Our Speakers.

We have excellent speakers flying in from all over the country!

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Steve Anderson

10/5/22, 2:00 PM

Hannah Meisel covers state government and politics for Springfield-based NPR Illinois along with 10 other public radio stations throughout the state. She's been on the statehouse beat since January of 2014 and holds two journalism degrees from the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses.

Hannah Meisel covers state government and politics for Springfield-based NPR Illinois along with 10 other public radio stations throughout the state. She's been on the statehouse beat since January of 2014 and holds two journalism degrees from the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses.

Hannah Meisel

10/6/22, 2:00 PM

Dana Popish Severinghaus, Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, has served since January 2021. She brings extensive legal, policy, government relations and insurance industry-related experience to her role heading a state regulatory agency. Popish Severinghaus was formerly Legislative and Regulatory Counsel at Allstate Insurance Company where she advised Allstate and its subsidiaries on legal, regulatory and legislative matters across the Midwest. Before that, she served as Senior Policy Advisor at the State of Illinois in Central Management Services where she oversaw the Bureau of Benefits. Prior to that, Popish Severinghaus was the Director of Government Relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

Popish Severinghaus is a Member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Board Member of the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund, Secretary of the Illinois Insurance Association, Advisory Board Member and Co-Chair of Government Relations Advisory Council for the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Women in Law Mentor at Chicago Kent College of Law and Auxiliary Board Member of ChildServ.

She also serves on National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) letter committees, including the “International Insurance Relations” and “Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology committees".

Popish Severinghaus earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Iowa and Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.

Dana Popish Severinghaus, Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, has served since January 2021. She brings extensive legal, policy, government relations and insurance industry-related experience to her role heading a state regulatory agency. Popish Severinghaus was formerly Legislative and Regulatory Counsel at Allstate Insurance Company where she advised Allstate and its subsidiaries on legal, regulatory and legislative matters across the Midwest. Before that, she served as Senior Policy Advisor at the State of Illinois in Central Management Services where she oversaw the Bureau of Benefits. Prior to that, Popish Severinghaus was the Director of Government Relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

Popish Severinghaus is a Member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Board Member of the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund, Secretary of the Illinois Insurance Association, Advisory Board Member and Co-Chair of Government Relations Advisory Council for the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Women in Law Mentor at Chicago Kent College of Law and Auxiliary Board Member of ChildServ.

She also serves on National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) letter committees, including the “International Insurance Relations” and “Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology committees".

Popish Severinghaus earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Iowa and Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.

Dana Popish Severinghaus

10/6/22, 2:00 PM

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter and Popular On-Air Political Analyst 

For more than 20 years, Amy Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with unparalleled access to campaign insiders and decision-makers. Known as one of the best political journalists covering Washington, she is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the non-partisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, where she provides analysis of the issues, trends, and events that shape the political environment. A contributor to the PBS NewsHour, she provides weekly political analysis for the popular “Politics Monday” segment. She is also a regular Sunday panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press and CNN’s Inside Politics, and appears frequently on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News Channel. From 2017 until early 2021, Walter was the host of the weekly nationally syndicated program “Politics with Amy Walter” on The Takeaway from WNYC and PRX. She’s also the former political director of ABC News. 

In her presentations, Walter expertly breaks down the electoral process, congressional culture, and the Washington political scene. Her astuteness, wit, and range of expertise creates an engaging, compelling presentation, and her reliable and accurate analysis has earned her numerous accolades. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Amy Walter takes audiences on an insider’s tour of Washington through the eyes of the woman with her finger on the pulse of politics. 

Political History. Before ABC, she was the editor-in-chief of The Hotline, Washington’s premier daily briefing on American politics. There she served as the political publication’s primary voice for three years, and she provided regular analysis of the national political environment in her weekly National Journal column, On the Trail. Walter has provided election night coverage and analysis since 1998 and was a member of CNN’s Emmy-award winning election night team in 2006. 

Accolades and Education. Named one of the “Top 50 Journalists” by Washingtonian magazine, Walter was dubbed one of the most powerful people in politics in George magazine for her insights into the mechanics that make the political machine run. She also won the Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award for her spot-on election predictions and has been frequently quoted as a congressional election expert in newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the New York Times. Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report, said, “Today, her work is trusted and respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. She knows how to get beyond bluster and spin to unearth– and explain – what really matters in a political arena. And, she has a proven track record of success, which is essential for those whose jobs depend on accurate political forecasting.” 

Walter graduated summa cum laude from Colby College. She was also honored by her alma mater her with an honorary PhD, and now serves on the Board of Advisors. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where she was an inaugural fellow.

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter and Popular On-Air Political Analyst

For more than 20 years, Amy Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with unparalleled access to campaign insiders and decision-makers. Known as one of the best political journalists covering Washington, she is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the non-partisan Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, where she provides analysis of the issues, trends, and events that shape the political environment. A contributor to the PBS NewsHour, she provides weekly political analysis for the popular “Politics Monday” segment. She is also a regular Sunday panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press and CNN’s Inside Politics, and appears frequently on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News Channel. From 2017 until early 2021, Walter was the host of the weekly nationally syndicated program “Politics with Amy Walter” on The Takeaway from WNYC and PRX. She’s also the former political director of ABC News.

In her presentations, Walter expertly breaks down the electoral process, congressional culture, and the Washington political scene. Her astuteness, wit, and range of expertise creates an engaging, compelling presentation, and her reliable and accurate analysis has earned her numerous accolades. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Amy Walter takes audiences on an insider’s tour of Washington through the eyes of the woman with her finger on the pulse of politics.

Political History. Before ABC, she was the editor-in-chief of The Hotline, Washington’s premier daily briefing on American politics. There she served as the political publication’s primary voice for three years, and she provided regular analysis of the national political environment in her weekly National Journal column, On the Trail. Walter has provided election night coverage and analysis since 1998 and was a member of CNN’s Emmy-award winning election night team in 2006.

Accolades and Education. Named one of the “Top 50 Journalists” by Washingtonian magazine, Walter was dubbed one of the most powerful people in politics in George magazine for her insights into the mechanics that make the political machine run. She also won the Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award for her spot-on election predictions and has been frequently quoted as a congressional election expert in newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the New York Times. Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report, said, “Today, her work is trusted and respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. She knows how to get beyond bluster and spin to unearth– and explain – what really matters in a political arena. And, she has a proven track record of success, which is essential for those whose jobs depend on accurate political forecasting.”

Walter graduated summa cum laude from Colby College. She was also honored by her alma mater her with an honorary PhD, and now serves on the Board of Advisors. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where she was an inaugural fellow.

Amy Walter

10/6/22, 2:00 PM