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Frank Church Institute to host 39th annual conference Oct. 19

The Frank Church Conference is an annual fall event hosted by the Frank Church Institute, its Board of Directors and the School of Public Service at Boise State University. The 2023 conference, “Securing America’s Future: Rebuilding Trust in Turbulent Times,” marks the 39th iteration of this event, which began in 1983. The conference is from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 in the Student union Building with parking available in the Lincoln Garage. As it has been since its inception, this event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature two keynote speakers.

James Risen is an author and investigative reporter. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Risen is the author of five books. His most recent book is “The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys — and One Senator’s Fight to Save Democracy,” about Senator Frank Church and the Church Committee, which Risen co-authored with his son, Thomas Risen.

Gina M. Bennett is a retired CIA seasoned counterterrorism specialist and member of the Senior Analytic Service who authored the earliest warnings in the 1990s about the growing danger of the movement Osama bin Laden fomented. She served for 34 years in the Intelligence Community. Bennett is often featured in documentaries and other media profiling her role in counterterrorism and as a pioneer for women in National Security and Intelligence careers, which she now continues as the new Strategic Advisor for Girl Security, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which seeks to empower, secure and advance young girls into national and international security missions.

Risen and Bennet’s latest books will be available for purchase at the event.

While the conference is free to attend, registration is required for the catered luncheon with a keynote by Gina Bennett.

Other speakers and moderators include:

  • US Attorney for Idaho Honorable Josh Hurwit,
  • US Federal Judge for the District of Rhode Island Honorable William Smith,
  • former US Federal Judge Honorable Ronald Bush,
  • former US Attorney Honorable Betty Richardson,
  • Communications Strategist Scott Peyron,
  • Idaho Capitol Sun reporter Mia Maldonado,
  • Supervisory Correspondent for the Associated Press Rebecca Boone,
  • Frank and Bethine Church Endowed Chair Sam Martin,
  • Former KTVB news anchor Mark Johnson.

Additionally, the conference will feature special addresses by School of Public Service Dean Angela Bos, Student Body President Cheyon Sheen and Boise State University President Marlene Tromp.