Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

An evening with Governor Gretchen Whitmer and CNN Anchor Chris Wallace


Gretchen Whitmer, Chris Wallace

Date & time

Mar 8, 2023, 6:00-7:00 pm EST


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will visit the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, March 8, for a special event alongside CNN Anchor Chris Wallace. The hour-long fireside chat between Governor Whitmer and Wallace will focus on politics, public service, and the media, with opening remarks by University of Michigan President Santa Ono.

This public event is part of the series Democracy in crisis: Views from the press, an ongoing partnership between the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Wallace House Center for Journalists, and U-M Democracy & Debate. The series features newsmakers and award-winning journalists to share their insights into the forces threatening and protecting American democratic structures and systems. 


Tickets are required for this event. Tickets were first released to University of Michigan students and friends of Wallace House, and are now all claimed. Interested attendees are encouraged to sign up for the waitlist here to receive information on seat openings.

The event will also be livestreamed from this page. 


Thank you to our media partners at Detroit Public Television and One Detroit. 

From the speakers' bios

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a lifelong Michigander who is focused on getting things done that will make a real difference in people’s lives. As governor, she has signed over 900 bipartisan bills and four balanced, bipartisan budgets to deliver on the kitchen-table issues, grow the economy, and create good-paying jobs in every region of the state.

Since the governor took office, Michigan has announced 25,000 auto jobs, will fix 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges by the end of 2022, and funded programs putting tens of thousands of people on tuition-free paths to higher education and skills training. She has worked across the aisle to empower Michigan’s economic development and brought critical supply chains home from China to Michigan. 

The governor has made the largest education investments in state history four years in a row, delivering the highest state per-student funding ever, increasing on-campus mental health resources, and helping hire thousands more qualified teachers. Additionally, the governor has expanded low or no-cost child care to 150,000 kids and enrolled 35,000 four-year-olds in affordable, high-quality pre-K. 

Governor Whitmer has also protected clean water for every community, investing $4 billion to upgrade drinking water infrastructure and replace lead service lines, supporting 57,000 jobs. 

Her leadership has been fiscally responsible, as she has made progress without raising taxes by a dime. She cut taxes for small business owners, paid down nearly $14 billion in debt, and brought the state’s rainy day fund to an all-time high of $1.6 billion.

Governor Whitmer achieved this progress alongside three dynamic elected statewide leaders: Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.  

Chris Wallace is an anchor for CNN and host of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace? with new episodes available weekly on HBO Max, and featured interviews from the show airing on CNN at 7 PM ET every Sunday. Praised as an "equal opportunity inquisitor" by The Boston Globe and "an aggressive journalist," "sharp edged" and "solid" by The Washington Post, Wallace interviews CEOs and media moguls, Hollywood legends and newsmakers across politics, business, world affairs, sports and culture.

In 2022, Wallace joined CNN after more than 50 award-winning years in broadcasting, including 18 years with FOX News where he was the anchor of FOX News Sunday. Throughout his almost two decades at FOX, Wallace participated in coverage of every major political event, secured numerous high-profile interviews with dignitaries as well as U.S and foreign leaders, covered five presidential elections, and interviewed every president since George H.W. Bush. Wallace was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to moderate the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season. In 2016, Wallace became the first journalist from FOX to moderate a general election presidential debate, and in August 2015, Wallace co-moderated the first GOP presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle along with the network's second and third debates.

Wallace has won every major broadcast news award for his reporting, including three Emmy Awards, the DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, the Peabody Award and the Sol Taishoff Award for Broadcast Journalism, which was awarded to him by the National Press Foundation. In 2021, he received the Panetta Institute's 2021 Jefferson-Lincoln Award and in 2020, he was honored with the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism and was named #1 on Mediaite's Most Influential in News Media for his "clear-eyed reporting, analysis and commentary throughout the year." Wallace also received the ICFJ Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism for "his unbiased, piercing approach to interviews." In 2013, Wallace earned the Paul White Award for lifetime achievement and service to electronic journalism from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Wallace is also the New York Times bestselling author of Countdown bin Laden: The Untold Story of the 247-Day Hunt to Bring the Mastermind of 9/11 to Justice and Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World.

Before joining FOX, Wallace worked at ABC News for 14 years where he served as the chief correspondent for PrimeTime and a substitute host for Nightline. Prior to ABC, Wallace was NBC's chief White House correspondent and moderated Meet the Press, making him the only person to have hosted two Sunday talk shows. He also anchored the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News. A graduate of Harvard University, Wallace began his career as a city hall reporter for The Boston Globe.