"Has America Lost Its Leading Edge?"

October 24, 2014 | 3:30 p.m.

Speaker Bios


John Bolton

John Bolton

  • Former Representative to the United Nations
  • Foreign Policy Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute


John R. Bolton served as United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations (U.N.) from August 2005 until December 2006. The previous four years, Bolton had served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

Throughout his distinguished career, Bolton has been a staunch defender of U.S. interests. As Under Secretary, he repeatedly advocated tough measures against the nuclear weapons programs of Iran and North Korea. He led negotiations for America to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so the Bush Administration could proceed with a national missile-defense program.

At the U.N., Bolton was a leading voice on the need for the Security Council to take strong action against international proliferation and terrorism. Along with France's ambassador, Bolton led the Security Council to approve a unanimous resolution to end the summer 2006 Hezbollah war on Israel.

An advocate for human rights while serving at the U.N., Bolton engineered the Security Council's approval of 22,500 U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur.

Bolton authored Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the U.N. and Abroad, published by Simon and Shuster (November 2007) and How Barack Obama is Endangering our National Sovereignty, published by Encounter Books (April 2010).

Currently of counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLC, Bolton also serves as a foreign policy senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and his op-ed articles are regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Times.

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Felipe Calderon

Felipe Calderón

  • President of Mexico (2006 to 2012)


Felipe Calderón served as the 56th president of Mexico from 2006 to 2012.

Establishing economic reform as a top priority of his administration, Calderón implemented policies that catapulted Mexico into a powerful player in the global economy. With his experience as an influential policy maker, both in Mexico and on the world stage, President Calderón is in a unique position to assess the transforming world economy. He has been named "Statesman of the Year" by the World Economic Forum, and "Champion of the Earth" by the United Nations, among other acknowledgments. TIME magazine has designated him as one of their top 100 influential people in the world.

Under his administration, Mexico achieved universal health coverage. Despite the widespread impact of the 2009 economic crisis in Mexico, President Calderón's leadership in overcoming the recession and improving Mexico's competitiveness has been widely recognized. Under his tenure, the Mexican economy registered stability, economic growth and job creation. In 2012, President Calderón chaired the G20 conference.

Currently, he is the honorary chairman of the Green Growth Action Alliance (WEF), member of the Policy Advisory Council of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), president of Sustainable Human Development Foundation, member of the board of directors of the World Resources Institute and chairman of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, responsible for coordinating the "Better Climate, Better Growth: The New Climate Economy Report."

Recently, President Calderón published "Los Retos que Enfrentamos," a book which points out the main policies carried out during his administration. Its appearance has sparked an intense debate on the public policies that Mexico has followed on its path to development, as one of the leading emerging economies.

President Calderón has a law degree from the Escuela Libre de Derecho, a master's degree from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and an M.A. in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Newt Gingrich

Steve Forbes

  • Candidate for Republican Party Presidential Nomination (1996 and 2000)
  • Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media


Widely respected economic prognosticator Steve Forbes is chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. The company's flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation's leading business magazine, with a circulation of more than 900,000. The company also publishes a number of investment newsletters, as well as Forbes Europe, Forbes Asia, and Forbes licensee edition in over 30 countries.

In 1996 he launched Forbes.com, a leading business website among senior business decision-makers and investors that now averages close to 30 million unique monthly visitors.

His "Fact and Comment" editorial appears in each issue of Forbes, and he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

Forbes twice campaigned for the Republican nomination for the presidency. Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings accounts and a strong national defense. Forbes' co-authored the book, Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy—and What We Can Do About It (McGraw-Hill Professional, June 2014).

In 1985, President Reagan named Forbes chairman of the bipartisan Board for International Broadcasting. In this position he oversaw the operations of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which were praised by Poland's Lech Walesa as being critical to the struggle against communism.

Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

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Brian Mulroney

Brian Mulroney

  • Prime Minister of Canada (1984-1993)


Brian Mulroney became Canada's 18th Prime Minister in 1984, after leading the Progressive Conservative party to the largest victory in Canadian history. Re-elected four years later, he became the first Canadian Prime Minister in 35 years to win successive majority governments.

His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms and bold new initiatives, such as the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Canada-U.S. Acid Rain Treaty. Mulroney's government also introduced a series of policies that continue to be the basis of Canada's impressive economic performance today.

In addition, Mulroney's government played leading roles in the Gulf War and the campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

In 2000, McGill University's North American Studies Institute determined that Mulroney had the best economic record of any Prime Minister since World War II. The following year, the Institute for Research on Public Policy placed Mulroney second in a ranking of the best prime ministers of the previous 50 years.

A panel of Canada's leading environmental groups determined, in 2006, that Mulroney was "the Greenest Prime Minister in history." A 2009 survey conducted by The Hill Times selected Mulroney as "the most admired" former Prime Minister of Canada.

Resigning in 1993, after nine years in office, Mulroney rejoined the Montreal law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright as senior partner.

He has been awarded Canada's highest honor, Companion of the Order of Canada, and has received honorary degrees and awards from universities and governments at home and abroad.

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Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow

  • Clash of the Titans® Moderator
  • Chief Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice and European Centre for Law and Justice


Jay Alan Sekulow is Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a law firm and educational organization that focuses on constitutional law. He is also Chief Counsel of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ). A nationally recognized and respected defender of constitutional freedoms, Sekulow has assembled one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation. Founded in 1990, the ACLJ focuses on constitutional law.

In 2005, TIME magazine called the ACLJ "a powerful counterweight" to the ACLU. Business Week said the ACLJ is "the leading advocacy group for religious freedom."

An accomplished and respected judicial advocate, Sekulow has presented numerous oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States in defense of constitutional freedoms.

Jay Sekulow received his Ph.D. from Regent University, with a dissertation on American Legal History; is an honors graduate of Mercer Law School, where he served on the Mercer Law Review; and an honors graduate of Mercer University. He was appointed a visiting fellow of Oxford University at Harris Manchester College, where he lectured on Middle East Affairs and International Law. In 2014 Sekulow completed a postdoctoral course of study in Middle East Affairs at Exeter College, University of Oxford. He also completed a program of study at Vanderbilt University's Owen School of Management in Executive Leadership and Strategic Innovation.

He currently serves as a member of the board of trustees for The Supreme Court Historical Society in Washington, D.C. He also serves as a board of trustees member for Regent University.

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