Keynote Speakers

Eric J. Barron


Eric J. Barron

The Pennsylvania State University President
 
Eric J. Barron began his tenure as the 18th president of The Pennsylvania State University on May 12, 2014. Previously, Barron served as president of Florida State. He has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service, as well as a track record as a talented manager of fiscal policy within large and complex institutions.

In 2017, Barron was named the chairman of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) for the Association of Public Land-grant Universities. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for APLU, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and Kish Bancorp, Inc.

An accomplished scientist with a long background in atmospheric research, Barron was the director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the decades, Barron has lent his significant expertise in the areas of atmospheric science and the geosciences to many national committees and federal agencies, including nearly 20 years of service as the chair of multiple National Research Council committees and boards.

John Hechinger


John Hechinger

Senior Editor at Bloomberg News
 
John Hechinger, a senior editor at Bloomberg News, is the author of the 2017 book, True Gentlemen, The Broken Pledge of America's Fraternities. He was a 2011 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service and a two-time winner of the George Polk Award. Before joining Bloomberg in 2010, he was a senior special writer at The Wall Street Journal, where he focused on education and finance. His commentary has appeared in the New York Times and the Atlantic and on PBS NewsHour, NPR, NBC and CNN. 

Photo: © Sarah Schatz
 
 
   

Leon Andrews


Leon Andrews

Director
Race, Equity, And Leadership Program (REAL)
National League of Cities (NLC)

 
Leon T. Andrews, Jr. is the first director of NLC's Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) Program. He was appointed to this position in 2014. Leon previously served as the senior fellow and program director for NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. For eight years, he led all of the Institute's youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country including in areas related to childhood obesity, disconnected youth, youth engagement and leadership, and youth master planning.
 
Leon received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at The University of Michigan.