Douglas Brinkley currently is a professor of history at Rice University. His most recent book is Cronkite, a New York Times best seller, in which he brings the American icon into focus as never before by drawing on his unprecedented access to Cronkite's private papers as well as interviews with the anchorman's family and friends. He is a sought-after commentator on U.S. presidential history and has written books on Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Robert Gibbs is a trusted advisor and strategist to President Obama, having been with him from the early days of Obama's 2004 Senate race to his sweep to the White House, to his recent role as a Senior Advisor for the President’s reelection campaign. On November 22, 2008, Robert Gibbs was announced as the Press Secretary of the Obama administration, and assumed the role on January 20, 2009.
Robert Gibbs has traveled a long road with President Barack Obama, and his rapport and access to the President provides intimate and insightful commentaries. Gibbs continues to be one of President Obama's trusted strategists and he speaks with great authority and accuracy from a White House insider's perspective on the Obama Administration.
Professor Mayer is Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate and Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School. His research explores a variety of topics in real estate and financial markets, including housing cycles, mortgage markets, debt securitization, and commercial real estate valuation. Dr. Mayer is also a principal at Longbridge Financial, a new and innovative company focused on developing and delivering reverse mortgage products to senior homeowners in a responsible manner. Professor Mayer also serves as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Academic Advisory Board for Standard and Poor's. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts.
Dr. Mayer has been active in advising policymakers on the financial crisis, testifying six times before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, writing on the causes of the housing and credit bubbles for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and authoring numerous op-ed articles on housing and credit markets. He frequently appears in the media, including regular appearances on National Public Radio, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, and ABC News and commentary in The Wall Street Journal and The NY Times. Dr. Mayer previously served as Senior Vice Dean at Columbia Business School and held positions at The Wharton School, the University of Michigan, Harvard Business School, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He holds a BA in Math and Economics from the University of Rochester with highest honors and a PhD in Economics from MIT.
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. From 1996-2002 she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program This Week. Ms. Roberts also serves as Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio. In her more than forty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting.
Karl Rove, an iconic political strategist and one of the most sought-after political pundits of our time, is best known for his provocative and robust knowledge of the major political issues of the day. Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.
After a six-year tenure at ABC News, where he covered the country’s highest-profile cases and received a 2000 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzales custody saga, Toobin joined CNN as a legal analyst for CNN in 2002 where he now serves as senior analyst. Also a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1993, he has written articles on such subjects as the Bernie Madoff scandal, the case of Roman Polanski, and profiles of Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens and Chief Justice John Roberts. His article “An Incendiary Defense” for the magazine broke the news that the O.J. Simpson defense team planned to accuse Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence and to play “the race card.”
Toobin received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Admiral James Stavridis, USN, (Ret), PhD, is the Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Chair of the Board for the US Naval Institute. Adm. Stavridis completed four years as Supreme Allied Commander for NATO (2009-2013), three years as the leader of the US Southern Command (2006-2009), and was the first commander of the US Navy’s “Deep Blue” strategic and tactical think tank (2001-2002). He has also served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy. Adm. Stavridis is the author of five books on leadership, maritime affairs, Latin America, and innovation, and has published over 100 articles in his career. He is a frequent international speaker.
Mr. Baran, named by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Campaigns & Elections Lawyer” and one of the “Top 50 Lawyers” in Washington, DC, advises clients on all aspects of political law including federal, state and local campaign finance laws, government ethics requirements and lobbying laws. He has argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States and often provides legal commentary to the media. Mr. Baran served as a legal analyst for ABC News during the 2000 Florida recount. He is the author of the book, The Election Law Primer for Corporations, published by the American Bar Association (ABA) and he co-chairs the Practising Law Institute’s annual Corporate Political Activities conference.