Henry G. (Hank) Jackson is the president and CEO for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and previously served as the Society’s interim president and CEO, and chief global finance and business affairs officer.
Jackson successfully led SHRM through the economic downturn of the last decade. Since that time, the organization has grown to 275,000 members, hosted record-breaking annual conferences and launched an initiative to improve the universal practice of HR with competency-based assessments. Jackson enabled the Society to open an office in California, the world’s eighth largest economy and home to the largest concentration of HR professionals in any state. He also spearheaded the organization’s initiatives to educate HR professionals on the employment issues facing military veterans.
A certified public accountant, Jackson earned his B.S. degree in accounting from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. He came to SHRM from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he was senior vice president/chief financial officer and treasurer of the university, overseeing the financial well-being of the university’s 11 schools and colleges, hospital, public television station and commercial radio station. He rose through the ranks at Howard, having served as comptroller, deputy comptroller and systems accountant, before becoming senior vice president. Before joining Howard, Jackson worked in public accounting with the firms Hurdman Main and KPMG, and as a consultant for the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers.
Mike Aitken has worked at SHRM since 2003 and currently serves as the vice president of Government Affairs. Prior to joining SHRM, he served for 14 years as associate director for Governmental and External Relations at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Previously, Aitken worked on state public policy issues at Bonner & Associates, a public affairs firm in Washington, DC. Currently, he is based in Alexandria, VA.
When Charlie Cook makes a pronouncement based on his analysis of the political scene in America, people who want to be “in the know” sit up and listen. For more than two decades he has been Washington’s most trusted – and most accurate – voice on all things political, whether it’s the outcome of a Congressional, gubernatorial or presidential election.
As the editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and a political analyst for the National Journal Group, his prodigious writing is a direct line to the heart of politics. He writes weekly for National Journal magazine and National Journal Daily, and he also pens a regular column for the Washington Quarterly. Once deemed “the Picasso of election analysis” by the Wall Street Journal, Cook produces the sharpest political handicapping in the business, serving as the one-man, go-to-source for Americans who want to be truly informed.”
A Political Oracle. The plaudits for Charlie Cook are the best kind of broken record – an endless loop of praise. The New York Times has called Cook “one of the best political handicappers in the nation” and noted that the Cook Political Report is “a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.” Bob Schieffer of CBS News calls it “the bible of the political community,” and David Broder of the Washington Post said Cook is “perhaps the best non-partisan tracker of Congressional races.” In its feature “The Top 50 Journalists in Washington,” the Washingtonian called him a “master observer” and “the man who knows more about politics than anyone else,” and in 2010 Cook was a co-recipient of the American Political Science Association’s prestigious Carey McWilliams Award to honor “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.”
Cook’s expertise has been featured on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs, as well as Good Morning America, TODAY, Nightline, Meet the Press, and This Week. He has also been an election night analyst for CNN, CBS, and NBC News and for every presidential election since 1994.
He founded the Cook Political Report in 1984, and became a twice-weekly columnist for Roll Call, Capitol Hill’s premier newspaper, before joining the National Journal Group in 1998.
Charlie Cook also served as a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard during the spring semester of 2013.
Eric H. Holder Jr. was born in New York City and attended public schools there, graduating from Stuyvesant High School, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Columbia College in 1973 and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1976.
Upon his graduation from law school, Holder joined the Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. He was assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section, where he investigated and prosecuted corruption involving officials in local, state and federal government. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed Holder to serve as an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he presided over hundreds of criminal and civil trials during his five years on the bench. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Holder to serve as the United States attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Holder to serve as Deputy Attorney General of the United States, a position that he held until the end of the Clinton Administration. He was the first African-American to serve as Deputy Attorney General and United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. At the request of President George W. Bush, Holder served as Acting Attorney General in 2001 pending the confirmation of Attorney General John Ashcroft.
In July 2001, Holder joined the Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington & Burling as a partner in the firm’s litigation practice group, where he represented clients in complex civil and criminal cases as well as internal corporate investigations.
President Barack Obama nominated Holder to be Attorney General and the United States Senate confirmed his nomination on February 2, 2009. Holder began his service as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States the following day. He was the first African- American to serve in that position. He remained in office until April 27, 2015, becoming the third-longest-serving Attorney General in the nation’s history.
While Attorney General, Holder oversaw the government’s efforts to address many critically important issues arising at the intersection of law and public policy, including national security investigations and prosecutions; landmark antitrust, environmental, fraud and tax cases; the defense of voting rights and marriage equality; and reform of the federal criminal justice system. In 2014, TIME magazine named Holder to its list of “100 Most Influential People,” stating that he “worked tirelessly to ensure equal justice.”
After his departure from the Department of Justice, Holder returned to Covington & Burling and is resident in their Washington office. He focuses on complex litigation and investigatory matters that are international in scope and raise significant enforcement issues and substantial reputational concerns.
Holder’s many civic commitments have included service on the boards of Columbia University, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Meyer Foundation and the Save the Children Foundation, among many others. He also served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission Ad Hoc Advisory Group.
Holder has received numerous awards and honorary degrees in recognition of his professional and civic contributions, including the NAACP “Chairman’s Award,” the Department of Justice’s “John F. Keeney Award,” the District of Columbia Bar Association’s “Beatrice Rosenberg Award,” George Washington University’s “Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal for Outstanding Service in Human Rights,” and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ “Robert F. Kennedy Justice Prize.” The District of Columbia Bar Association has recognized Holder as its “Lawyer of the Year,” and in 2008, the Legal Times named him as one of the “Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years".
Jim Clifton has served as CEO of Gallup, a global leader in consulting and public opinion research and analytics, since 1988. Under his leadership, Gallup has expanded from a predominantly U.S.-based company to a worldwide organization with 30 offices in 20 countries and regions.
Mr. Clifton is the creator of The Gallup Path, a metric-based economic model that establishes the linkages among human nature in the workplace, customer engagement and business outcomes. This model is used in performance management systems in more than 500 companies worldwide. His most recent innovation, the Gallup World Poll, is designed to give the world’s 7 billion citizens a voice in virtually all key global issues.
In June 2015, the Clifton Foundation and Gallup announced a $30 million gift to the University of Nebraska to establish the Don Clifton Strengths Institute. The gift will support the early identification and accelerated development of thousands of gifted entrepreneurs and future business builders.
Mr. Clifton is the author of The Coming Jobs War and coauthor of Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder, as well as many articles on global leadership. His blog appears regularly in the Influencer section of LinkedIn and on Gallup.com’s Chairman’s Blog. He serves on several boards and is Chairman of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He has received honorary degrees from Jackson State, Medgar Evers and Bellevue Universities.
Ms. Yang was named Chair by President Barack Obama on September 1, 2014. She was first nominated to serve on the Commission by President Obama on August 2, 2012, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2013, to serve a term expiring July 1, 2017. Ms. Yang had served as Vice Chair of the EEOC since April 28, 2014.
As a member of the Commission and Vice Chair, Yang has led a comprehensive review of the agency's systemic program, which addresses issues of alleged discrimination that have broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area. She also represents the agency on the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and on the White House Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force.
Throughout her career in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors, Ms. Yang has worked to ensure fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace. Ms. Yang was a partner of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. She joined the firm in 2003, and represented employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. As chair of the firm's hiring and diversity committee, Ms. Yang gained experience with the myriad issues employers confront in making hiring and other personnel decisions.
Prior to that, Ms. Yang served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003. Before that, she worked at the National Employment Law Project to enforce the workplace rights of garment workers. Ms. Yang clerked for the Honorable Edmund Ludwig on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including her most recent, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (November, 2013). Winner of the Carnegie Medal, The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film rights to the book.
Spielberg and Goodwin previously worked together on Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, an epic tome that illuminates Lincoln's political genius, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. Team of Rivals was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the inaugural Book Prize for American History.
The film Lincoln grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award® nominations, including an Academy Award for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, and is the author of the best sellers Wait Till Next Year, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dreamand The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which was adapted into an award-winning five-part TV miniseries.
Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently on television networks NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, as well as The Charlie Rose Show and Meet the Press. Other appearances have included The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,The Colbert Report, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and many more. Goodwin has served as a consultant and has been interviewed extensively for PBS and the History Channel's documentaries on President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy family, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and most recently Burns' The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.
Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College, and was a Woodrow Wilson fellow. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency. At the age of 24, Goodwin became a White House fellow, working directly with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs.
Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, and most recently the Carl Sandburg Literary Award and the Ohioana Book Award. Goodwin lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, the writer, presidential advisor, speechwriter and playwright Richard N. Goodwin. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.