Congress to Campus

Monday, October 15, 2018
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Panelists

Jim Kolbe, (R-AZ, 1985-2007)
Betsy Markey, (D-CO, 2009-2011)
David O’Connell (moderator), Dickinson College

A bipartisan pair of former members of Congress, The Hon. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ, 1985-2007) and The Hon. Betsy Markey (D-CO, 2009-2011), will look back on their own experiences in government and reflect on the challenges currently facing the United States of America. This discussion will be moderated by political scientist David O’Connell.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the department of political science, the Churchill Fund, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Inclusivity.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Jim Kolbe currently serves as a senior transatlantic fellow for The German Marshall Fund and is a member of McLarty Associates’ Board of Counselors as well as vice-chair of the International Republican Institute and co-chair of the Bretton Woods Committee. Previously, he served in the United States House of Representatives for 22 years, elected for eleven consecutive terms from 1985 to 2007. He represented the eighth (previously designated the fifth) congressional district, comprising the southeastern part of Arizona with Tucson as the main population area.

While in Congress, Kolbe served for 20 years on the Appropriations Committee, responsible for deciding the allocation of the budget and the terms for spending appropriated funds. He was chairman of the Treasury, Post Office and Related Agencies Subcommittee for four years, and for the last six years in Congress, he chaired the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Kolbe advises clients on trade and congressional issues, primarily with a focus on the Americas and Europe.

Kolbe has received numerous awards and tributes, but notable among them is the George Marshall Award for Distinguished Service from the United States Agency for International Development and the Order of the Aztec from the president of Mexico.

Kolbe graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. degree in political science and then from Stanford University with an M.B.A. and a concentration in economics.

Betsy Markey has over 35 years of experience as a member of Congress, a senior federal government executive, the co-founder and CFO of a high tech company and a small retail store.

In January 2015, Markey was appointed by President Obama to serve as the regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration based in Denver. In this capacity she oversaw the delivery of the agency’s small business programs and services in Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.  As an appointee she was required to resign her position in January 2017.

In 2011, Markey was appointed to serve as the assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington DC. She facilitated the direct line of communication between the department and governors and mayors across the country on all DHS mission areas, including cyber security, terrorism prevention, transportation security, immigration enforcement, border security, human trafficking and disaster assistance.

Markey was elected to serve as a member of Congress in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District in 2008, and represented over 700,000 constituents in one of the country’s largest congressional districts in the 111th Congress. She served on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Agriculture. Prior to being elected to Congress, she was the regional director in northern Colorado for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar.  She worked closely with local elected officials, businesses, agricultural groups and non-profit groups.

In the late-1980’s, Markey and her husband launched a successful technology company, Syscom Services, which was one of the first companies to market email, and subsequently expanded into the area of web design and web-based information management systems. The firm has been ranked in the Inc. 500 listing of America’s fastest-growing private companies. She participated in the sale of the company to a group of investors.

In the mid-1990’s, she purchased a coffee/ice cream shop in Fort Collins called Huckleberry‘s. After making extensive changes, she sold the business four years later for double the purchase price.

Markey worked for the U.S. Department of State from 1984-1988 as the director of Computer Security Policy and Training, where she traveled extensively to our overseas Embassies and consulates conducting computer security threat and vulnerability analyses. She entered the federal government as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1983, where she held positions as budget and program analyst in the Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Customs Service.

She has also served as president of the board of directors for the Larimer County Food Bank, chair of its Capital Campaign, and a member of the Local Legislative Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and a master’s of public administration from American University.

oconneld OConnell DavidDavid O’Connell is an assistant professor of political science at Dickinson College. His major research interests include the presidency and the role of religion in American politics. O’Connell is the author of God Wills It: Presidents and the Political Use of Religion (Routledge, 2014), and his research and writing has appeared in, or is forthcoming in, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Politics and Religion, Political Science Quarterly, and White House Studies. O’Connell is also currently completing work on a series of articles examining how members of Congress use their Instagram accounts. A frequent media commentator on American politics, O’Connell has been interviewed by C-SPAN, Fox News, ABC 27, CBS 21, FOX 43, WGAL 8 and WITF, and he has been quoted by national print outlets ranging from CNN to The Christian Science Monitor to the Associated Press. O’Connell received his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, and holds a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors. O’Connell is the 2018 recipient of Dickinson’s Constance & Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for Inspirational Teaching.