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KEYNOTE Speakers

 

David McCullough
Author of Truman
Friday, Sept. 20, Noon

 

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Saturday, Sept. 21, 8-9:30 a.m.

 

Nate Silver
Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com; Author of The Signal and The Noise
Saturday, Sept. 21, Noon


 

David McCullough
Author of Truman
Friday, Sept. 20, Noon

David McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative
history,” “a matchless writer.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner
of the National Book Award and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
the nation’s highest civilian award. 
Mr. McCullough’s most recent book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, the
number one New York Times best seller, has been called “dazzling,” “an epic of
ideas … history to be savored.” His previous work, 1776, has been acclaimed
“a classic,” while John Adams, published in 2001, remains one of the most
praised and widely read American biographies of all time.
In the words of the citation accompanying his honorary degree from Yale, "As
an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people
that live, breathe, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character."
Mr. McCullough’s other books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions and Truman. His work has been translated and published in 15 countries around the world, and, in all, more than 10,000,000 copies are in print. As may be said of few writers, none of his books has ever been out of print.
David McCullough is as well twice winner of the prestigious Francis Parkman Prize, and for his work overall he has been honored by the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal and the Gold Medal for Biography given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fifty two honorary degrees.
In a crowded, productive career, he has been an editor, teacher, lecturer and familiar presence on public television--as host of Smithsonian World, The American Experience and narrator of numerous documentaries including Ken Burns’s The Civil War. His is also the narrator’s voice in the movie Seabiscuit.
John Adams, the seven-part mini-series on HBO, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, was one of the most acclaimed and talked about television events of recent years. 
A gifted speaker, Mr. McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, Mr. McCullough was educated there and at Yale, where he was graduated with honors in English literature. He is an avid reader, traveler and has enjoyed a lifelong interest in art and architecture. He is as well a devoted painter. Mr. McCullough and his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough have five children and nineteen grandchildren.
Mr. McCullough is presently working on a biography of the Wright brothers.
David McCullough will sign books purchased at the Rainy Day Books table at the conclusion of the luncheon on Friday, Sept. 20. Conference attendees may preorder copies of Truman by Friday, Sept. 13 for guaranteed pick up at the conference. Preordered books may be picked up beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Rainy Day Books table in the Century Foyer, Ballroom Level of The Westin.

 

Download the preorder form here.


Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Saturday, Sept. 21, 8-9:30 a.m.

Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009. Since taking office, Secretary Sebelius has led ambitious efforts to improve America’s health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including young children, those with disabilities and the elderly.
As part of the historic Affordable Care Act, Secretary Sebelius is implementing reforms that end many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses, and will help 34 million uninsured Americans get health coverage. Under the law, she is also carrying out policies that put a new focus on wellness and prevention, support the adoption of electronic medical records and help recruit and train more primary care health providers. In addition, Secretary Sebelius is working closely with doctors, nurses, hospital leaders, employers and patients to slow the growth in health care costs through better care and better health. And under her leadership, HHS has formed a historic partnership with the Department of Justice to stamp out health care fraud that has already returned record sums to the Medicare Trust Fund.
Secretary Sebelius is committed to ensuring that America continues to lead the world in innovation. Under her leadership, HHS is promoting public-private collaboration to bring life-saving treatments and medicines to market. The Department is also working to build a 21st century food safety system that will prevent outbreaks before they occur. And it is collaborating with the Department of Education to help states increase the quality of early childhood education programs and give parents more information to make the best choices for their children.
Secretary Sebelius also leads the nation’s emergency health response to crises and natural disasters, including the Haiti earthquake, the Gulf oil spill and the Joplin, Missouri tornado. And as America’s top health official, she continues to work with our international partners to confront global health issues like polio, HIV/AIDS and the growing costs of chronic disease around the world.
Forbes has named Secretary Sebelius one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. Before her Cabinet appointment in April, 2009, she served as Governor of Kansas beginning in 2003, where she was named one of America’s Top Five Governors by Time Magazine. From 1995 to 2003 she served as Kansas Insurance Commissioner. She was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.
Secretary Sebelius is the first daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history; her father John Gilligan served as Ohio’s Governor from 1971-75. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity Washington University. She is married to Gary Sebelius, a federal magistrate judge. They have two sons, John and Ned, and a daughter-in-law, Lisa.

 


 

Nate Silver
Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com; Author of The Signal and The Noise
Saturday, Sept. 21, Noon

Nate SilverNate Silver has been called a “spreadsheet psychic” and “number-crunching prodigy” by New York Magazine. Nate comes out of the world of baseball statistics, but during the 2008 presidential election primaries, he turned his sights and his amazing predictive abilities and forecasting models to the game of politics and current events—with incredible results.
He first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when he correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the presidential winner in 49 states. Today, Nate runs the award-winning political website FiveThirtyEight.com, where he publishes a running forecast of current elections and hot-button issues. Now published in the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight.com has made Nate the public face of statistical analysis and political forecasting.
His new book is titled The Signal and The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t. Data-based predictions underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror. That means it’s important to ask—what kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted—and what can’t? Nate takes us on a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty and good results. It’s an essential read for anyone interested in how data can be used to understand the future.
Before he came to politics, Nate established his credentials as an analyst of baseball statistics. He developed a widely acclaimed system called PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm), which predicts player performance, career development, and seasonal winners and losers. He is the author of a series of books on baseball statistics, which include Mind GameBaseball Between the Numbers and It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over. Nate has written for ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Slate, New York Sun and the New York Times. His work has been reported in such publications as Newsweek, Huffington Post and Vanity Fair.
Nate Silver has been honored by a series of accolades, from TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 to Rolling Stone’s 100 Agents of Change. FiveThirtyEight.com won Best Political Coverage in the 2008 Weblog Awards.
Nate Silver will sign bookspurchased at the Rainy Day Books table immediately following the luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 21. Rainy Day Books will hold a presale of the book prior to the general session luncheon, and preordered books may be picked up at this time. Conference attendees may preorder copies of The Signal and The Noise by Sept. 13 for guaranteed pick up at the conference.

 

Download the preorder form here.

 

Credentials

 

Honors
 
About FiveThirtyEight.com
Nate’s award winning political website is FiveThirtyEight.com. The name comes from the total number of votes in the electoral college. On the website, he crunches data, statistical studies, polls, election results, demographics, and voting patterns to publish a running forecast of a wide variety of current events, including the UK elections, the U.S. midterm elections, health care passage, immigration issues and more.