In collaboration with the Aspen Institute Congressional Program
Featuring Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK 4th District), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd District), and Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-US VI), in conversation with former congressman and Congressional Program Director Charlie Dent. The conversation will explore how Cole, DeLauro, and Plaskett are working to repair existing relationships with their congressional colleagues, and what new or existing partnerships they have developed in the last few years that are benefiting all Americans.
Identified by Time Magazine as “one of the sharpest minds in the House,” Tom Cole is currently serving in his tenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the outset of his service in Congress, Cole was named one of the “Five Freshmen to Watch” by Roll Call. In 2016, he was recognized by Newsmax as the “hardest working member in Congress.” He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017. Cole is recognized as a tireless advocate for taxpayers and small businesses, supporter of a strong national defense and leader in promoting biomedical research. He is considered the foremost expert in the House on issues related to Native Americans and tribal governments. Since 2009, Cole has served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where he is currently Vice Ranking Member of the full committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS). Cole was appointed to the House Rules Committee in 2013 and has remained on the panel since then. He currently serves as Ranking Member, the top Republican leadership position on the committee. Cole also serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and sits on the House Republican Steering Committee. A former college instructor in history and politics, Cole holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Tom and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.
Rosa DeLauro is the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District, which stretches from the Long Island Sound and New Haven, to the Naugatuck Valley and Waterbury. Rosa serves as the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and sits on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and she is the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees our nation’s investments in education, health, and employment. Rosa is a leader in fighting to improve and expand federal support for child nutrition and for modernizing our food safety system. She believes that the U.S. should have one agency assigned the responsibility for food safety, rather than the 15 different agencies that lay claim to different parts of our food system. Rosa fights against special interests, like tobacco and e-cigarettes, which seek to skirt our public health and safety rules. Rosa belongs to 62 House caucus groups and is the co-chair of the Baby Caucus, the Long Island Sound Caucus, and the Food Safety Caucus. Soon after earning degrees from Marymount College and Columbia University, Rosa followed her parents’ footsteps into public service, serving as the first Executive Director of EMILY’s List, a national organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected office; Executive Director of Countdown ’87, the national campaign that successfully stopped U.S. military aid to the Nicaraguan Contras; and as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd. In 1990, Rosa was elected to the House of Representatives, and she has served as the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District ever since. Rosa is married to Stanley Greenberg. Their children—Anna, Kathryn, and Jonathan Greenberg—all are grown and pursuing careers. Rosa and Stan have six grandchildren, Rigby, Teo, Sadie, Jasper, Paola and Gus.
Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett represents the United States Virgin Islands’ at-large Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. She is currently serving her fourth term in Congress. For the 117th Congress, the members of the House Steering and Policy Committee unanimously appointed Congresswoman Plaskett to serve on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the oldest and one of the most exclusive committees in Congress. In true historic fashion, Ms. Plaskett is the first Member from a U.S. territory and the fourth African-American woman to serve on this committee. Currently serving her fourth term on the House Committee on Agriculture Congresswoman Plaskett previously served as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research. Ms. Plaskett is also a new member of the House Committee on Budget. Congresswoman Plaskett previously served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I), as well as the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Ms. Plaskett is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, House Blockchain Caucus, and the New Democrat Coalition where she is a co-chair of the Infrastructure Taskforce and the at-large Leadership Member. Congresswoman Plaskett also co-chairs the Congressional Caribbean Caucus. Ms. Plaskett earned her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and her Juris Doctorate from American University’s Washington College of Law. Most importantly, Ms. Plaskett is the mother of 5 – three adults and 2 younger children and the wife of Jonathan Buckney-Small. Congresswoman Plaskett and Jonathan are avid readers, cooks, and news junkies.
Congressman Charlie Dent is Executive Director and Vice President of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, where he leads bipartisan, bicameral policy education programs for sitting members of Congress. In addition to his role at the Aspen Institute, Congressman Dent is a Political Commentator for CNN, a Senior Policy Advisor to the global lawfirm, DLA Piper, and a Distinguished Advisor for Pew Charitable Trusts, and a former Visiting Fellow for the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), Perry World House. Prior to those positions, Congressman Dent served 7 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. During his time in Congress, Congressman Dent distinguished himself as a strong, independent leader who is well respected on both sides of the aisle. Congressman Dent was a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics from 2015 – 2017. In addition to his role as a senior Appropriator, Congressman Dent was the co-chair of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of more than 50 center-right Republicans, where he played an important role in many of the most challenging policy and political issues confronted by Congress. Congressman Dent was a member of the Speaker of the House’s weekly cross section lunch and was a member of the Majority Leader’s Chairman’s Table. Before his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Dent served for 6 years in the Pennsylvania State Senate and 8 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Congressman Dent holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s of Public Administration from Lehigh University. He is a recipient of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2015, Moravian College conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws upon Congressman Dent.