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Securing America’s Future: Rebuilding Trust in Turbulent Times

Event Details

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Date and Time

OCTOBER 19th, 2023 – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm in the Student Union Building at Boise State University

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.

Free for students and public

As it has been for 39 years, the conference is FREE to attend for students and the public.


There is an optional catered luncheon with keynote speaker, Gina Bennett. To attend, please register at the provided link.

Conference is FREE but the luncheon is SOLD OUT

Securing America’s Future Conference Schedule

8:30 amWelcome Monica C. Church, Executive Director of the Frank Church Institute
8:35 - 8:45 am39th Annual Frank Church Conference IntroductionDr. Angie Bos, Dean of the School of Public Service
8:45 - 9:00 amOpening RemarksDr. Marlene Tromp, President, Boise State University; Dr. Sam Martin, Frank and Bethine Church Endowed Chair of Public Affairs
9:00 - 10:15 amPanel One: Safeguarding Democracy: Trust in the JudiciaryModerator: US Attorney for Idaho Honorable Josh Hurwit
Panelists: US Federal Judge for the District of Rhode Island Honorable William Smith, former US Federal Judge Honorable Ronald Bush, and former US Attorney Honorable Betty Richardson
10:15 - 11:00 amKeynote Speaker - Never Cross Over the Abyss: Maintaining Trust in American Institutions Takes VigilanceJames Risen - Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and Author of "The Last Honest Man"
11:00 am - 12:00 pmPanel Two: Objective Fact, Truth, and the MediaModerator: Founder and Strategist at Peyron Strategic Communications Scott Peyron
Panelists: Idaho Capitol Sun reporter Mia Maldonado, Supervisory Correspondent for the Associated Press Rebecca Boone, Frank and Bethine Church Endowed Chair Dr. Sam Martin, and former KTVB news anchor Mark Johnson
12:00 - 1:20 pmSimplot Ballroom Luncheon
Keynote Speaker - Parenting Democracy: Oversight’s Role in Building Trust
Gina Bennett - Former CIA Senior Analyst & counterterrorism expert, and Author of "National Security Mom"
1:20 - 1:30 pmSimplot Ballroom - Address by ASBSU and dismissal into Breakout sessionsBoise State University Student Body President Cheyon Sheen
BREAK OUT SESSIONSFOUR SESSIONS - 30 mins eachParticipants can choose where to start
1:30 - 2:10 pm (can choose any of the four)Inside Out: The Justice System - legal careers in public serviceHon. Ronald Bush, Hon. William Smith - Room TBD
2:15 - 2:55 pm (can choose any of the four)Two Truths and a Lie: Learning to trust your mediaMia Maldonado, Rebecca Boone - Room TBD
3:00 - 3:40 pm (can choose any of the four)Why the future depends on an understanding of the pastJames Risen - Room TBD
3:40 - 4:20 pm (can choose any of the four)It's a matter of National Security - understanding the CIAGina Bennett - Room TBD

Contact Information

If you have questions or are interested in sponsoring this year’s conference, please email