2013 New Speakers Orientation
LBJ School of Public Affairs
University of Texas
Hosted by Joe Straus, Speaker of the House, Texas
On January 24-26, 2013, newly elected Speakers of the House, Chiefs of Staff, their spouses and guests from around the country convened at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas. Sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) and the National Speakers Conference (NSC), the New Speakers program offered our nation’s top legislative leaders an opportunity to come together to discuss, debate and learn from a faculty that included nationally recognized scholars and experienced Speakers of the House. Thirteen of the nation’s 25 new Speakers attended the orientation along with six new Chiefs of Staff. It was the largest gathering of new Speakers since the program’s inception in 2001.
The program covered a great deal of ground and included sessions on Leadership in a Changing World, The Art of Dispute Resolution, and Thinking, Acting and Leading Strategically, along with personal stories from present and past Speakers. Program faculty was comprised of some of the best minds in the land and the curriculum was designed to address the skills every Speaker and legislative leader needs when he or she first takes the gavel. This year’s program, for the first time, included Speaker’s chiefs of staff for whom a comparable program was designed to address the nitty gritty administrative and political decisions they will confront each and every day.
There is no partisanship at this program. Speakers of the House share a special bond that transcends ideology and when these newly elected leaders came together in Austin they not only learned about what awaits them, they also started to form new and lasting friendships with men and women who share their same set of unique responsibilities. These new friendships, built across regional, ideological and partisan lines may ultimately be the most lasting contribution of this program.
New Speakers Orientation: Class of 2013