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Fareed Zakaria and Fromer Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt to Speak at 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference

DETROIT, January 19, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced that noted broadcast and print journalist Fareed Zakaria and former Utah Governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt will be keynote speakers at the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference, held Tuesday, May 29 through Friday, June 1.

“This year’s Conference will again feature a top-notch lineup of thought-provoking speakers as we work to better position Michigan to compete globally,” said Chief Executive Officer of Henry Ford Health System Nancy Schlichting, who is serving as the chair of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference. “We are excited to focus on both international and health care innovation as we build a collaborative culture to drive economic development and investment in Michigan.”

As host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, Editor-at-Large at TIME Magazine and a regular columnist for The Washington Post, Zakaria is highly regarded as one of the most influential foreign policy voices in the world. His international best-seller “The Post-American World” covers the growth of China, India and many other countries. His previous New York Times best-seller “The Future of Freedom” has been translated into 20 languages.

Following his three terms as Governor of Utah from 1993 to 2003, Leavitt served in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (2003-2005) and Secretary of Health and Human Services (2005-2009). He is currently founder and chairman of Leavitt Partners where he advises clients in the health care and food safety sectors.

“One of the enduring lessons of globalization is the need to constantly adapt to the rapidly evolving marketplace – and the regions that do so will be the ones that succeed economically,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Fareed Zakaria and Governor Leavitt can speak directly to the culture of innovation and collaboration that Detroit and Michigan must adopt to thrive in the 21st century global economy.”

Zakaria and Leavitt join a speaker lineup that already includes New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman. The 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference vision is to create a globally competitive, financially attractive business environment in Michigan to increase economic development through collaboration, visionary ideas and partnerships with business, government and philanthropy. Registration for the Conference is already open and available at Island hotels begin taking reservations on Feb. 1, 2012.

Detroit Regional Chamber 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference

The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event – brings together business and government to re-energize Michigan. Since 1981, the Conference has provided access to Michigan’s top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions. Over 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2012 Conference, held May 29 – June 1 at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. For more information, please visit

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit

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