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The Bob and Elizabeth Dole Series on Leadership

BPC honors the extraordinary service of former Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole, two of America’s most prominent and influential leaders.

The Bob and Elizabeth Dole Series on Leadership is designed to help our country better understand what makes for effective, strong leadership across a variety of institutions. It features the work and ideas of prominent influencers with diverse viewpoints from across government, business, science, and other disciplines.


One of the nation’s longest serving Senate Republican leaders, Bob Dole was known for his ability to work across the aisle and foster practical bipartisanship. He has been a life-long advocate for the disabled and was a key figure in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In January 2018, Dole received the nation’s highest civilian award — the Congressional Gold Medal — for his contributions as a soldier, legislator, and statesman.

Elizabeth Dole served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush presidential administrations, as well as in the United States Senate. In addition to her many accomplishments, Dole was the first woman in our nation to serve as secretary of transportation and the first woman to win North Carolina’s Senate seat. 

“The Dole Leadership Series will showcase great ideas and inspired leadership from Corporate executives, community activists, and public officials said BPC President Jason Grumet. “With these events, we seek to understand and celebrate the skills and circumstances that define great leaders like Bob and Elizabeth Dole.”

Featured Speakers

George Mitchell

George Mitchell

September 13, 2018
1:00 PM

George J. Mitchell is a BPC co-founder and co-chair of its Housing Commission. He served as a senator from Maine from 1980 until 1995, and as the Senate majority leader from 1989 until 1995. While in the Senate, Mitchell served on the Finance, Veterans Affairs, and Environment and Public Works Committees. He led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act, including new controls on acid rain toxins. He was the author of the first national oil spill prevention and cleanup law, led the Senate to passage of the nation’s first child care bill, was principal author of the low-income housing tax credit program, and was instrumental in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

David Gergen

Washington, D.C.
October 11 
5:00 p.m.

David is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, positions he has held for over a decade. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and works actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 2001).


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Lowell C. McAdam 

Washington, D.C.
October 25
11:00 a.m.

Lowell C. McAdam has been chairman and former chief executive officer of Verizon Communications for nearly a decade. McAdam will serve as Executive Chairman of the Verizon Board through his retirement at the end of the year, at which time he will become Non-Executive Chairman. Under his leadership as CEO, he positioned Verizon for a new phase of wireless growth and lead the company’s push into markets in the Internet of Things and digital media.

McAdam is one of the architects of today’s global wireless industry, having built wireless businesses on three continents since the technology’s development in the 1980s. He was president and CEO of Verizon Wireless from 2007 until 2010 and before that served as its executive vice president and chief operating officer. Before joining Verizon Wireless in 2000, McAdam was president and CEO of PrimeCo Personal Communications, a joint venture owned by Bell Atlantic and Vodafone AirTouch, where he oversaw the deployment of one of the industry’s first all-digital networks

He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cornell and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of San Diego. He also spent six years in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps and became a licensed professional engineer in 1979.


GPHS 3/69:  Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh with Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Edgar Chandler (far left), and Msgr. Robert J. Hagarty of Chicago (far right) at the Illinois Rally for Civil Rights in Chicago's Soldier Field, 1964/0621.

Film Screening: Hesburgh

November 29, 2018
New York, N.Y.

BPC, in partnership with O’Malley Creadon Productions, an award-winning filmmaking team based in Los Angeles, will screen the new documentary film during the Fall of 2018, followed by a panel discussion. The film showcases how an American priest, Father Ted Hesburgh, became one of the most influential and respected leaders of the 20th century – interacting with US presidents, Popes, students, and serving on numerous corporate boards. The film strongly aligns with BPC’s On Leadership mission of addressing critical problems from different angles and fresh perspectives.

Mark Salter


Mark Salter provides speeches, articles, and communications advice to public and private sectors clients. Salter is a former administrative assistant to Senator John McCain, and served as a senior advisor in both of the Senator’s presidential campaigns. He held the position of chief foreign policy advisor to the Senator from 1989-1993. A 1981 graduate of Georgetown University, Salter worked as a press officer in the U.S. Mission to the UN, and served until 1989 as press aide and speechwriter to former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N, Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick. Salter has written ten books in collaboration with Senator McCain and other prominent public figures, including the recent New York Times’ number one bestseller, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations, as well as six earlier New York Times bestsellers. He was a senior consultant on two recent documentary film projects, Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s “The Vietnam War,” and Kunhardt Films’ “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls.” He and his wife, Diane, split their time between the Washington, D.C. area and Castine, Maine.