Published March 05, 2015

Midwest leader

Former Missouri governor Bob Holden to speak on campus on March 24
Former Missouri governor Bob Holden, who currently chairs the MidWest U.S. China Association (MWCA), will be the featured speaker at Monmouth College’s Midwest Matters forum on March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Wells Theater.
 
A bipartisan organization representing 12 Midwest states, the MWCA is devoted to forging partnerships between the Midwest and China regarding manufacturing, energy, agriculture and transportation.
 
As a prelude to the forum, Monmouth College’s latest Midwest Matters poll has just been completed. It surveyed Midwesterners in eight states about their attitudes on issues involving U.S.-China relations and immigration. Political science faculty members Robin Johnson and Nathan Kalmoe will report on the poll’s findings in the days leading up to the forum, and Holden is expected to comment on them as well. The poll was originally developed as a key component of the Midwest Matters initiative that the college launched in 2009.
 
Holden’s relationship with China began during his tenure as governor from 2001 to 2005. He led Missouri’s efforts to open the first trade office in China in 2004. A year later, he worked with Webster University (now home of the Holden Public Policy Forum) to bring the first Missouri Confucius Institute to Webster. Holden began his current role with the MWCA in 2006, succeeding the organization’s founder, Sen. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. As chairman, Holden encourages the Midwest states to look for ways to work together instead of against each other, a philosophy that meshes well with Monmouth’s Midwest Matters initiative.
 
During Holden’s career in government, he served three terms in the Missouri House, where he served in leadership roles on appropriations, budget, education and campaign finance legislation. He was elected to two terms as state treasurer, where he was responsible for the creation of the MOST program, a college savings program recognized as one of the best of its kind in the U.S.
 
When Holden entered the governor’s office, Missouri was one of the leading states in jobs lost but, by the end of his term, Missouri was ranked among the top ten states in job creation.
 
Holden was raised on a farm in southern Missouri, where he started his education in a one-room school house. He graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in political science and attended the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government for Government Executives
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