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The Honorable Stephen L. "Steve" Censky
Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture

Longtime CEO of the American Soybean Association, Steve Censky, was confirmed by the Senate Oct. 3 as the new Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at USDA. Censky, who led the ASA as CEO since 1996, was nominated by President Donald Trump in July.

Before becoming CEO of the ASA, Censky served at USDA in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. Censky came to Washington, D.C., originally as a legislative aide to former Sen. Jim Abdnor of South Dakota.


Charlie Cook
Editor and Publisher, Cook Political Report, and Columnist, National Journal

Charlie Cook is Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report and a political analyst for the National Journal Group. Cook is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on American politics and U.S. elections. 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." In 2013, Cook served as a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Cook founded the Cook Political Report in 1984 and became a columnist for Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, in 1986. In 1998 he moved his column to National Journal. Cook has served as a political analyst or election night analyst for CBS, CNN and NBC News and has been a frequent political analyst for all three major broadcast news networks and has appeared on Meet the Press and This Week.


Michael Dykes, D.V.M.
President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., a long-time government affairs strategist, agricultural policy expert, and veterinarian, became president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association in January 2017. In this role, he represents members that make more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.

Since joining IDFA, Dykes has been a strong advocate for the importance of global competitiveness to the future of the U.S. dairy industry. He has made preserving trade partnerships with Mexico and improving Canadian market access for U.S. dairy exports in all future trade agreements a priority for IDFA.

Prior to assuming his role at IDFA, Dykes headed up the Washington government  affairs office for Monsanto, serving as the company’s primary point of contact for members of  Congress, regulators, farm organizations, international organizations and embassies. He led the company’s efforts in U.S. state and local government affairs while also supervising its government affairs in Mexico and Canada.

Dykes is a veterinarian and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Academy of Practitioners. He grew up on a dairy and tobacco farm in Kentucky.


The Honorable Robert W. "Bob" Goodlatte (R-VA)
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary [House]

Bob Goodlatte proudly represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.

As the Sixth District’s representative, Goodlatte has worked diligently to protect the freedoms and civil liberties enshrined in the United States Constitution, including private property and Second Amendment rights. He is also focused on securing our borders through immigration reform, creating a pro-growth, pro-jobs economy, increasing access to health care, simplifying the federal tax code, ensuring veterans receive the care they deserve, and lessening the regulatory burden on the American people. Additionally, one of Bob’s top legislative initiatives is his constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget so that Congress will be forced to control spending.

In the 113th Congress, Goodlatte was elected to serve as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Goodlatte has been an active member of the Judiciary Committee since arriving in Congress, serving in several leadership positions on the Committee, including Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet in the 112th Congress, and Ranking Member of the Task Force on Judicial Impeachment in the 111th Congress.

Goodlatte also serves as a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. He sits on the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture as well as the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit. During the 108th and 109th Congresses, Goodlatte served as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee.

Additionally, Goodlatte is Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, the Congressional International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus, and the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus



Zachary Karabell
Head of Global Strategies, Envestnet, Inc. 

Zachary Karabell is an acclaimed expert on global economics and the author of 13 books on business, economic trends, and history. Named one of the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders for Tomorrow,” his prolific, award-winning writing career, illustrious background on Wall Street, and PhD from Harvard give him a unique, multifaceted perspective of what’s going on in the world, from politics and the economy to international relations. His expertise is regularly sought-after by top national media, and he is a contributor for POLITICO, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC.

Karabell offers audiences hard-hitting insights on the current economic environment. With a bright personality and a quick wit, he presents an optimistic view of what’s to come and shows that optimism is a vital ingredient in capitalizing on current economic opportunities. From the interconnectedness of the world’s financial markets all the way down to how fiscal policy affects American business, he addresses the trends that will most affect our economy and lives in the years to come and challenges common assumptions in the discussion of global economics.

Karabell was the executive vice president and chief economist at Fred Alger Management and president of Fred Alger and Company. A recognized authority on the emergence of China in the global economy, he served as the portfolio manager of the China-U.S. growth fund, which won a five-star designation from Morningstar. He was also executive vice president of Alger’s Spectra Funds, which launched the Spectra Green Fund based on the idea that profit and sustainability are linked.

He sits on the board of the New America Foundation, is a senior advisor for Business for Social Responsibility, is vice chairman of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Dan O'Connor
Founder, RetailNet Group, and Fellow, Advanced Leadership Initative, Harvard University

Dan O’Connor was the founder of RetailNet Group (RNG), a leading advisory and insights firm that works with large scale retailers and brand leaders worldwide. RNG’s clients include Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot, among others. O’Connor is also founding “Dean” of the Retail Leadership Program, an executive education program at UCLA, MIT and Stanford for rising retail leaders from across 50+ countries. In addition, he is a frequent guest lecturer for major retail and brand marketing association meetings globally. Most recently, O’Connor was named a 2017 Fellow with Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, the interdisciplinary innovation that has pioneered a new stage of learning for the world.

O’Connor serves as a managing director at Front 4 Ventures, a consumer, media and marketing services venture advisory and investment firm. Front 4 Ventures advises and invests alongside leading venture and private equity firms such as Polaris Partners, Northbridge, Highland Consumer, and General Catalyst Venture Partners.

O’Connor has extensive experience serving on Board of Directors for companies such as Daymon Worldwide and publicly-traded firms such as Coinstar (NASDAQ); Emak Worldwide (NASDAQ); Premier Retail Networks, a division of Thomson (NYSE); and DemandWare (NYSE), a SalesForce company.

Earlier in his career, O’Connor founded Management Ventures, Inc., a syndicated research firm that followed the world’s largest retailers. He sold this company to WPP Group in 2001. Previous to that, O’Connor served as the national director of Touche, Ross & Co.’s (now Deloitte) Consumer Products & Retail Consulting Group.


Jack Uldrich
Global Futurist and Author

Acclaimed global futurist, speaker, and best-selling author Jack Uldrich is frequently asked, “What will the future look like?” His response is, “Predictably unpredictable.” So how can you prepare for the unpredictable? The answer will surprise you. The key is embracing paradox: learning to unlearn, thinking about the unthinkable, recognizing failure as a key component of success, and understanding that an awareness of one’s ignorance is a key component of true wisdom.

Uldrich paints vivid pictures of what the world may look like in just a few short years. He provides an in-depth exploration of how the “internet of things,” big data, social media, robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and “collaborative consumption” will change everyday life for all of us in the very near future. He follows through with upbeat, practical, and actionable insights on future trends, emerging technologies, innovation, change management, and transformational leadership. He is an advisor to Fortune 1000 companies and has spoken to hundreds of businesses and organizations on five continents, including General Electric, General Mills, the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Pfizer, Invitrogen, St. Jude Medical, AG Schering, Imation, Fairview Hospitals, Touchstone Energy, and more.

Uldrich is a former naval intelligence officer and Defense Department official. He previously served as the director of the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning.