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Speakers 2017

Monday Opening Keynote Speaker






Chief Economist, Real Estate | Center at Texas A & M University

Dr. Jim Gaines is the Chief Economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A & M University and he focuses on housing and land development issues.  Dr. Gaines will give an overview at the Conference’s Opening Keynote Session on Monday, July 24th of the state’s economic and housing outlook with an emphasis on the future of home ownership and housing affordability. 

Tuesday Lunch Keynote Speaker


Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report and Columnist for the National Journal

Charlie Cook is Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report, a columnist for the National Journal Group, and a Political Analyst for NBC News.  Charlie is considered one of the nation’s leading independent, non-partisan authorities on American politics and U.S. elections.  In 2010, Charlie was a co-recipient of the American Political Science Association’s prestigious Carey McWilliams award to honor “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.” Charlie founded the Cook Political Report in 1984 and it has become one Washington’s most trusted sources for analysis of U.S. elections and political trends.  Over the years Charlie has served as a political analyst and Election Night analyst for NBC News and has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and ABC’s This Week, among many other prominent national programs.

For the Spring semester of 2013, Charlie served as a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.


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