The Aspen Institute McCloskey Speaker Series Presents A Conversation with Democratic Governors

July 28, 2014

Contact: Cristal Logan
Director, Aspen Community Programs
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 970-544-7929

The Aspen Institute McCloskey Speaker Series Presents A Conversation with Democratic Governors
Govs. Dayton, Hassan, Hickenlooper, Nixon, O’Malley, Shumlin to Speak 

Aspen, CO, July 28, 2014 –– The Aspen Institute is pleased to feature a lively panel discussion featuring several Democratic governors who will share their innovative ideas for fixing problems in their respective states and how they could work at the national level. The event will feature Governors Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Jay Nixon of Missouri, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont, and will take place on Saturday, August 2, from 2-3pm in the Greenwald Pavilion on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, CO.

Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson will moderate the discussion. This talk is part of the McCloskey Speaker Series, which is made possible by a generous donation from the McCloskey Family Charitable Foundation.

Tickets are $20 and are available at Aspen Show Tickets at, (970) 920-5770, or at the Wheeler Opera House. As full capacity audiences are expected for this series, early ticket purchasing is encouraged. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the event, and unclaimed tickets will be on sale at the door.

Governor Mark Dayton is Minnesota’s 40th governor. Before becoming governor, Dayton taught 9th grade general science for two years in a New York City public school. For most of the past 34 years, Dayton has served Minnesotans, as Commissioner of the Minnesota Departments of Economic Development and of Energy and Economic Development, as State Auditor, and as United States Senator. He has worked throughout the state to help businesses locate or expand and create jobs, to improve local government services, to better fund public schools, to support servicemen and women, to help Minnesotans get the health care they need, and in many other ways to make a better Minnesota. Currently, Dayton serves on the executive committee of the National Governor’s Association. He graduated, cum laude, from Yale University, where he played Division I hockey.

Governor Maggie Hassan was sworn in as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire on January 3, 2013.  Governor Hassan began her career in public service in 1999 when Governor Jeanne Shaheen asked her to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission. Her experience as a business attorney enabled her to provide a unique perspective as the commission did its work. In 2004, Governor Hassan was first elected to the New Hampshire Senate, and during her six years in office, she was selected by her colleagues to serve as both President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader of the State Senate.  The Governor earned her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from the Northeastern School of Law.

Governor John Hickenlooper was elected the 42nd governor of Colorado in 2010. His unconventional road to the Capitol began when he left the oilfields of western Colorado in the late 1980s and opened the state’s first brewpub. He served nearly eight years as mayor of Denver before running for governor and gaining the position with 51 percent of the vote in a three-way race. As governor, Hickenlooper has made Colorado one of the best places in the US for entrepreneurs to grow jobs. He has worked to balance the state budget plan without raising taxes and aims to support economic development while maintaining the highest environmental standards.

Governor Jay Nixon was elected by Missourians as their 55th governor on Nov. 4, 2008, and to a second term on Nov. 6, 2012. In 1986, Nixon was elected to his first term in the Missouri State Senate, where he served for six years. He was then elected to a record four terms as Missouri’s Attorney General. During his first legislative session as governor, Nixon successfully worked with the Republican-controlled legislature to pass his comprehensive jobs bill. The legislature also passed Caring for Missourians, an initiative by Gov. Nixon that will enable Missouri’s public colleges and universities to graduate an additional 900 professionals in high-demand health care fields each year. Since claiming office, Missouri’s public elementary and secondary schools received a record amount of funding.

Governor Martin O’Malley is serving in his second term as Governor. Governor O’Malley served two terms as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. He was appointed to the nation’s first-ever Council of Governors by President Obama in 2010, and was named co-chair of the Council in 2013. As a member of the National Governors Association, he spearheaded the creation of a Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety and served on it in a leadership capacity from 2009 until 2013.  Prior to serving as Governor, O’Malley served as Mayor of the City of Baltimore. Between 1999 and 2007 his policies helped the people of Baltimore achieve the greatest crime reduction of America’s largest cities. 

Governor Peter Shumlin is the 81st governor of Vermont. Before becoming governor, Shumlin was the longtime co-director of Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions, a company that sends students on educational programs and service projects across the globe. In 1990, Governor Madeleine Kunin appointed Shumlin to fill an empty seat in the Vermont House of Representatives, where he served for three years. He then served Windham County for eight terms in the Vermont Senate and was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate as President pro tem the majority of that time. Since his inauguration, his priorities have included creating jobs and raising incomes for those who have jobs; controlling skyrocketing health care costs; expanding broadband and cell service to every corner of the state; investing in quality education opportunities; and rebuilding the state’s roads and bridges. 

NOTE: Event details subject to change.  For more information on Aspen Institute events open to the public, please contact Jillian Scott at (970) 544-7914 or, call the information hotline at (970) 544-7970, or visit the Institute’s website at

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. For more info, visit


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