Alan K. Simpson and Erskine B. Bowles, cochairs of the 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, are the presidential guest speakers for the 2013 AAOS Annual Meeting in Chicago. Mr. Simpson is a former Republican senator from Wyoming; Mr. Bowles served as White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton.
The bipartisan duo will address “America’s Debt and Deficit Crisis: Issues and Solutions” on March 21in the McCormick Place Grand Ballroom. At the conclusion of their presentations, Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson will respond to questions from the audience.
Photos Courtesy of Washington Speakers Bureau
Respected Republican leader
A third-generation lawyer, Mr. Simpson started practicing law in 1958 in his hometown of Cody, Wyo., where he was also very active in civic, community, and state activities, and served as city attorney general for 10 years. He began his political career in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming state legislature. For the next 13 years he served in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader, and Speaker Pro-Tem.
In 1978, Mr. Simpson ran for and was elected to the U.S. Senate, and handily won re-election in 1984 and 1990. Also in 1984, Mr. Simpson was elected Assistant Majority Leader and served Majority Leader Bob Dole in that capacity until 1994. He completed his final Senate term on Jan. 3, 1997.
Mr. Simpson was a visiting lecturer (1997–2000) and served for 2 years as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2000, he returned to Wyoming to teach and lecture part-time at the University of Wyoming. In 2006, he was appointed by Congress to the Iraq Study Group, a 10-person bipartisan panel charged with assessing the war in Iraq and making policy recommendations.
In 2010, Mr. Simpson was named cochair, with Mr. Bowles, of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which produced a solution (Simpson-Bowles plan) to reduce the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. He and Mr. Bowles also cofounded “The Campaign to Fix the Debt,” a nonpartisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.
Currently a partner in the law firm of Simpson, Kepler and Edwards, the Cody division of Burg Simpson Eldredge, Hersh & Jardine, PC, Mr. Simpson is a recognized speaker and the author of Right in the Old Gazoo: What I Learned in a Lifetime of Meeting the Press. His authorized biography is titled Shooting from the Lip: The Life of Senator Al Simpson by Donald Loren Hardy.
Successful businessman, reluctant politician
A graduate of the University of North Carolina and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, Mr. Bowles is the founder and CEO of Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., a middle-market investment banking firm. He also founded Kitty Hawk Capital, a venture capital company, and cofounded Carousel Capital, a middle-market private equity company. Throughout his business career, Mr. Bowles has served on the board of directors of various companies, including Morgan Stanley, First Union Corporation, Merck, VF, Cousins Properties, Norfolk Southern Corporation, General Motors, Belk, and Facebook.
Mr. Bowles began his political career in 1991 when he joined the Clinton administration as director of the Small Business Administration. In 1993, he was appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff and later Chief of Staff. While Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Bowles coordinated the government’s response to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. As Chief of Staff, he helped negotiate the first balanced budget in a generation, and served on the National Security Council and National Economic Council.
Mr. Bowles ran for public office in 2002 and 2004. Both times, he won the Democratic Party nomination and lost in the general election.
Mr. Bowles was brought back into public service several times. In 2004, he was asked to join the United Nations as Deputy Special Envoy, with the rank of Under Secretary General, to direct the global response to the tsunami in Southeast Asia.
In his home state of North Carolina, Mr. Bowles served as president of the University of North Carolina (2005–2011) and as chairman of the N.C. Rural Prosperity Task Force. He also served on the board of directors of the Golden Leaf Foundation, which promotes the social welfare of North Carolinians, and founded a private equity company to bring investment capital to the state’s rural areas.
Don’t miss it!
This candid, bipartisan discourse on what America’s leaders must do to confront what many see as the largest and most critical economic, social, business, and national security threat that the country faces takes place Thursday, March 21, at 11:15 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the McCormick Place Convention Center.