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Why You Should Attend
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COGEL’s Annual Conferences provide invaluable opportunities for professionals working in the areas of Campaign Finance, Governmental Ethics, Elections Administration, Lobbying, Enforcement, and other types of regulatory agencies.

Preparations are well underway for the 36th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is occurring December 7-10, 2014! Join colleagues and experts from throughout the U.S., Canada, and other parts of the world for the premier conference devoted to the regulation and administration of the COGEL Disciplines. 

 First-Rate Sessions

Whether you are a first-time attendee or a veteran, engaging and informative sessions await you, all directly related to your work. You will learn about the latest legal developments, share important tips and best practices with COGEL partners and capture new ideas to take back to your office.

Attendees should plan on arriving early to take full advantage of the Sunday programming, which features a number of firsts.  This year, the traditional e-filing system expands to a “technology update” with a new format where the latest developments in the use of technology will be discussed and challenges dissected.  Sunday’s programming will also feature a new workshop on navigating change, which is vital for anyone working through transitions, new laws or mandates.  Also look for the introduction of speed networking roundtables where COGEL ambassadors will have the opportunity to share insights and lessons with newer professionals. 

Don’t forget that the excellent programming continues through Wednesday.  This year, we save some of the best sessions for the end of the conference.  Look for a spirited discussion on non-profits engaging in political and governmental action, which will be a hot topic in 2014.  Expect an eye-opening session on data and how to best manage, access and analyze information.  Engage during an interactive value-based workshop, “If You Faced a House of Cards, What Would You Do?” 

For attorneys attending the conference, many states offered CLE credit for this conference in recent years.  

To view the 2014 conference session schedule, click here.

Dynamic Plenary Speakers

The Program Committee is very excited to present thought leaders who will share unique perspectives and insights that will be the talk of the conference!  This year's plenary speakers include:


Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.  Mayor Peduto has made government reform and innovation a priority of his administration.  He shares his observations and experiences with implementing aggressive reforms in Pittsburgh. 






Fresh Air’s Dave Davies.  If you listen to NPR’s Fresh Air, you know journalist Dave Davies.  In a COGEL Conversation, Davies sits down and provides a journalist’s perspective on the issues of ethics and government that matter most to the COGEL community. 



    From Public Office to Prison, Jeff Smith.  He was once a rising star in politics, but Jeff Smith’s trajectory came to a smashing halt with a federal conviction.  It’s a story of conspiracy, campaign finance violations, FBI wiretaps and now, redemption.  Smith is a Professor of Politics and Advocacy at the Milano Graduate School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy in New York.  He has co-authored, “The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis,” which is a must-read for anyone working in politics.  The book will be available at the conference and Smith will sign copies following his presentation.




Global Compliance Expert Paul Liebman.  Building a culture of ethics and changing behavior is no easy task.  Paul Liebman, Chief Compliance Officer at the University of Texas at Austin, shares his tips on designing, building and implementing global ethics and compliance programs. 



What Attendees Have Said About Past Conferences

"Great format & approach – Keep It Going!”

"Great conference – energizing, thought-provoking, inspirational, yet practical.”

"Very informative and an excellent networking opportunity.”

"One of the best conferences I have attended.Terrific sessions and speakers.”


"COGEL really "listens" to our conference evaluations.I have never experienced an organization so responsive to suggestions.We learned so much from all the audience participants.”

"What an amazing conference - presentations, presenters, accommodations, food, site location and more - all of it near perfect. Thanks to everyone who put so much work into making it a success for all. I learned SO much - especially about the larger national and international context in which I'm serving. The conference re-energized me to come back to it with renewed energy, proud of what I've accomplished and, at the same time, with a much clearer sense of what still needs to be done. Thank you, thank you - planners, organizers, speakers and other attendees - for the wonderful gift of yourselves, your time and your knowledge!”

"Great Presenters! Great Sessions! This is the way to do it!”