Jennifer Granholm on “Leadership on a State Level: A Governor’s Perspective”

Granholm's seminars will be held on Mondays April 3, April 17, May 1, May 8 at 3pm unless otherwise noted. All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted. All seminars are students only and closed to press/off the record.


States can be laboratories for democracy. As chief executives of their states, Governors often have the opportunity to innovate, experiment and implement strategic plans much more nimbly and flexibly than the Federal government. But how do they do it? What is the Governor’s role in developing and running that laboratory to achieve effective policies? As Governor of Michigan from 2003-2011, Jennifer Granholm led the state through a period of unprecedented economic change and had to develop a strategy to transform the state economy, which was suffering from the decline of the auto industry and the sharp decrease in manufacturing jobs. By the end of her tenure, Michigan led the country in improvement of job market conditions, according to the Gallup Job Creation Index.

In this seminar series, Gov. Granholm will discuss the strategies she employed for job creation and economic growth, the leadership that was required to implement change and how Michigan’s policies can apply to developing national policies for clean energy and job growth.  

Session 1 (April 3): Job Growth in the Age of Automation | RSVP

Since 2000, the US has lost 5,000,000 factory jobs.  Yet contrary to popular belief, more of these jobs have been lost to technological advancement than to outsourcing and trade, which accounts for just 13% of lost manufacturing jobs.  So what is government's role in taking care of these disintermediated workers? In this seminar, we’ll have a conversation about some of the trends in artificial intelligence -- particularly the autonomous vehicle, but other forms of automation also -- and discuss how to help workers and communities adapt to these accelerating technology trends. 

Session 2 (April 18): Building a Clean Energy Economy as a State Jobs Policy | RSVP

How does a state develop a comprehensive strategy for building a clean energy economy?  What state resources must be taken into account?  Using her experience transforming the Michigan economy into a growth economy, and her more recent research towards a national clean energy policy, Governor Granholm will discuss how to create a national clean energy policy through the states, from the bottom up. 

Session 3 (May 1): State Attorneys General - A Balancing Act | RSVP*
*This seminar will take place from 4-5pm at the IOP.

As the chief legal officer of the state, the state attorney general not only serves as counsel to the legislature and state agencies, but also as the “people’s lawyer” protecting the rights of all state citizens.  How does the attorney general work as a public advocate?  How do they decide when to challenge or support state and federal policy?  Where and how are they most effective?  Before she was Governor, Jennifer Granholm was Michigan Attorney General from 1998-2002.  In this seminar she examines the role and accomplishments of State Attorneys General with Illinois’ Lisa Madigan with examples from both Michigan and Illinois.  

Guest Speaker: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Session 4 (May 8): 360 Degree Leadership | RSVP

At a tumultuous time, this country needs to encourage Millennials to lead, to not be bystanders to the partisan carnage in Washington, DC.  Governor Granholm and her husband, Dan Mulhern, a popular professor teaching Leadership at UC Berkeley, will engage seminar participants in a discussion about leading from a position of authority, leading without authority, leading in teams and even navigating one's personal life through a life in public service. 

Guest Speaker: Dan Mulhern (Distinguished Professor of Business and Law at UC Berkeley)