Born in 1944 in Marks, Mississippi, Frederick W. Smith, Yale College 1966, is the founder of FedEx Corporation and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. The original analyses about the logistic needs of a highly automated future society were done during his tenure as an undergraduate.
After four years of service in the Marines, including two tours of duty in Vietnam, he launched the original air-ground Federal Express network, which began operations in 1973 to serve the rapidly growing high-tech, high-value-added sectors of the economy Smith had predicted. The company has since grown into a global enterprise that serves more than 220 countries and territories.
As Executive Chairman, Smith focuses on Board governance, as well as issues of global importance, including sustainability, innovation, and public policy. FedEx operations include 697 aircraft, more than 210,000 vehicles, and more than 5,200 operating facilities. Nearly 600,000 team members worldwide currently handle 16.5 million shipments each day.
FedEx has been widely acknowledged for its commitment to total quality service. FedEx Express was the first service company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990. FedEx has been recognized by Time magazine as one of the “Time100 Most Influential Companies” and has consistently been ranked on FORTUNE magazine’s industry lists, including “100 Best Companies to Work For” and “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
Smith is a trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of both the Business Council and Business Roundtable. He served as chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and co-chair of the French-American Business Council. Smith has served on the boards of several large public companies — Malone and Hyde (AutoZone), First Tennessee, Holiday Inn, EW Scripps, and General Mills — and charitable organizations including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Mayo Foundation. He was formerly chairman of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association and chaired the executive committee of the U.S. Air Transport Association.
Smith has received several honorary degrees and numerous civic, academic, and business awards including the Global Leadership Award from the U.S.-India Business Council; the George C. Marshall Foundation Award; the Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Business Leadership Award; the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy; and the Circle of Honor Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. In addition, Smith is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame and the Business Hall of Fame. He served as co-chairman of both the U.S. World War II Memorial project and the campaign for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. He was cited in Forbes “100 Greatest Living Business Minds” and has been named a top CEO by both Barron’s and Chief Executive magazines.
Diane Regas is the president and CEO of Trust for Public Land where she leads a national team dedicated to creating equitable access to the outdoors by creating parks and protecting public land where it is needed most. Prior to Trust for Public Land, Diane worked for more than a decade at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), most recently as executive director, where she helped EDF advance solutions that promote prosperity for all people and for the planet. She guided work to improve ocean health, stabilize the climate, reduce toxins in everyday products, and promote collaboration and partnerships. Prior to EDF, Diane served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working under both Democratic and Republican administrations as the top civil servant protecting our nation’s rivers, lakes, and bays.
Diane earned her A.B., M.S. in energy and resources, and J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Berkeley, CA. An avid outdoor explorer, Diane enjoys hiking, cycling, diving, camping, and spending time in nature with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Scott Gottlieb, MD is a physician and served as the 23rd Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Gottlieb’s work focuses on advancing public health through developing and implementing innovative approaches to improving medical outcomes, reshaping healthcare delivery, and expanding consumer choice and safety. He is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, Inc, Illumina Inc, and Tempus Labs. Dr. Gottlieb is a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates where he is a member of the firm’s healthcare services and biopharma investment teams. For NEA, he serves on the boards of National Resilience and Aetion.
Under his leadership, the FDA advanced new frameworks for the modern and safe and effective oversight of gene therapies, cell based regenerative medicines, targeted drugs, and digital health devices. The agency advanced new models for the regulation of artificial intelligence devices, veterinary medicines, and orphan drugs; and implemented new reforms to standardize drug reviews and make important improvements in post market data collection and the use of realworld evidence. The agency’s historic and prolific advances in new policy distinguished his tenure as the FDA’s commissioner, in addition to a record-setting number of approvals of novel drugs, medical devices, and generic medicines in 2018 and again in 2019.
Dr. Gottlieb promoted policies to reduce death and disease from tobacco, improve food innovation and safety, expand the agency’s oversight of areas of emerging risk such as dietary supplements and cell-based medicine, and aggressively confront addiction crises. The FDA advanced new legislative frameworks to address the opioid crisis, grow its field operations, and modernize the regulation of diagnostic tests and over-the-counter drugs, among other initiatives. Dr. Gottlieb forged collaborative relations with Congress that saw FDA increase its total budget by about $1 billion over two years. During his tenure, he testified before Congress 20 times.
Previously, Dr. Gottlieb served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs and before that, as a Senior Adviser to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he helped implement the Medicare drug benefit, and advance policies to improve healthcare quality and promote the effective use of new medical technologies.
Dr. Gottlieb is author of the New York Times bestselling book “Uncontrolled Spread” and is widely published in leading medical journals and periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He holds an editorial position on the Journal of the American Medical Association. Fortune Magazine recognized him as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in 2018 and again in 2019. Modern Healthcare has named Dr. Gottlieb as one of the “Most Influential Physician Executive and Leaders” in its annual survey of 50 physician executives, and Time magazine named Dr. Gottlieb as one of its “50 People Transforming Healthcare in 2018.” He is a contributor to CNBC and CBS News Face the Nation.
Dr. Gottlieb was a practicing hospitalist and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University School of Medicine. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
About Debbie Stabenow
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from Michigan elected to the United States Senate. She is known for her ability to build coalitions to get things done for Michigan and our nation.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Budget Committee, and a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she has a powerful and unique role to play in shaping our nation’s health care, manufacturing, infrastructure, environment, and agriculture policies.
Senator Stabenow is laser focused on standing up for Michigan families, expanding affordable health care and lowering the costs of prescription drugs, helping Michigan businesses create good jobs here at home, and protecting our Great Lakes and outdoor heritage. She is a true champion for Michigan.
Early Life & Career
Born in Gladwin and raised in Clare, Debbie Stabenow learned the value of a hard-day’s work from her parents. Her family owned the local Oldsmobile dealership, and her mother was Director of Nursing at the local hospital. She graduated at the top of her class from Clare High School and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. She worked with youth in the public schools before running for public office.
Senator Stabenow was inspired to run for office after leading a successful effort to stop the closure of a local nursing home. She was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners when she was 24 years old and two years later was elected Chair of the Board. She served for 12 years in the Michigan House of Representatives (1979-90) and four years in the State Senate (1991-94). Two years later, she was elected to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from Michigan elected to the United States Senate.
A Michigan Voice in Senate Leadership
Today Senator Stabenow is Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator and a member of Senate leadership. As Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, she makes sure there is a Michigan voice at the table and that Congress’ priorities stay in line with the priorities of middle class families.
A Focus on Job Creation
Creating jobs in Michigan is Senator Stabenow’s top priority. As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, she is a leader in helping Michigan’s businesses create jobs, leveling the playing field in international trade, and ensuring that our workers have the skills they need to excel in the international marketplace. As Senator Stabenow likes to say, “We want to export our products, not our jobs.”
A Champion for Health Care Quality and Access
Senator Stabenow is a national leader of the effort to make sure people have quality, affordable health care, including prescription drugs, mental health care, and addiction treatment. In the wake of the Flint water crisis, she led efforts to pass $170 million in assistance for Flint to repair and replace pipes and to address critical health needs.
Senator Stabenow is committed to bringing veterans the care they need close to home. She led the fight to open new and expanded V.A. clinics in Alpena, Bad Axe, Cadillac, Clare, Cheboygan County, Grayling, Oscoda, Traverse City, and Wyoming.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, Senator Stabenow is a champion for Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and a passionate advocate for Michigan’s community health centers.
An Advocate for Michigan’s Diverse Agricultural Industry
Senator Stabenow knows that we don’t have an economy unless we make things and grow things. She is a national leader on food and agriculture policy and a forceful advocate for Michigan agriculture – the state’s second biggest source of jobs. Serving on Agriculture Committees in the state legislature, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate, she has shaped forward-thinking food and farm policy, expanding the diversity of what we grow and how we grow it.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Stabenow authored the 2014 Farm Bill, which strengthened Michigan agriculture and made historic investments in land and water conservation, clean energy, local food systems, specialty crops, cutting-edge research and biobased manufacturing. She built on that success in coauthoring the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed on a strong bipartisan vote of 87-13 – the most Senate votes ever. Thanks to her leadership, the Farm Bill provides historic levels of support for all types of farmers in Michigan – big and small, urban and rural. It also improves the dairy safety net, strengthens support for fruit and vegetable growers, protects land and water, expands local food economies, and invests in Michigan’s small towns and rural communities. As she likes to say, it has Michigan on every page.
Senator Stabenow has also led successful efforts to protect and expand access to healthy foods for children, families, and seniors.
A Protector of Our Great Lakes
After her election to the U.S. Senate, one of the first bills Senator Stabenow passed into law was a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes. Today she is Co-Chair of the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force and one of our greatest champions for protecting the Great Lakes and our waterways.
Senator Stabenow authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is helping Michigan communities improve the quality of their water and restore wildlife habitats. No one has fought harder to secure federal funding in support of the Great Lakes, from cleaning up our waterways, to fighting invasive species, to modernizing the Soo Locks, a critical link for Michigan businesses to the global economy.
Senator Stabenow is deeply concerned about the number of Michigan families and service members who have been exposed to per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS). She has fought hard to secure funding to clean up contaminated sites, study the health impacts of PFAS exposure, and connect homes to safe drinking water supplies. She has also called on the Environmental Protection Agency to establish federal drinking water standards for PFAS.
Michigan Through and Through
With six offices around the State, Senator Stabenow is always ready to help Michigan residents who are having issues with federal programs. She fights for resources that local communities need such as new hospital emergency rooms and life-saving equipment for local fire departments.
A musician at heart, Senator Stabenow sings and plays both the piano and the guitar. She is a United Methodist and grew up performing with her family in church and in the community. Her home is in Lansing. She has two grown children, Todd and Michelle; a daughter-in-law, Sara; a son-in-law, Scott; and five beautiful grandchildren.
Wolf Blitzer has been with CNN for over three decades. He anchors The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, a weekday news program airing on CNN daily at 6 p.m. ET and The Newscast, which airs weekdays at 7:30 p.m. ET on CNN+. Blitzer plays a pivotal role in the network’s political coverage, during the 2020 election cycle he moderated several Democratic presidential town halls as well as CNN’s January debate in Iowa. Blitzer also anchored special coverage of Election Night in America surrounding the 2020 election, which lasted several days until CNN was the first to project Joe Biden as the winner with Blitzer announcing the projection. He has also played a critical role in the network’s expanded coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, often anchoring seven days a week during the peak of the pandemic in 2020. In addition, Blitzer is known for his in-depth reporting on international news and his Middle East expertise. He began his career in 1972 working for Reuters in Tel Aviv.