Pizza & Politics

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PIZZA & POLITICS

Consider, Converse, and Connect! Pizza & Politics is a monthly interactive discussion of current events and free pizza sponsored by the Lebermann Foundation. 

Interested in monthly civic dialogue to get connected with industry professionals and peers?

Sponsored by the Lebermann Foundation, Pizza & Politics invites you to an enriching experience where you'll have the exclusive opportunity to speak directly with influential speakers who shape our society. Dive into thought-provoking discussions on pressing issues and enjoy free pizza, all while connecting with fellow college students who share your passion for civic engagement. Space is limited, sign up now to take advantage of this exclusive opportunity to directly share your perspective with field experts and hear their views firsthand in a candid and open setting.

This event will be held in the DMC 1.202 lecture hall. Event starts at 5:00 pm for pizza and networking, discussion begins at 5:30 pm. 

Event speakers and topics will be announced in the lead up to the event. Please contact strauss.intitute@austin.utexas.edu with any questions.

Featured Speakers: 

Mike Rawlings

February 7th Meeting 

Mike Rawlings was the 61st mayor of Dallas, and the longest-serving mayor in 57 years. Serving eight years he focused on spurring economic development in the long-overlooked southern portion of Dallas through his GrowSouth initiative, improving public education, combatting poverty and domestic violence, developing parks, elevating the city’s international profile, and turning Dallas into a top destination for artists, young professionals, families, and corporations. Public service has long been important to Mayor Rawlings. In the years before his 2011 election as mayor, he served as the Chair of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (VIsitDallas), the city’s Homeless Czar (winning the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Award for Innovation) and the president of the Dallas Park Board. Voters re-elected Mayor Rawlings by a wide margin in 2015 to his second and final four-year term. He currently serves as CIC Partners Vice Chairman and invests in and counsels several small to mid-size companies that are in the CIC Partners portfolio. He is on the Board of Directors of the Hoblitzelle Foundation and a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas.

Ted Delisi

November 13th Meeting 

Ted began his career in electoral politics by successfully directing two State Senate campaigns, which proved decisive in achieving a Republican majority in the Texas Senate for the first time since Reconstruction. Ted then assisted the first Republican Hispanic candidate to win statewide office in Texas, helping Tony Garza through a successful primary and general election. Ted also served as press secretary and communications director for then-Attorney General John Cornyn, where he managed a large communications and speechwriting staff. In 2002, Ted served as the general consultant and chief strategist for John Cornyn’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate. He additionally served as the direct mail consultant for Governor Perry’s 2002 and 2006 elections. Ted has continued to serve as a successful political strategist for a variety of political and, increasingly, corporate clients. His recent work includes directing the bipartisan “Yes on 12” lawsuit constitutional amendment on medical liability reform. As a partner in Delisi Communications, Ted provides turnkey solutions for corporate government relations and public relations efforts.

Linda Moore

November 13th Meeting

As President and CEO, Linda leads at the intersection of business, policy, and politics, bringing together CEOs, policymakers, business leaders, and technology experts to develop policy and drive outcomes to ensure the U.S. wins the next era of innovation. During her tenure, TechNet has become what WIRED magazine described as “tech’s most powerful advocacy group.” In recent years, TechNet has worked with Congress and the Biden administration to lay the foundation for reclaiming America’s global leadership in innovation. Drawing on her years of experience in national political campaigns, Linda established TechNet’s award-winning 50-state advocacy program, which is unparalleled in size and expertise among trade associations. A veteran of The White House, Capitol Hill, and five presidential campaigns, Linda has a long history in moderate Democratic politics. She served as Field Director for the Democratic Leadership Council, Deputy Political Director of the Clinton White House, and Senior Advisor to Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. Linda has been named a “Top Lobbyist” by The Hill newspaper and the Institute of Lobbying and Ethics. A native Texan, Linda is a 1984 graduate of the University of Texas (UT) at Austin and is a member of the Advisory Council of UT’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life.

Stephen Slick

October 9th Meeting

Stephen B. Slick is the Director of UT’s Intelligence Studies Project, a joint project of the LBJ School’s Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft. Steve Slick served 28 years as a member of the CIA’s clandestine service, including service from 2009 to 2014 as the chief of station in a Middle Eastern capital. Prior to that he served as special assistant to the president and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs and Reform on the staff of the National Security Council.

Jehmu Greene

September 11th meeting

Co-founder and CEO of We Defend Truth, an organization battling online disinformation; a founding board member of VoteRunLead, an organization inspiring women to careers in politics; a former political analyst on Fox News Channel; and former President of Rock the Vote. Jehmu began her career in politics working for Ann Richards and as chair of Texas Young Democrats.

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan Jones

September 11th meeting

A tech entrepreneur with a diverse background in commerce, healthcare, and advertising. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Tech Policy Press, a non-profit dedicated to advancing a pro-democracy movement within the tech and tech policy sectors. He previously held the role of Chairman at Stand Up Republic, an organization founded by former Republican Presidential candidate Evan McMullin, committed to promoting liberty, equality, and truth in America. Bryan also holds positions as a cybersecurity fellow at the LBJ School's Strauss Center for National Security and as an adjunct professor at UT Law School.