Charlotte business executive Erskine Bowles, 69, who will moderate Thursday night’s conversation, has a stellar résumé.
• Co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010 with former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming. The bipartisan duo – Bowles is a Democrat, Simpson a Republican – have become the country’s leading advocates for reducing the federal budget deficit.
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• Served as White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton (1997-98). He dealt with budget negotiations between the White House and Congress, including those that led to the first balanced federal budget in years.
• Was president of the University of North Carolina system (2005-2010).
• Ran twice as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in North Carolina (2002, 2004).
• Led the U.S. Small Business Administration (1993-94) in the early years of the Clinton administration.