2019 Conference Speakers


James Carville

James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville is America’s best-known political consultant. His long list of electoral successes evidences a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to unexpected landslide victories and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners.


His winning streak began in 1986, when he managed the gubernatorial victory of Robert Casey in Pennsylvania. In 1987, Carville helped guide Wallace Wilkinson to the governor’s seat in Kentucky. Carville continued his winning streak with a win in New Jersey with Frank Lautenberg elected to the US Senate. He next managed the successful 1990 gubernatorial campaign of Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Zell Miller, including a tough primary win over Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, and in 1991, Carville – who had already become prominent in many political circles – drew national attention when he led Senator Harris Wofford from 40 points behind in the polls to an upset landslide victory over former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. But his most prominent victory was in 1992 when he helped William Jefferson Clinton win the Presidency.


In recent years, Carville has not been a paid political consultant for many domestic politicians or candidates, instead focusing on campaigns in more than 23 countries around the globe stretching from the continents of South America to Europe to Africa and most recently Asia.


James Carville is also a best-selling author, actor, producer, talk-show host, speaker and restaurateur. His titles include We're Still Right, They're Still Wrong: The Democrats' Case for 2016, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home; It’s The Middle Class Stupid!; All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President (with wife Mary Matalin); We’re Right, They’re Wrong: A Handbook for Spirited Progressives; And the Horse He Rode In On: The People vs. Kenneth Starr; Buck Up, Suck Up... and Come Back When You Foul Up; Had Enough? A Handbook for Fighting Back; Stickin’: The Case for Loyalty; his children’s book, Lu and the Swamp Ghost; and 2006’s Take it Back, 40 More Years: How the Democrats will Rule the Next Generation.


Along with pollster Stanley Greenberg, Carville founded Democracy Corps, an independent, non-profit polling organization dedicated to making government more responsive to the American people.


Carville also serves as a professor of Practice at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he lives with his wife Mary Matalin and their two daughters.


Mary Matalin

Mary Matalin is one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America. As an author, television and radio host, and widely sought after political contributor, pundit and public speaker, she has become noted for her straightforward manner and insightful political repartee. Among her many roles and accomplishments, she has served under President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as George H.W. Bush's Campaign director and most recently as assistant to President George W. Bush, and as assistant and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, making her the first White House official to hold that double title.


Matalin has been active in politics since college, starting at the grassroots level in local and statewide campaigns in her native Illinois. In 1980, after graduating from Western Illinois University, Matalin joined a re-election campaign for Illinois Lt. Governor David O'Neal at the request of a former professor. She was so successful, that when the "Reagan Revolution" brought her to Washington DC, she was quickly hired by the Republican National Committee.


After a hiatus from Washington to attend Hofstra Law School, Matalin returned to the RNC in 1984 to serve as national voter contact director for the Reagan-Bush Campaign. By 1988, after holding various senior positions in the George H.W. Bush successful presidential campaign of that same year, she was appointed Chief of Staff to Republican National Committee Chairman, Lee Atwater.


In 1992, President Bush named her deputy campaign manager for Political Operations, and as such she was responsible for the overview and organization of operations in all 50 states. As the on-board planner who traveled with President Bush throughout the 1992 campaign, she emerged as the vocal, and occasionally controversial, defender of the President and his policies.


Since that time, Matalin has made frequent television appearances as a political commentator, securing a career in conservative media advocacy following decades of work in the GOP political trenches. She was a founding co-host of the Washington-based political weeknight talk show Equal Time, which premiered in May, 1993 on CNBC. Her political astuteness and antics contributed to the show's being hailed as "the best talk show on television" by Knight Ridder News Service, and her straightforwardness and sharp sense of humor helped to make the show one of the most talked about programs in the network's history. She has made numerous appearances on NBC's Meet the Press, as well as on the popular HBO series K-Street, and before joining the Bush/Cheney White House, hosted CNN's critically acclaimed debate show, Crossfire. Today she can be seen as a frequent guest commentator on news networks such as ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News Network.


Matalin took her sharp wit, energy and free-spirited political views to the airwaves with her own threehour afternoon radio program on the CBS Talk Radio Network. The Mary Matalin Show highlighted current events, featured distinguished guests, and was regularly inundated with listener calls. Talkers magazine listed Matalin as one of "The 100 Most Important Talk Show Hosts in America" in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The show was also recognized by receiving Talk Daily's "Great Web Site Award." Today, she co-hosts the nationally-syndicated radio program Both Sides Now, which is currently broadcast on over 100 radio stations across the country.


In addition to her successful careers in politics, television and radio, Matalin is also a widely read, respected and acclaimed author. She formerly served as Editor-in-Chief for Threshold Editions, a conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster that has published authors from Vice President Dick Cheney to Karl Rove to Glenn Beck. Matalin co-authored the best-selling political campaign book All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President with her husband, James Carville. The book was named one of the top 5 best books on public relations by The Wall Street Journal. In their second joint memoir, Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home (January 2014), Carville and Matalin take a look at how they—and America—have changed in the last two decades. In their two distinct voices, they pick up their story from the end of the 1992 Presidential campaign to their new life in New Orleans today where their efforts to rebuild and promote that city have become a central part of their lives—and a poignant metaphor for moving the nation forward. She is also the author of Letters to My Daughters which made both The New York Times and The Washington Post best seller lists. Letters was also named a Book of the Month Club selection, and was chosen for a condensed version by Reader's Digest.


Matalin sits on the boards of numerous respected institutions across the country: Loyola University’s Board of Trustees, Tulane University's President's Council, Greater New Orleans Inc., The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and The Louisiana Nature Conservancy. In 2011, Matalin accepted an appointment as a visiting distinguished lecturer in political science at Loyola University New Orleans. Matalin was also cochair of the 2013 NFL Super Bowl Host Committee alongside her husband, James Carville.


Today, the couple resides in New Orleans.

Andrea Ferrer

Andrea Ferrero

Andrea Ferrero is a Professor of Economics and the Levine Fellow in Economics at Trinity College, University of Oxford. He is a CEPR Research Fellow in the International Macroeconomics and Finance and Monetary Economics groups.


Professor Ferrero holds a BA in Economics from Bocconi University, an MSc in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and a Phd in Economics from New York University.


Before joining Oxford in September 2013, Andrea spent seven years in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, first as an Economist and then as a Senior Economist. He was a visiting scholar at NYU Stern in the Winter/Spring of 2012 and at EIEF Rome in the spring of 2016. He also held visiting teaching positions at NYU, IMT Lucca, IHS Vienna, and the LSE.


He is currently an academic consultant for the Bank of England, and spent research visits at the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.


His research interests are in the areas of Monetary Economics and International Macroeconomics. Among other topics, he has worked on policy options in a currency union, the determinants and implications of global imbalances, and the macroeconomic impact of the Fed unconventional policies. His research has appeared in top professional outlets, including the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, and the Journal of Monetary Economics.


His current research focuses on the determinants of low real interest rates, on the international transmission of credit shocks, and on the interaction between monetary policy and macro-prudential policy.


Tom Wamberg

Tom Wamberg is the CEO of Wamberg Genomic Advisors. He is responsible for the overall direction and execution of the company’s strategic plan.

In his 30-year career, Wamberg has built and led numerous financial and professional insurance services businesses. In 2017 Wamberg served as President of the Insurance and Corporate Business of Human Longevity, Inc. He previously served as Chairman of Uniphy Health, a secure healthcare collaboration platform for physicians, a company he co-founded in 2013. He previously started and led as Chairman and CEO two other consulting/brokerage companies, Clark & Wamberg, LLC and Clark Inc. (NYSE: CLK) which he and his team took public in 1998. Wamberg is a member of the Association of Cancer Executives, the American Cancer Society CEO’s Against Cancer, a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a past president of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting.

He has also been past president of the 25 Million-Dollar Forum, chairman of the Legislative Task Force and Non-qualified Benefit Plan committee, and has served as a member of the American Society of Pension Actuaries and the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Wamberg is also the author of three books: The Theory and Practice of Bank Owned Life Insurance, The Theory and Practice of Separate Account Bank Owned Life Insurance, and Bank Eligible Alternative Investment Strategies – The Theory and Practice.

He is a past board member of: The American College of Financial Services, The Universidad de las Americas (Mexico City), Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), Integrated Healthcare Strategies, MEDEX, Baden Retirement Services, Stratford 360, Pearl Meyer & Partners, Stratford Advisory Services, and Wamberg Asset Management. He received his BS from Baldwin Wallace University and serves on the board of the Cleveland Clinic.

Tom founded in 1997 the United States Charities Racing Team and became the first American to finish the 6,000 mile Paris to Dakar Race and raised over $8M for charities. Tom has testified before congressional committees on numerous occasions on behalf of the life insurance industry and as Chairman of Clark Consulting was a regular guest on CNBC, MSNBC and CNN as an expert on executive compensation and benefits. He is married to Cindy and they have eight children.

Christopher N. Lech

Christopher N. Lech, CFA

Chris is Head of Client Strategy at NEAM, Inc., responsible for delivering investment and capital management services to our clients and is a member of the Firm’s Policy Committee. He joined the Firm in 1996 as a Client Strategist and became head of the Client Strategy Group in 2014. Prior to joining the Firm, Chris was a Managing Director in the Financial Analytics and Structured Transactions Group at Bear, Stearns & Company. Previously he was a Structured Securities Consultant for KPMG Peat Marwick. Chris is a CFA Charterholder, member of the Hartford Society of Financial Analysts and a graduate of Syracuse University with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Marketing. He has been employed in the investment industry since 1989.

Mark M. Yu


Mark is an Enterprise Capital Return & Risk Management Professional at NEAM, Inc. focusing on the capital management and corporate development activities for U.S. insurance companies. He joined the Firm in 2012 having been a Senior Risk Manager within the Governance and Strategy team at AIG Enterprise Risk Management. Prior to working at AIG ERM, he was a Senior Vice President and Treasury Director within the Group’s Capital Management division of Swiss Re. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, an M.S. from the University of Iowa, is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a CFA Charterholder, a Financial Risk Manager, and is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He has been employed in the insurance or investment industry since 1999.

David Knipe

David Knipe

David is a director in PwC's Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services (“CMAAS”) practice and has over fifteen years of broad-based global insurance industry knowledge, including in the life and reinsurance sectors. David has extensive experience in GAAP conversions, GAAP change and readiness projects and is currently working with clients on their LDTI implementation efforts. David also leads accounting advisory project teams, including in the insurance and brokerage deals space, IPO’s and securities offerings. Prior to joining the Accounting Advisory Services practice, David was leading financial statement audits of large international insurance clients.

Ailen Okharedia

Ailen Okharedia

Ailen Okharedia is a director in PwC’s Actuarial Services practice, based out of the New York City office. He has more than ten years of experience in financial reporting. His current area of focus includes assisting insurers with developing mobilization plans, performing impact assessment and modernization considerations for recent accounting changes, including IFRS 17 and US GAAP Targeted Improvements.