SpeakerFred Upton, Debbie Dingell
Date & time
Join the Ford School for a Conversations Across Difference event with U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and former U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) for a conversation on the State of the Union and the Congress, civil discourse, and democratic resillience.
Conversations across difference events are presented with support from the Tuft Family Foundation. Thank you to our media partners at Detroit Public Television (DPTV).
From the speakers' bios
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents Michigan’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, where she leads on critical issues including affordable and accessible health care, clean energy and water, domestic manufacturing and supply chain resilience, and protecting our wildlife and natural resources. Growing up in beautiful Michigan, Dingell, who co-chairs the Great Lakes Task Force, has always been an advocate for the outdoors and commits her work in Congress to protecting the environment for generations. Dingell is focused on bringing people together – in Congress and in her communities – to support Michigan’s families and the economy. This is evident in her work to strengthen the American auto industry, maintaining America’s competitiveness and ensuring goodpaying American jobs. In 2021, she worked together with the White House, the auto industry, the auto workers, and environmentalists to announce the Biden Administration’s goal of having 50% of new vehicles sold in 2030 be zero-emissions vehicles.
Dingell also plays a major role in leading the fight against PFAS contamination, spearheading the PFAS Action Act with Republican colleague, former Representative Fred Upton. Her collaborative workstyle also lends itself to bicameral work, most importantly on long-term care, as she authored the Better Care Better Jobs Act with Senator Bob Casey to strengthen and expand access to the long-term care system while also supporting the direct care workforce. As a fierce advocate for reform to our nation’s broken health care system, she is also the co-author of Medicare For All to finally guarantee care for all Americans.
An active civic and community leader, Dingell is a recognized national advocate for women and children. She successfully fought to have women included in federally funded health research and advocated for greater awareness of women’s health issues overall, including breast cancer and heart health. She is a founder and former chair of the National Women’s Health Resource Center and the Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Debbie is a respected voice in Michigan and has been named multiple times on Crain’s Detroit Business’ 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan list.
Debbie currently resides in Ann Arbor. She holds both a B.S.F.S. in Foreign Services and an M.S. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.
Congressman Fred Upton was proud to represent Southwest Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District. A diverse section of the state that stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan, the Sixth District is home to key industries that range from agriculture to auto parts manufacturing to high-tech biomedical innovation centers.
Prior to his election to Congress, Fred worked for President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). From 2010 to 2016, Fred was selected by his House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. This pivotal committee has jurisdiction over matters concerning energy, healthcare, the environment, telecommunications, commerce, manufacturing, and trade, as well as oversight and investigations.
While serving in Congress, Fred’s top priorities were job creation, economic growth, and working to help all residents of Southwest Michigan live longer, better lives. Today he serves on the Argonne National Lab, Bipartisan Biodefense board, and Former Member of Congress board.
Fred holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Amey, have two adult children and 4 wonderful grandchildren.