General Session Speakers
Monday Morning Opening General Session
Councilmember, Cleveland, Ohio and National League of Cities President
Councilmember Matt Zone will deliver the NLC President’s address during the Monday morning general session.
Political Analyst, Bestselling Author, and Former White House Director of Communications
The Monday morning opening general session will be headlined by Nicolle Wallace — a best-selling author, political analyst for MSNBC, top strategist for the GOP, and the former special assistant to the president and director of communications at the White House under President George W. Bush. Funny and charming, she will share fascinating stories from her time in the White House and on the campaign trail. You’ll enjoy her master storytelling as she examines the latest in politics and the media in a changing landscape and offers her perspective on today’s biggest players and issues.
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Monday Afternoon General Session
The Monday afternoon general session will begin with a panel discussion on the opioid crisis in America, moderated by award-winning investigative reporter Pat Beall. As the nation’s communities look to their local leaders to address the causes and consequences of prescription drug and heroin overdoses and deaths, this panel discussion will focus on the leadership challenges and opportunities facing local elected officials.
Dr. Sally Satel
Psychiatrist and Lecturer, Yale University School of Medicine
Dr. Satel will serve as a panelist on the opioid crisis in American during the Monday afternoon general session. In her role at Yale University, Dr. Satel examines mental health policy and political trends in medicine.
Mayor, Huntington, West Virginia
Mayor Williams will serve as a panelist on the opioid crisis in American during the Monday afternoon general session. Under Williams’ leadership, Huntington has gained national recognition for a number of initiatives, most notably the establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The Office has formed several partnerships in developing a holistic harm reduction program and has focused on reducing drug trafficking and related crime while promoting prevention and treatment options for addicts. In March 2016, Williams was named to a joint task force of the National League of Cities and National Association of Counties to address the opioid epidemic.
Interim Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Interim Deputy Secretary Scott Blackburn will speak about the VA’s continued prioritization of ending veteran homelessness and their on-going partnership with local governments through the National League of Cities. He will also discuss the VA’s focus on improving access to healthcare for veterans.
Former Mayor, Youngstown, Ohio
Williams served as the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and former assistant secretary of commerce for economic development at the Department of Commerce.
Tuesday Closing Luncheon
Bestselling author J.D. Vance will keynote the Tuesday afternoon closing general session and lunch. Finding sudden fame when his bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis coincided with an oft-perplexing U.S. election, J.D. Vance offers a unique perspective on a large demographic of America that is misunderstood at best. Raised in a Rust Belt city in Ohio and an Appalachian town in Kentucky, Vance enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school, then went on against the odds to graduate from Ohio State University and Yale Law School. His stories will open your eyes to new ideas and perspectives, and perhaps shed some light on a piece of America that’s often left out of the conversation.
Full biography »
Delegates will also hear from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. We’ve invited him to share insight on the need and financing mechanisms for upgrading and improving our nation’s water infrastructure and how doing so can improve community resilience, how brownfields redevelopment can support local economies and the national economy, and how EPA can support local efforts on climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.