University of New Hampshire

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The Presidency in Real Time: A Rudman Center Conversation with Presidential Chiefs of Staff

The Rudman Center Public Forum Series presented:

The Presidency in Real Time:
A Rudman Center Conversation with Presidential Chiefs of Staff

This event was jointly hosted by The Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth College, UNH's Carsey School of Public Policy, and sponsored by Bank of America.

(from left to right) Kenneth M. Duberstein, Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan; Andrew H. Card, Jr., Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush; Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, III, Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton

Christopher Whipple, Executive Producer of the documentary film The Presidents' Gatekeepers

On October 9, 2014, The Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy at UNH Law provided a rare opportunity for program attendees to learn what its like to serve the country as a Presidential Chief of Staff. Christopher Whipple — a former Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS News 60 Minutes and ABC News PrimeTime — posed important questions about the meaning of executive branch leadership and public policy making to three former Presidential Chiefs of Staff: Kenneth M. Duberstein, Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, III, and Andrew H. Card, Jr. These former Chiefs answered Whipple with candor and insight based on their service to Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush.

The program, designed around The President's Gatekeepers, a 4-hour documentary produced by Whipple for the Discovery Channel, provided the audience with a unique understanding of the important role that a Presidential Chief of Staff plays in creating the right conditions for effective governance and leadership by the President. All of the former Chiefs noted the role that Senator Warren B. Rudman had played in finding reasonable and workable solutions to pressing public policy issues during his service in the Senate. It is just this approach that the Rudman Center seeks to promote in a new generation of leaders through timely, realistic programming grounded in the real world experience of those, such as the three Chiefs, who have provided the country with invaluable public service.

Mark W. Huddleston, UNH President

(from left to right) Hilary A. Cessna, JD '16 and Allison M. Fusco, JD '16

Panelists included:

Kenneth M. Duberstein
Chief of Staff to
President Ronald Reagan

Kenneth M. Duberstein is chairman and CEO of The Duberstein Group, an independent strategic planning and consulting company advising leading corporations and a select group of trade associations.

Duberstein served as a key member of the Reagan Administration during his various assignments as White House Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.

He was awarded the President's Citizens Medal by President Reagan in January 1989. Duberstein graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and American University. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Franklin and Marshall.

Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, III
Chief of Staff to
President Bill Clinton

Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III is chairman of McLarty Associates, a strategic international advisory firm, which he co-founded in 1998 following a distinguished record of business leadership and public service, including various roles advising three U.S. Presidents: Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

He is also chairman of McLarty Companies, a fourth generation automotive and transportation company based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Mr. McLarty is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal; the highest civilian honors of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela; and the Center for the Study of the Presidency Distinguished Service Award.

Andrew H. Card, Jr.
Chief of Staff to
President George W. Bush

On November 26, 2000, Andrew H. Card, Jr., was appointed Chief of Staff in the presidential administration of Texas Governor George W. Bush. Card was chosen because of his impressive service record in the public and private sector, including serving in the administrations of two former presidents. Card's last day was April 14, 2006, making him the second-longest serving White House Chief of Staff.

From 1992 until 1993, Card served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President George Bush. In August 1992, at the request of President Bush, Card coordinated the Administration's disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Later that year, Card directed President Bush's office during the transition from the Bush administration to the Clinton administration.

He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975-1983. In 1982, Card was named Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislators Association and received the Distinguished Legislator Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association.


Christopher Whipple
Executive Producer of the documentary film The Presidents' Gatekeepers

Christopher Whipple, a former Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS News 60 Minutes and ABC News PrimeTime, is president of CCWHIP Productions, specializing in nonfiction television.

He is Executive Producer of The Presidents’ Gatekeepers, a groundbreaking look at the role of the modern White House chiefs of staff.  For the four-hour documentary series, which aired on the Discovery Channel in 2013, Mr. Whipple interviewed all 20 living chiefs and two former presidents, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush.

Mr. Whipple is currently writing a book which examines how each presidency has hinged on the effectiveness of the chief of staff.  Last summer he moderated a panel on the White House chiefs with Jimmy Carter’s Jack Watson, Ronald Reagan’s Kenneth Duberstein, Bill Clinton’s John Podesta, and George W. Bush’s Joshua Bolten.






Event photos by Perry Smith

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