David Axelrod
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David Axelrod and Ari Fleischer were great together! The speakers were gifted at sharing what they experienced and how they worked within the White House. They were perfect with the students. Texas A&M University
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David Axelrod

Senior Political Commentator, CNN, and Host, The Axe Files; Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics; Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama (2009-2011)

One of the greatest political strategists in recent American history, David Axelrod offers an insider’s perspective into the major issues of the day.

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The Evolving Media and Political Landscape

The 24/7 news cycle, social media, and a culture where information is currency have completely changed the face of politics—in some cases for better and in others for worse. A veteran strategist who started out his career as a newspaperman for The Chicago Tribune, David Axelrod reflects on the changes that have taken root in the media and what they mean for the direction of our political discourse at home and abroad. Has our desire for soundbites drowned out thoughtful discussion? Does a culture that embraces talking heads over substance make us less apt to listen to opposing viewpoints? How can we better use new media to advance issues of immense importance to our future? Axelrod shares the answers to these questions as he reflects on a rapidly shifting media and political landscape.

Witness to History: Leadership Lessons from a Presidential Advisor

From the financial crisis and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the fight for health care reform, the Obama Administration was tested with issues of enormous consequences. As President Obama’s senior advisor, David Axelrod worked 20 feet from the Oval Office. He shares his thoughts on leadership as someone who was in the room as monumental decisions were made affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. Drawing on his years as a top strategist and spokesman, Axelrod gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at life in the White House and shares what he has learned from his experiences on the world stage.

Meet David Axelrod


One of the greatest political strategists in recent American history, David Axelrod offers an insider’s perspective into the major issues of the day.

A respected journalist, political strategist, and award-winning ad maker, David Axelrod was the sage architect of President Barack Obama’s improbable four-year march from the Illinois State Senate to the White House. As senior advisor to the President, he was a key figure in shaping—and selling—the administration’s agenda and its significant legislative victories, including the economic stimulus program, health care reform and financial regulatory reform. From his unique vantage point, Axelrod shares the leadership lessons he learned working in the West Wing and analyzes the major issues of the day. He is a senior political commentator for CNN and host of The Axe Files podcast, a series of interviews with key figures in the political world. Axelrod was inducted into The American Association of Political Consultants’ Hall of Fame in 2013. His New York Times best-selling memoir, BELIEVER: My Forty Years in Politics (February, 2015), spans 40 years which include corruption and transformation, turmoil and progress—offering a look behind the closed doors of politics while issuing a thrilling call to democratic action. This powerful, inspiring memoir is enlivened by the charm and candor of one of the greatest political strategists in recent American history.

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