Rob Portman

U.S. Senator (R-OH, 2011-2023), Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget & United States Trade Representative
The Honorable Rob Portman Smiling in a blue blazer, white collared shirt, and colurful red and blue tie
  • A retired U.S. Senator (R-OH) who worked with both side of the aisle to get more than 220 bills signed into law
  • Held various high-ranking government roles and served in two presidential administrations
  • Shares balanced, expert-level insights on politics, policy, geopolitics, economics, and trade, the while highlighting the benefits of bipartisanship to create meaningful impact in our nation

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In a public service career that spans more than three decades and includes service in two presidential administrations, as well as two terms in the United States Senate (R-Ohio, 2011-2023) and six terms in the United States House of Representatives, Rob Portman has been among the most influential presences in American politics and policy. He has held various high-ranking government roles through the course of his career. In addition to the aforementioned roles, Portman was the 14th U.S. Trade Representative (2005-2006), as well as the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. Portman is known for his civility, successful bipartisan policymaking, work ethic, and extensive expertise of a broad range of complex issues. With more than 220 of his bills signed into law by Presidents Biden, Trump, and Obama during his tenure in the Senate, it is impossible to overstate his impact on American politics.   

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Portman is a sought-after voice who presents audiences with a look deep into the heart of American politics, offering insights and analysis on issues ranging from bipartisanship and civility in politics to trade and National Security — all from the perspective of someone who has worked from the inside, advised multiple presidents, and is viewed as a respected coalition builder on both sides of the aisle. He pairs compelling anecdotes from his career with down-the-middle analysis to take groups behind the scenes of the White House and Congress and break down the potential impact of multi-faceted issues in politics and policy on business and society, while proposing practical solutions for the way forward as a Nation.

First elected to the U.S. senate in 2011 and serving until 2023, Portman’s impressive list of accomplishments includes his role as the lead Republican negotiator on the bipartisan legislation to improve the Nation’s infrastructure, acting as a key figure in U.S. foreign policy as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, and authoring various legislation to align America’s education system with the needs of the 21st century workforce. Previously, he served two cabinet-level jobs in President George W. Bush’s administration, as director of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as the United States Trade Representative. In 1993, Portman was elected to Congress, where he represented the diverse, seven county Second District in Ohio. He was proud to serve the Second District for 12 years and, in seven elections, he never received less than 70 percent of the vote. His career in public service began in 1989 in President George H.W. Bush’s administration, where he was appointed associate counsel to the President and director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

Portman is the founder of the Portman Center for Policy Solutions at the University of Cincinnati. He is also a distinguished visiting fellow in the Practice of Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on public policy and opportunity, free trade expansion, U.S. relations with Russia and China, the conflict in Europe, U.S. budget and entitlement reform, worker training, retirement security, and many of the other challenges we face as a Nation. For the entirety of his political career and beyond, Portman has maintained his reputation as a serious leader who is focused on results.

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Today in Politics and Policy. Rob Portman has had a prolific career in politics, serving in two presidential administrations, three terms as a U.S. Senator, and six terms in the House, and putting forth more than 220 bills that were signed into law. In this talk, he leads a comprehensive conversation on how current events are shaping the American political landscape, as well as the potential impact of current and future policy decisions on business and society. Portman offers audiences an insider’s perspective on issues ranging from political polarization and international relations and trade to economic reform and our Nation’s infrastructure. He points to his experiences working across the aisle prioritizing results over party to offer sensible solutions and ideas for bridging partisan divides and driving policies that act in the interest of our Nation as a whole.

The Benefits of Bipartisanship and Civility in Politics. In this keynote, Rob Portman, who previously served as a U.S. Senator and in two presidential administrations, reflects on his experiences as a public servant to discuss the importance of civility in politics and share thought-provoking viewpoints on how polarization impedes our ability to drive meaningful decisions that benefit our Nation. He pulls examples from his own career, during which he maintained a reputation for working with both sides to address a number of issues, and opens audiences’ eyes to the ways in which a move towards increased bipartisanism can lead to better outcomes for American people and businesses. Portman shares proven strategies for restoring a culture of respect and collaboration, as well as balanced solutions for how we can overcome differences in ideologies to put people over politics and achieve impactful results for our Nation.

Russia, China, and the Great Power Competition. As new world powers emerge and become increasingly influential in international trade, security, and diplomacy, the U.S. must examine its relationships with these countries, and the challenges and opportunities they present — especially as it relates to Russia and China. In this talk, Rob Portman, a political leader and former U.S. Trade Representative under the George W. Bush Administration, explores the complexities of the U.S.’s relationships with Russia, China, and other Nations — tying historical events to what’s happening in the present day as he discusses the ideological differences and competing interests, and the implications of these, and other factors, on foreign policy, and the U.S. and global economies. Portman expertly zeroes in on the evolving dynamic between the U.S. and Russia/China, and also helps groups make sense of the roles of other key players and what it all means from a global lens.    

Trade, Innovation, and the Move Toward a More Resilient Economy. A former U.S. Senator and Trade Representative, Rob Portman possesses keen insights into economic and trade policy, and is sought-after by government and business leaders for guidance on the current state of global trade and why it matters for organizations and their industries. In this talk, Portman explores key issues, including the shifting dynamics of global supply chains and the importance of trade agreements in fostering economic growth, and provides an all-encompassing analysis of the current economic outlook, as well as the challenges and opportunities of the current and future National and global marketplaces. Portman’s insights and strategies are valuable to any organization looking to best position themselves for success while navigating economic volatility.

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