The program will examine the results of the 2018 congressional midterms and state and local contests around the country to assess their implications for governance and the political landscape.
The Sidley Austin Forum is held annually and co-hosted by Sidley Austin LLP and NYU School of Law’s Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic. The Forum explores topics critical to American democracy, citizen engagement, and public service. Over Sidley’s 150-year history, the firm has been committed to honoring and supporting the rule of law in our democracy. Sidley has built a reputation as a premier legal adviser for global businesses and financial institutions with 1,900 lawyers in 20 offices worldwide.
This year’s Keynote speaker is Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.
He is the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism and The Four Faces of the Republican Party, co-authored with Dante Scala. Mr. Olsen is also an editor at UnHerd.com, where he writes about populism and politics around the world, and he is a regular contributor to American Greatness, City Journal, and World Magazine.
Mr. Olsen’s work has been featured in many prominent publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review, The Guardian, and The Weekly Standard. His pre-election predictions of the 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections were particularly praised for their remarkable accuracy. In the 2016 campaign, he accurately identified the factors fueling the rise of Donald Trump early in the race, and his election eve predictions were more accurate than those of virtually any other major analyst or commentator.
Mr. Olsen has worked in senior executive positions at many center-right think tanks. He most recently served from 2006 to 2013 as Vice President and Director, National Research Initiative, at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously worked as Vice President of Programs at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Commonwealth Foundation.
Mr. Olsen started his career as a political consultant at the California firm of Hoffenblum-Mollrich. He then worked with the California State Assembly Republican Caucus before attending law school. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as an associate at Dechert, Price & Rhoads. He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as Comment Editor for the University of Chicago Law Review.
This year’s panelists include David Axelrod, Bob Bauer, Emily Ekins, Ronald Klein, Megan McArdle, Sam Stein, Doug Thornell, and Ben Wittes. For more information, see here.