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INFOCUS SEMINAR | The Next American Revolution



Start Date

11 May 2016 1:00 pm

End Date

11 May 2016 2:30 pm

Institute for the Study of Social Change logo

Presented by

Penny Lee, Democratic Strategist &
Alex Conant, Republican Consultant

How American voters are forcing a major change in American politics, whether American politicians want it or not.

Two experts of American politics – Penny Lee from the Democratic Party and Alex Conant from the Republican Party – look at the current and most recent presidential campaigns and explore how discontented American voters on both the left and right sides of the aisle are forcing major change within the parties, government policies and political life.

These insiders explain how a dedicated base of voters can rewrite the rules that political scientists and experts once viewed as sacrosanct. The speakers touch on how changing demographics, campaign finance rules, and social media have shifted the American electorate, changed the way it thinks and changed what it expects from its candidates.

Join us for an interactive forum focussing on the forthcoming US Presidential Election. Our guest speakers are two experts from the United States – Penny Lee, a Democratic strategist and principal at Venn Strategies, LLC a government relations and public affairs firm, and Alex Conant, a Republican consultant who was the communications director for Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign.

Our panellists will give a short presentation and we will then open up the floor for an interactive Q&A session. If you are interested in US politics, international relations, public relations and communications please come along to this free event.

Penny Lee is a Democratic strategist and principal in the Venn Strategies, LLC firm. A regular commentator on the political process, campaigns and elections, she has been quoted extensively in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The National Journal, Bloomberg, Roll Call, Politico and other publications. She appears as a political analyst on MSNBC, FOX News Channel, FOX Business Channel, ABC News Now, and CNN.

Ms. Lee joined Venn Strategies, LLC in January 2009 after serving as the top communications and political advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Prior to serving in that post, Ms. Lee was the Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association, where she oversaw 38 statewide elections and helped Democratic governors regain the majority of statehouses for the first time in more than a decade. Before serving in that position, Ms. Lee was communications director for Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell. She has also been a member of the senior staff of the Democratic National Committee and a private consultant to charitable and Democratic party interests. She holds a BA in journalism and political science from Baylor University.

Alex Conant is a Republican political consultant, originally hailing from Minnesota. Conant was the communications director for Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign.

His expertise lies in press relations and communications, having served as press secretary in various capacities. He previously served as Rubio's press secretary in the Senate before switching over to his presidential campaign. Conant's past campaign work includes Tim Pawlenty's (R) failed 2012 presidential bid and Joni Ernst's (R) successful 2014 Iowa senatorial campaign.He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in domestic policy. In 2014, he married Caitlin Dunn, the former communications director for Sen. Rob Portman

(R-OH).  Dunn joined Rubio's campaign as the head of regional and surrogate communications in December 2015.

Wednesday 11 May 2016, 1.00pm to 2.30pm

Aurora Lecture Theatre, IMAS Building, Castray Esplanade, Hobart

Essential - seats are limited. Email Dr Louise Grimmer or phone 03 6226 1587 as soon as possible.

Event Flyer (PDF 400KB)


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