National Political Columnist and Reporter
Salena Zito joined the Washington Examiner in 2016 as a Western Pennsylvania-based columnist and reporter covering national politics and culture.
She is also a weekly columnist at the New York Post, contributes to The Wall Street Journal and co-authored “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics” with Brad Todd.
In 2018, she won first place for her columns in the Associated Press for her coverage of American politics, and she also won the Barbara Olson award for excellence and independence in journalism.
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
PA House Majority Leader
Representing the 171st legislative district located in Centre and Mifflin Counties, Kerry Benninghoff was elected by his colleagues in June 2020 to serve as Majority Leader.
Prior to that he served on the Leadership team as Majority Whip and for two terms as the House Majority Policy Committee chairman. He also previously served as chairman of the House Majority Finance and State Government committees. He is the founder and former chairman of the bipartisan Cancer Caucus.
Prior to being elected to represent the 171st district, Rep. Benninghoff worked in construction, cared for patients as a hospital orderly and served Centre County for two terms as county coroner.
He is a graduate of State College Area High School and attended Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of the Certified Coroners Training Program conducted in Hershey by the state of Pennsylvania.
He resides in Bellefonte and is the father of five children – Michael, Heather, Amy, Kelley and Ryleigh.
Sen. Kim Ward
PA Senate Majority Leader
Senator Kim Ward currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader for the Senate of Pennsylvania. She is the first woman in the history of the Pennsylvania Legislature to serve as Majority Leader in either the Pennsylvania House or Senate.
In 2008, Senator Ward won the Pennsylvania 39th Senatorial District seat and was the first woman ever elected to that seat. She was re-elected in 2012 & 2016, and most recently in 2020.
During the 2019-2020 legislative session, she was appointed to the Majority Caucus Administrator position in the Senate. Prior to her election to the Senate, she served as a Westmoreland County Commissioner in 2008, and on the Hempfield Township Board of Supervisors from 2002-2007 where she was Chairwoman of the Board for the final three years.
Most recently, Senator Ward has had several of bills she introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic pass the General Assembly. Signed into law was her legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Health to share the location of COVID-19 positive cases with emergency responders so they can better protect themselves and their communities. Senator Ward’s amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, prohibiting the Governor from extending an emergency declaration beyond 21 days without legislative approval, received the first of two legislative approvals needed before it can be placed on the ballot at the next election.
She is a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Hempfield Township, the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the NRA.
Chancellor Dan Greenstein
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Dr. Daniel Greenstein became the fifth chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education in 2018. In that role, he serves as chief executive officer of the State System, which operates Pennsylvania’s 14 public universities, serving nearly 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs.
Previously, Greenstein led the Postsecondary Success strategy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he worked with other higher education leaders across the country on initiatives designed to raise educational-attainment levels and to promote economic mobility, especially among low-income and minority students.
Before joining the foundation, Greenstein was Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Programs for the University of California system. In that role, he oversaw system-wide academic planning and programs, including the University of California Press; the California Digital Library; the UC system’s Education Abroad Program; internship programs in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento; and UC Online Education.
He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctorate in Philosophy the University of Oxford.