Speaker Bios

Jeffrey_Bergner  Jeffrey Bergner, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs

Jeffrey Bergner is a corporate lobbyist and supporter of neoconservative advocacy groups, who served as assistant secretary of state under Condoleezza Rice during the George W. Bush presidency. Bergner is also a close associate of Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), having worked as his staff director for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and as policy director on Lugar’s presidential campaign in 1995 and 1996. His lobbying firm at the time, Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain, represented a number of high profile firms and defense contractors, including Bristol-Myers Squib, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, Phillip Morris, Monsanto, Lucent, and Dell. He served as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, focusing on legislative and budget issues in Congress. Bergner has taught at several universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and Christopher Newport University.

Christopher M. Brown Christopher M. Brown, Director of Government Affairs, PolicyLink

Chris Brown oversees all federal policy and government initiatives for PolicyLink and its national partners, by formulating and ensuring that key priorities are articulated to Members of Congress and the Administration. Chris focuses on strategic partnership opportunities between the private sector, government, community based organizations and policy groups in advancing legislative and regulatory initiatives, and draws on his previous experience of serving in the U.S. House of Representatives as senior staff where he helped shape federal policy in a host of other areas including appropriations, tax, and banking. Brown holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia, and a JD from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL.

 Anita Kumar, White House Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers

Anita Kumar covers the White House for McClatchy Newspapers. She previously worked at The Washington Post, covering Virginia politics and government, and spent a decade at the St. Petersburg Times, writing about local, state and federal government both in Florida and Washington. She also worked briefly at the News & Advance in Lynchburg, Va. and the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. A native Virginian, Anita grew up in Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia.


Richard Gard S. Richard Gard Jr., Editor and Publisher at Missouri Lawyers Media

Richard Gard serves as editor and publisher (and president) of Missouri Lawyers Media, a group of newspapers and digital platforms serving Missouri attorneys. Recruited to the post nine years ago, Gard integrated three separately acquired companies into one media enterprise, redefined the editorial mission, assembled a talented team, and has led MLM to journalistic acclaim and business success. Prior to MLM, Gard served as editor and publisher of American Lawyer Media’s Atlanta-based newspaper for Georgia lawyers, the Fulton County Daily Report. There, he helped accomplish a similar editorial and commercial turnaround. Gard jumped into journalism during his third year of law practice at an Atlanta litigation firm. A University of Georgia School of Law graduate, he discovered his love of journalism at the University of Virginia, where he served as executive editor of The Declaration, a student weekly newsmagazine, and graduated with distinction as an English major, history minor and Echols scholar. Gard is the 2014 president of the Missouri Press Association and a gubernatorial appointee to the Missouri Humanities Council.



Questions? Please contact Executive Director, Yuhuan Fu at yf5un@virginia.edu.