Axelrod, Rove to host Presidential Elections Program conference at Rice U.’s Baker Institute March 28


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Axelrod, Rove to host Presidential Elections Program conference at Rice U.’s Baker Institute March 28

HOUSTON – (March 8, 2018) – Two of America’s premier political consultants, David Axelrod and Karl Rove, will gather leading political experts – from campaigns, the media and academia – at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy March 28 for the inaugural conference of the institute’s Presidential Elections Program.


The conference will focus on the roles social media and changing demographics played in the 2016 election. Registration for the general public costs $30 and will open March 12. Seating is limited. This event is also part of a 25th-anniversary commemorative series featuring the centers and research of the Baker Institute.

Who: Political consultants David Axelrod and Karl Rove, honorary chairs of the Presidential Elections Program conference. Other speakers and panelists include Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, Timothy Alberta of Politico and Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune. For the agenda and complete list of speakers, go to

Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute, will give opening remarks.

What: A conference titled “Social Media, Changing Demographics and Implications of the 2016 Presidential Election.”

When: Wednesday, March 28, 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. A luncheon and discussion with Axelrod and Rove, moderated by CBS News’ Major Garret, will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Rice University, Baker Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.

The dynamics of presidential politics are rapidly changing, altering the U.S. electoral landscape, according to conference organizers. In 2017, the Baker Institute established the Presidential Elections Program, the first of its kind in the country, to foster a greater understanding of U.S. presidential campaigns through fact-based research and analysis.

As part of the Presidential Elections Program, the two honorary directors select a topic for research that could include a variety of subjects ranging from the effects of money on presidential campaigns to the role of the media in the electoral process.

The Presidential Elections Program will release a policy report that summarizes the event’s major discussions and debates. The program will host two conferences within every four-year period.

The program adheres to the institute’s policy of objective, bipartisan and comprehensive research and analysis.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP by March 27 to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775. Space for media is limited. Requests for individual speakers, including Axelrod and Rove, must be sent to Falk.

A live webcast will be available at the event page.

For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media are advised to park in the Central Campus Garage.


Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.