Opening Plenary Session
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Mark C. Smith Concert Hall
Opening Plenary Presenter
Arkansas's First Lady Susan Hutchinson
First Lady Susan Hutchinson brings to the Governor’s Mansion a lifetime of experience advocating for and working with children.
Immediately prior to assuming the role of First Lady, the former school teacher spent several years on the board of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County, one of 16 non-profit Children’s Advocacy Centers around the state that work with abused children. Among other initiatives, Mrs. Hutchinson hopes to see the establishment of more Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout Arkansas.
As Arkansas’s first lady, Mrs. Hutchinson also hopes to inspire educators to incorporate music into the daily lives of students. Ideally, she believes every child should have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument — at least for one full school year. The first lady herself plays the piano and all four of her children learned to play instruments.
Rachel L. Brand was sworn in as Associate Attorney General on May 22, 2017, after confirmation by the Senate. As Associate Attorney General, she serves as the third-ranking officer in the Department of Justice and oversees the following Department components: Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Office on Violence Against Women, Community Relations Service, Office of Access to Justice, Office of Information Policy, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, and the Service members and Veterans Initiative. She also serves as the Department’s Regulatory Reform Officer and chairs the Regulatory Reform Task Force.
Alan Hanson is the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General effective January 30, 2017. Mr. Hanson brings more than 17 years of Congressional policy, management, appropriations and political experience having worked in a variety of capacities in the private sector and the legislative branch. His expertise includes a comprehensive appreciation for policy issues, strategic planning and execution, bipartisan stakeholder coalition building, executive agency interaction, constituent relations, and personnel team building, motivation, and management. Mr. Hanson has served as the General Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby where he managed legislative activities, state activities, and political/fundraising activities.