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GOVERNING Texas: A Leadership Forum – 2011

Sep. 7, 2011 | Hyatt Regency Austin | Austin, TX





8:00 am - 8:50 am     Registration and Breakfast

8:50am - 9:00 am      Welcome

9:00 am – 9:20 am
    After the Session: The Texas State Budget

The Texas 82nd legislative session faced many difficult issues, including a large state budget shortfall and the overhaul of more than two dozen state agencies. After many long months, difficult hearings and tough decisions, the Fiscal Year 2012/2013 state budget was signed into law. What happened, and what it means to the state, to agencies, and to local government?

Sherri Greenberg, Interim Director, Center for Politics and Governance; Fellow, Max Sherman Chair in State and Local Government; Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

9:20 am – 9:30 am
     Overview of the Day: Why this Forum Matters

Paul Taylor, Editor-at-Large, GOVERNING

9:30 am – 10:20 am
    Keynote - The Principled Politician – A Story of Courage

Adam Schrager, Author and Journalist

Ralph Carr was drafted to run for governor for Colorado in 1938 even though he tried everything he could think of to get out of the candidacy. Yet, he won overwhelmingly and quickly rose to national fame as a budget balancer and humanitarian. He turned down the chance to run as a vice presidential candidate with Wendell Willkie in 1940, running for re-election as governor and winning overwhelmingly. Carr was being discussed as a “future presidential candidate” by newspapers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Carr became a national figure when, after Pearl Harbor, he defended the Constitutional rights of Japanese-Americans. He told crowds, if we “imprison American citizens without evidence or a trial, what’s to say six months from now, we won’t follow them into that same prison without evidence or a trial.” His outspoken and unpopular stance would cost him greatly, both personally and professionally. More than 60 years later, the story of one man’s courage offers timeless lessons for us all.

10:20 am – 10:45 am    Break

10:45 am – 12:00 pm    A New Way of Thinking – Crisis as Opportunity

Despite the ongoing economic recovery, state coffers are woefully low; unemployment remains stubbornly high. At the same time, government as a whole is, in many ways, going about delivering services the same way they have been delivered for centuries - one citizen at a time, staffing regional centers. Some say this model is unsustainable. In the midst of these challenges are reasons to hope. Government leaders are taking this opportunity to examine both the business of government, and how that business gets done. In this interactive conversation, you will hear how some visionary leaders are responding to tough times.         


Paul Taylor, Editor-at-Large, GOVERNING


Jerry Madden, Texas State Representative

Mike Morrissey, J.D., Senior Advisor, Officer of the Governor

Christopher Traylor, Executive Commissioner, Texas Department of Aging and Disability

Mark Funkhouser PH.D., Director, GOVERNING Institute

Teresa Hay McMahon, President, Iowa Lean Consortium 


12:00 pm – 12:45 pm     Lunch

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Lunch Keynote - America Enters a New Season of History: What are the New Rules?

Neil Howe, Founding Partner and President, LifeCourse Associates

The mood across America is changing rapidly, and our country seems to be entering a new period of national urgency. The old rules for leading, legislating, taxing, spending, policy-making, and managing, no longer apply.  More than a decade ago, Neil Howe discovered a remarkable pattern in American history, a cycle of recurring eras driven by generational changes, and predicted many of these changes in what he called “the forth turning.” What are the new rules of the “forth turning” era? How will it transform the working environment of every public servant and government leader?

With his insight on generations, Howe offers a road map that explains where America is today—and, more important, where it is heading—as team-playing Millennials enter young adulthood, pragmatic Gen-Xers take over as midlife managers, and visionary Boomers move into elder leadership roles.

1:45 pm – 2:00 pm         Break


2:00 pm – 3:15 pm         Concurrent sessions

Staffing Government

The much talked-about, much anticipated Boomer Retirement Wave is upon us. As experienced public servants retire, organizations must prepare for the next generation of public servants. How are agencies handling succession planning? And, perhaps as important, how does government attract the next generation of public servants - and leaders? Structured 9 - 5 jobs are yesterday's news; benefits are being scrutinized and reduced; the workload has increased, employees are being furloughed and laid off. All of this makes for a difficult sale. What does it mean to be in public service in the 21st century? Is the very idea of public service out the door, along with the wave of retiring Baby Boomers, or is there a new rise of public servant?


Elizabeth Daigneau, GOVERNING Managing Editor


Patrick Ibarra, President, The Mejorando Group

Adam Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Texas Education Agency

Peter Zanoni, City of San Antonio Assistant City Manager

The Texas State Budget: A Deeper Dive

This session offers a more detailed look at the impact of the budget on specific areas such as health care and education, and what it may mean to state and local governments.


Sherri Greenberg, Interim Director, Center for Politics and Governance; Fellow, Max Sherman Chair in State and Local Government; Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin


Anne Dunkelberg, Associate Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities

Daniel T. Casey, Partner, Moak, Casey & Associates

Marc Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation   

Bennett Sandlin, Executive Director, Texas Municipal League


3:15 pm – 4:30 pm      Concurrent sessions

Silo Wreckers: Penetrating the Barriers that Prevent Us from Working Together Effectively

Government at all levels - state, county, city - must continue to explore new ways of working together and partnering with the private sector. An examination of new models of working together, and how to break down the barriers that prevent cooperation.


Mark Funkhouser PH.D., Director, GOVERNING Institute




Roger Duncan, Former CEO, Austin Energy

Jim Walker, Director of Sustainability, University of Texas

4:30 pm                    Reception



Teresa Hay McMahon, President, Iowa Lean Consortium

Marv Weidner, Chairman and CEO, Weidner, Inc.

Sustainable Government, Sustainable Communities

As budgets across the nation continue to be cut, the need for a “green economy” and sustainable government programs that will support the long-term vitality of our communities is of growing importance. How do we tackle this pressing issue while addressing the current financial challenges? What can be done to create communities with affordable housing choices, more transportation choices, where work, shops and schools are closer to home?


Jonathan Walters, GOVERNING Executive Editor






Produced in Partnership with the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin




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For conference registration and general assistance contact:

Lee Vang, Registration Coordinator
Phone: 916-932-1300 ext. 1407

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