Free Livestream / Live Event – Join us at The Schar School of Policy & Government in Arlington, VA
“Truth on Trial” is just one of a series of forums put on by digital B2B publisher, CommPRO, whose panelists are among the most influential legal, communications and media experts who will discuss how today’s communicators need to navigate a world where fake news, Russian intelligence operative and biased information can affect the truth and the trust of the institutions in the United States. The February 26 “Truth on Trial” forum follows two extremely well-attended (live and online) moderated events launched last summer. Links to on-demand access for the first two events:
- Truth on Trial – Featuring Ty Cobb, Former Special Counsel to the President (On-Demand Video) – http://sumo.ly/UHSq
- Truth on Trial: Implications for Communicators (On-Demand Video) – http://sumo.ly/10iEs
- What steps can organizations take to help restore trust in our institutions and our democracy? What are the strategic messaging strategies that must be implemented by the c-suite?
- How do organizations work in an environment where there are no sidelines and every utterance is subject to criticism through a political lens? What impact does this have on setting corporate policy? What are the guidelines for developing an effective brand strategy?
- What will the likely business impact be for organizations now that the Democrats are in control of the House of Representatives? What do businesses—including government agencies, associations and both public & private companies need to do differently? How does one measure the effectiveness of your organizational policy in today’s partisan world?
- Mark J. Rozell, Dean, The Schar School of Policy & Government (HOST)
- Douglas Simon, CEO, D S Simon Media (MODERATOR)
- Robert S. Bennett, Former Counsel to President Clinton
- Michael Caputo, Strategic Communications Expert
- Maria Cardona, Principal, Dewey Square Group
- Ty Cobb, Former White House Special Counsel to President Trump
- Richard S. Levick, Esq., Chairman & CEO, LEVICK
- Terry McCauliffe, Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia / The Schar School of Policy & Government
- Stefan Passantino, Former Deputy White House Counsel to President George W. Bush
- Steven Pearlstein, Columnist, The Washington Post / Professor, George Mason University
- DeWayne Wickham, Dean and Professor of Journalism, Morgan State University
- Michael Zeldin, Legal Analyst, CNN
Mark J. Rozell, Dean, The Schar School of Policy and Government | George Mason University | @MarkJRozellGMU
Mark J. Rozell is the author of nine books and editor of twenty books on various topics in U.S. government and politics including the presidency, religion and politics, media and politics, and interest groups in elections. His latest books are:
- Catholics and U.S. Politics after the 2016 Elections: Understanding the “Swing” Vote. New York: Palgrave/MacMillan Press, 2017 (edited with Blandine Chelini-Pont and Marie Gayte).
- God at the Grass Roots, 2016: The Christian Right in American Elections. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017 (edited with Clyde Wilcox).
- Religion and the American Presidency. New York: Palgrave/MacMillan Press, 2017 (revised and updated 3rd edition) (edited with Gleaves Whitney).
- The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics (revised and updated sixth edition). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017 (edited with Charles S. Bullock III).
- The President’s Czars: Undermining Congress and the Constitution. University Press of Kansas, 2012 (with Mitchel A. Sollenberger).
- The Oxford Handbook of Southern Politics. Oxford University Press, 2012 (edited with Charles S. Bullock III).
- Interest Groups in American Campaigns: The New Face of Electioneering (3rd edition). Oxford University Press, 2012 (with Michael Franz and Clyde Wilcox).
- Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy and Accountability (3rd edition). University Press of Kansas, 2010.
He has testified before Congress on several occasions on executive privilege issues and has lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad. In recent years he has lectured in Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and Vietnam.
Dean Rozell writes frequent op-ed columns in such publications as the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, New York Daily News, and Politico. He is often asked to comment about his areas of expertise for print and broadcast media. He may be reached at email@example.com or 703-993-8171.
Doug Simon, CEO, D S Simon Media | @DSSimon
Doug Simon is the CEO of award-winning video influencer marketing firm D S Simon Media. His firm advises and executes broadcast and social media video communications campaigns on topical issues for senior leadership of brands and non-profits. His firm has completed more than 100 projects for DC based industry groups and non-profits and has been involved with political campaigns on the local and national level since 1992.
His firm pioneered Social Media LIVE–multi-camera video production featuring an organization’s leadership with influencers distributed live to up to 30 social media sites simultaneously. Its unique approach to guiding clients, PRketing®, which connects communications to marketing results, was awarded a trademark by the US patent office.
Doug is frequently quoted in top media across platforms. Television appearances include Reuters, Dateline NBC, PBS, CNN, Fox News Live and WNBC. He’s appeared on NPR and been quoted in USA Today and on The Huffington Post in addition to numerous trade publications. Doug’s video commentary on the 2012 political conventions was picked up by the humor site Funny or Die.
Doug is the President-Elect of the PRSA-NY Chapter and he was a three-time president of the Publicity Club of New York. Additionally, he is the Founder of SPOKEies® the first ever awards program to recognize in-house spokespeople for representing their brands with authenticity and building trust. Doug began his broadcast career at NBC Sports, where he served as Talent Assistant to Bob Costas. His hobbies include performing stand-up comedy at New York’s top clubs and rooting for terrible sports teams including the Jets and Knicks while still remaining optimistic.
Robert S. Bennett, Senior Counsel, Schertler & Onorato, LLP
Robert S. Bennett is a former federal prosecutor and a leading member of the defense bar. Mr. Bennett is renowned in his field as an exceptional trial lawyer who has handled numerous high-profile cases and has represented corporations and individuals, including corporate directors and officers, in criminal, civil, SEC enforcement, and congressional matters. Mr. Bennett has been listed repeatedly in various publications as one of the nation’s most influential and successful litigators.
Mr. Bennett regularly represents large companies in high-profile criminal investigations and complex civil actions, such as Enron, HealthSouth, KPMG, and BNP Paribas. He also represents individuals in high-profile matters and has successfully represented two former Secretaries of Defense, Clark Clifford (Democrat) and Caspar Weinberger (Republican). He was President Clinton’s personal lawyer in the Paula Jones case, and he represented New York Times reporter Judith Miller in the CIA leak investigation.
Mr. Bennett’s robust background also includes representing clients before congressional committees. In 1981 and 1982, he served as a legal consultant to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations regarding the appointment of Alexander M. Haig, Jr. as Secretary of State, and he has served as special counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Ethics in several major investigations.
Michael Caputo, Strategic Communications Expert | @MichaelRCaputo
Strategic communications expert Michael R. Caputo is a former senior advisor to the campaign of President Donald J. Trump. Michael is the Managing Director of Zeppelin Communications. He has 30 years of global communications experience with government, political campaigns, trade associations, and Fortune 500 corporations. Lauded by the New York Times for his “high octane brain,” he is also the only executive in history who has worked for both the White House and the Kremlin. This, in concert with his work as a senior advisor to then-candidate Donald J. Trump, has led to his involvement as a witness in recent Russian collusion investigations.
Michael’s work has been commended by reporters across the spectrum for spirited, creative and unrelenting advocacy of his clients. He appears each week on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, and is quoted regularly in leading newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and more.
Michael worked with field grade Army officers as an enlisted public affairs specialist for the 25th Infantry Division and has counseled senior leaders like presidential candidate Jack Kemp, US President George HW Bush, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Hollywood director David Lynch, and leaders of the US, Russian and Ukrainian national legislatures. He is a Journalism graduate from SUNY Buffalo and lives with his wife and children in Buffalo and Miami Beach.
Maria Cardona, Principal, Dewey Square Group | @MariaTCardona
Maria Cardona is a Principal at the Dewey Square Group (DSG) and Founder of Latinovations, the Latino Strategies Practice of DSG. A seasoned Democratic Strategist, and CNN/CNN en Español Political Contributor, Cardona is a public affairs and communications professional with over two decades of experience in public relations as well as political, governmental, campaign, community and coalition building arenas. Cardona also heads DSG’s Public Affairs Practice, combining public policy, communications, coalition building, constituency outreach, government relations, traditional and new media at this premier national public affairs firm. Maria is also known for her work as a political commentator, and is currently a CNN and CNN en Español political contributor, who appeared frequently on MSNBC, FOX, Univision and Telemundo as a public policy expert and providing political analysis on all manner of national issues, prior to signing on exclusively with CNN. She is regarded as one of the nation’s top 100 most influential Latinos.
Cardona joined DSG as a principal in 2005, helping DSG’s corporate, non-profit and trade association clients develop strategic partnerships at the national, state and local level, especially within the Latino community. One of the most well-known and respected Latina political operatives and activists in the country, Cardona leverages her expansive insight and long standing recognition in the Latino community to ensure DSG clients are well represented and that they understand the myriad of opportunities that exist for exposure among this growing and increasingly influential market. Since founding DSG’s Latinovations, she guides clients on “best practices” to building support for their positions, products and brands within the Hispanic community. While at DSG, Cardona served as a Senior Advisor to the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign, serving as a campaign surrogate and spokesperson and representing the campaign on major national TV, radio as well as Spanish language television news and political programs. Cardona also served on Senator Clinton’s formidable Hispanic Outreach team, helping to ensure that the candidate’s message reached Latinos throughout the country. Following the primary, Cardona then served as a key surrogate for the Obama for America general election campaign, appearing on several the major national news shows.
A former Senior Vice President for the New Democrat Network (NDN) and Director of NDN’s Hispanic Strategy Institute, Cardona led NDN’s $6 million initiative to communicate effectively with Hispanics across the country. At the time, the project was the largest ever effort to conduct dedicated research and polling, develop effective messages geared toward Latinos, and to promote Democratic values and identity in the Latino community through Spanish language and bilingual advertising. Prior to coming on board with the NDN, Cardona served as Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2003, where she helped coordinate the national Democratic message for the party officials, elected leaders, candidates and state democratic party committees. From 1998 to 2001, Ms. Cardona was the Director of Communications for the Department of Justice’s Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), acting as the Clinton Administration’s top spokesperson on the complex issues surrounding immigration including the controversial case of Elian Gonzalez.
Before working at the INS, Cardona spent five years at the Department of Commerce, first as Deputy Press Secretary to Secretary Ronald H. Brown, and later as Press Secretary to Secretaries William Daley, and Mickey Kantor. During her time at the Commerce Department, she acted as a lead communications strategist for the passage of NAFTA in 1993. In 1997, she was awarded the Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal Award for Meritorious Federal Service.
Ms. Cardona graduated from Duke University and serves on the Board of Directors of Center for Reproductive Rights, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, PODER PAC, the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino and Hoops Sagrado,
Ms. Cardona is a native of Bogotá, Colombia and lives in Washington D.C. with her husband Bryan Weaver, their son Sebastian and their daughter Maya Luna.
Ty Cobb, Former White House Special Counsel to President Trump
Ty Cobb recently retired from the government, where he served as the Special Counsel to the President, managing the White House response to the Office of Special Counsel. Previously, Ty was a long-time leader at international law firm Hogan Lovells, where he was widely recognized as one of the premier white collar, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement, and Congressional investigations lawyers in the world. Prominent corporate clients (domestic and international) and senior executives facing serious corporate governance matters such as crisis management, allegations of corruption, bribery or trade sanctions violations routinely turned to Ty to guide them. A former federal prosecutor, Ty is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is regularly profiled in Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon 500 Top Lawyers in America, International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers, and Superlawyers. He was selected to the Ethisphere Hall of Fame in 2011 for his work advancing the cause of ethics in business and corporate compliance.
Richard S. Levick, Esq., Chairman & CEO, LEVICK | @richardlevick
Under his leadership, LEVICK has set new standards in global communications and brand protection for corporations, countries, and major institutions. Mr. Levick is one of the communications industry’s most important spokespersons and thought leaders.
A powerful advocate for the strategic initiatives that companies must pursue in today’s perilous environment, he regularly addresses corporate boards as well as industry and government leaders around the world, providing guidance on their most complex communications and reputation management challenges. He is featured in, and authors, countless articles, and is a frequent guest on prime time national and international television programs.
Mr. Levick is a much-sought after keynote and graduation speaker and is a columnist for the top business blogs including Forbes.
Mr. Levick has co-authored five books including, The Communicators: Leadership in the Age of Crisis; Stop the Presses; The Crisis and Litigation PR Desk Reference; 365 Marketing Meditations; and Lessons for Absent Children.
Terry McCauliffe, Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia | The Schar School of Policy & Government | @TerryMcAuliffe
Distinguished Visiting Professor Terry McAuliffe brings a lifetime of progressive political experience and successful economic development to the Schar School of Policy and Government classrooms.
As the 72nd Governor of Virginia (2014-2028), McAuliffe (D) made a record 35 trade missions around the world, creating thousands of jobs and bringing in more than $20 billion in capital investment in the Commonwealth. The unemployment rate dropped from 5.4 percent to 3.6 percent, unemployment claims dropped to a 44-year low and personal income rose 12.3 percent.
While McAuliffe improved Virginia’s competitiveness in the global economy, he also focused on enhancing the quality of life for the Commonwealth’s citizens, assuring that economic opportunity in the diversified economy was a right, not a privilege. McAuliffe protected women’s access to health care, bolstered the public school system, protected the environment, restored voting rights to 173,000 rehabilitated felons, secured bipartisan support for legislation to reduce gun violence and used his executive powers to secure consumer cyber transactions.
McAuliffe entered national politics at age 23 as National Finance Director for President Jimmy Carter. He co-chaired President Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign for reelection and Clinton’s 1997 Presidential Inauguration. In 2000, he was chairman of the Democratic National Convention and from 2000 to 2005, he was the Democratic National Committee Chairman. He was also Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign.
Stefan Passantino, Partner, Practice Group Chair, Government Relations, Political Law & Public Policy, Michael Best
Former Deputy White House Counsel, Stefan is chair of Michael Best’s Government Regulations & Public Policy practice where he heads the Firm’s Political Law practice. Leveraging his nearly 25 years of experience to serve clients, Stefan focuses on representing corporations, interest groups, political figures, and other entities with respect to state and federal election law, ethics, campaign finance, pay-to-play, state and federal lobbying laws, internal investigations, crisis communications, Congressional oversight, and other issues. Stefan joins Michael Best after serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel where he headed the White House Compliance and Ethics programs. He maintains offices in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.
In the 2015-2016 election cycle, Stefan helped form, and served as counsel to, some of the largest and most influential and innovative “SuperPACs” and 501(c)(4) advocacy groups in the Presidential campaign, including the Trump Presidential Transition Team. Stefan was also asked to co-chair the Republican National Lawyers Association Ballot Access Project, which coordinated and disseminated guidance on Republican Party ballot access to counsel for all candidates for President.
Some of Stefan’s clients have included major multi-national corporations, tax exempt advocacy groups, political parties, and politicians, including serving as national counsel to presidential candidate and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, former Governor (and now Secretary) Rick Perry, several U.S. Senators and House Members, as well as other prominent political figures and advocacy groups. In addition, Stefan serves as General Counsel to corporate entities formed by former Speaker of the House Gingrich. Stefan has provided Congressional and Executive Branch ethics and lobbying training to Members of Congress, their staff, the Administration, and private corporations for over fifteen years.
Most recently, Stefan was appointed Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Georgia Sam Olens to represent the interests of the State of Georgia in a litigation matter against the federal government.
Stefan is a co-author of the Handbook on Corporate Political Activity: Emerging Corporate Governance Issues, an overview of the legal rules and standard practices related to corporate activity in the political arena. He is a regular contributor and commentator for CNN Radio, POLITICO, Bloomberg, The Hill, FOX News, Roll Call, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and USA Today, among others. He is a Visiting Professor on campaign finance for Georgia State University College of Law and the University of Georgia. He is also a frequent speaker on political law issues at Emory University School of Law.
Stefan was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “Best Legal Minds in Washington” in the field of Campaign and Election law, and has been recognized as one of the leading political law attorneys nationwide by Chambers USA. Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine recognized Stefan on their 2008-2016 lists of Georgia Super Lawyers and on their 2005 and 2006 lists of Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Stefan was recognized by James Magazine as one of “Georgia’s Most Influential People.” The Georgia Supreme Court appointed Stefan as a mentor in the Transition into Law Practice Program of the State Bar of Georgia in January 2009.
Steven Pearlstein, Columnist, The Washington Post| Professor, George Mason University | @StevePearlstein
Steven Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post, joined the Mason faculty as Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs in the fall of 2011. At Mason, he has focused on teaching economic principles to non-economic majors and helping to launch the interdisciplinary Politics, Philosophy and Economics concentration for majors in those departments. He also offers seminars on narrative journalism, politics, and wealth and poverty in the Honors College.
Professor Pearlstein’s route to university teaching has been an unconventional one. After several years as a reporter for small newspapers in New Hampshire, he moved to Washington to serve as administrative assistant to members of the House and Senate. He was a TV reporter for public television in Boston, senior editor at Inc. magazine, and founding editor and publisher of The Boston Observer, a monthly political magazine. He returned to Washington in 1988 as deputy business editor and, over the next two decades, also served as the Post’s defense industry reporter, economics writer and Canadian correspondent. He became an opinion columnist in 2003, with a wide-ranging interest in business and economic topics of local, national and international interest.
Professor Pearlstein was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2008 for columns the previous year anticipating and explaining the recent financial crisis and global economic downturn. In 2011 he won the Gerald R. Loeb Award for lifetime achievement in business and financial journalism. His work has also been cited by the Society of Business Editors and Writers. He has appeared frequently as a commentator on national television and radio programs. He continues to write a regular column for the Post’s Sunday Business section, along with book reviews..
Professor Pearlstein grew up in Brookline, Mass. and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. in 1973 with a B.A. in American Studies. He is a former moderator of West Newbury, Mass. and a director of the Washington Tennis and Educational Foundation. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Wendy Gray. He has two grown children, Laura and Eli.
He is the author of Can American Capitalism Survive? Why Greed is Not Good, Opportunity is Not Equal and Fairness Won’t Make Us Poor, published by St. Martin’s Press.
Areas of Specialty: Economic principles, political economy, economic policy, morality of modern capitalism.
DeWayne Wickham, Dean and Professor of Journalism, Morgan State University | @DeWayneWickham
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