Judges

Kell Jarner Rasmussen
Kell Jarner Rasmussen is CEO of Rhetor, a Danish firm that specializes in persuasive communication. Rasmussen has worked for more than a decade as a speechwriter and rhetorical adviser in corporate and government offices, as well as political organizations. He’s cofounder and former editor of Rhetorica Scandinavica, a scientific journal of rhetoric, and since 2001 he and his partners have held a yearly Danish speechwriting conference.

Fletcher Dean
Fletcher Dean is a speechwriter, author and executive communication strategist. Through more than 20 years of corporate experience, he has helped CEOs and senior leaders improve their credibility, reputation and business results by developing strategies, message platforms, and speeches that drive organizational goals. He has won four Gold Cicero Awards including the Grand Prize, is the author of 10 Steps to Writing a Vital Speech and a frequent speaker at speechwriting and communication conferences.

Isabelle Gaudeul-Ehrhart
How to grab the audience’s attention, engage in conversation, and win hearts and minds? These are the questions that have driven Isabelle Gaudeul-Ehrhart throughout her career from print journalism to speechwriting to leading the European Commission speechwriters’ network to the Thinktank of the European Parliament. Isabelle gives training and coaching on speechwriting and storytelling. She pursues her passion for word power and power words on her website: logospathosethos.eu.

John La Rue
John La Rue won the Grand Award in the 2019 Cicero Speechwriting Awards. La Rue is an independent speechwriter and political campaign junkie based in Washington, DC. Previously, he served as the Chief Speechwriter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

Robert A. Lehrman
Robert A. Lehrman served as Chief White House speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. He writes speeches for major political figures as well as corporate and nonprofit CEOs, and celebrities. He’s also written six books, including award-winning novels, and the highly-acclaimed Political Speechwriter’s Companion: A Guide for Writers and Speakers. Bob writes op-eds and magazine non-fiction under his own name, including six cover stories for The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Magazine. He talks frequently on radio and TV, gives workshops in the U.S. and other countries, founded and co-teaches political speechwriting at American University where his graduates write speeches for politicians on both sides of the aisle—and include one alum who won the Cicero Speechwriting Award in 2013.

Tom Rosshirt
Tom Rosshirt has spent more than fifteen years working as a communications director, press secretary and speechwriter at the highest levels of business, government and philanthropy. Before he and his partners founded the writing and communications strategy firm West Wing Writers, Rosshirt served in the Clinton White House as a foreign policy speechwriter for the President. Before that, he served as foreign policy spokesman for Vice President Al Gore. Rosshirt currently writes a nationally syndicated column on politics.

Dana Rubin
Dana Rubin is an award-winning former journalist and speechwriter who has written speeches for leaders at the highest levels of business, government, philanthropy, and higher education. Five years ago she founded the New York Speechwriter’s Roundtable, a forum for professional speechwriters to come together, share professional tips, and hear high-level speakers about speechwriting and communications.

Pete Weissman
An award-winning speechwriter and public speaker, Pete Weissman spent more than a dozen years helping leaders in the White House and United States Senate and writing for the CEO/Chairman of The Coca-Cola Company. In 2009, he launched his own firm, Thought Leader Communications, which establishes clients as Thought Leaders and helps corporations, foundations and associations achieve their business goals through creative and successful communications.