Charleston, W.Va. — As a nationally recognized leader in election security, WV Secretary of State Mac Warner was a featured presenter at the 17th Annual North American Regional Meeting of The Tri-Lateral Commission held in Santa Clara, California, November 15-17. The North American Regional Meeting included more than 200 attendees representing the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The Tri-Lateral Commission is an international think tank and non-governmental forum that brings together world leaders in business, education, the media and government to focus on policy considerations for the geopolitical, economic and social challenges facing the world. Members of the Commission are committed to supporting a rules-based international system, closer cooperation across borders and respect for the diversity of approaches to policy issues. The Commission was founded in 1973.
Because of his military experience, international background and election security expertise, Warner was invited by the Commission to share West Virginia’s efforts relating to technology, the internet, elections and democracy. Warner was the only chief state elections official participating in the event among an impressive who’s who list of leaders in technology, social media, business and academia.
Warner and the other attendees met with leaders of Facebook and Google while participating in the conference. A meeting at Facebook’s international headquarters took place last Friday.
While at Facebook, the attendees participated in an in-depth discussion of “Technology: Privacy & Security – Who Defines the Standards?”
Later that afternoon, the group visited Stanford University to participate in an extended forum called “Democracy in the Digital Age: Fake News, Election Interference and Other Digital Challenges to Democracy.” Warner featured West Virginia’s efforts to tackle the challenges election officials face as it relates to providing safe and secure elections. Lee Cullum of the Dallas Morning News led the interview with Warner focusing on West Virginia’s leading position in training and military mobile voting.
On Saturday morning, Warner led a panel discussion entitled “Where is the United States Headed?” David Ignatius, author and columnist for The Washington Post, and former Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kerry Healey joined Warner on the panel focused on “Securing our Votes” against foreign interference in the 2018 Midterm Elections.
Warner said he was pleased to know there is a national and international focus on election security at the very highest levels. The thought-provoking discussions and presentations at this conference confirmed West Virginia is going in the right direction.
“I was honored to have been invited to participate in this event,” Warner said. “There was a very impressive group of individuals in attendance. I made sure they all left knowing much more about West Virginia and our efforts to defend our democracy with safe and secure elections.”
West Virginia’s effort to protect elections and to develop strategies to maintain a high level of cybersecurity continues to capture the interest of other states as well as business, technology and government leaders around the world. Warner has been invited to share West Virginia’s story at the National Cybersecurity & Blockchain Forum in January and again in February to make a presentation to the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Other notable participants in the three-day event included Boeing International President Marc Allen; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linked-In; Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News; Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Steve Jobs and President of Emerson Collective; Dennis Blair, former director of National Intelligence; and Mike Brown, the director of the Defense Department’s Defense Innovation Unit.
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