Our lineup of speakers for the 2016 Annual Conference represents leaders from across the country that are working to create engaged and resilient communities.


jamielalexanderJamiel L. Alexander is the Senior Fellow for Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions. In this role he coordinates AFCS youth engagement strategy.

Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Jamiel was as Manager of Youth and Family Programs at Crispus Attucks Association for 12 years. While at the Crispus Attucks Association he was responsible for a variety of tasks including managing after school & summer programs, professional & leadership development, youth & family workshops and various community service projects.

Jamiel is a Rising Star award recipient in his community and currently serves as a committee member for the York City General Authority Commission, NAACP, Ancestors Dream Organization and Helping Offer Options & Directions LLC in York, PA.  In 2012 he was appointed to serve on the National Council of Young Leaders as an advisor to our policy makers and in 2013 was chosen to speak at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington. Additionally, earlier this year, his colleagues on the YouthBuild National Alumni Council elected him as their President.

Jamiel continues to engage and serve with many organizations but makes it a priority to take care of “home” first.


patybeatyPat Beaty is a strategic planning and marketing consultant with more than 40 years experience working with three public university systems and a broad array of non-profit and business organizations. She has consulted with CFA since 2006, where she serves as study director.

Formerly, Beaty was vice chancellor of strategic planning at Colorado State University, where she helped lead the effort to align university research, annual budgeting and fundraising into a cohesive planning effort. Beaty also served as the founding vice president of strategic planning and marketing for the ASU Foundation, following 11 years as a senior consultant supporting campaign planning and marketing for the $560 million ASU Campaign for Leadership. During her foundation tenure, she supported the ASUF Board through two strategic planning efforts in 2000 and 2003 in addition to other university-wide and college-level initiatives.


austinbelaliAustin Belali is Director of the Youth Engagement Fund at the Democracy Alliance. Belali believes youth development and engagement is the key to a more generative economy. Before coming to the YEF, Belali led a major organizational change process at the 2.1-million-member Service Employees International Union to put youth and emerging leaders in the drivers’ seat of progressive social change. In 2013, his thought leadership and fundraising ability helped create a leadership network for minority youth and students promoting racial equity and inclusion on college campuses

As YEF Director, Belali commissioned a set of new data indexes to help funders better target resources for youth voter engagement, capacity-building and leadership development. Under Belali’s leadership the Fund has moved nearly $3 million in aligned and pooled grant making and established partnerships with major institutional funders including the Ford Foundation to improve youth outcomes and opportunities.

Belali is currently a member of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and co-chairs the Development Committee on the board of a low-wage immigrant organization known as CASA. His philanthropic endeavors gained him recognition in the September 2016 issue of Washington Life Magazine, and his writing about young people and social change have been published in the Non-Profit Quarterly, Huffington Post, the Hill and MSNBC among other outlets. Belali is a music composer and recently produced original music for the New York-based think tank Demos.

Belali has a B.A. in Political Science from Howard University in Washington D.C. As an undergraduate he interned at a cheese micro-enterprise in the Andes mountains of Ecuador and studied abroad in New Delhi, India. After graduation, Belali spent a year teaching high school students in Dakar, Senegal and established the school’s first Advanced Placement course in Comparative Government.


kishabirdKisha Bird is director of youth policy at CLASP and project director for the Campaign for Youth (CFY), a national coalition chaired by CLASP.  Ms. Bird works to expand access to education, employment, and support services for disconnected and other vulnerable youth.  She is an expert in federal policy for vulnerable youth and helps ensure national legislation (such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) is fully implemented in communities nationwide and has maximum impact for poor and low-income youth and youth of color.

Before joining CLASP, Ms. Bird was director for the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network, working to make quality education and afterschool programs accessible to young people.  Prior to that, she was a program officer at the Philadelphia Foundation, where she helped develop and manage the Fund for Children, Youth Advisory Board, and discretionary grants process. She also has direct service experience, working in various community settings with children, youth and families. Ms. Bird holds a Master of Social Service and Master of Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.  She also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Spelman College.  Lastly, she is a graduate of the Education Policy Fellowship Program, a joint program of the Institute for Educational Leadership and the Pennsylvania Education Policy Leadership Center.


kristencambellKristen Cambell is Executive Director of PACE (Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement) and leads our mission to inspire interest, understanding, and investment in civic engagement within philanthropy and to be a voice for philanthropy in larger conversations taking place in the fields of civic engagement, service, and democratic practice. Previously, Kristen ran her own consulting practice focused on civic engagement, education, and leadership. She served the National Conference on Citizenship as its Chief Program Officer, and has held philanthropic roles at the Case Foundation and Points of Light. Kristen is an AmeriCorps Alum and serves on the Alumni Council of The Fund for American Studies, and on the advisory board for groups such as the Annenberg Presidential Learning Center and the Sustained Dialogue Institute.
Jeff CoatesJeff Coates is responsible for NCoC’s organizational priorities that include conducting research, performing data analysis as part of the Civic Health Index initiative, and evaluation of programs. As Director of Research and Evaluation, Jeff brings to the Civic Renewal team over ten years of social science research and on-the-ground program evaluation experience. His prior experience in disaster relief and long-term recovery has given him the knowledge of various fields including community development, civic engagement, and economic development.

He previously worked at the Knight Foundation as Strategic Initiative Associate from 2010 to 2013, where he managed grants totaling over $20 million including supporting Knight’s Soul of the Community project. Jeff performed data analysis and evaluation on grants in the National and Strategic Initiatives Department and participated in multiple panels on placemaking, community development and program evaluation.

Prior to joining Knight, he worked at the Greater New Orleans Disaster Recovery Partnership, where he collaborated with more than 50 nonprofits to develop strategic plans for long-term recovery. In this position, he analyzed data on households served by the Long Term Recovery Organizations and by using spatial data; he created various GIS maps of the households served. Before that, he was a supervisor with the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Recovery Program in New Orleans.

He also co-founded the Recovery Action Learning Laboratory (RALLY) Foundation, a New Orleans-based nonprofit that monitored and evaluated post-disaster programs. At Rally, Jeff developed assessment tools, formulated data collection methods, and directed the collection of primary data for the assessment and evaluation of programs implemented in the Gulf region by large-scale international organizations such as Mercy Corps, World Vision, Save the Children and the Department of Justice. He has worked in disaster recovery in Sri Lanka, where he worked with the Government of Sri Lanka in assessing food distribution to internally displaced people following the 20004 Tsunami.

Jeff was also a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Guyana. Jeff earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Public Health from Tulane University in New Orleans.


lattiecoorDr. Lattie Coor founded the Center for the Future of Arizona in 2002 with the goal of creating an Arizona in which there are opportunities and quality of life for all citizens, now and in the future. Under his direction, the center has focused upon collaborative initiatives such as creating a unified state vision and action plan, and implementing the Beat the Odds research findings in Arizona K-12 schools. He also is the Ernest W. McFarland Arizona Heritage Chair in Leadership and Public Policy and a professor of public affairs at Arizona State University.Dr. Coor is a highly regarded Arizona statesman and esteemed president emeritus of Arizona State University (1990-2002) and the University of Vermont (1976-1989). As president of ASU, Dr. Coor elevated the university’s status as a major research institution with high-quality academics and a diverse student body.
billdelarosaBill De La Rosa ’16—already a Truman Scholar, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Gates Millennium Scholar, and Michael and Susan Dell Scholar—has just been selected as Hispanic Scholar of the Year. Each year, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund recognizes two outstanding Hispanic scholars in the United States from the thousands who apply.

De La Rosa attended the award ceremony in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 20.A Latin American studies and sociology major, De La Rosa has dedicated much of his time to advocating for and aiding undocumented immigrants. This spring, he led an Alternative Spring Break trip for Bowdoin students to the Arizona/Mexico border to observe the consequences of heightened border security measures. He has also worked as a volunteer aid worker in the Sonoran Desert, helping humanitarian organizations deliver food, water and medical kits to desert-crossing migrants. In 2013 he was the youngest participant to be selected to participate in Stanford University’s Forum for Cooperation, Understanding and Solidarity, which promotes better U.S.-Mexico relations.


arthurdeanArthur T. Dean became the Chairman and CEO of Community Anti­ Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) on August 31, 1998. His responsibilities as Chairman and CEO include providing strategic direction, diversifying and increasing funding, leading the board, being the primary spokesman for the organization and overseeing the operations and personnel of CADCA.

Before joining CADCA, he spent 31 years in the U.S. Army. He retired on August 31, 1998, at the grade of Major General. During his time in the Army, General Dean served around the world. He saw combat in the Republic of Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. He was a U.S. Army and Republic of Vietnam Senior Parachutist and an Army Ranger. He possesses numerous awards with the highest being two awards of the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal.

General Dean has served as a member of numerous boards to include the Executive Council of the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts of America; member of the Defense Science Board Human Resources Task Force; chairman of the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT)  Advisory Committee; co-chair and member, Advisory Commission, Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, Executive Office of the President; member of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Advisory Council; and member, Board of Directors, The Madeira School. He currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention; member, National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (NIH); and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Board of Directors, for which he serves as Chairman.

General Dean received his undergraduate degree in history from Morgan State University in 1967 and his master’s degree in management and supervision from Central Michigan University in 1977. He is also a graduate of the Stanford University’s Advanced Management Program and the U.S. Army’s War College.


johndedrickJohn Dedrick is vice president and program director at the Kettering Foundation. He has a longstanding research interest in the theory and practice of democracy and has worked closely with higher education professionals and community-based forum moderators on numerous scholarly and community-based research studies.

Dedrick has written on deliberative politics in The Deliberative Democracy Handbook (Gastil and Levine, eds., Jossey-Bass, 2005), The Journal of General Education, and Deliberation and the Work of Higher Education: Innovations for the Classroom, the Campus, and the Community (Dedrick et al., eds., Kettering Foundation Press, 2008).

Dedrick is the board president of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, and he serves on the executive committee of Deliberative Democracy Consortium, the public policy committee of Philanthropy Ohio, and the editorial board of the Journal of Public Deliberation. He is also a fellow at Fielding Graduate University, where he leads seminars on topics including deliberation, dialogue, and civic engagement.

Dedrick received a BA and MA from the College of William and Mary and an MA and PhD in political science from Rutgers University.


dougdobsonDr. Doug Dobson is Executive Director of the University of Central Florida’s Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government and he co-directs the work of the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. The Joint Center is a partnership between the Frey Institute at UCF and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at UF. Dr. Dobson received his Ph.D. from Florida State University and was a Social Science Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago. He served as a Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University and as Director of NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies. Dr. Dobson also served as the Executive Director of the University of South Carolina’s Institute of Public Affairs and as a Professor of Government and International Studies. While at USC, he managed South Carolina’s Hazardous Waste Management Research Fund and established policy research and outreach centers focused on governance, public opinion, the environment, health care, leadership, bioethics and citizenship. He served as Editor and Publisher of the South Carolina Policy Forum and Pollution Prevention in South Carolina and was a member of the Editorial Board of the State and Local Government Review. He is past president of the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations. As a member of the Board of the International Urban Development Association, he represented that organization to the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Dr. Dobson has written extensively on American politics and public policy. His work has been supported by federal, state, local, and private funding sources.


johnforrenDr. John Forren, currently the Associate Director for Curriculum in Miami’s Honors Program, will be teaching in the summer Inside Washington Program for the second time in 2010. A native of Pataskala, Ohio (located just east of Columbus), Forren holds a bachelor’s degree with College Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in political science from the Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the faculty in Miami’s Department of Political Science in 1997, Forren taught at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, East Carolina University and the College of William and Mary. On the Oxford campus, Forren has taught a range of courses on American constitutional law, American politics, judicial process and political philosophy. His writings on American government and church-state relations have appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Law and History Review, Journal of Markets and Morality, Major Acts of Congress and The Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America. A life-long and deeply devoted fan of the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Browns, Forren resides in Liberty Township, Ohio with his wife Jennifer Hoovler Forren (a fellow Pataskala native and 1990 graduate of Miami) and their three children [Kelsey (13), Bryce (8) and Kendall (5)]. He’s already noted that the Reds will be playing the Washington Nationals in D.C. in early June.
Cristin Foster is the Executive Director of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life inMontevallo, Alabama. Cristin coordinates Mathews Center signature programming,moderates deliberative community forums across Alabama, and collaborates with K– 16 schools and community partners to facilitate active civic learning for young Alabamians. A graduate of the University of Montevallo, Cristin has worked for theMathews Center since 2011.
garciamauricioGarcia Mauricio leads Cities of Service’s support to its network of cities, including strategy and design, training, and technical assistance.

A senior nonprofit professional with over a decade of experience, Mauricio formerly served as Director of New York Programs at Seedco, a national nonprofit workforce development intermediary, where he oversaw a portfolio of programs that connected low-wage workers to other benefits and services. Prior to Seedco, Mauricio was the Director of Services at The Financial Clinic, where he led the delivery of financial coaching services to working poor New Yorkers. He has also worked for LISC and the Business Outreach Center Network.

Mauricio holds a master’s degree in public administration from the City University of New York’s Baruch College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oakland University. He is also an alumnus of the Coro Leadership New York program and serves on the board of NYC-based Teens for Food Justice. Mauricio is originally from Detroit, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife.


keeshagaskinsKeesha Gaskins is the director for the Democratic Practice–United States program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Ms. Gaskins is a long-time organizer, lobbyist, and trial attorney. Prior to joining the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, she was senior counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice, serving as the director of the Redistricting and Representation program. Her portfolio included redistricting reform, voting rights, and elections, with a focus on voter suppression issues. Ms. Gaskins is a frequent lecturer and writer on issues related to women and politics, movement building, and democratic reform. She is the author of a number of articles and publications related to voter suppression, voting rights, and redistricting.

Ms. Gaskins served as executive director for the League of Women Voters Minnesota, where she worked on a wide range of voting rights and civil rights issues. Prior to that, she was the executive director for the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus. She worked for a number of years as a trial attorney, most notably with the firm Bowman and Brooke, LLC. Ms. Gaskins also served as a special assistant appellate public defender for the State of Minnesota.

Following law school, Ms. Gaskins served as a shared judicial clerk for the Honorable Alan Page and the Honorable Joan Ericksen at the Minnesota Supreme Court. She was also a 2008 Feminist Leadership Fellow with the University of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs – Center on Women and Public Policy. She is a frequent commentator on voting rights and redistricting reform and regularly appears on numerous news and public affairs programming, including past appearances on PBS’s NewsHour, MSNBC, and Bill Moyers.


nickygorenNicky Goren is president and CEO of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, which pursues and invests in solutions to build an equitable Greater Washington community in which people who are economically vulnerable thrive.

Founded in 1944, the Meyer Foundation is a leading supporter of local nonprofit organizations serving the DC region. Each year, the Foundation provides grants totaling more than $7 million to more than 150 organizations working in the interconnected areas of affordable housing, education and workforce development, and financial security. In addition to funding, the Foundation works to build the capacity of partner organizations, serves as a convener and advocate on critical issues, and promotes cross-sector collective action to advance solutions to community challenges.

Before being selected to lead the Meyer Foundation in 2014, Nicky served for four years as president of Washington Area Women’s Foundation, which focuses on increasing the economic security of women and girls in the DC region.

Prior to joining Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Nicky spent 12 years in senior positions at the Corporation for National and Community Service—the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. She served as chief of staff from 2006 to 2008 and as acting CEO from 2008 to 2010, overseeing a federal government agency with a staff of 600 and a budget of $1.1 billion.

A graduate of Brandeis University and Cornell Law School, Nicky began her career as assistant general counsel in the Congressional Budget Office, and then served as counsel at the newly established Office of Compliance of the U.S. Congress. She currently serves on the Raise DC Leadership Council; on the boards of the American Association of State Service Commissions, District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP), Federal City Council, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Trinity Washington University, and Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers; and is a member of Leadership Greater Washington’s Class of 2013. Nicky was recently appointed to the DC Rising Leadership Committee by Mayor Muriel Bowser, which will advise Mayor Bowser on the selection of a new Chancellor for DC Public Schools.


garrettgraffGarrett M. Graff serves as Editor for the widely-know Politico magazine.

In 2009, he became just the third editor of The Washingtonian in the magazine 40-plus year history. At the time, Gawker.com wrote, Graff was “an up and coming whippersnapper if we have ever seen one.”

As former editor of the magazine, he managed The Washingtonian’s editorial and art staff, as well as assigning and selecting which stories should run on a given issue. Prior to becoming editor, Graff spent four years at the magazine, during which time he wrote often about media and politics, profiling Barack Obama, Tom Friedman, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, among others.

Graff is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on technology and politics. His first book, “The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House,” which examines the role of technology in the 2008 presidential race, was published in December 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux to strong reviews. The New York Times’ literary critic Michiko Kakutani wrote, “The astonishingly young Mr. Graff (who was born in 1981) proves in these pages that he is a cogent writer, willing to tackle large-scale issues and problems.”

His second book, “The Threat Matrix: The FBI in the Age of Global Terror” (Little, Brown, 2011), examined the rise of the FBI’s counterterrorism program and its international expansion since the 1980s.

Graff also teaches internet and social media at Georgetown University in the school’s master’s in journalism and communications programs. Previously, he was the founding editor of mediaBistro.com’s Fishbowl D.C., a popular blog that covers the media and journalism in Washington, and co-founder of EchoDitto, Inc., a multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm. A Vermont native, he served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean’s first webmaster.

As the first blogger admitted to cover a White House press briefing, he is a frequent speaker on blogging and the intersection of politics and technology, and his reporter’s notebook from that first day in the White House hangs in the Newseum in Washington, DC. His writing and commentary has appeared in publications like the Washington Post, Wired magazine, thePolitico, and The Huffington Post, and in 2008, he was named as one of four young “new media” journalists to watch by PRWeek.

He has appeared on Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN International, CNBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English, and various NPR programs, as well as local and regional television and radio channels. He has spoken at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the National Press Club, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Defense Department, and the Google headquarters, as well as universities from Princeton to UT-Austin, companies, trade groups, and to overseas audiences at the invitation of the U.S. State Department.

In college, Garrett was a news writer and executive editor at the Harvard Crimson, Harvard University’s daily newspaper, and held internships at ABCNews’ Political Unit and at the Atlantic Monthly. He comes from a family of writers: His father, Chris Graff, was head of the Associated Press bureau in Vermont for nearly 30 years, and his mother, Nancy Price Graff, is an editor, author, and historian. His grandfather, Bert McCord, was the drama critic for the New York Herald Tribune.


scotthutchesonScott Hutcheson is a senior associate for the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), joining the staff in 2005. He helps support the school’s economic development efforts in his current position and works closely with local, regional, state and federal partners in in the areas of economic development strategy, innovation and collaborative leadership. He has worked in community and economic development since 1992.

Throughout his career, Scott has worked with over 300 local and regional communities in over 30 states and internationally with economic development professionals, higher education administrators and other stakeholders. At the federal level, Scott has extensive experience working with the Economic Development Administration, Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, USDA Rural Development and the White House. Prior to his work with Purdue, Scott held corporate and philanthropic leadership positions with American Airlines and United Way. He has a B.A. in communication, a M.P.A and Ph.D. in public policy. Scott is also a long-time faculty member of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.


maryhydeDr. Mary Hyde is a community psychologist with over 20 years of research, evaluation, technical assistance, and training experience in social and human services. She is responsible for advancing the evidence base for national service programs as well as fostering a culture of evaluation within the agency and the field. Prior to joining CNCS, Dr. Hyde was a Principal with ICF International and responsible for a portfolio of projects related to strengthening families and communities. All of these projects focused on providing technical assistance solutions and services to faith-based and community organizations funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining ICF, Dr. Hyde developed her unique skill set by directing and managing both national and local program evaluations. The primary focus of Dr. Hyde’s evaluation practice has been community- and school-based programs designed to prevent delinquency and school drop-out and promote social and academic success among urban youth. Dr. Hyde has also conducted research in the areas of welfare-reform policy. Dr. Hyde co-directed a research project funded by the Department of Health and Human Services designed to evaluate the implementation and impact of welfare reform policy (TANF) in Maryland.  Dr. Hyde also directed the design and administration of a statewide telephone survey of former welfare recipients. Former recipients were asked about employment and stability. Finally, Dr. Hyde facilitated a community-driven research process that resulted in the identification of Neighborhood Action and Sense of Community indicators which are part of the larger community indicators project, Vital Signs.


georgebellGeorge A. Jones has been Chief Executive Officer of Bread for the City (BFC) since January 2, 1996. He is responsible for managing all administrative, financial, and programmatic aspects of the organization and its 100 full time staff.

Mr. Jones has led Bread for the City’s growth from a $1.2 million operation in 1996 to a $10.6 million operation in 2014. This growth included overseeing the development of a new center in Southeast DC in 2002, as well as the 11,000 sq. ft. expansion of BFC’s Northwest Center, which opened for service in December 2010.

In 2015, Georgetown University recognized Mr. Jones as a local leader working to solve some of the city’s most pressing challenges and honored him with the John Thompson, Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award.

Mr. Jones was appointed to the Access to Justice Commission in 2014 and was also recently selected to be a member of one of Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser’s transition committees on poverty and homelessness in DC.

From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Jones served as Chairman of the Board of the DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA), a non-profit which advocates for the expansion of healthcare access and reduction of healthcare disparities among low-income DC residents. He currently serves as the DCPCA’s Vice Chairman, is on the Center for Nonprofit Advancement Board, as well as the Board of the Capital Area Food Bank. Mr. Jones is also a 2011 winner of the Center for Non-Profit Advancement’s Gelman, Rosenberg, & Freedman EXCEL Award.

While serving as CEO of Bread for the City, the organization has been recognized for excellence by Johnson & Johnson, the District of Columbia government, the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (DC), DC Bar Pro Bono Program, and the District of Columbia Primary Care Association. The agency was also a two-time finalist and one-time winner for the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.

In addition, Mr. Jones was recognized by Mayor Anthony Williams for 10 Years of Dedicated Service in April 2006 and received the Haynes Rice Award from the DC Hospital Association in 2011.

Mr. Jones holds a B.A. in Psychology from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia.


keiginsbergKei Kawashima-Ginsberg became the Director of CIRCLE in April 2015, after joining CIRCLE in 2008 as the Lead Researcher and serving as Deputy Director since 2013.  Kei directs CIRCLE’s mission and strategies by working with various stakeholders and overseeing CIRCLE’s key research and dissemination efforts.  Kei was a key author of CIRCLE reports such as Taking the Lead: How Educators Can Help Close the Gender Leadership Gap (with NEA and AAUW), All Together Now:  Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement, Pathways into Leadership: A Study of YouthBuild Graduates (with YouthBuild USA), and Civic Health and Unemployment II: The Case Builds (with NCOC), and has published in various peer-reviewed journals and books.  Her curriculum vitae can be found here.

Kei applies her expertise in positive youth development and community psychology to youth civic and political development, and how diverse young people interact with the community and cultural contexts as they learn to participate in civic life.  Kei is especially interested in providing people, organizations and communities with research that would help increase civic and political engagement opportunities for diverse and marginalized youth. Kei earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Family and Children from Loyola University Chicago.

Before coming to CIRCLE, Kei was involved in a major meta-analysis of social-emotional learning programs for children and adolescents.  At the same time, she worked directly with marginalized youth in Chicago, both within a public high school as an evaluator for a drop-out prevention program, and as a clinician working with diverse youth and their families.  She also taught at Knox College, in Galesburg, IL, where she participated in the founding of a citizen-led community center while engaging students in community-based learning.

Kei is a proud member of Nonprofit Vote’s Leadership Council.  Kei finds working at CIRCLE an extreme privilege and honor, and especially enjoys connecting with, and learning from diverse colleagues who work to narrow civic opportunity gaps.


abbykiesaAbby Kiesa joined CIRCLE in 2005 and is based in the DC area. As Director of Impact at CIRCLE, Abby serves as liaison to practitioner organizations across the country to maintain a conversation between research and practice. She also provides leadership for CIRCLE’s election strategies as well as communications, and works on other research and evaluation projects, including two major national studies: Millennials Talk Politics: A Study of College Student Political Engagementand “That’s Not Democracy”: How Out-of-School Youth Participate in Civic Life and What Stands in Their Way. In addition to CIRCLE’s youth engagement work, Abby also engages in research related to Tisch College’s civic renewal efforts.

She is versed in the wide range of youth civic and political engagement efforts and practice, as well as topics such as youth political engagement, and the democratic work of higher education. She is particularly interested in topics such as the infrastructure that supports civic life and democracy, as well as the relationship between inequality and impact as related to democratic participation.  Abby holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland.

Previous to her work at CIRCLE, Abby organized students across the country through Campus Compact as part of a national campaign to increase youth involvement in public life. Her writing on youth political engagement has been featured in several publications and she co-edited the book Raise Your Voice: A Student Guide to Making Positive Social Change.

Abby serves on the board of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement and on the steering committee of the American Democracy Project (an initiative of AASCU).


stevenkullSteven Kull, Founder and President, is a political psychologist and is director of the Program for Public Consultation, School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. For two decades, he has conducted in-depth studies of public opinion on public policy issues, in the United States and around the world. He directs the international polling project WorldPublicOpinion.org, a collaboration of research centers from around the world and has played a central role in the BBC World Service Poll of global opinion.

Kull has worked extensively with officials in the U.S. Congress, the State Department, and the United Nations to develop surveys that help policymakers gain greater insight into the public values and beliefs on policy issues. He has testified to Congress, and conducted briefings for NATO, the UN and the European Commission.

Sought after by journalists seeking information on public attitudes on public policy, Kull has been regularly quoted in numerous publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today. He has appeared on NBC News, CBS News, CNN, PBS Newshour, BBC, NPR and many other broadcast outlets.

His writing has been published in The Washington PostHarper’s Magazine, Political Science Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Public Opinion Quarterly and many other publications.


krystalleaphartAt the age of 24, Krystal Leaphart is proof that young, black women are striving to be the change we want to see. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she became active in community service and activism work through Top Teens of America and the Detroit NAACP Youth Council. After moving to Washington DC, Krystal served as the NAACP President at Howard University. She has also been active with the YWCA National Capital Area . Krystal is a mentor-lead for the EMPOwERgirlz Youth Mentoring and Leadership Development Program and has recently been appointed to the Young Women’s Leadership Council and the Advocacy Committee. Through mentoring, Krystal has been able to lead the racial justice and diversity sessions for the last 3 years and has been named the shinning star mentor. In addition to non-profit work, Krystal has had a congressional intern with Congressman John Conyers, served as a Public Policy Intern with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and as a Public Affairs intern for the DC Office of Human Rights. She was also named the first Staff Assistant/Chief of Staff at IMPACT, a non-profit that fosters Civic Engagement, Political Involvement and Economic Empowerment for young professionals of color.


myungleeMyung J. Lee is Executive Director of Cities of Service, a national nonprofit that works with cities to build city-led, citizen-powered initiatives that target specific needs, achieve long-term and measurable outcomes, improve the quality of life for residents, and build stronger cities. Cities of Service is a growing, nonpartisan coalition of more than 215 cities in the US and UK.

Myung previously served as a Deputy Commissioner with the City of New York Administration for Children’s Services, where she was responsible for one of the nation’s largest publicly funded early care and education systems, serving more than 100,000 children. She has extensive nonprofit management experience leading overall operations and strategy for organizations focused on homeless assistance, domestic violence, and early childhood development programs in the tri-state region. Myung also was a program officer and later associate general counsel at the Corporation for National Service, where she managed multi-million dollar grant programs and helped to launch AmeriCorps. Upon receipt of her juris doctorate from Georgetown Law, she was an advocate and counsel for incarcerated women.

Her private-sector experience spans development, sales, and human resources. In addition to her J.D., she holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Myung is originally from New York City, and resides in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.


gailkitchGail Leftwich Kitch is chief operating officer of The Voter Participation Center, a research–driven, results–oriented nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing the participation of unmarried women, young people and minorities, historically underrepresented groups in our democracy. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of By the People, a MacNeil/Lehrer Productions project which uses public television to encourage and support informed non–contentious citizen dialogue around policy issues. Mrs. Kitch was President of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the national membership organization of the state affiliates of the National Endowment for the Humanities, following service as Director of Cambridge Forum, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a former chair of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and was a Radcliffe College Public Policy Fellow in the late 90s. Among other activities, Mrs. Kitch currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Boards of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group and National History Day. She has a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.


peterlevinePeter Levine is the Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’sJonathan Tisch College of Civic Life. He has a secondary appointment in the Tufts philosophy department. He was the founding deputy director (2001-6) and then the second director (2006-15) of Tisch College’s CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which he continues to oversee as an associate dean.

Levine graduated from Yale in 1989 with a degree in philosophy. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. From 1991 until 1993, he was a research associate at Common Cause. From 1993-2008, he was a member of the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. During the late 1990s, he was also Deputy Director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal. Levine is the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013), five other scholarly books on philosophy and politics, and a novel. He has served on the boards or steering committees of AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Discovering Justice, the Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.


esthermackintoshEsther Mackintosh is president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, which is a membership association that supports state humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life. Mackintosh joined the staff of the federation in 1986 and has been president since 2004.

She has a doctorate in American literature from Kansas State University. While finishing work on her dissertation, Mackintosh worked as a copy editor and eventually editor-in-chief of Horticulture magazine in Boston. She later held the position of senior editor at Science 80, a science magazine for lay audiences that was published from 1980 to 1986 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mackintosh also spent two years as a script writer in the audiovisual department of King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

She received her BA from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1969.


soniamathewSonia Mathew is the Civic Learning Manager for the Democracy Program at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. In this role, she manages the Democracy Schools Initiative and assists with programmatic and grantmaking efforts to strengthen the state’s civic education system. Prior to joining the Foundation, Sonia was a social studies teacher at North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School. She also has experience in the nonprofit sector and worked with Urban Teacher Residency United, Mikva Challenge, and Public Allies Chicago. She completed her BA in Political Science at the University of Michigan and her MA through the Social and Cultural Foundations in Education program at DePaul University.


markmccarterMack McCarter is founder and coordinator of Community Renewal International. A native of Shreveport, La., Mack holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Texas Christian University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Brite Divinity School.

He served as a pastor for 18 years in Texas before returning to Shreveport in 1991 to begin implementing his vision for community renewal. CRI was formally organized in 1994 and under Mack’s leadership has grown into an organization which has received national and international recognition for its life-changing impact.


tedmcconnellTed McConnell serves as Executive Director of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools (CMS) a coalition of over 60 national organizations committed to improving the quality and quantity of civic learning in our nation’s schools.

Prior to joining the Campaign, McConnell directed the Campaign to Promote Civic Education, a fifty state effort to revitalize and strengthen civic education at the state and district levels, which was an initiative of the Center for Civic Education. McConnell also served as Co – Coordinator of the Congressional Conferences on Civic Education 2003-2006. McConnell was a founding member of the CMS Executive and Steering Committees.Ted serves on boards of directors or advisory boards for Citizenship Counts, MacNeil/ Lehrer Productions’ ‘the.News,’ Rock the Vote, Special Olympics, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (Chairman), Project Vote Smart and the Student Press Law Center.

McConnell has been involved in the political, governmental and non-profit sectors for over thirty five years. Prior positions include Congressional Affairs Assistant to the United States Secretary of Commerce; Assistant to the Chairman and Director of Marketing and Events for the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution; Transition Assistant, 1980 Presidential Transition; and Deputy Director of the Citizens Division of the Republican National Committee.

Ted has served on staff for the presidential campaigns of Presidents Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He has been involved with the management of over thirty political campaigns across the country.


williammcnultyWilliam McNulty is a Marine who served in both the infantry and intelligence. He has worked in support of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council’s Iraq Threat Finance Cell. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Communication Studies from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Government from The Johns Hopkins University. William serves on the Board of Directors of Airlink Flight and the Advisory Board of the Truman National Security Project.
floydmoriFloyd Mori is the President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). Previously, Mori served as the National Executive Director/CEO of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).  He was chair of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and has been on the Executive Council of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR).  He served four years as National President and four years as a National Vice President of the JACL.

Mori was elected in 1972 to the city council for Pleasanton, California, where he served as Mayor ProTem and later as Mayor.  He was also elected to the California State Assembly and served for six years as an Assemblyman.  He was the Director of the Office of International Trade in California and worked extensively with Asian American groups and organizations. He has been an International business consultant and president of Mori-Silva International for many years. Mori has been a consultant in government relations and served as the Utah Trade Representative to Japan. He has been part owner of a golf business and is an avid golfer, having served as president of the board of Alpine Country Club in Utah. He served on the Utah Governor’s Asian Advisory Board and Small Business Administration Advisory Committee.  He is currently a member of the Diversity Council for Comcast NBCU and is on the board of the Independent Voters Project.

He has received a number of awards including an Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award from OCA, the Community Leadership Award from APAICS, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette Award from the Government of Japan.  He has volunteered with political groups, youth sports, inner city projects, and church work.

willammuseWilliam Muse is former president of the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), a non-profit nonpartisan network that, in partnership with the Kettering Foundation, publishes issue guides on major problems facing the nation and works with groups to conduct deliberative forums around the country. NIFI is based in Dayton, Ohio.

During his career in higher education, Muse served as chief executive officer of three major universities over a period of approximately twenty years. He was first selected as president of the University of Akron in 1984 and served in that post until 1992, seeing the university’s enrollment expand to over 30,000 students. He also held many leadership posts in Akron, including chairman of the Akron Regional Development Board and director of National City Bank.

In early 1992, Muse was chosen as president of Auburn University, the land-grant university of Alabama. While at Auburn, he served as president of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He was also a director of Southtrust Bank, Alabama Power Company, and the American Cast Iron Pipe Company. After retiring from Auburn in 2001, Muse served as chancellor of East Carolina University, a university of 22,000 students in eastern North Carolina, before retiring on December 31, 2003.

Muse is a native of Mississippi and attended elementary and secondary schools in both Mississippi and Louisiana. He received his undergraduate education at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, earning a BS degree in accounting. He then attended graduate school at the University of Arkansas, receiving an MBA and a PhD degree in business and administration. He began his teaching career on the faculty of the School of Industrial Management at Georgia Tech, later moving to Ohio University, where he served as chairman of the Department of Marketing and as director of the Division of Research.

Over the next twelve years, Muse served as the dean of the Business School at three different universities, beginning in 1970 as the first dean of Business at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. From 1973-79, he was dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and from 1979-83, dean at Texas A&M University. At Texas A&M, the business school grew to become the fifth largest business school in the nation in terms of full-time undergraduate enrollment.

Prior to going to Akron as president, Muse served for over a year as vice-chancellor for Academic Programs for the Texas A&M University System. He has held a number of national leadership posts, including international president of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and is currently a member of the board of directors of the TKE Educational Foundation. He also serves on the board of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life in Alabama and as chair of the Advisory Council for the Fuller Center for Housing.

Muse and his wife, Marlene, have three children and four grandchildren. Muse resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.

anthonynerinoAnthony Nerino has worked as a research analyst at the Corporation for National and Community Service since June 2012.  His responsibilities include, research and data analysis on volunteering and civic engagement, program evaluation and impact assessment, and managing research contracts for various CNCS programs and offices.  Prior to this position, Anthony worked for ten years as a research analyst in the Community Health Department at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania.
Clarence Okoh is a research assistant with the youth policy team of CLASP. He provides research support and analysis on various issues related to youth of color, youth in poverty, and disconnected youth. Prior to joining CLASP, he served as an AmeriCorps member for Impact Alabama, where he coordinated various initiatives aimed at improving the health, financial, and educational outcomes of working-class communities across the Deep South. Mr. Okoh received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, where he majored in political science with a minor in human rights.
jayneparkeJayne Park has held various leadership positions in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in the greater Washington, D.C., area, including serving as Senior Strategic Advisor to IMPACT Silver Spring 2011-2012. She has been a long-time active member of the IMPACT network, and supported key organizational work such as the development of IMPACT’s role in the initial formation of the Neighborhood Opportunity Network.

Jayne co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC), a community-based legal services and advocacy nonprofit serving low-income Asian Americans in the D.C. metro area. Her philanthropic background includes serving as the Deputy Director for the Community Foundation for Montgomery County (CFMC) where she led the Nonprofit Advancement Fund. Jayne has also served as a member of the Consumer Health Foundation’s Health Equity and Racial Equity Advisory Committee, and most currently works as a consultant to the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation.

“Jayne’s substantial experience in the local nonprofit and philanthropic communities, combined with her deep understanding of IMPACT’s network building approach, makes her ideally suited to lead IMPACT Silver Spring in fulfilling its mission said Sterling Crockett, IMPACT’s Interim Board Chair, ” said Sterling Crockett, IMPACT’s Interim Board Chair.

The board believes that Jayne’s deep knowledge of IMPACT Silver Spring’s past work and future aspirations will provide a smooth leadership transition and advance the organization’s work. Additionally, Jayne has been learning about best practices for resident-led change in communities around the country, knowledge that will be invaluable to strengthening IMPACT’s work. IMPACT Silver Spring’s staff is looking forward to Jayne’s leadership and is excited to see her return to the team.

“I am honored and privileged to have been chosen as IMPACT’s next Executive Director,” said Jayne. “I look forward to working with IMPACT’s network, and building upon its 15-year history as a catalyst for social innovation and community transformation.”

Jayne has received numerous leadership awards, including the 2006 Exponent Leadership Award from the Meyer Foundation, the 2005 Excel Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, and the 2003 Trailblazer’s Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. In addition, she was named a 2005 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. Jayne is a graduate of Brown University, and Boston College Law School.

SallyProutySally Prouty leads the NCoC through strategic direction, fund development, financial and operational management, and communications. As the Interim CEO, she engages the Board of Directors in setting a strategic direction and vision for the organization and leads the Civic Renewal Team through implementation. Guided by the belief that civic engagement leaders must broaden their scope of influence, she is committed to engaging new partners and audiences in a national civic renewal effort.

Sally most recently served as Interim Director of PACE, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, where she supported the board of directors in planning for the future of PACE and provided leadership in its search for a new executive director.

In 2012 after serving nearly a decade as President and CEO of The Corps Network, Sally was appointed as the inaugural PACE Fellow to provide thought leadership and guidance on their ‘Civic Pathways out of Poverty’ project. PACE, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, is a learning collaborative for funders doing work in the fields of civic engagement, service and democratic practice.

As President and CEO of The Corps Network (TCN), a national member association representing service and conservation corps, she led work focused on assuring quality, advancing policy, and building partnerships in support of its member corps. Through leadership in policy and practice, TCN promotes national and community service as a strategy to revitalize communities, preserve and restore the environment, prepare young people for responsible, productive lives, and build civic spirit through service.

In addition to 30 years in the public and private sectors, including administrative and faculty positions as a nurse, Sally has held volunteer positions at the local, state, national, and international levels including service on a city board of education and on the founding board of a charter school. She currently serves on the advisory board for Community Renewal International. A Registered Nurse, Prouty also holds a degree in Organizational Communication from Capital University.

moniquerizerMonique Rizer was appointed Opportunity Nation’s Executive Director in September 2015. Prior to this role, Monique served as Be The Change, Inc.’s Chief of Staff, and brings an organization-wide understanding of BTC’s three bipartisan, issue-based campaigns: ServiceNation, Opportunity Nation and Got Your 6, which are focused on national service, economic mobility and veteran empowerment, respectively.

Monique is a first-generation college graduate and lives with her two sons, Gabriel and Asher, in the Washington, D.C. area. She frequently speaks about the obstacles she faced growing up and as a young adult through her role as an ambassador to The Aspen Institute’s Ascend Program, which aims to help children and families achieve educational success and economic security.

Previously, Monique served as deputy director of military spouse programs for the Military Officers Association of America, where she conceived and built Keeping a Career on the Move®. That program earned the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) ‘Power of A’ Silver Award, was featured multiple times by the White House and continues today, having tripled in growth since its launch. Monique was recruited to direct communications for Child Care Aware of America, elevating the role that quality, affordable child care plays in early education and the workforce. She began her career as a marketer for a Top 100 accounting and consulting firm and served as a contributing editor to multiple publications focused on careers.


andrearoblesAndrea Robles works on evaluation capacity building and technical assistance for the Social Innovation Fund and for AmeriCorps State and National, and manages the newly established National Service and Civic Research Competition for institutions of higher education. Andrea has 20 years of experience conducting research on an array of local, regional, and global economic and community development issues. She has also taught research and evaluation methods and design to undergraduate and graduate students and specializes in community-based participatory research. Andrea has a B.A. from New York University; a M.A. in International Development from The American University; and, a M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
shirleysagawaShirley Sagawa is CEO and President of Service Year Alliance. She is best known for her founding role in the creation of AmeriCorps. As co-founder of the innovation consulting firm sagawa/jospin, she provided strategic advice and developed new initiatives for public and private sector clients. She is currently a fellow with the Center for American Progress, an Adjunct Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and author of The American Way to Change, describing how volunteer and national service can be a breakthrough strategy for change. Shirley has served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush and Clinton Administrations. As Deputy Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton, she advised the First Lady on domestic policy and led the planning for White House Conferences on Philanthropy, Partnerships in Philanthropy, and Teenagers. After Senate-confirmation as the Corporation for National and Community Service’s first chief operating and policy officer, she led the development of new service programs for adults and students and directed the Corporation’s strategic planning. She has also managed successful collaborations in the private sector, including the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of national education associations. With advanced degrees in law and public policy, she began her career as the Chief Counsel for Youth Policy for the Senate Labor Committee, specializing in education, children’s, and youth issues, and subsequently served as senior counsel to the National Women’s Law Center, and on many nonprofit boards. Shirley is the author, with Deb Jospin, of The Charismatic Organization, and a previous book, Common Interest, Common Good: Creating Value through Business and Social Sector Partnerships. She has been named a “Woman to Watch in the 21st Century,” by Newsweek magazine, and one of the “Most Influential Working Mothers in America” by Working Mother magazine


selenaschmidtSelena Schmidt is known for spearheading initiatives and leading organizations that solve complex problems. Her work has built cross sector partnerships that engage community voices nationally and international as CEO of both Common Impact and the Power of 32, and Leadership Development Director for Coro Pittsburgh. As Chief of Staff for the President of Pittsburgh City Council, Selena wrote landmark ethics code, domestic violence legislation, and spearheaded efforts for race and gender pay equity.

Currently Selena is using those talents nationally to increase children’s access to early learning tools as the Engagement Strategist for PBS Kids. She is also a founding partner in the Carnegie Mellon start up The Art of Democracy, which enables the authentic experiences and ideas of a diverse public to inform policy decisions.

Committed to equity, inclusion, and public service, Selena served as Harvard Innovation Lab Social Innovation Coach for women founders and on numerous boards including: Strong Women Strong Girls, Coro National Strategic Advisory Committee, Social Venture Partners, NAWBO national PAC Board, Global Pittsburgh and El Sistema Pittsburgh.  Selena is especially proud to have helped elect the first African American woman to Allegheny County office and to be a founder of the New Leaders Council in the Greater Pittsburgh region.

Alum of Chatham University and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, Selena was honored by appointments to the Mayor of Pittsburgh Consortium on Early Childhood Education, City of Pittsburgh’s Ethics Task Force, Buhl Foundation Northside Education Strategy Team, and the Allegheny County Executive Transportation Visioning Team. She has been recognized as one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40, Woman of Achievement in Government, National Association of Women in Business Public Policy Advocate of the Year, and National Forensics League Alumni of the Year.

thomasshowalterThomas Showalter is an expert on education and workforce policy and related areas (disability policy, juvenile justice, antipoverty programs), as well as Congressional politics and processes. As the director of the National Youth Employment Coalition, Thomas sets the organization’s direction and strategy, working with the board of directors, and lifts up promising strategies and practices of NYEC members. Before coming to NYEC, Thomas advised advocacy organizations and foundations on communications and strategic planning at The Hatcher Group, a Bethesda-based communications firm. He also spent almost five years on the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, working for chairmen Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA). With the committee, he contributed to the passage of several pieces of legislation, including the Serve America Act of 2009 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and was a negotiator on proposed reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Workforce Investment Act. He is a court-appointed special advocate for a young man in the DC foster-care system and holds a religion degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.


davidsmithDavid Smith believes in the power of the American people to collectively innovate for the greater good, and he has spent his career empowering leaders to forge cross-sector solutions to community challenges. Service, love of nation and civic engagement have always been an integral part of his life.

David graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in political science. While at Cal, he taught a class on National Youth Policy and researched the causes and possible solutions to the youth civic engagement crisis in America.

While at Berkeley, David founded and directed Mobilize.org, a national organization that has engaged over 200,000 young adults to improve democracy by inspiring, equipping and investing in millennial-led solutions to community problems.

David was then recruited to lead the Congressionally-chartered National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC). During his tenure, he helped craft the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, expand America’s Civic Health Index to include over 50 state and local reports, create the Civic Data Challenge, launch The Civic 50 with Bloomberg Businessweek and publish reports on civic education, service learning and economic resilience.

David now serves as the managing director of the Presidio Institute. Building on the Presidio’s legacy of service and public-private partnerships, the Presidio Institute provides transformational experiences that inspire, encourage and empower leaders to make positive impact in their communities. Under his leadership, the Presidio Institute launched the Cross Sector Leadership Fellows and Leaderosity, an online leadership development experience for social impact changemakers.

David has advised or consulted for Bipartisan Policy Center, Cal Alumni Association, California Forward, Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Causes.com, Concord Coalition, Davenport Institute, Fuse Corps, Independent Sector, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Points of Light, ProInspire, Reimagining Service, The Corps Network and others.

David has been honored with awards including the Independent Sector’s American Express NGEN Fellowship, UC Berkeley’s Young Bear Award, YouthVote Coalition’s 30 under 30 and the International Youth Foundation’s YouthActionNet Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. He has been featured in many magazines, blogs and newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Huffington Post, NPR’s Marketplace and CSPAN.

wendyspencerWendy Spencer began serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) on April 9, 2012, shortly after being nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

CNCS is a federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and other programs that engage millions of Americans in national service and volunteering to solve problems for communities.

Under Spencer’s leadership, CNCS has launched new partnerships, including FEMA Corps, School Turnaround AmeriCorps, STEM AmeriCorps, Justice AmeriCorps, and Financial Opportunity Corps; increased the agency’s focus on veterans and military families; and overseen the national service response for many severe natural and man-made disasters.

Spencer’s efforts to engage elected officials include creating the annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service, where 2,786 mayors and county officials express their appreciation for Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and volunteerism in general.

Spencer’s management career spans 32 years and includes leadership roles in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors.  She has served in both Republican and Democratic administrations.  Prior to coming to CNCS, she served as the CEO of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism under three Governors.  In this capacity, Spencer connected national service and volunteer strategies to meet state-prioritized needs and coordinated volunteer efforts in response to disasters, including eight record-breaking storms in 2004-2005.  She also served as the Director of the Florida Park Service, where she oversaw natural resource and recreational management for 158 state parks spanning 600,000 acres.

Spencer has held professional roles in many organizations, including the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, the banking and insurance industries, and in legislative organizations.  Among other honors, Spencer has been named as a NonProfit Times Top 50 Leader and received the prestigious Florida Governor’s Award for her leadership during disasters.

akeeljibristvilAkeel Jibri St.Vil is the founder Acid Blues. This work, of Acid Blues, is focused on the memory of genocide that lives with our flesh.  I’m interested in how our methods of being offer space to narratives that are so affective (in so far as what it does to us) that we might term it magical.  If we dare to look, we might see, that, time is not linear, and that this is true of healing as well. Thank you.”
feliciasullivaFelicia Sullivan joined CIRCLE as Senior Researcher in the summer of 2012. Felicia works on a range of projects in CIRCLE’s diverse portfolio.  Her CIRCLE Working Paper “New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics:  An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions” and a recent fact sheet, “A National Survey of Civics and U.S. Government Teachers” (with S. Godsay) are example of the types of projects Felicia has worked on. She is also responsible for bringing to lifeCIRCLE’s data maps and provided leadership for the All Together Now:  Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement report’s open online seminar. In addition to CIRCLE’s youth engagement work, Felicia also engages in research related Tisch College’s civic renewal efforts.
Felicia is particularly versed in out-of-school time civic and political learning environments, the tools and processes associated with technology-enabled learning, institutional and organizational design as it relates to civic engagement, as well as uses of media, arts, technology, and culture for civic action. Felicia has a doctorate in public policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston and holds Master degrees in media studies and public policy.  Her chapter on cultivating leaders in out-of-school time programs for the edited volume, New Directions for Student Leadership, is pending publication by Wiley.Prior to CIRCLE, Felicia worked for nearly 20 years in a range of community-based settings as a media advocate, educator, consultant and researcher supporting diverse individuals in multi-ethnic urban settings. She is adjunct faculty at University of Massachusetts Boston, teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the College of Public and Community Service, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Liberal Arts. Her home and personal work in the civic sector is centered in Lowell, MA.
ellenszarletaEllen Szarleta, Ph.D., J.D., is the Director of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Urban and Regional Excellence and an Associate Professor in the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Northwest (IUN). Her research interests include community-university partnerships, civic and community engagement, nonprofit capacity building, communities of practice and knowledge networks as well as public participation processes, environmental policy design and the intersection of science and policy making. She teaches classes on public management economics, decision making and environmental policy.
juliativaldJulia Tivald is the Director of Strategy at Got Your 6. Julia studied Political Communication and Sociology at the University of Delaware, where she developed interests in public policy and social impact. Afterwards, she worked as an assistant researcher in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She contributed to multiple long-term projects related to federal housing policy and child safety, and developed skills in strategic planning and program implementation. Before joining Got Your 6 as a full-time staff member, she completed a year of national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.
umaUma Viswanathan leads, advises, and invests in people and projects dedicated to creating positive social change. She serves as a Program Officer of Racial Equity and Community Engagement at the WK Kellogg Foundation, investing in movements and initiatives that harnass the inherent capacity of people to solve their own problems to create a better world for their families and communities. Prior to this role, she trained racial justice advocates to enter local politics through as Director of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. Uma has directed youth and adult empowerment and leadership seminars throughout the United States, India, and Haiti, ranging from stress-management seminars for young professionals; to trauma-relief programs for victims of Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois; and violence-prevention programs for youth gang members in the Bronx and Brooklyn. She received a B.A. in Clinical Psychology and an M.A. in History of Science from Harvard University.
michaelweiserMichael Weiser was elected chairman of the National Conference on Citizenship in January, 2008.

An investor and writer, Mr. Weiser is a frequent commentator on issues relating to finance, citizenship and community–building for The Washington Times, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, The Street.com and other media. Mr. Weiser serves as a general partner of Lowell Associates, LP, a private investment partnership.

A former financial journalist and communications consultant, Mr. Weiser received a Bachelors of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. He resides in New York City and Miami, FL with his wife, Julie Greiner Weiser.

natchiokewilliamsAs Executive Director, Nat Chioke Williams leads the Hill-Snowdon Foundation in its philanthropic and programmatic work, operations and partnerships within the community. Nat manages HSF’s Youth Organizing and Fund for DC programs. He is also responsible for developing learning and leveraging opportunities in these program areas. Nat is also leading up the Foundation’s newly launched Making Black Lives Matter Initiative (MBLM), a three year grantmaking and strategic co-funding initiative that seeks to maximize this historic moment to begin building long term institutional and political power for Black social change and racial justice. In partnership with other social justice funders, Nat has been involved with the development of Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a network of local, regional and national funders committed to facilitating joint learning, collaboration and leveraging of new resources to help build a vibrant and enduring infrastructure for social justice in the US South, and currently serves as co-chair of the group.

Nat’s funding experience has focused on community organizing and youth organizing, and his background includes research on the socio-political development of African American youth activists, social movements, social oppression and liberation psychology; tenant organizing and non-profit management consulting. He previously served on the board of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing and the board of the Neighborhood Funders Group. Nat’s prior philanthropic work in youth and community organizing includes positions as Program Officer for Youth Development at the Edward Hazen Foundation and Program Officer for the New York Foundation. Additionally, Nat has served as Assistant Professor of Black Studies for the State University of New York at New Paltz, Senior Program Associate for Community Resource Exchange in New York City, and Director of Organizing for the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in New York City. Nat holds a B.A. in Psychology from Morehouse College, as well as a M.A. and Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University