​​​​Keynote Speakers


Tuesday, June 13


Breakfast and Keynote Remarks by Stewart Verdery

Founder and Partner, Monument Policy Group

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C. Stewart Verdery, Jr. has been a major Washington policymaker for over two decades. From high-ranking government positions to counseling private sector and political clients, Verdery has impacted a diverse set of issues such as technology and telecommunications, homeland security and law enforcement, international trade and commerce, and intellectual property. One of National Journal’s “Political Insiders” and one of The Hill’s “Top Lobbyists,” Verdery is a sought-after public speaker and commentator on a wide range of public policy topics, including frequent appearances on networks such as Fox News and CNN. Verdery founded Monument in 2006, and the firm is one of the most respected and fastest-growing government consulting firms in Washington with clients including leading trade associations, Fortune 100 corporations, innovative startups, and non-profits. Verdery and Monument were named one of Washington’s top consulting firms in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Verdery has been listed as one of the top advisors representing the technology sector.

A leading Congressional attorney, Verdery served as General Counsel to Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), Assistant Senate Majority Leader, from 1998 until 2002, where he played a major role on a wide range of policy issues including law enforcement, commerce, nominations, constitutional law, campaign finance, and telecommunications. Verdery also oversaw the creation and management of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force. Verdery also served as Counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). In addition, while at the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration from 1996-1998, he worked as a committee counsel for Chairman John Warner (R-Va.).

Following his Congressional service, from 2003 to 2005, he served as the first Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), following his unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. At DHS’s Border and Transportation Security Directorate he led efforts to develop and implement policies related to immigration, visas, and travel facilitation; cargo security and international trade; transportation security; and law enforcement. Verdery supervised policy development for agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration. He also worked extensively with foreign governments, appeared frequently as a witness in Congressional hearings and as a public speaker on homeland security, travel facilitation, and international trade, chaired official government advisory committees on international trade and tourism, and served on the President’s Advisory Committee to Protect Americans’ Civil Liberties.

Verdery chairs the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Advisory Circle, serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Project 2049 Institute, and on the MITRE Homeland Security Advisory Board. He previously has served as Senior Legislative Counsel for Vivendi Universal Entertainment, focusing on telecommunications and intellectual property issues, and an Associate at the Washington office of law firm Baker & Hostetler. Verdery also was as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a senior advisor to the Giuliani for President campaign, and a member of the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future at the Migration Policy Institute, the board of directors at Isonics Corporation, and the advisory board of Packethop. He received his B.A. from Williams College in 1989, his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1993 for which he serves as class officer, and graduated from the Woodberry Forest School, where he serves on the Board of Trustees and formerly chaired the Board of Advisors.

Verdery and his wife Jenny have three children.


Luncheon and Keynote Remarks by Rufus Yerxa

President, National Foreign Trade Council 

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Ambassador Rufus Yerxa became President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) in May 2016. As president, he oversees NFTC’s efforts in favor of a more open, rules based world economy, focusing on key issues to U.S. competitiveness such as international trade and tax policy, economic sanctions, export finance and human resource management. He has more than three decades of experience as a lawyer, diplomat, U.S. trade negotiator and international official. He has been in key policymaking and management roles in Congress, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and also spent several years in private law practice and the corporate world.

As Deputy Director General of the WTO from 2002 to 2013 he helped to broaden its membership and strengthen its role as the principal rules-based institution governing world trade. Prior to this, from 1989 to 1995, he served as Deputy USTR under both a Republican and a Democratic President, first as the Geneva-based Ambassador to the GATT (the predecessor organization to the WTO) and subsequently as the Washington Deputy. Earlier in his government career (1981 to 1989) he was with the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Trade. He began
his government career as a legal advisor with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

After leaving government service in 1995 and prior to joining the WTO he spent five years in the private sector, first as the Brussels-based partner with a major U.S. law firm and later as European general counsel for a Fortune 500 company. 

Rufus is a native of Washington State. He received his BA in political science from the University of Washington (1973), his JD from Seattle University School of Law (1976) and an LLB in international Law from the University of Cambridge in England (1977). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and is also a Visiting Professor with the Middlebury Institute of
International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).


Closing Session and Keynote Remarks by Katty Kay

Anchor, BBC World News America & Co-author, Womenomics & The Confidence Code



Katty Kay is the lead anchor for BBC World News America. She is seen in America on nearly 300 Public Broadcasting Stations which carry BBC World News America broadcasts. Kay’s reports on the latest U.S. economic and political news are also carried by BBC News channels globally, giving her a vast international audience. In addition, Kay is also a frequent guest commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press as well as a regular guest and substitute co-host on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

The daughter of a British diplomat, Kay grew up all over the Middle East. Her career with the BBC began in Zimbabwe in 1990 where she started filing radio reports for BBC World Service radio. From there she also covered the end of apartheid in South Africa. Kay then went on to work as a BBC correspondent in London, and later Tokyo, reporting on stories including the Kobe earthquake and the Japanese economic recession. She settled in Washington in 1996 where she took some time out from broadcast journalism to join The Times’ (the British newspaper) Washington bureau before returning to the BBC in 2002.

Katty Kay is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of two New York Times bestsellers. Her latest, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know, inspires women to understand that confidence – the lynchpin of success – is a choice. She shows ways to break out of comfort zones and take risks that pay off. In her first book, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, she examined the workplace revolution and inspired women to take control, dream big and discover a different way of weaving work into their lives – and in the process create more profitable companies with happier and more productive employees.

Kay is a popular speaker who addresses both current political events and issues impacting women.She speaks on American politics and global affairs, offering the fresh perspective of someone who has lived in and reported from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and now Washington, D.C. She looks beyond the headlines and provides valuable insights on the top stories making news right now -- the challenges facing the President and Congress, the outlook for the next major U.S. election, global economic news, world trouble spots, diplomatic dustups, terrorism and more.Additionally, the challenges of juggling a demanding career and a family with four children led her to speak and write on two topics that strongly resonate with women: confidence and something she calls “Womenonics.”

Katty studied modern languages at Oxford from where she went on to work for a brief period with the Bank of England. She speaks fluent French and Italian and also what she describes as 'rusty Japanese'. Katty is married to Tom Carver, a strategic risk consultant. They live in Washington, D.C. with their four children.