San Francisco's Pelosi is in her second term as speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected first woman to serve in this capacity.
President Obama has lauded her as "an extraordinary leader for the American people," and following the passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, England's Guardian observed that "Pelosi is being heralded as the most powerful woman in American history and the most powerful speaker of the House of Representatives in a century." Come and ask your questions of one of Washington's most powerful insiders.
Gloria Duffy is President and CEO of The Commonwealth Club of California.
Gloria Duffy previously served as US Special Coordinator for Cooperative Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration. Her mission was to convince the countries of the former Soviet Union to give up their weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent the spread of their nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and material.
In years prior, she was the first Executive Director of Ploughshares Fund, a public charitable grant making foundation in San Francisco; Assistant Director of the Arms Control Association, a public interest group in Washington, DC; editor of Arms Control Today, and a resident consultant at the RAND Corporation.
A San Francisco native, Dr. Duffy holds M.A., M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University in New York, and an A.B. magna cum laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Gloria has also worked with the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, and been a member of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation since 1980.
Representative Nancy Pelosi
For 25 years, Nancy Pelosi has represented California's 12th District in the House of Representatives. The 12th District includes most of the City of San Francisco including the Bayview, Chinatown, the Mission, North Beach, Presidio, SOMA, the Sunset and many of the diverse neighborhoods that make San Francisco a vibrant and prosperous community.
As the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 113th Congress, Pelosi is focused on strengthening America's middle class through job creation, reforming the political system to create clean campaigns and fair elections, enacting comprehensive immigration reform, and ensuring safety in America’s communities, neighborhoods and schools. From 2007-2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history. She first made history in November 2002 when House Democrats elected her the first woman to lead a major political party in Congress. Pelosi has led House Democrats for a decade and previously served as House Democratic Whip.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi emphasizes the importance of the Democratic Party's "pay-as-you-go" policy in reducing "heaping mountains of [government] debt." The healthcare reform bill will also work to reduce this debt, Pelosi argues, by $1.3 trillion dollars.