Keynotes & Highlights

Opening General Session: Sunday, March 26th, 9:15 AM

Zoë Baird
CEO and President, Markle Foundation

Zoë Baird

NAWB is excited to announce that Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird will provide the opening keynote address for The Forum 2017.

The Markle Foundation focuses on realizing the potential of information technology to address challenging issues in national security, health care, and the economy. As CEO and President of the Foundation, Zoë convened Rework America, a Markle initiative of more than fifty diverse national leaders focused on creating more paths to opportunity for all Americans in the digital economy. She wrote the preface to the group's collectively authored book, America's Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age, and is leading a national partnership to create a skills-based labor market, Skillful.

In partnership with LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, Arizona State University, and others, Skillful is expanding opportunities for all Americans, including those without a college degree. Their goal is to help jobseekers access a variety of choices to achieve lasting success; for employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow; and for educators to train people in the skills required to compete in today’s economy.

We look forward to welcoming Zoë Baird on Sunday March 26, and to hearing her thoughts on how to address the challenge of our time: ensuring that all Americans benefit from the wave of digital revolutions that have upended modern life. We are excited to take part in this urgent conversation around the ideas, policies, and – most importantly – actions that translate to opportunities for our citizens, our communities, and our nation.

Read Zoë's Full Bio

Keynote Address: Monday, March 27th, 8:30 AM

Mindy Grossman
CEO, HSN, Inc. & Chairman, National Retail Federation (NRF)

Mindy Grossman

As the CEO of HSN, Inc., Mindy Grossman oversees a $4 billion direct to consumer retail portfolio that includes HSN and the Cornerstone portfolio of home and family lifestyle brands. After joining HSN’s former parent company, IAC, in 2006, she took HSN public in 2008 and became its CEO. During her tenure, she has led the company through the changing dynamics of the workplace, evolving technologies, and strategies to increase the talent pipeline. Her perspectives on understanding the minds and hearts of customers and engaging employees can be directly transferred to the workforce mission of serving businesses and job seekers and to engaging partners and staff to advance prosperity in our communities. We look forward to welcoming Mindy to The Forum's stage on Monday morning, March 27.

Read Mindy's Full Bio

General Session Luncheons: Sunday, March 26th and Monday, March 27th

Tamara Christensen
Founder, Idea Farm

Tamara Christensen

NAWB is thrilled to welcome Tamara to The Forum 2017 as our Innovation Emcee, where she will apply her dynamic energy and talents to create two Brain Breaks — design thinking sessions — during our general session luncheons.

Tamara Christensen is on a mission to transform the way it feels to work. As the founder of Idea Farm, Tamara is a passionate and empathetic leader with 20 years of experience blending design thinking and collaboration to help organizations build innovation capabilities and apply them to complex business challenges. She works with diverse organizations from small, local not-for profits to global Fortune 100 companies. Her curious and creative spirit paired with a commitment to human-centered design fuel Tamara’s approach to the development of ideation and training experiences. An expert teacher and learner, she artfully engages all of the senses and strategically designs for a variety of learning styles and preferences. Tamara is the author of F-ing Innovation: Why innovation is hard and what to do about it, and she presents at events around the globe.

Read Tamara's Full Bio

Legislative Day Panel: Tuesday, March 28th, 8:30 AM

As we seek to further an agenda focused on youth, digital learning, advancing postsecondary credential attainment, and supporting all learners and earners to grow in the labor market, what are the policy drivers that must be considered, and who are the stakeholders that must be involved to accomplish our goals despite uncertainty and rapid change? What issues remain as obstacles to success? What conversations should we be having around higher education? Former Chairmen George Miller and Howard “Buck” McKeon share their insights in a candid conversation that takes a brief look back, and then looks ahead to where we’re going and how we can navigate this ‘new’ landscape. Please join us for this general session panel on The Forum 2017’s Legislative Day, Tuesday March 28th.

Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Former Chair, U.S. House Committee for Education and the Workforce
Chairman & CEO, McKeon Group LLC

Howard 'Buck' McKeon

Buck McKeon served as a U.S. Representative from California’s 25th district from 1993 to 2015. He was appointed Chairman of the House Education & the Workforce Committee in February 2006, where he served until January 2007, when he was appointed Chair of the House Armed Services Committee. He continued as a ranking member of the House Education and Workforce Committee until June, 2009.

As Chair, he was committed to passing legislation to help our nation’s workforce and significantly strengthened career and technical education through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act.

Read Buck's Full Bio

George Miller III
Former Chair, U.S. House Committee for Education and the Workforce
Senior Education Advisor, Cengage Learning

George Miller III

George Miller served as a Member of Congress for 40 years, representing the 11th Congressional District that encompasses the East Bay of San Francisco and the majority of Contra Costa County.  He was one of the longest-serving members of Congress in history and is highly regarded on both sides of the aisle for his passion and commitment to education equity, working families and the environment.  During his time in Congress, George served for many years on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, including as chairman, and played a key role in many pieces of landmark legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Affordable Care Act.  At the time of his retirement, George was the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, as well as co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a leadership position.  George now serves as Senior Education Advisor to Cengage Learning.  In this role, he provides strategic council to CEO Michael Hansen and the Executive Team on a wide range of issues, including public policy and business strategy.