor’s relationships with city councils, constituencies, and the media, as well as all the complexities of decision making as the Mayor. The series culminates with real stories from big-city mayors and a simulation.

Barnes is the former Mayor of Kansas City, MO.

Discussion Group Topic
You Be the Mayor

Steven Jacques

Summer 2009

Jacques is a nationally-recognized Democratic political operative, having served in both the Clinton and Carter administrations and on national campaign staffs in the past eight presidential campaign cycles.

After serving as a Dole Fellow and interim Associate Director of the Dole Institute, Jacques joined the Obama presidential campaign and served throughout the primaries and general election as Barack Obama’s Senior National Lead Advance. He then served as a Deputy Director of Obama’s 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Jacques continues to lead White House advance teams preparing for Presidential and Vice Presidential trips.

Jacques’ series will focus on contemporary politics from the 2008 campaign trail to the White House today.

Discussion Group Topic
Everything’s Jacques

Michael Glassner

Spring 2009 - Distinguished Visiting Fellow

For more than two decades, Glassner worked closely with Senator Bob Dole, first as an intern and later serving as his senior advisor for Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996. After the election, Glassner joined Dole at the D.C. law firm, Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand where he consulted for international clients, including the International Commission on Missing Persons. Glassner has also worked as senior advisor to the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Recently, Glassner served as director of vice-presidential operations for the 2008 McCain/Palin campaign. He resigned from his position as Senior Vice President of President of External Affairs for IDT Corporation. IDT is a facilities-based multinational telecommunications carrier that provides a broad range of services to customers.

The visiting fellowship program invites political professionals who may not otherwise be able to make a semester-long commitment to mentoring students at the University of Kansas

Scott Burnett

Spring 2009

Scott Burnett was elected to the Jackson County Legislature in 1998, reelected in 2002 and 2006, and has been involved in politics and government for much of his professional life. Following his early service in the Congressional Offices of Rep. Bill Roy and Rep. Martha Keys in the mid-1970’s, he served as Field Coordinator in the 1976 Carter/Mondale Presidential Campaign. From 1977 to 1980 Burnett served as Special Assistant in the Carter White House, working in the areas of scheduling and advance preparations for the President. He also served as Missouri State Coordinator for the Carter/Mondale Re-election Campaign in 1980.

From 1981 to 1993 Burnett worked for PPM, Inc., an environmental clean-up company, serving first as Marketing Director, then as Vice President of Operations. Currently, Burnett is a partner in SGB Communications, Inc., a firm assisting clients with communicating their views to government officials, key opinion leaders, the media, and the general public.

Discussion Group Topic
Obama’s First 100 Days

Bill Lacy

Spring 2009

Lacy served as Director of the Dole Institute from 2004-2021. In 2007, Lacy took a leave of absence to serve as campaign manager for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. In his early political career, Lacy held various positions in the Republican National Committee including political director. Lacy left the RNC to serve in the Reagan administration until 1986. Following his White House roles, Lacy worked as a strategist for various national political campaigns, including those of Senator Bob Dole and President George H.W. Bush.

Discussion Group Topic
Obama’s First 100 Days

Joe Gaylord

Fall 2008

Gaylord began his career with the Republican State Central Committee in Iowa. During his seven years with the committee, he worked his way through the ranks from field representative to Executive Director. In 1975 he joined the Republican National Committee. He served with the RNC for six years through the chairmanship of Mary Louise Smith and Bill Brock. In 1977, he became the Eastern Director of the Local Elections Campaign Division. He served as National Director of that division until 1981.

He served the National Republican Congressional Committee for eight years between 1981 and 1989, including six years as its Executive Director. In that role, he oversaw its political communications and management, including its national advertising campaigns, and in providing direct strategic assistance to hundreds of GOP Congressional campaigns.

Serving as the senior counselor to Speaker Newt Gingrich, the Speaker dubbed him the “irreplaceable man” for his work as principal architect for the House leadership in mapping out and leading the effort to execute a blueprint to elect a Republican Majority in the House in 1994. For his achievement, his peers in the American Association of Political Consultants named him Co-Campaign Manager of the Year.

Gaylord led the successful effort for the House leadership to re-elect the Republican House majority in 1996 and 1998 – a feat not accomplished since the days of Herbert Hoover.

In 2005 Gaylord was awarded a fellowship at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Gaylord is President of Chesapeake Associates, a political consulting firm.

A winning campaign doesn’t just happen, and there’s more than just luck involved. Today’s successful, winning campaign requires a combination of skill, creativity, and a wise utilization of resources available to the candidate and her or his team.

This study group is for those who may wish to be candidates, campaign professionals or are just curious about the process what is required to run a successful campaign. We will also talk about this year’s elections, particularly the U.S. House and Senate races, the climate we’re operating in, and what that means to individual campaigns in 2008.

Discussion Group Topic
How to Develop and Run a Successful, Winning Campaign

Ray Strother

Fall 2008

While earning his MA in Journalism, Strother focused on propaganda and its use in politics. In his 1965 Master’s thesis (The Political Candidate and the Advertising Organization) he predicted that media and not organization would dominate future political campaigns.

He has been the media producer and consultant for Senators Lloyd Bentsen, Russell Long, John Stennis, Dennis DeConcini, Gary Hart, Al Gore, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, and others. Strother guided the Gary Hart media campaign for president in 1984 and 1988 and was assigned the Super Tuesday states for Albert Gore. He worked in governors races for Bill Clinton, Arkansas; Mark White, Texas; Bill O’Neil, Connecticut; Rudy Perpich, Minnesota; Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky; Buddy Roemer, Louisiana; Roy Barnes, Georgia and Mike Lowry, Washington. Strother has handled more than 50 campaigns for the U. S. House of Representatives and scores of campaigns for other statewide office. He has won awards for long form documentaries for civil rights hero, John Lewis and U. S. Treasurer Lloyd Bentsen.

In 2008 Strother was inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants Hall of Fame for his lifetime of work and achievement. He has also served as President and Chairman of the Board of the AAPC. Other honors include the LSU Journalism Hall of Fame; an exhibit depicting his life in the Museum of the Gulf Coast; and the Northwestern State University Long Purple Line. Strother was named a Fellow at the University of Akron and was a resident fellow at Harvard University. In 2008 he was awarded the Erbon Wise Endowed Chair in Journalism at Northwestern State University.

In 2002 he was given a new national award created to recognize political professionals who have an “exemplary record of achievement in the field and contributions to students and academic organizations.” The award is now called The Strother.

He has published a novel, Cottonwood, about a political consultant who loses his soul and a highly acclaimed autobiography, Falling Up, How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting. He is currently working on a novel in the Cottonwood series and another memoir. Strother is a frequent commentator on network television and was an analyst in 2000 on the Vice Presidential Debates for PBS. He has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution and scores of other publications. Campaigns and Elections Magazine called him, “The Poet of Democracy.”

Discussion Group Topic
Political Communications Strategies