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Guest Speaker Chris DeLaForest

Chris DeLaForest, has served in both the executive and legislative branches of state government and has been intimately involved in some of the most important issues the state has faced in recent times.

DeLaForest served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for three terms (2003 - 2008), where he gained invaluable knowledge of the legislative process by being a part of a majority caucus (81-53), a nearly evenly divided House (68-66) and a minority caucus (85-49).  This experience taught him the value of developing and maintaining relationships across the political spectrum.  His proudest legislative achievements were all bi-partisan efforts.

More recently, as Pawlenty's Director of Legislative and Cabinet Affairs, DeLaForest was also the chief legislative relations person for the Governor. In this role, he acted as the most senior policy advisor and was responsible for developing and implementing his legislative agenda.

Currently, DeLaForest is an independent lobbyist where he is able to leverage his years of experience in Minnesota government and the relationships he has developed to effectively represent client interests and achieve results.

Chris DeLaForest earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School.  He earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science, summa cum laude, from Saint John's University.

As a guest speaker for the MAPL program, DeLaForest reviews student policy proposals in Wy Spano's core course, The Political Process and Public Policy. He provides students with feedback on how to make their policies stronger and evaluates the possibility of them being able to be put in place.  His background as both an administrative and contract lobbyist and as a legislator makes him ideally qualified to judge the viability of the policy projects.