International Policy Center Home Page
Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

U.S. Representatives Elissa Slotkin and Peter Meijer: Voices across the aisle in a challenging time

Date & time

Feb 16, 2021, 11:00 am-12:00 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

Join the Ford School for a Conversations Across Differences event with U.S. Representatives Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 8th District) and Peter Meijer (R-MI 3rd District) moderated by Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr. The 117th congressional session has started with an insurrection, an impeachment trial, a disciplinary action in the House, and a push for major legislation that is passing along mostly partisan lines. Can Democrats and Republicans lower the temperature and find common ground to tackle the urgent problems facing the United States? We look forward to a thoughtful dialogue with two of the most dynamic members of Congress.

Cosponsored by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, DPTV, and the Domestic Policy Corps.

From the speakers' bios

Representative Elissa Slotkin serves Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, a district that includes Ingham, Livingston, and North Oakland counties.

Rep. Slotkin worked in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a Middle East analyst, serving alongside the U.S. military during three tours in Iraq as a militia expert. In between her tours in Iraq, Rep. Slotkin held various defense and intelligence positions under President Bush and President Obama, including roles at the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In 2011, Rep. Slotkin took a senior position at the Pentagon and, until January 2017, she served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. In this role, Rep. Slotkin oversaw policy on Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at the Pentagon and participated in negotiations on some of the country’s most pressing national security issues.

A third-generation Michigander, Rep. Slotkin spent her early life on her family farm in Holly, Michigan. She attended Cornell University (BA) and Columbia University in the City of New York (MA).


Peter Meijer serves Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Barry, Ionia and parts of Kent and Calhoun counties in western Michigan.

Rep. Meijer spent one year at the United States Military Academy at West Point and soon thereafter enlisted in the Army reserves and deployed to Iraq in 2010 as a non-commissioned officer, serving with an intelligence unit at joint US-Iraqi bases in the Baghdad area.

In Iraq, Rep. Meijer conducted intelligence operations, led soldiers and missions that resulted in the detention of enemy operatives responsible for killing American soldiers.  

He then joined Team Rubicon, a veteran-based disaster response organization, and led humanitarian efforts in South Sudan dealing with a refugee crisis, New York after Superstorm Sandy, Oklahoma after a series of devastating tornadoes, and the Philippines after Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Rep. Meijer moved on to run International NGO Safety Organization’s advisory operations in southern Afghanistan, eventually becoming acting Deputy Director for Afghanistan, delivering emergency assistance to aid workers after kidnappings and targeted killings.

A fourth-generation West Michigander, he was born and raised in Grand Rapids. Rep. Meijer attended Columbia University (BA) and pursued his MBA at New York University.