“Compromise is the oxygen of democracy.” -Tom Daschle


Tom Daschle

Former U.S. Senator South Dakota and Senate Majority Leader

Trent Lott

Former U.S. Senator Mississippi and Senate Majority Leader


Robert N. Clay

Founder of Three Chimneys Farm

Bill Giles

CEO, Yonder Interactivists


Bob Babbage

Managing Partner, Babbage Cofounder

Alex Boone

Sterling Ventures

James “Jim” Duff

Director, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

Rob Givens

State Director Office of U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Jim Gray

Chairman and CEO of Gray Construction<br /> Former Mayor of Lexington, KY<br /> Secretary of Transportation

Charlie Grizzle

Retired Chairman, The Grizzle Company

Merl Hackbart

Professor of Finance and Public Administration<br /> UKY Martin School of Public Policy

Tom Harris

Vice President of University Relations<br /> University of Kentucky

Ambassador (Ret.) Greta C. Holtz

Former US Ambassador to Oman and Chargé in Qatar

Douglas Kiker

Partner, Indelable LLC

Crit Luallen

Former Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky<br /> Former Kentucky State Auditor

Clare Magee

Deliberative Citizenship Initiative Coordinator<br /> Davidson College

Sannie Overly

Former Kentucky State Representative, 72nd District<br /> Attorney at Overly & Johnson

Terzah Tippin Poe

Lecturer at Harvard University<br /> Principal Consultant ICS|TRIO Global Solutions

Ian McDowell Ralby

Founder and CEO, I.R. Consilium<br /> Maritime Law and Security, Washington, D.C.

H. McGuire “Mac” Riley

President of BAHR Associates, Inc.<br /> CEO, United Building Services, Inc.<br /> Board of Directors and Past President,<br /> Kentucky Society of Washington

Matthew “Matt” Shank

President, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges<br /> President Emeritus, Marymount University

David Tandy

Of Counsel at Dentons Bingham Greenebaum LLP<br /> Served as the 7th and 10th President of the Louisville Metro Council

Derek Vaughan

G.F. Vaughan Tobacco Co.<br /> Chairman, CTA Continental, Brazil


Dr. Merl Hackbart

Acting Executive Director

Dr. Merl Hackbart is Emeritus Professor of Finance and Public Policy at the
University of Kentucky. At UK, he was honored as Provosts Distinguished
Service Professor of Finance and Public Administration. He also served in
several administrative capacities at UK including Special Assistant to the
Chancellor, Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the Gatton College of
Business and Economics and as Director of the Martin School of Public Policy
& Administration. In addition to his administrative positions at the University
of Kentucky, Merl has served on the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary
Education and he served twice as Kentucky’s State Budget Director. His
numerous publications have focused on public budgeting and financial
management, municipal securities, and public debt management among
other policy issues. He has been recognized as a Kentucky Distinguished
Economist and has been inducted into the National Academy of Public
Administration and the Kentucky Public Service Hall of Fame among other
recognitions. He has also been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of South
Dakota State University where he received his undergraduate degree. Dr.
Hackbart has also been a member of the Clay Center’s Board of Directors.

Abby Didawick

Program Manager

Abby Didawick is a 2020 graduate from the University of Kentucky who hails from Arlington, Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Administration, with a minor in Digital Media and Design. Abby joined the Henry Clay Center following her graduation and served as the Center’s Staff Assistant before being appointed to Program Manager earlier this year.

Through previous positions, Abby has gained experience with nonprofit organizations, including special events, fundraising, and marketing. Abby most recently served as an intern on Capitol Hill for U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (TX) and for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. As Program Manager, Abby takes on a vital role in assisting the Center with programming, administrative, social media and marketing, communication, and fundraising support.

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