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2010 Keynoters Reflect Diversity of Thought, Background
 

By SHRM Online staff  3/2/2010
 

A businessman who served as an appointee to President Ronald Reagan, the vice president under President Bill Clinton, and a visionary who has studied the world’s best managers are all
keynoters for the 2010 SHRM Annual Conference.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is hosting its 62nd mega-HR event at the San Diego Convention Center June 27-30, 2010.

“Whatever your political affiliations,” SHRM’s keynoters are “about providing provocative, diverse concepts and viewpoints” to its attendees, said Letty Kluttz, SPHR. Kluttz, manager, conference programming, for SHRM, takes the lead in securing speakers for all SHRM conferences.

“We have diversity of thought, diversity of background and industry” at the June 29 general session with a panel of high-profile C-suite executives, Kluttz said.

Angelia Herrin, editor of research and special projects at Harvard Business Review, will moderate the panel, which will include Michele Toth, vice president of HR and administration at Northrop Grumman Information Systems; Shannon Deegan, director of people operations—strategy, merger and acquisitions, and staffing at Google, Inc.; and Conrad Venter, global head of HR for Deutsche Bank AG. They will engage in a discussion about the role HR plays in their organizations and industries.

High-Profile Businessman

Steve Forbes—president and CEO of Forbes, editor in chief of Forbes magazine, and author—will kick off the 2010 Annual Conference’s opening session on June 27.

Forbes has been an active member of the Republican Party. Reagan named him chairman of the bipartisan Board for International Broadcasting, where he oversaw Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which broadcast behind the then-Iron Curtain. President George H.W. Bush reappointed him to the post, where he served until 1993. Forbes campaigned unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for president of the United States in 1996 and 2000.

He serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Heritage Foundation.

He serves on the Board of Overseers of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and on the Board of Visitors for the School of Public Policy of Pepperdine University, and he served for 10 years on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, where he received his undergraduate degree.

Forbes chaired the board of Empower America. The group was a political reform organization that formed in 1993 and later merged with another group to become FreedomWorks, a political action committee. It was founded by former New York Republican Rep. Jack Kemp, former Reagan cabinet member William Bennett, and the country’s first female United Nations ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick.

He has written three books, including co-authoring Power Ambition Glory: The Stunning Parallels Between Great Leaders of the Ancient World and Today … and the Lessons You Can Learn (Crown Business, June 2009).

Nobel Prize Winner

Al Gore—45th vice president of the United States, environmentalist and a Nobel Peace Prize winner—is the keynote speaker for the June 28 general session.

Gore has written two best-selling books, including An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergence of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Rodale Books, November 2009). A movie based on that book, which was about the threat of and solutions to global warming, won Oscars in 2007 for best features documentary and best original song.

Gore chairs the nonprofit Alliance for Climate Protection and Generation Investment Management. The latter focuses on sustainable investing. He won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for his environmental work.

“His topic of sustainability is one many people are talking about right now,” Kluttz said. “Green initiatives and how to make your business sustainable are things a lot of businesses are grappling with.”

Gore was elected in 1976 to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat from Tennessee and represented the state in the U.S. Senate from 1985 to 1993. During the Clinton administration, he was vice president, a member of the National Security Council and president of the Senate. In 1988, he campaigned unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president, and in 2000 he lost the presidential election to George W. Bush.

Gore is co-founder and chairman of Current TV, sits on Apple’s board, is a senior adviser to Google and is a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. He graduated from Harvard University.

Pioneering Research

New York Times best-selling author Marcus Buckingham spent nearly 20 years as a senior researcher at the Gallup Organization studying what drives great performance among the world’s best managers and organizations. He uses empirical data to challenge preconceptions about achievement.

He will tell Annual Conference attendees about the difference between great managing and great leading. According to Buckingham, there is a single controlling insight that lies at the heart of every plan. Losing sight of this “one thing” can diminish or compromise the impact of even great ideas, he says. Buckingham draws on a variety of research, including his own, and makes use of in-depth interviews that he has conducted with individuals at every level of an organization, from CEOs to hotel maids and stock boys.

One of Buckingham’s books followed an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in which he conducted a workshop with a group of successful women who were unsatisfied with their lives. He offers strategies that are based on working on personal strengths instead of working on personal weaknesses.

Buckingham founded a management consulting business, TMBC, in 2007 and is a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Leadership and Management.

He is a graduate of Cambridge University.

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