Civility is Needed Most When it's Most Difficult
Cherie Harder serves as President of the Trinity Forum. Prior to joining the Trinity Forum in 2008, Ms. Harder served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady Laura Bush.
Earlier in her career she served as Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, advising the Leader on domestic social issues and serving as liaison and outreach director to outside groups. From 2001 to 2005, she was Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she helped the Chairman design and launch the We the People initiative to enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history. Prior to that Ms. Harder was the Policy Director for Senator Sam Brownback and also served as Deputy Policy Director at Empower America.
Ms. Harder has contributed articles to publications including Policy Review, Human Events, the Harvard Political Review, and various newspapers, as well as a chapter on fashion to the volume Building a Healthy Culture (Eerdmans 2001). Her ghost-written speeches and articles have appeared in Vital Speeches of the Day, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, and others.
She holds an Honors B.A. (magna cum laude) in government from Harvard University and a post-graduate diploma in literature from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where she was a Rotary Scholar. She serves on the board of Gordon College, the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, and Faith and Law; and on the advisory boards of the National Civic Art Society and the National Museum of American Religion.
Ms. Harder was raised in New Mexico and currently lives in Northern Virginia.
Mark Strand became President of the Congressional Institute in 2007. Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature.
Strand is also an adjunct professor of legislative affairs at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and the coauthor of the book Surviving Inside Congress. He also writes a blog, The Sausage Factory, that provides an inside look at legislative strategies and procedures (http://conginst.org/news-feed/).
Strand spent nearly 24 years on Capitol Hill in both the House and the Senate, most recently serving as Chief of Staff to James Talent (R-MO). He served as the Staff Director of the House Committee on Small Business when Talent was Chairman. He was also chief of staff for Reps. Bill Lowery (R-CA) and Stan Parris (R-VA). He has also served as a Legislative Director and a Press Secretary.
During a brief interlude from the Hill from 2001-2002, Strand was Vice-President of Government Affairs for the American Water Works Company – the largest publicly held water utility in the United States.
Strand obtained a master’s in Legislative Affairs from GWU’s Graduate School of Political Management, an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Phoenix, and was an undergraduate double major in Political Science and History at Excelsior College of the University of New York.
Strand regularly speaks to organizations about how Congress works (or doesn’t). Besides speaking and lecturing on legislative politics, Strand teaches courses on “Surviving Inside Congress” to new Hill staff, government affairs employees and Washington-based diplomats. In addition, he regularly works with Congressional offices on management issues.