The Ripon Society’s 2014 Legislative and Communications Directors Symposium on Leadership held at Mount Vernon on Friday drew 200 policymakers and communications aides to discuss challenges in the year ahead.
The purpose of the symposium was to provide legislative and communications directors with briefings on some of the challenges facing the nation and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, Ripon Society President and CEO Jim Conzelman said.
“Our party has gone through some tough times in recent years,” Conzelman said. “Our nation has gone through some tough times. Now that we’ve weathered the storm, how do we make things better? How do we improve things — not only for the Republican party, but for the American people as a whole? That’s one of the goals of this symposium, and one of the questions we hope to address. At the same time, by meeting here at Mount Vernon, we also hope to remind you of the historical significance of your job. You are walking in the footsteps of Washington, which is easy to forget in this age of social media, but is worth considering while you are here.”
The symposium featured keynote addresses by former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and former presidential counselor Ed Gillespie.
Symposium highlights included the use of technology in politics, a presentation on the American electorate, open discussion with leadership and policy staff, a session on negotiating skills and a presentation on the electoral landscape of 2014.