Regent University Clash of the Titans

Speaker Bios

Dee Dee Myers | Edward Rendell | Steve Kroft | Haley Barbour | Rick Santorum

Dee Dee MyersDee Dee Myers

Dee Dee Myers was the White House Press Secretary during the first two years of the Clinton administration. She was the first woman and the second-youngest person ever to serve in this role. Myers earned the respect of the press corps and the nation because of her sharp political instincts, sense of humor and ability to explain complex subjects using straightforward language.

Myers later co-hosted the news program Equal Time on CNBC, and was a consultant on The West Wing television program. Her New York Times bestseller, Why Women Should Rule the World, makes the case that women's increasingly powerful role in public life is reshaping the world—and making it better.

Prior to joining the Clinton presidential campaign in 1991, Myers worked on a variety of local, state and national campaigns. She served as press secretary for Dianne Feinstein in her 1990 bid for governor, and worked on the presidential campaigns of former governor Mike Dukakis and former vice president Walter Mondale.

Since leaving the White House, Myers has worked as a political analyst, commentator and writer. She is currently a contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine and a frequent guest on broadcast and cable television networks. In 2010, she became a managing director of public affairs at The Glover Park Group.

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Edward RendellEdward Rendell

Edward Rendell has 34 years of public service, including 24 years as an elected official. Rendell served two terms as the 45th governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011) and oversaw a budget of $28.3 billion. As governor, he successfully cut wasteful spending and improved efficiency leading to savings of over $1 billion.

He was a member of the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee and served as General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election. During his two terms as mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), Rendell eliminated a crippling deficit, balanced the city's budget and generated five consecutive budget surpluses.

Before serving as mayor, Rendell was elected district attorney of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978 through 1985. An Army veteran, he holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Villanova Law School.

After leaving political office, Rendell returned to his former law firm, the Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr. In January 2011, he accepted a position as an on-air political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and the following month took up a position as senior advisor at investment bank Greenhill and Co. In April 2011, Rendell joined Element Partners, a Philadelphia-based cleantech investment firm, as an operating partner.

He is a Brookings Fellow and teaches government and politics courses at the University of Pennsylvania. Rendell's autobiography, A Nation of Wusses, was released in June 2012.

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Steve KroftSteve Kroft

Steve Kroft has been a correspondent with 60 Minutes since 1989. He is the recipient of three George Foster Peabody Awards and 11 Emmy awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for his body of work. His 60 Minutes piece on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, entitled "I.N.S.," was cited as one of the reports for which CBS News won the 2003 Overall Excellence Award from the Radio/Television News Directors Association.

Kroft was honored with the prestigious Renner Award for reporting on organized crime in his story "The Worst Nightmare." This report was the first to document the involvement of the Russian mafia in the smuggling of nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union.

Prior to joining 60 Minutes, Kroft was a correspondent on the CBS News magazine West 57th. Before that, he was a foreign correspondent for CBS News, covering stories like the TWA hijacking in Beirut, the massacres at the Rome and Vienna airports, and the Achille Lauro hijacking. His report on the assassination of Indira Gandhi for the CBS Evening News won an Emmy Award.

Kroft graduated from Syracuse University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and was honored by that institution in 1992 with the George Arents Medal, the highest honor the university gives to an alumnus. Kroft earned a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Indiana University. He served with the United States Army in Vietnam as a correspondent and photographer for Pacific Stars and Stripes.

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Haley BarbourHaley Barbour

Haley Barbour served as the 63rd governor of Mississippi, from 2004 to 2012. He is only the second governor since the Reconstruction era to be elected to a second consecutive term as Mississippi's chief executive.

Barbour has been praised for his handling of both the recent Gulf Oil Spill and Hurricane Katrina. For his leadership after Katrina, he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award by the bipartisan American Legislative Exchange Council. He was awarded the Gulf Guardian Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his work to rebuild and protect sensitive Gulf Coast ecosystems.

Before serving as Governor, Barbour successfully served twice as chairman of the Republican National Committee. In 1994, under Barbour's chairmanship, Republicans won the greatest midterm majority sweep of the 20th century, winning GOP control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Barbour received a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1972. He later served as an aide in the Reagan Administration and worked on the 1988 Presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush.

He recently returned to Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, a lobbying group he helped found in 1991.

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Rick SantorumRick Santorum

Rick Santorum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 at the age of 32, and from 1995 to 2007, represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate. In 2000, he was elected by his peers to the position of Senate Republican Conference Chairman.

Santorum became known for government reform, taking on Washington's powerful special interests from the moment he arrived in the nation's Capital. He was a member of the famous "Gang of Seven" that exposed the Congressional Banking and Congressional Post Office scandals. He was also an author and floor manager of the landmark Welfare Reform Act, which passed in 1996 and has empowered millions of Americans to leave the welfare rolls and enter the workforce.

Advocating a vision for our nation rooted in tradition through family and nurtured by empowering the individual, he is an unapologetic advocate of American values and exceptionalism. Santorum wrote and championed legislation that outlawed partial-birth abortion as well as the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act," the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" and the "Combating Autism Act." He believes every individual has value, and the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected.

An accomplished author, Santorum penned the 2005 New York Times bestseller, It Takes a Family.

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