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On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to serve as Secretary in over a century. Kerry drew from this experience to provide the State Department with global stewardship on issues ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to radical extremists, to humanitarian challenges and the rising threat of climate change.
In 2013, Kerry became the first Secretary of State to meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister since the Iranian revolution of 1979. This meeting was the highest-level U.S. diplomatic contact with Iran in more than six years, and a key moment on the journey towards the eventual signing of the landmark 2015 agreement to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon. Faced with the rising threat of global climate change, Kerry was also a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, signing the historic agreement to reduce carbon emissions in 2016. Kerry drew upon a lifetime of public service during his tenure as Secretary.
Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Kerry volunteered for service in the United States Navy. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, including serving as a Swift Boat skipper patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta. Lt. Kerry returned home from service in Vietnam with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.
John Kerry's keynote address is sponsored by
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.
He has explored how ideas spread in The Tipping Point, decision making in Blink, and the roots of success in Outliers. With his latest book, David and Goliath, he examines our understanding of advantages of disadvantages, arguing that we have underestimated the value of adversity and over-estimated the value of privilege. Malcolm’s popular 10-part podcast Revisionist History is in its third season. In the weekly podcast, Malcolm re-examines an overlooked or misunderstood aspect of past events. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has won a national magazine award and been honored by the American Psychological Society and the American Sociological Society. He was previously a reporter for The Washington Pt.
Alison Levine is a history-making polar explorer and mountaineer. She served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than forty people in the world have achieved. In January 2008, she made history as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse from west Antarctica to the South Pole following the route of legendary explorer Reinhold Messner. Levine completed this arduous journey on skis while hauling 150 pounds of her gear and supplies in a sled harnessed to her waist. She made history again in 2016 when she completed two first ascents: Hall Peak in Antarctica and Khang Karpo in Nepal. Her success in extreme environments is noteworthy given she has had three heart surgeries and suffers from Raynaud’s disease, which causes the arteries that feed her fingers and toes to collapse in cold weather—leaving her at extreme risk for frostbite.
In addition to having tackled some of the most challenging environments in the outdoors, Levine also spent time climbing the corporate ladder. She worked in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, earned an MBA from Duke University, and spent three years working for Goldman Sachs. She left Goldman in 2003 to serve as deputy finance director for Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful bid to become Governor of California..
Levine spent four years as an adjunct professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, is the author of The New York Times best-seller On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and other Extreme Environments, and founder of the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of jobless women in western Uganda by training them to be trekking guides and porters in their local mountains, thus allowing them to earn a sustainable living wage through climbing-related tourism.
Dana Perino is a political commentator, New
York Times best selling author and former White House Press Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. She has served as a spokesperson for the administration after the 9/11 attacks and handled a majority of White House press. “She describes her approach to the position as a 50-50 mindset – half
the effort went to defending and advocating the position of the president and the United States, and the other half was defending and advocating the media’s access to the president and the government.” She has published And the Good
News Is…Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side, as well as Let Me Tell
You about Jasper . . .How My Best Friend Became America's Dog and hosts the podcast “I’ll Tell You What” alongside Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt, which is now a series.
She is a co-host on the hit show The Five, on the Fox News Channel, which has become the fifth most-watched program of all cable. Perino has been nicknamed by some as “The Voice of Reason” on The Five, enforcing her clear communication skills even more.
After leaving the White House, Perino and her husband traveled to South Africa and Congo to volunteer. To continue her mission of giving forward, she started the Minute Mentoring which allows young women to meet with female professionals in a fast paced leadership learning environment to mentor. She also serves on the board
of Companions for Heroes, which matches rescue animals with first-responders and veterans managing post-traumatic stress.
Neves is back to emcee another CUNA GAC! He's an internationally recognized workplace speaker, career success coach and author. The author of three books, Neves penned the best-selling book for young professionals, '50 Ways To Excel In Your First Job.' An award-winning journalist, for over 10 years Antonio served as a correspondent in the television industry in New York City with top networks including NBC, PBS and BET Networks. Antonio's international audiences have included: Google, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Booking.com, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Stanford University and more.
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