Frank Church Society
The Frank Church Society is a dedicated group of people interested in having deep conversations with today’s leading experts and thinkers. The Society is a membership based group within the Frank Church Institute that meets four – six times a year. If you are interested in joining the Frank Church Society, click below to email Frank Church Institute Executive Director Monica Church.
Frank Church Society Former Members of Congress
Kathy Dahlkemper represented Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 2009 to 2011. While in Congress she worked extensively on the passage of the Affordable Care Act, authoring the Young Invincible legislation that allows young adults to remain on their parent’s health plan until 26 years of age. Dahlkemper served on the Agriculture, Science & Technology and Small Business committees, chairing the Committee on Regulation & Healthcare (Small Business Committee). Her Congressional Delegation travel included trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. Motivated to continue serving northwest Pennsylvania, Kathy ran and won election to Erie County Executive in 2013. She served in that role for 8 years, completing her second term in early January 2022. Dahlkemper spearheaded various initiatives as
County Executive, including the creation of the Erie County Community College of
Pennsylvania; installation of the Next Generation Radio System; submission to NOAA for a National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Lake Erie Quadrangle; the revamping of the county economic development ecosystem; renovations and expansion of services within the county library system including participation with the NW PA Beehive network with the 4 local universities; and many other internal and external initiatives to improve Erie County for its residents. She was the local leader of the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and oversaw the utilization of recovery funding, being recognized nationally for impactful and swift use of the recovery dollars.
Congressman Erik Paulsen represented Minnesota’s Third Congressional District from 2009 – 2019. He served as a leading member on the chief tax writing House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care, economic and trade policy. Erik also was the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, access to capital, digital trade and key economic issues, while working with the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and Federal Reserve Board. Erik served as co-chair of the House Medical Technology Caucus and was the premier leader and advocate for the medical technology industry, the life saving technologies it provides to patients, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports.
In addition, Erik was a member of the Deputy Whip Team and co-chaired the Digital Trade Caucus and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Caucus to promote trade with Europe.
In 2019, Paulsen served as co-chair of the Pass USMCA Coalition, a group of trade associations, businesses and advocacy groups working together to ensure swift passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. He is an independent director on the boards of Cardiovascular Solutions, Inc. and Pediatric Home Service, Inc., and is the Chairman of the Institute for Gene Therapies. Erik also is a Strategic Advisor at Total Spectrum, a government affairs firm. In addition, Erik is a board member of the Economic Club of Minnesota.
Frank Church Society Conversations with Dr. Allison Prasch
Allison M. Prasch is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the intersections of rhetorical theory and history, U.S. presidential rhetoric, foreign policy, and
space/place. Her first book, The World is Our Stage: The Global Rhetorical Presidency and the Cold War (University of Chicago Press, 2023), examines how U.S. presidents used their international travels to expand the reach of presidential power and extend the United States’ global influence during the Cold War. Her work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Southern Communication Journal, and Women’s Studies in Communication. She is the recipient of a number of scholarly awards, including the Michael Pfau Outstanding Article Award from the Political Communication Division of the National Communication Association, the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association, and the Outstanding
Dissertation Award from the American Society for the History of Rhetoric. Her expert commentary has been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Conversation, C-SPAN, and Public News Service. She currently serves as the Membership Coordinator for the American Society for the History of Rhetoric and sits on the editorial boards of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and Voices of Democracy.
Frank Church Society Conversation with Valerie Biden Owens
The Frank Church Society hosted Valerie Biden Owens for multiple events, including a celebration at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, a keynote luncheon at Zions Rock Canyon Room, and a private evening event.
Valerie Biden Owens is the first woman in
U.S. history to have run a presidential
campaign, that of her brother, Joseph
R. Biden, Jr. She also led his seven
straight U.S. Senate victories and has
been his principal surrogate on the
Today, Valerie serves as Chair of the
Biden Institute at the University of
Delaware. She is a partner at Owens
Patrick Leadership Seminars. Valerie sits on the Advisory Board of the Beau Biden
Foundation for the Protection of Children.
For 20 years, when Valerie was not managing or advising President Biden’s
campaigns, she served as Executive Vice President of Joe Slade White & Co., a
media consulting firm. She has worked extensively with Women’s Campaign
International, teaching women how to organize and develop communication and
political skills. Valerie has also served on the National Board of the Women’s
Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee and has served for 35
years on the board of The Ministry of Caring.
In 2015, Valerie delivered the keynote address for Harvard Law School’s
International Women’s Day celebration and was one of 50 women presented with
the school’s international “Women Inspiring Change” award. In 2021, she was
named to the Forbes “50 Over 50 Women Who Are Leading the Way” impact list.
Valerie is the New York Times Bestselling author of “Growing Up Biden.” She is a
graduate of the University of Delaware. Valerie is married to Jack Owens, an
attorney and businessman. They have three children.
Frank Church Society Conversation with Amy Herzfeld-Copple
Amy joined the society for a special talk Rising White Nationalism and Anti-Democracy Movements in the West and Beyond: Strategies for Community Resilience. Our Guest speaker Amy Herzfeld-Copple is Deputy Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at Western States Center.
Raised in Idaho, Amy has deep roots in organizing for inclusive democracy. She started volunteering for LGBTQ rights campaigns at the age of 14 and never looked back. She has been active in progressive movement building in the West for over 20 years and her past roles have included Executive Director of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center (now Wassmuth Center), Oregon State Director for Working America, and Co-Executive Director for Basic Rights Oregon. Amy first connected to Western States Center as a young human rights organizer in Boise and remained an active volunteer leader for over 18 years – including as board chair from 2007-2016 – before joining the staff as the Deputy Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives in 2018. At WSC, Amy leads a national program team and oversees a robust portfolio of innovative projects to equip communities and democratic institutions with narratives, tools, and strategies to respond to rising white nationalism and other anti-democracy social movements.
Frank Church Society Conversation with Ty Seidule
Rediscovered Books and the Frank Church Institute welcome Brigadier General Ty Seidule to discuss his book “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause.”
“In a forceful but humane narrative, former soldier and head of the West Point history department Ty Seidule’s “Robert E. Lee and Me” challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.
Ty Seidule grew up revering Robert E. Lee. From his southern childhood to his service in the U.S. Army, every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. Now, as a retired brigadier general and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, his view has radically changed. From a soldier, a scholar, and a southerner, Ty Seidule believes that American history demands a reckoning.”
Seidule is Professor Emeritus of History at West Point where he taught for two decades. He served in the U.S. Army for thirty-six years, retiring as a brigadier general in 2020. He is the Chamberlain Fellow at Hamilton College as well as a New America Fellow. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin appointed Ty to the National Commission on Base Renaming. He serves as the Vice Chair.
He has published numerous books, articles, and videos on military history including the award-winning West Point History of the Civil War. Ty graduated from Washington and Lee University and holds a PhD from the Ohio State University.
Frank Church Society Conversation with Joe Weisberg
Watch the event on our YouTube channel
You are cordially invited to attend a Frank Church Society Conversation with Joe Weisberg, co-creator of the TV series, The Americans, and author of the new book Russia Upside Down.
This program will be moderated by Frank Church Institute Board Member Tom Beckwith. Joining Joe for an “insiders” look into his journey and the making of the successful television series, The Americans, is Ann Blanchard, Senior Packaging Agent at CAA in Los Angeles. Steven Feldstein, Frank Church Institute Board Member and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will then guide the discussion to Weisberg’s book and US-Russian relations going forward.
Please join us for this rare opportunity, and invite your friends!
The Frank Church Society operates under the auspices of the Frank Church Institute at Boise State University. The mission of the Frank Church Society is to create opportunities for the public to engage in interactive, non-partisan discussions with experts on a broad range of issues that were important to the late Senator and continue to be vital today, such as protecting democracy.