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In the Nation's Interest

2017 Mid-Year Member Update

by CED July 11, 2017

With the first half of 2017 behind us, I would like to provide you with a mid-year update. Your support and involvement have enabled CED to advance solutions to significant economic and educational challenges facing the nation. In recent months, we unveiled considerable research, shared our recommendations with national news outlets and elected officials, engaged business leaders across states, and hosted policy discussions throughout the country.

To commemorate our 75th anniversary, CED released Sustaining Capitalism, a book about how business and policy leaders can generate widespread prosperity and make capitalism sustainable for generations to come. CED’s recommendations were featured in FortuneBloombergCNBC, and trade media as well. To ensure the reach of the book extends beyond Washington, D.C., CED Members and colleagues hosted events across the country. In just this year alone, our work around Sustaining Capitalism has taken us to California, Ohio, Maryland, Washington State, Massachusetts, and New York, with plans for events in Texas, South Carolina, and other states this fall. 

CED’s Spring Policy Conference convened the nation’s premier business, academic, and policy leaders. Televised nationwide on C-SPAN, the two-day event covered issues at the forefront of the Administration and Congress’s agenda. A conference staple, the event’s Leadership in the Nation’s Interest Award honored Ambassador Barbara Barrett, a CED Member and Chairman of The Aerospace Corporation. As those that came can attest, few leaders have accomplished and continue to lead as much as Barbara!

On the research front, CED issued a series of briefs detailing both the challenges and opportunities around several policy issues that include immigrationinfrastructurehealth care, and tax reform. We also conducted an analysis on the economic impact of the food and beverage industry. Research supporters included General Mills, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Smucker’s, Land O’Lakes, and Kellogg’s. The findings, which we unveiled at the National Press Club and subsequently on Capitol Hill, show the industry’s immense contribution as an employer and innovator in the U.S. food system. Our work in campaign finance reform focused on Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our poll of state business leaders revealed overwhelming support for reform. Over these past six months, we broadcasted much of our research on Making Capitalism Sustainable, our podcast series featuring CED Members and other thought leaders.

CED continued to strengthen education through a range of state-based initiatives to advance programs in early learning. Among these initiatives was the launch of a feasibility study to expand access to early learning opportunities for children of low-income families. In May, our leadership in this policy area resulted in CED Member involvement at a public hearing session of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The discussion centered on financing early childhood education systems and improving the quality of its workforce.

In the K-12 arena, we worked at the state level to promote the implementation of rigorous academic standards that will help prepare students for success in college and the workforce. CED currently has a related project underway involving a series of focus groups in communities across the country. The goal is to produce recommendations on student workplace readiness for business leaders and parents. In the postsecondary space, our Essential Competencies project will gauge the effectiveness of companies using pre-hire assessments of key workplace skills as the first stage in hiring.

Upcoming policy analyses will focus on regulatory policycollege access, affordability, and completioncampaign financeearly learning; and policies to assist workers displaced by automation and trade. And this coming fall, as part of our Paystub Education Project, we will launch a website that allows the public to see and understand how line items on their paystubs correspond to government spending and tax programs.

CED will hold its annual Distinguished Performance Awards Dinner on September 13th in New York City. The occasion will honor six preeminent business leaders, all of whom their esteemed peers in the business community will introduce. This year’s honorees are Mark Bertolini, Chairman and CEO of Aetna; Deanna M. Mulligan, President and CEO of Guardian; Ronald P. O’Hanley, President and CEO of State Street Global Advisors; Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman of Johnson & Johnson; Mike Petters, President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries; and Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. Finally, our Fall Policy Conference will take place on November 15th in Washington, D.C. Business and policy leaders will address issues that include early and postsecondary education, women in leadership, and innovation.  

We thank you for your interest and support, and look forward to your participation in the many CED initiatives throughout the rest of the year.

Have a happy and healthy summer.



Steve Odland

President and CEO


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