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LEADERS IN REVERSE / Playing Short-Term Gains Against Long-Term Needs

PUSH 2008: The Fertile Delta, Session 2


The sad irony of political leadership throughout the world is that it’s trapped in reactive battles for power and popularity. As the recent mortgage crisis demonstrates so clearly, “leaders” too often borrow against tomorrow for short–term wins and long–term consequences. Is short–sightedness simply baked into the design of the political process? Is “political leadership,” in fact, an oxymoron? Would think tanks, beholden to no one but their funders, take on even more of the long–range planning and policy construction? Is the mantle of community leadership – from neighborhoods to nations – fixed, or is it likely to be shared, shifted or stolen?


Rich Dutra-St. John: A former high school teacher and championship wrestling coach, Rich has worked with teens and families since 1978. As a licensed family therapist and drug intervention specialist, he was recruited to open and direct two different adolescent treatment facilities in Northern California, most notably the Thunder Road Adolescent Recovery Center in Oakland where he served as the founding clinical director. A gifted facilitator and counselor, Rich is viewed as an expert in working with youth and families. Rich and his wife Yvonne combined their collective passion and experience to co-found the Challenge Day Program in 1987. Their work has positively affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth and adults in 39 states and 6 Canadian Provinces. Rich now serves as a Challenge Day trainer/ facilitator, board chairman and head of development.

Yvonne St. John-Dutra: Working with teens and adults, for over 26 years in a variety of settings, Yvonne has been instrumental in designing and implementing over 17 different nationally recognized prevention and intervention programs for teenagers. Yvonne’s earliest experiences varied from doing classroom presentations and school assemblies, to media programs on gender roles and eating disorders. She later focused her attention on working with at risk youth, addiction, and social oppression issues. Yvonne has received many honors and won numerous awards for her work with teens and families. In 2003, Yvonne was selected to receive the Contra Costa County Woman of The Year Award. In August 2005 Yvonne and her husband Rich were recognized as “Champions of Forgiveness” by the World Wide Forgiveness Alliance.


Clyde Prestowitz works on big change where the worlds of business and government meet at the global level and tells each how to profit with the other. With extraordinary entrée at the top levels  of International institutions, corporations, and ruling officials, he is a top trend spotter with a long history of foreseeing important developments long before they have become apparent to others.

He is a member of the Middle East and Global Strategy Groups and has served as counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration and as vice chairman of the President’s Committee on Trade and Investment in the Pacific. He currently sits on the Intel Policy Advisory Board and the U.S. Export-Import Bank Advisory Board. Prestowitz regularly writes for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune, and Foreign Affairs. He also the author of the best-selling book on U.S.-Japan relations, Trading Places. His latest book, Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East, deals with the economic rise of Asia and the upcoming rebalancing of the world economic order.


Mark Seddon is the United Nations Correspondent for the English language channel, Al Jazeera International. He has reported for the BBC from inside Iraq, North Korea and China, as well as for Sky TV from Yemen and for Al Jazeera English from North Korea, Syria, Dr Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia and Haiti. He has been a Diarist for the London Evening Standard and has been a frequent contributor to The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, New Statesman and Private Eye. He was an early guest on Have I Got News For You, and has appeared as a commentator on numerous UK and US television and radio programmes, including Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Breakfast with Frost, The Politics Show and the Today programme. After years of reporting for the BBC and others, from countries such as pre-war

Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, China, Israel and North Korea, Mark brings a unique insight into both West and East, Christian and Islamic, Capitalist and Communist.


Nate Garvis is Vice President of Government Affairs for Target Corporation, responsible for political, legislative and regulatory affairs. He consults internally on a variety of business issues that have a public component and require engagement strategies. Nate is widely recognized in public affairs circles as a thought leader in the areas of integrated public engagement strategies as well as emerging trends in the inter-relationships between multi-national corporations, non-governmental advocacy groups and governmental institutions. He is a past chairman of the Washington D.C. based Public Affairs Council as well as immediate past chairman of the Foundation for Public Affairs. He also serves on the executive committee of the non-partisan Citizens League, the board of the Boston College International Center for Corporate Citizenship and is chairman of the executive committees of the California Business Properties Association. Nate is a former policy fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Policy and in 2004, Nate was honored as the first ever corporate public affairs recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award


J.D. and the family began touring the international hit show “Gospel at Colonus” with Morgan Freeman around the world before finally landing on Broadway in 1988 for a successful ninemonth run. After that, The Steeles signed their first record deal with Elektra records and released “Heaven Help Us All” in 1993.

Mr. Steele produced and co-wrote 12 of the 14 songs released on that record. Since then J.D. has produced, performed and recorded six additional Steeles albums and has gone on to write, produce, perform and record with Prince, Donald Fagen, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Kim Carnes, Fine Young Cannibals, The Sounds of Blackness and many other artists. He has performed on stages all over America, in Spain, Italy, London, Moscow, South America and many other cities and countries. Among his many credits are a cameo in the Prince produced movie “Graffiti Bridge”, songwriting and arranging credits for the award-winning documentary “Hoop Dreams.” J.D. was nominated for an Emmy Award for the PBS version of “Gospel at Colonus.”