IEC Policy Speakers

IEC Policy Conference

June 10 - 12, 2024 | Washington, DC 

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John Colborn, Apprenticeships for America

John Colborn is the Executive Director of Apprenticeships for America, a membership and advocacy organization working to expand apprenticeship in the United States. He has served as an employer sponsor and developer of apprenticeship programs in information technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and social services. 

John has amassed over 30 years of experience with community-based and national nonprofits, including serving as an education, workforce, and human services practitioner, Director of the Aspen Institute Skills for America’s Future program, Vice President Operations at the Ford Foundation, and program manager at the Philadelphia-based Reinvestment Fund.  

Colborn holds a BA from Oberlin College and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Phillip B. Russell, Ogletree Deakins

Phillip is a board-certified OSHA and employment lawyer, litigator, and advisor.  He is a strategic, practical, and trusted partner to clients on labor and employment law matters. One of Phillip’s strengths is developing teams and deploying resources to ensure clients receive the best service and results. In 2023, Phillip was named a Client Service All-Star in OSHA and Employment Law by his clients through BTI Consulting Group, the only independently researched, client-driven ranking of attorneys’ client service. The only way to become a BTI Client Service All-Star is for corporate counsel to identify their top lawyers by name — with no prompts or suggestions — for client service exceeding all others. One client said, “Phillip just gets the business side of things and is practical and resourceful.”

John F. Ring, Morgan Lewis

John F. Ring, a former Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), advises clients on a wide range of labor and employment issues, focusing on labor-management relations matters. He provides clients with strategic business planning, particularly regarding union-related issues and corporate restructurings. He also represents management interests in labor-management relations, defends labor- and employee benefits-related litigation, and counsels on litigation avoidance strategies. John has an extensive background negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements, most notably in the context of workforce restructuring and multiemployer bargaining. His experience with congressional oversight while leading a federal agency provides unique perspectives for client matters involving Capitol Hill and other government entities. 

Kenneth D. Simonson, Associated General Contractors of America

Ken Simonson has been Chief Economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, the leading construction trade association, since 2001. He provides insight into the economy and what it implies for construction and related industries through frequent media interviews, presentations, and the Data DIGest, his weekly one-page e-newsletter that goes to more than 20,000 subscribers. 

Ken has over 40 years of experience analyzing, advocating, and communicating about economic and tax issues. He currently serves as an advisor to the Census Bureau’s construction data re-engineering initiative. He is a Fellow and past president of the National Association for Business Economics, and he is co-director of the Tax Economists Forum, a professional meeting group he co-founded in 1982. 

Ken has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago, and an MA in economics from Northwestern University. 

Josh Ulman, Ulman Public Policy

Josh Ulman is the founder of Ulman Public Policy. For nearly twenty years, Josh has assisted businesses, associations, governments, and coalitions in developing and implementing strategies for achieving their legislative and regulatory objectives. Throughout his career, Josh has represented a wide range of industries and interests on many diverse issues and has been a key player in important legislative and regulatory initiatives. Josh has helped form and served on the management committees for a variety of coalitions and currently manages a coalition consisting of hundreds of business and professional associations. Josh regularly presents to in-house counsel and other C-suite officers and is often the keynote speaker at national conferences for clients and other associations. 

Immediately prior to founding Ulman Public Policy in 2006, Josh was an attorney and lobbyist at a DC-based law firm, where he represented clients that included foreign governments, Native American tribes, corporations, and associations. During his career in Washington, Josh has also served as a policy director and lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, counsel at the Chamber’s litigation center, and Director of Government Relations for both an association of human resource executives from Fortune 500 companies and for the 300-attorney labor, employment, and employee benefits section at a large international law firm. He practiced labor, employment, and education law in Providence, Rhode Island, before coming to Washington. 

Josh received his A.B. from Vassar College and his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. He lives in Northern Virginia and is a father to four boys.