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2016 Fall Policy Conference

CED's 2016 Fall Policy Conference took place on November 15-16 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington D.C. The two-day event convened national thought leaders from the business, policy, and academic sectors. Attendees heard insights on issues at the forefront of U.S. economic and educational priorities.


Registration Opens


Luncheon: The Importance of Cultural Tourism and Hospitality on Economic Growth

Cultural Tourism is one of the tourism industry’s most
dynamic new developments. In conjunction with hospitality
and creative industries, cultural tourism plays a significant –
but often unrecognized – role in creating jobs, generating tax
revenue, and attracting talent, among other economic
benefits. But exactly how much value does creativity add to
the economy, and what policies can be implemented to
support the growth and development of creative industries?

Keynote Remarks:

  • The Honorable, Paul D. Tonko, United States Representative (D-NY)

Program Speakers:

  • Jim Houser, Group President, Delaware North Parks and Resorts (Moderator)
  • Geoff Bolan, CEO, Sustainable Travel International 
  • Shelby Coffey, Vice Chair, Newseum
  • Lou Jacobs, Co-CEO, Delaware North
  • Edna Johnson, Vice President, Communications & Brands, Michelin North America
  • Laura Lott, President and CEO, American Alliance of Museums


Surmounting the Roadblocks to Quality, Affordable Care for America's Seniors

Our elected policymakers must safeguard the quality and affordability of health care for America’s seniors. Mobilizing market forces and consumer choice among competing health care plans could drive those plans and their care providers to deliver quality care at prices that seniors and taxpayers can afford. This session will assess the proper role of market forces and competition, and will also consider the implications of reform for associated issues, such as access to innovations and expensive, but highly beneficial treatments and long-term care.

Keynote Remarks:

  • The Hon. Joe Pitts, United States Representative (R-PA)

Program Speakers:

  • Lori Montgomery, Deputy National Editor, The Washington Post (Moderator)
  • John Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson
  • Tom McInerney, President and CEO, Genworth Financial
  • Steve Messinger, President, ECG Management Consultants
  • Robert Popovian, Senior Director, US Government Relations, Pfizer
  • Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow of Economic Studies and Health Policy, The Brookings Institution; Founding Director, Congressional Budget Office


Women in Public and Private Leadership: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling

While opportunities for women in both the public and private sectors have improved, still only 20% of women serve in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, and less than 20% serve on corporate boards. This session explores the role women play in elected office and in corporate leadership, and examines the necessary conditions for the advancement of women across all sectors.

Program Speakers:

  • Patricia Davis-Muffett, Senior Leader, Global Public Sector Marketing, Amazon Web Services
  • Kathleen Abernathy, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Frontier Communications
  • Carl Camden, President and CEO, Kelly Services
  • Julianna Richter, COO, Edelman, U.S.
  • Jane Stevenson, Global Leader for CEO Succession and Vice Chairman, Board & CEO Services, Korn Ferry


Serving the Underbanked: Expanding Access While Ensuring Fair and Safe Practices

The financial crisis has led to stricter rules and higher standards being put on financial institutions, designed to protect consumers from predatory lending practices. But limiting what lenders can charge customers can make them less willing to service to lower-income, higher-risk consumers. What are some policy developments and new business practices designed to strike a better balance between safe banking and accessible banking?

Keynote Remarks:

  • The Hon. Marsha Blackburn, United States Representative (R-TN)

Program Speakers:

  • Kelli Grant, Personal Finance and Consumer Spending Reporter, CNBC (Moderator)
  • Jen Mishory, Executive Director, Young Invincibles
  • Bob Stefanowski, CEO, DFC Global Corp
  • Susan Weinstock, Director, Office of Consumer Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury




Leadership in the Nation’s Interest Award Dinner


  • David Cordani, President and CEO, Cigna Corporation


  • Kent J. Thiry, Chairman and CEO, DaVita Inc.; CEO, DaVita Medical Group


Breakfast and Keynote Remarks: The Importance of STEM Education

  • The Hon. Susan Davis, United States Representative (D-CA)


The Retirement Savings Deficit: Time to Panic?

The U.S. is facing a retirement savings crisis. Barely half of all working Americans have access to company-sponsored retirement programs, and if current trends continue, by 2050 25 million retirees will be poor or near-poor–nearly triple the number today. As aging generations approach retirement, this savings deficit portends falling living standards and a stressed federal budget. This session will examine solutions to secure the financial future of our retirees as well as assess the economic implications of the retirement savings deficit.

Keynote Remarks:

  • Ron Pressman, CEO, Institutional Financial Services, TIAA

Program Speakers

  • Jeanne Sahadi, Senior Writer, CNN Money (Moderator)
  • Teresa Ghilarducci, Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research
  • Constance Hunter, Chief Economist, KPMG
  • Brian Murdock, President and CEO, Strategic Investment Group
  • Ron Pressman, CEO, Institutional Financial Services, TIAA


Importance of STEM Education: Why does it Matter?

In the decades ahead, the global economy will increasingly rely on technical and computational abilities of workers. How can we ensure individuals succeed in the 21st century marketplace? What skills must be promoted by executives and policymakers to close the talent gap and increase the competitiveness of American companies? Can STEM education prepare our nation’s future talent? This session addresses the changing nature of work and the role of STEM.

Program Speakers:

  • Mary Miller, Principal Deputy Assisstant Secretaryof Defense for Research and Engineering, U.S. Department of Defense (Moderator)
  • Gregg Fleisher, President, National Math and Science Initiative
  • Dr. Michael Lach, Director, STEM Policy and Strategic Initiatives, University of Chicago
  • Cecelia Smith, Vice President and Manager Mixed Signal Automotive, Texas Instruments
  • David Williams, Managing Principal Government Affairs, Public Policy and Corporate Citizenship, Deloitte LLP


2016 Post-Election Analysis

Hear from experts and pundits on the aftermath of the 2016 elections. Do the election results portend further gridlock? Who are the future leaders of the Class of 2016? What do the election results mean for accomplishing the nation’s top economic and education policy priorities in the 115th Congress?

Program Speakers:

  • Jonathan Allen, Head of Community & Content, Sidewire
  • Michelle Cottle, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic
  • Jeanne Cummings, Political Editor, The Wall Street Journal
  • Charlie Hurt, Columnist, Washington Times
  • Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union
  • Bob Walker, Executive Chairman, Wexler / Walker

Thank You to Our Conference Partners!

Leadership in the Nation's Interest Award



David Cordani

David Cordani, President and CEO of Cigna, will be presented with the 2016 Leadership in the Nation's Interest Award for leading his company with the utmost integrity and purpose and championing public policies for the common good.

Learn more about Mr. Cordani and what makes him an exemplary business leader here.

Introductory Remarks
Kent Thiry
Chairman and CEO

Learn more about Mr. Thiry and what makes him an exemplary business leader here.


@CEDUpdate Where Does the US Government Get Its Money? Part 4 of our Debt 101 series answers this exact question! Read it now: