Featured Speaker:

  • Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa’s longest-serving chief executive and former chairman of the National Governors Association

In conversation with

  • Ray Scheppach, professor of practice, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia, and former executive director of the National Governors Association 
  • Olivia Golden, Institute fellow at the Urban Institute and former assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (moderator)

On the eve of the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, the Urban Institute debuts Making Government Work -- illuminating, pundit-free exchanges with high-level state, local, and federal officials on the role and effectiveness of the public sector.

The series’ first forum considers the challenges and opportunities states face securing their future by investing in children. It builds on an Urban Institute discussion paper and event about children and the nation’s priorities.

Terry Branstad became Iowa’s youngest governor at age 36, serving first from 1983 to 1999 and again since 2011. He has been at the state’s helm during the farm crisis of the 1980s, record low unemployment rates of the late 1990s, and aftermath of the Great Recession.

At the Urban Institute forum, Gov. Branstad will speak about his proposed education reforms -- and why they matter to today’s kids -- and Iowa’s Healthiest State in the Nation Initiative, a privately led, publicly endorsed endeavor. The discussion will explore states’ hurdles in meeting child and family needs in an era of fiscal constraint, improving service efficiency and effectiveness, and what the federal government ought to do to increase states’ ability to succeed.

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