Brad Henry was first elected Governor of Oklahoma in 2003 and was reelected to a second term in 2006 by one of the largest margins in state history. His first term in office was in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis in state history but he forged a historic bipartisanship agreement among legislative leaders. He also led an effort to create an education lottery to benefit classrooms across the state. The Education Lottery was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004. A political moderate, Henry advocated upholding the death penalty and opposed gun control but was also pro-choice.
Before his campaign for Governor, Henry served ten years as a State Senator representing the District in which his hometown of Shawnee is located. Brad grew up in Shawnee, attended Shawnee High School and later the University of Oklahoma as a President’s Leadership Scholar. While at OU he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and was awarded his law degree. While in law school, he served as Editor of The Law Review, an honor reserved for the best of students.
After his terms as Governor, Henry retired to private life and, along with his former chief of staff Gerald Adams, formed the Henry Adams Companies to provide consulting and strategic planning services and legal counsel. He lives in Edmond with his wife Kim and three daughters.
Andy Stern is the former president of the 2.2-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest union of health care, doctors, nurses, janitors, security officers, child-care, home care, hospital, and state workers, and the fastest-growing union in North America. As a labor leader, Mr. Stern led efforts for all workers to produce solutions on major issues confronting American workers, most importantly universal health care and comprehensive immigration reform, and living wages.
Called a “courageous, visionary leader who charted a bold new course for American unionism,” Mr. Stern has been featured on 60 Minutes, CNN and on the covers of the New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Business Week, as well as being named the Fox Power Player of the Week. Under his tenure as president, SEIU bucked the trend and through its signature national and global organizing campaigns SEIU grew by more than 1.2 million workers, turning traditionally underpaid service work into jobs that can help support a family and lift up a community.
Mr. Stern began working as a social service worker and member of SEIU Local 668 in 1971. He served as Organizing Director for SEIU before his landmark election as president in 1996. After launching a national debate about the fundamental change needed to unite the 9 out of 10 American workers who have no organization at work, Mr. Stern led SEIU out of the AFL-CIO and transformed the national labor landscape by founding the Change to Win labor federation with six other major unions in 2005. He retired from SEIU in 2010.
Mr. Stern was a Presidential Appointee on the Simpson-Bowles Commission, is a board member of the Broad Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the Open Society Foundation, the Economic Policy Institute, been the President of the Kaiser Permanente Partnership, and is a Senior Fellow at Columbia University. His first book A Country That Works was published in 2005, and he is currently working on a second on the future of work.
Bruce Thompson is a Washington veteran with more than three decades of experience working on public policy issues affecting the financial services industry in both the public and private sectors. During his career, he has been deeply involved in every significant policy debate involving the financial services industry. Mr. Thompson is a leading expert and consultant on financial services, tax policy, and international issues. He is the recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award for his services as Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury.
He has held leadership positions in both the public and private sectors, including senior positions at Merrill Lynch, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Senate. Most recently, he has run his own consulting firm providing strategic advice and intelligence on Washington policy developments.
Mr. Thompson was Managing Director and Senior Director of Global Government Relations at Merrill Lynch for 22 years. He represented the firm and guided strategy on all legislative and executive policy matters of interest to the firm and the financial services industry globally. He was involved in all legislation affecting the firm and the industry, including the creation of the Roth IRA, financial services reform, and the capital gains and dividend tax rate cuts. He was also responsible for keeping Merrill Lynch and its clients apprised of government policy developments worldwide. The Washington Post described him as the “dean of lobbyists for the financial services industry.”
Prior to Merrill Lynch, he was nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Legislative Affairs. He was the Treasury Department’s representative to Congress on all legislative initiatives, and was instrumental in the passage of the Reagan tax cuts and the Tax Reform Act. Upon leaving Treasury, he was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award, the department’s highest honor, by Treasury Secretary Baker.
Prior to Treasury, Bruce worked in the U.S. Senate for seven years, serving as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator William V. Roth, Jr. He was the Senator’s chief policy advisor on tax, financial, and economic policy issues.
Mr. Thompson graduated from Georgetown University in 1971 with a degree in finance. He and his wife Kathleen have a daughter and a son and live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.