Educators. Investors. Policymakers. Employers. Philanthropists. Activists. Entrepreneurs.
At the Horizons summit, presented by JFF, we amplify voices from the private, nonprofit, and public sectors—bipartisan leaders, entrepreneurial innovators, established partners—and learners and workers themselves.
2023 Horizons Speakers
Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Social Impact Collective, Southern New Hampshire University
Director for Education and Human Services Policy, U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce
President, Northern Virginia Community College
Equity Research Manager of the Advanced Analytics Team, Western Governors University
Vice President of Education and Workforce Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce & Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation & President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation
Senior Vice President of National Expansion & Strategic Initiatives, Skills for America's Future
Managing Director of Policy & Programs, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
Director, Stanford Digital Economy Lab & Professor and Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI
Head of Partnerships, Amazon Future Engineer
Vice President, Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility, American Student Assistance
Vice President of the Center for Justice and Economic Advancement, Jobs for the Future
Deputy Director for Academic Affairs & Student Success, Illinois Community College
Policy Advisor of Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor
Assistant Professor of Management, Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business
Global AI Solutions Lead - Cloud First, Data & AI Enterprise LLM & Generative AI CoE Industry Lead, Accenture
Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Philip McAdoo Diversity and Inclusion Consulting, LLC
Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, U.S. Department of Education
Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships and Acting Strategic Advisor for Native American Affairs, AmeriCorps
Emmy-winning Documentary Filmmaker, Activist, and Philanthropist
Abigail E. Disney is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and activist. Her latest film, “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales,” co-directed with Kathleen Hughes, made its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. She advocates for real changes to the ways capitalism operates in today’s world.
As a philanthropist she has worked with organizations supporting peace building, gender justice and systemic cultural change. She is Chair and Co-Founder of Level Forward, and founder of Peace is Loud and the Daphne Foundation.
Adrian K. Haugabrook
Executive Vice President and Managing Director of The Social Impact Collective, Southern New Hampshire University
Dr. Adrian K. Haugabrook is Executive Vice President and Managing Director for the Social Impact Collective at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester, New Hampshire, one of the largest non-profit universities in the U.S. with 0ver 180,000 students and recognized as one of the country’s most innovative organizations. In this role, he provides executive leadership and strategic guidance in advancing SNHUs equity and social mobility agendas by leveraging existing offerings and innovations to learners across the globe. He has committed his over three-decade career to influencing access, equity, and opportunity for people by leading strategy, growth, policy, and change initiatives in global higher education and nonprofit sectors. He is a frequent speaker on change, innovation, and the future of higher education and was a featured speaker at TED 2021. His TED Talk, “3 Ways to Lower the Barriers to Higher Education” garnered 1M views within the first six weeks of its release.
Dr. Haugabrook is on the board of directors of Upswing (Austin, TX), an education technology company and was a 2021-2022 Designer in Residence with the Education Design Lab (Washington, DC). He also sits on the national boards of Complete College America, the Postsecondary National Policy Institute; and the Ascend National Advisory of the Aspen Institute. He also served as National Board Chair for the National AfterSchool Association, Spark, and Co-Chair of the College Board, National Advisory Committee on the Future of African American Education. He also recently served on the City Year Boston and New Hampshire Advisory Boards. He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and an ordained Baptist Deacon, in service at The Historic Myrtle Baptist Church (West Newton, MA).
A former scholarship athlete and U.S. military “brat,” Dr. Haugabrook received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Boston, masters from Georgia Southwestern State University and his bachelor’s from the University of West Georgia.
Executive Director, Education Partnership of the Permian Basin
Dr. Adrian Vega is the Executive Director for the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin, a collective impact organization serving the regions of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico. EPPB seeks to ensure that students in the Permian Basin perform at the highest level and earn degrees or credentials with workforce value. As a backbone organizations EPPB’s mission is to help improve education outcomes for all students in the Permian Basin from cradle to career. Before becoming Executive Director, Dr. Vega served in various school districts across the state of Texas and Arizona for 20 years. Dr. Vega began his career in the Dallas Independent School District, where he served as a bilingual teacher, elementary school assistant principal, instructional coach, and professional developer. Dr. Vega also served as a middle school principal in the Tyler Independent School District, where he brought Project Based Learning and Project Lead the Way to Boulter Middle School. While serving in the Ector County ISD, Dr. Vega was the founding principal of New Tech Odessa High School, an all-academic, college-prep, project-based learning high school. After serving in ECISD, Dr. Vega became the Deputy Superintendent for the Tucson Unified School District, in Tucson, Arizona. Returning to Texas, Dr. Vega served as the Superintendent of Schools of the San Benito CISD, in San Benito, Texas. Dr. Vega has been married to Kathryn Vega since 1999. He and his wife are the proud parents of their son Avery, a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, and their daughter Della Lane, an education major at The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Co-Founder and CEO, Symba
Ahva Sadeghi is a passionate social entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and CEO of Symba, an award winning and venture-backed tech startup on the future of work. Ahva is an economist and researcher focused on remote work and workforce development. Ahva currently is a member of the Forbes Human Resources Council. Through Symba, Ahva has helped power over 10,000 new job opportunities from internships, apprenticeships at Fortune 500 companies and leading nonprofits. Symba was named a leader in the future of work by Forbes and is proud to be a certified women-owned business.
Prior to launching Symba, Ahva worked at the US Department of State in the Human Rights Bureau and completed a civil rights fellowship with Congressman John Lewis in Atlanta. She was recently named Forbes 30 Under 30, a Tory Burch Fellow, and a Global Entrepreneur Scholar by the US Department of State.
Ahva currently serves on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Chicago and volunteers as a mentor for Students Rising Above. Ahva completed her graduate studies at the London School of Economics and received her BA from the University of Arizona Honors College. In her spare time, Ahva enjoys playing the cello and is a certified yoga instructor.
Executive Director, Families Helping Families NOLA
Aisha Johnson is the Executive Director. She has been with Families Helping Families NOLA for 8 years. She has three boys on the Autism Spectrum. Aisha Continues to build much needed programs to ensure that individuals with disabilities are fully included in all aspects of life.
“A life is not important except the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
Co-Founder of Black Brown Collective
Alex Avila is a Professor of English and Digital Media Arts. Consult with several non-profits in San Bernardino. Entrepreneur, Grant Writer, Marketing & Branding specialist, Website and Graphic Designer, Public Speaker, Grassroots Organizer, Playwriter, Developer, Podcaster, Author of 9 books, and documentarian.
UC Berkeley Student, Director of UC Berkeley’s Vote Coalition
Alex Edgar is a second-year at UC Berkeley studying Political Behavior with minors in Public Policy, Political Economy, and Education. He is passionate about developing policy solutions to pressing social problems in order to create education systems and democratic institutions that are more responsive to the will and needs of the American people. More than anything, he loves working with his peers to inspire Generation Z to become the most civically engaged generation in American history. They motivate him to work for a better future and to serve his communities by advocating for the rights of those in need. As Director of UC Berkeley’s Vote Coalition, he successfully spearheaded a fight to secure an on-campus polling location in 2022 and acquired over $70,000 in grants for civic programming. He also coordinates civic engagement efforts and leads voting rights and civic education policy advocacy for over 280,000 students across all nine undergraduate UC campuses for the UC Student Association. In recognition of his civic work, Alex was the 2023 recipient of the John Lewis Youth Leadership Award by the California Secretary of State Shirley Weber. Through his various roles, Alex has become a strong student voice in the youth vote space, being published in Forbes, featured in a CBS News Bay Area segment, and speaking about voting rights and civic education across the country.
Senior Director of Enterprise Talent, Best Buy Co.
Alex Sanville is the Sr. Director of Enterprise Talent for Best Buy Co. Inc. She is responsible for the eco-system that unlocks and accelerates individuals potential within the organization. She builds a holistic talent development strategy that fuels company growth with a personalized approach for critical areas. In her current role she leads and influences multiple teams that drive the overall learning strategy and its ability to naturally be a part of business rhythms. In her current role, she leads the Talent Management and Learning Coordination teams.
Alex has over twenty years of retail experience. Eleven of those years have been with Best Buy across sales, operations, and HR functions. Prior to her current role, Alex lead Leadership Development and helped to transform the organization through her work in Enterprise Organizational Effectiveness.
Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Alexia Korberg (they/them) is a partner in the Litigation Department and Deputy Chair of the M&A Litigation Practice Group, where they specialize in complex civil litigation. They represent clients in high-stakes commercial disputes across a range of industries, including private equity, media, banking, technology, and biomedicine. Alexia has significant trial experience and practices in both state and federal courts, including at the appellate levels, and in arbitration.
In addition to their robust commercial practice, Alexia has also developed a nationally-recognized constitutional impact litigation practice and has litigated several consequential pro bono matters in courts throughout the country—including, most recently, at the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Alexia’s first career was in private equity, and they apply their concomitant understanding of finance, securities, and business to all of their commercial representations.
Alexia was named a 2021 “Young Lawyer of the Year” by The American Lawyer for their nationally prominent work as a tireless defender of women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ people and immigrants, as well as their high-profile litigation achievements and commitment to improving the legal profession. The New York Law Journal named Alexia a “Rising Star” in 2020; the New York State Bar Association presented them with the “Outstanding Young Lawyer” award in 2020; Benchmark Litigation named them to the “40 & Under Hot List” each of the past three years; Lawdragon named them to the “500 Leading Litigators in America” list in 2022; the LGBT Bar Association recognized them as one of the “Best 40 LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40” in 2019; and the American Bar Association honored Alexia with its “On the Rise Top 40 Young Lawyers” award in 2018.
Director of Research, Center for Scholars & Storytellers UCLA
Dr. Alisha J. Hines is the Director of Research at UCLA's Center for Scholars and Storytellers. In this role, Dr. Hines uses her extensive research expertise to frame and direct projects from design to dissemination on topics related to the impact of media on adolescent mental health and diversity, equity, and inclusion across the entertainment industry. She also leverages research and storytelling to direct organizational strategies in the private and philanthropic sectors. Dr. Hines, a historian by training, has earned several fellowships and awards for her academic research and writing. She earned her PhD in History & African American Studies from Duke University and is a former faculty member of Wake Forest University's History Department.
Director of Employment, Education, and Training, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Allison Gerber oversees the Foundation’s investments in employment and career-focused education and training. Her work focuses on promoting collaborative approaches to improving employment opportunities for low-income families. Prior to joining the Foundation, Gerber was the executive director of the District of Columbia’s Workforce Investment Council and a senior associate with the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative. Gerber earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and public administration from Sweet Briar College and a law degree from Tulane University.
Executive Director, Worker Education & Resource Center
For the past 23 years, Amber Roth, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has devoted her career to serving hard-to-reach populations and underserved communities. During this time, Amber has led critical initiatives and developed programs that drive system change and impact by increasing access to housing, healthcare, and employment for underserved individuals and families. Amber has over 18 years of leadership experience and non-profit management where she has led teams to develop and implement innovative services and training programs in homeless response services and workforce development. She also has extensive knowledge and experience in clinical interventions, program development, organizational assessment, cultural transformation, change management, strategic planning, capacity building, and leadership development. Amber is currently the Executive Director of the Worker Education & Resource Center (WERC). She also participates on the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership Executive Steering Committee, Co-chairs the Employment Committee, and is a member of the Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship- Public Sector Subcommittee. Amber is passionate about creating service delivery systems and developing a workforce that aims to create healthy communities, instill hope and build connections that improve and save lives.
Director for Education and Human Services Policy, U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Mrs. Jones oversees all aspects of education and workforce development policy for Chairwoman Virginia Foxx of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Prior to assuming this role, Mrs. Jones specialized in higher education and student loan policy and other legal issues arising in education policy for the committee. Previously, she was an attorney at Dean Blakey, where she handled issues important to the higher education community and the student loan industry. Mrs. Jones also clerked at the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. Mrs. Jones received both her B.A. in political science and justice and her J.D. from American University.
Ana Luz Gonzalez Vasquez
Project Director, UCLA
Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez has 17 years of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation projects. In 2010, she co-authored a ground-breaking report on the prevalence of wage theft and workplace violations among low-wage workers in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. She also co-authored the first comprehensive study on transportation network companies in Los Angeles. At the Labor Center, she is leading the expansion of the Labor Center’s workforce development area of work, with a focus on building a high road economy and prosperity for all through research, education, evaluation, and coalition and movement building. Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez connects the Labor Center’s work to statewide systemic change initiatives making the workforce development system more accessible and easy to navigate for worker organizations serving marginalized communities in California. Recently, she co-led the development and implementation of the HRTP initiative in California, and has co-produced documents on the HRTP framework and model. Prior to joining the Labor Center, Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez was the Project Coordinator of the UC Irvine Community and Labor Project. At UCI, she conducted a wage theft study on low-wage workers in Orange County and was a lecturer at the Law School. Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez earned a dual B.A. in Economics and Social Science with a specialization in Public and Community Service and a minor in Spanish from UCI. She earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA.
Senior Fellow, Brookings Metro
Andre M. Perry is a Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro, a scholar-in-residence at American University, and a professor of practice of economics at Washington University. A nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education, Perry is the author of the book “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities,” which is currently available wherever books are sold. Perry is a regular contributor to MSNBC and has been published by numerous national media outlets, including The New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, TheRoot.com and CNN.com. Perry has also made appearances on HBO, CNN, PBS, National Public Radio, NBC, and ABC. Perry’s research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. Perry’s recent scholarship at Brookings has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment.
Perry's pioneering work on asset devaluation has made him a go to researcher for policymakers, community development professionals and civil rights groups. Perry co-authored the groundbreaking 2018 Brookings Institution report “The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods” and has presented its findings on the price of home in Black neighborhoods across the country, including to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. He has extended that report’s focus on housing in Black neighborhoods to include other assets such as businesses, schools and banks.
Prior to his work at Brookings, Perry has been a founding dean, professor, award-winning journalist, and activist in the field of education. In 2015, Perry served on Louisiana Governor-elect John Bel Edwards’ K-12 education transition committee, as well as on New Orleans Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu’s transition team as its co-chair for education in 2010. In 2013, Perry founded the College of Urban Education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Preceding his stint in Michigan, Perry was an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of New Orleans and served as CEO of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter Network.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland College Park.
Senior Advisor, Tyton Partners
Andrea is a Senior Advisor at Tyton Partners, a leading strategy consulting and investment banking platform focused on the global knowledge sector. She is a thought leader and advisor to clients, helping them achieve their strategic, operational and mission goals. She is passionate about the transformative power of education to change lives and infuses this passion in her work. With over twenty years in the education industry, including C-suite roles at the College Board and Kaplan, Inc., Andrea brings a wealth of executive-level strategic, M&A and operational experience in for-profit and non-profit education. She has worked with a wide variety of organizations across the lifelong learning spectrum, including investors, foundations, companies and operating non-profits and is a sounding board and advisor to entrepreneurs.
At Tyton, Andrea co-leads its impact work with investors, philanthropists and mission-driven organizations, focusing on K-12 Systems Change and Future of Work. She serves as a Board member of Creative Learning Systems and 7 Mindsets, both K-12 learning companies, and is on the Advisory Board of JFFVentures (ETF@JFFLabs), which she has guided since inception. She also was a past Board member of OnCourse Learning, a private equity backed corporate and professional training platform which achieved a highly successful exit in 2019.
Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry
Andrés Tapia is a senior client partner at Korn Ferry and the consulting firm’s global diversity and inclusion strategist.
He has been one of the leading voices in shaping a contemporary, next-generation approach to diversity and inclusion. That approach is global, deeply integrated into talent systems, and focused on enabling marketplace success.
Throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and his native Latin America, Andrés has helped clients shape enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion business cases and strategies. He has done that work in a wide range of industries—including financial services, technology, health care, retail, manufacturing, government, education, and the nonprofit sector—with dozens of Global 500 organizations as well as non-U.S. multinationals in Brazil, South Korea, and India.
He has more than 25 years of experience as a C-suite management consultant, diversity executive, organizational development and training professional, and journalist. He is also the author of The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity and the co-author of Auténtico: The Definitive Guide to Latino Career Success and of the recently released The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leadership: Unleashing the Power of All of Us.
A frequently sought-after speaker, Andrés has given presentations on the topic of diversity and inclusion to audiences globally. His writing has been published in major dailies throughout the United States and Latin America, including contributions to the New America Media wire service and the Huffington Post.
He has received numerous leadership and diversity awards and has served on a number of boards, including current roles on the boards of Leadership Greater Chicago and Ravinia Festival, where he chairs the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee and sits on the executive committee. He has also previously served on editorial board of Diversity Executive magazine, the corporate advisory board for the Bentley University Center for Women and Business, and the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE).
He is married to Lori, a musician, and they have a grown daughter, Marisela, who is a professional flamenco dancer. He lives in the Chicago area.
Director of Postsecondary Education, Stand Together
Andy Tonsing is Director of Postsecondary Education at Stand Together. He is an experienced philanthropic and business leader in advancing innovative postsecondary education models that help individuals achieve their full potential. He has a background in international education and online learning start-ups, including helping to establish the Pioneer Research Program, one of the premier academic summer programs in the US.”
VP and Head of the Opportunity Project, LinkedIn
Ángel García Donjuán
Student Advisory Council Member, Young Invincibles
Ángel is a first-generation Mexican-American college student. He was born and raised in West Dallas and has dedicated himself to various issues relevant to communities of color in inner city Dallas. He's previously worked with the Dallas Campaign Activity and Management Program (CAMP) Fellowship on various school board elections as well as with Mi Familia Vota on education issues in the Texas Legislature. After college, he looks to work in bilingual education and education policy.
Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources, World Wide Technology
Ann Cuiellette Marr is currently Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources for World Wide Technology. WWT is a $16B global technology solutions provider, delivering business and technology outcomes in industry, technology and services.. Ann oversees all global human resources functions (talent acquisition, strategic staffing, policy development, benefits and compensation, government compliance, training, employee development, immigration and communications). Ann also manages the company’s diversity efforts (Diversity & Inclusion, Supplier Diversity and Small Business Enterprise) and has managed tremendous growth over the years. Ann has successfully spearheaded the company’s multiple selections for the 100 Best Companies to Work For, globally. Ann is President of the WWT Charitable Foundation and is very active in the community. Ann previously held positions with Anheuser-Busch and Enterprise Holdings.
Ann serves on the board of directors for World Wide Technology, the Board of Trustees for Maryville University, Greater St. Louis, Inc., the St. Louis Police Foundation, Gateway Arch Park Foundation, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Cass Information Systems. Ann also completed the Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness Program.
Ann has been recognized for her leadership and business influence by many organizations, some of which include Who’s Who in Black St. Louis, Corporate Executive of the Year by the St. Louis American Newspaper, 50 Most Powerful Minority Women in Business by the Minority Enterprise Advocate magazine, 25 Most Influential Business Women and Top Diverse Business Leaders by the St. Louis Business Journal and the recipient of the Leadership Award by the Great Place to Work Institute. And most recently, The 2022 Employee Experience Leader of the Year by Impact Awards. Ann is a published Author of a New Orleans cookbook - Classic Creole – A Celebration of Food & Family.
Ann received a B.A. in Business & Human Resources Management from Webster University (the Walker School of Business & Technology), St. Louis, MO.
A native of New Orleans, Ann and her husband Craig have two daughters, and two granddaughters.
Senior Vice President of Advancement, Western Governors University
As President, Annalisa is responsible for leading WGU Advancement’s purpose of building financial support to reinvigorate WGU’s promise of higher education for all by connecting individuals, corporations, and foundations to the university and its students. Holcombe brings more than 15 years of experience in higher education, fundraising, and community relations to WGU Advancement.
Prior to leading WGU Advancement, Holcombe served her alma mater, Westminster College in Salt Lake City, in a variety of roles. Most recently, she was Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer. In this role, she helped lead Westminster to its highest-grossing fundraising year in its history and was responsible for the creation of its community relations department.
Holcombe holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Westminster College and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law. She lives in Salt Lake City with her family and in her spare time enjoys mentoring and coaching teams and individuals in her community to build trust, achieve dreams, and cultivate joy.
Co-Head of Community Impact, Lafayette Square
Antony Bugg-Levine is a Managing Director and Co-Head of Community Impact at Lafayette Square, with a focus on developing partnerships and impactful services that drive change for communities served by the firm. Antony is a pioneer within the modern impact investing movement, with over 25 years of industry experience.
Antony designed and led The Rockefeller Foundation’s impact investing initiative and oversaw its Program Related Investments portfolio from 2007-2011. He convened the 2007 meeting that coined the phrase “impact investing” and in 2009, co-founded the Global Impact Investing Network. He also co-authored “Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference,” the first book on impact investing, in 2011. Antony has spent the past 10 years as CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions in the United States.
Antony holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale, a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs and has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. He was selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and named one of the 50 most powerful and influential people in the US nonprofit sector by Nonprofit Times in 2018-2020. He currently serves on the Boards of the Global Impact Investing Network and Community Connections for Youth.
Chief Strategic Growth Officer, OneTen
April Chou is currently the Chief Strategic Growth Officer of OneTen, focusing on the organization’s powerful mission of family-sustaining careers for Black talent.
April has built and led high-performing teams in both the social sector and philanthropy. Previously, she served as Vice President and the Interim Head of Education for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where she led the education program and its philanthropic investments. April was the Chief Growth and Operating Officer of KIPP Northern California Public Schools, where she partnered with educators, families, and local communities to create and support high-quality schools. She was also a Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, focused on investing in and creating a community of education entrepreneurs to address opportunity gaps for students. April began her career with McKinsey & Company, advising clients in the US, China, and Singapore.
April has served as a trusted advisor and executive coach to clients working in education, economic mobility, and philanthropy. April currently serves on the boards of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and Behavioral Insights US. She is a moderator for the Aspen Institute, a Pahara-Aspen Fellow and an alumna of Leadership San Francisco. April received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and holds an MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two sons.
Managing Director of Global Equity Strategies, Delta Airlines Inc.
A 22-year veteran of Delta Air Lines, Ashley Black leads the airline’s Equity Strategies in The Global Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
She and her team are building strategies that: drive short- and long-term equitable outcomes for Delta people; establish equity as the foundation for all policies, processes, and programs that impact people; close societal equity gaps, largely focusing on access to opportunity, health, and wealth; and leverage the voices and power of the Delta brand to promote truth-based narratives rooted in data and analysis.
She also manages the company’s 501c3 charitable organization, The Delta Care and Scholarship Fund, created to help support Delta people who are experiencing financial hardship due to an unavoidable crisis.
Prior to her current role, Ashley led Delta’s Global Employee Communications team spending more than 18 years with the department providing communications counsel and strategy in every area of the business. In 2019, Ashley joined the Marketing team to develop and lead Delta’s internal creative agency, The Window Seat.
Ashley is an inclusive leader, trusted advisor and co-conspirator. She is a certified program leader for the Groundwater Institute, serves on the Clayton County Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors for Rhyne Park Softball in Smyrna, Ga.
She resides in the Atlanta area with her husband, son and daughter.
Director Corporate Social Responsibility, American Student Assistance
Ashley Hemmy is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at American Student Assistance (ASA), where she oversees ASA’s philanthropic giving initiatives to support ASA’s mission to help students, as early as middle school, explore careers and plan for their futures. Prior to this role, she taught fifth grade for seven years in Virginia and in New Orleans, where she served as a Teach for America corps member. Ashley holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida, a M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Virginia, a post-master’s certificate in school leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently an Ed.D candidate in Organizational Learning & Leadership at Vanderbilt University.
Global AI Deputy Delivery Lead, Accenture
Barbara Pender is an esteemed professional known for her groundbreaking work on Generative AI at Accenture. As a highly skilled and innovative individual, she has made significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence, specifically focusing on generative models and their applications.
With a deep passion for cutting-edge technologies, Barbara joined Accenture as a Data Scientist after completing her advanced studies in computer science and machine learning. She quickly rose through the ranks, showcasing her exceptional talents and expertise in the realm of AI. Her profound understanding of generative models, coupled with her ability to leverage them in practical scenarios, set her apart as a visionary in the field.
At Accenture, Barbara spearheaded several pioneering projects that pushed the boundaries of Generative AI. She led a team of talented researchers and engineers, collaborating with cross-functional teams to develop innovative solutions for clients across diverse industries.
One of Barbara's notable achievements was the development of a generative AI system capable of producing high-quality and personalized marketing content. Leveraging deep learning techniques and natural language processing, her team trained models that could generate compelling product descriptions, uses cases and demos. This breakthrough technology enabled Accenture's clients to automate and optimize their marketing efforts, ultimately driving customer engagement and revenue growth.
Beyond her technical prowess, Barbara is highly regarded for her ability to communicate complex concepts effectively. She has presented her research findings at numerous prestigious conferences and industry events, sharing her knowledge and inspiring fellow professionals in the field. Additionally, she actively contributes to the AI community by publishing insightful articles and participating in collaborative initiatives to promote responsible and ethical AI development.
Barbara Pender's work on Generative AI at Accenture has undoubtedly made a lasting impact on the industry. Her dedication to exploring the full potential of generative models has revolutionized marketing practices, healthcare research, and various other domains. As AI continues to evolve, Barbara remains at the forefront, shaping the future of Generative AI and driving innovation that positively impacts businesses and society.
Fellow, Powderhouse Studio
My name is Barry Mamadou, recent college graduate at Lesley University. Currently on a fellowship role at powderhouse studio as a mentor and a curator of a film project. I hold four years of film production experience on personal projects and as a freelancer.
Link to my projects:
- Untitled x - A Documentary of a performance art project inspired by covid-19
- Artifice - An Immigrant Uber driver comes across an Art dealer, will ge find a drastic solution to his problems ?
- Cambridge Rise Documentary - The Mayor of Cambridge implemented a program where it gives $500 a month to single caretakers, this short documentary highlights the importance of the program told by the recipients.
Chief Executive Officer, NPower
Bertina is on a mission to advance racial and gender equity in the tech industry and disrupt the status quo to build a more inclusive workplace. As the CEO of NPower, one of the most successful non-profits in North America committed to helping young adults and military-connected individuals launch tech careers, she to breaks down barriers to social and economic mobility. She is endlessly inspired by the life journeys of NPower alumni, and by the forward-looking corporate employers who see brilliance where others see limitations. Under her leadership NPower has grown its budget five-fold in the last six years and today serves over 2,000 individuals annually.
As a leader, she understands that any organization devoted to advancing diversity and equity must itself model an inclusive workplace, providing opportunities for growth and leadership at all levels. Bertina has been intentional about building a team of extraordinary colleagues who bring their deep professional expertise as well as their personal experiences to the mission. NPower’s team demonstrates how the power of diversity delivers better solutions.
She embraced the mission of NPower after a long career in the corporate sector and with a deeply personal set of motivations. Growing up in a working-class family and the first to graduate from high school, getting a college degree was not a forgone conclusion. It was only through the coaching and counseling of adults who took the time to care that she was set on a very different path, earning a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard Business School. It brings her joy to help others connect with their pathway, and to inspire a new generation of leaders to operate at the intersection of good business and better humanity.
Bertina’s commitment to helping others break social and economic mobility barriers has led to her involvement in strategic alliance organizations, including Founding member of TechPACT
Chief Executive Officer, The Hidden Genius Project
An Oakland native, Brandon Nicholson is Chief Executive Officer of The Hidden Genius Project. He has dedicated his life to promoting equity in the public realm, particularly in the education space. In his previous stint as a senior evaluator and consultant, Brandon conducted research, evaluation, and consulted on a range of projects related to intersections of education policy and workforce and economic development. It was there that he began to recognize the potential for technology to bolster the domestic and global economy as Black populations (and others) gain more equitable access to growth sectors. Brandon has conducted substantial research in the areas of education and youth development, with a particular focus on issues of equity and access in K-12 education for high-potential populations. He has considerable experience investigating linkages among race, class, and youth development.
Managing Partner, Kapor Capital
A partner at Kapor Capital, Brian Dixon is one of the first and youngest African American partners at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
He is committed to making sure entrepreneurs of all backgrounds have access to advice and capital for their businesses to succeed.
Brian joined Kapor Capital as an intern and worked his way up to partners over the past 10 years. He is a Kauffman Fellow, a Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellow, and a two-time founder of tech startups.
Brian has shared his investment experience on more than 50 stages, delivering presentations at TechCrunch Disrupt, SXSW, and SOCAP, among other events and gatherings. He has also been featured on NPR, and his achievements have been recognized by a number of organizations, including Business Insider, which named him one of the 46 Most Important African Americans in Technology in 2014.
He has an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a bachelor’s degree in computer and information science from Northeastern University.
Executive Director of Government Partnerships and Initiatives, Intel
Brian Gonzalez is the Executive Director for Government Partnerships & Initiatives (GPI) within Intel’s Global Government Affairs Group. His team drives Intel’s Digital Readiness Programs globally as part of Intel’s commitment to engage governments in 30 countries and 30,000 institutions to empower more than 30 million people with AI skills training by 2030.
Brian started at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California, in 2000 and has taken on a range of global leadership roles driving large-scale national programs to accelerate outcomes through technology adoption. In 2003, he relocated to Europe, where he was the Regional Manager for Intel’s public sector engagement, and in 2006 he took on the role of Country Manager of Spain and Portugal. In 2010, he returned to Santa Clara to lead Intel’s Global Education Solutions Team. In 2018, Brian relocated to Washington DC as a Senior Director for US public sector innovation policy. He returned to Santa Clara to take on his current global role in 2021.
Brian is a frequent speaker on the impact of Industry 4.0 on transformational education programs, technology infrastructure for improved outcomes, and global collaboration as a core competency of high-performance teams. He has traveled to over 100 countries to engage and assist government officials, academic leaders, teachers, and parents in improving student outcomes. Brian was awarded an Intel Achievement Award for contributing to global education transformation.
Brian received a degree in Business Administration from Villanova University and an MBA in International Business at the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird).
Chief Development Officer, Per Scholas
As Chief Development Officer, Caitlyn is responsible for leading strategic development and execution of Per Scholas’ sustainability and growth model. Her team supports every Per Scholas market to create multi-faceted relationships with donors, companies, foundations and government agencies to power Per Scholas’ mission. In less than five years, Caitlyn has helped increase Per Scholas budget from $10M to $50M annually, providing the resources needed to quadruple annual impact. Caitlyn has more than 15 years of experience in the public and non-profit sector, including as Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at CAMBA, Director of Policy and Communications at NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and Director of Research and Policy at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment. She has expertise in fundraising and communications, program evaluation and design, research, policy advocacy, and organizational development.
Caitlyn has focused on economic mobility throughout her career through a diverse set of policy domains, including asset building, housing, workforce and youth development. Caitlyn was an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at New York University from 2005-2018, and including developing and teaching a graduate level course on Wealth and Inequality.
Caitlyn earned her Master’s in Public Administration at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and three children.
Executive Director, NPower’s Command Shift Coalition
Candice Dixon is a non-profit leader with more than 15 years of experience supporting local (Atlanta) and national and international organizations. Her work has centered on community building, health equity, human trafficking, gender equity, and programming empowering women and girls. Candice currently serves as the Executive Director for NPower’s Command Shift, a national consortium of women and allies that advocate for strategies that invest in and inspire the advancement of young women of color in tech careers. Through this work and otherwise, Candice has raised more than $20 million for local and national nonprofits. She is a committed community leader, having volunteered for Whitefoord.org, United Way of Greater Atlanta, and Leadership Atlanta’s LEAD Atlanta Program. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and was recognized as one of Atlanta’s 40 under 40 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and 2022 member of Provoke Media’s Innovator 25 class.
Policy Analyst, National Skills Coalition
As a Policy Analyst at National Skills Coalition, Caroline Treschitta collaborates with federal and state policy staff and network organizers to support the advancement of NSC’s skills training platform with Congress and the administration. As part of the government affairs team, Caroline provides in-depth policy analysis of new and proposed federal policies to partners across the country and national organizations/coalition partners, including the House-passed WIOA reauthorization in 2022; the bipartisan infrastructure law including the Digital Equity Act and Broadband Employment Access and Deployment program; legislation to expand Pell Grants to short term, high quality training programs; and appropriations legislation. She has worked at NSC since 2019 and lives in Washington, DC.
Equity Research Manager of the Advanced Analytics Team, Western Governors University
As the Equity Research Manager on the Advanced Analytics team at Western Governors University, Dr. Chantae Recasner is responsible for driving and supporting research to help advance WGU’s efforts to close inequitable attainment gaps across student groups. She leads faculty research fellows with the support of a team of data and research scientists to help drive contribution to WGU’s Academic Equity Compendium.
Prior to joining WGU, Dr. Recasner served as Dean for Academic Success at Northeast Lakeview College, one of five independently accredited colleges in the Alamo Colleges District, which serves over 90,000 students with more than 70% identifying as historically minoritized. Her supervisory areas included Distance Learning/Instructional Innovation, Library Services, Academic Support, Dual Credit, and Grants & Scholarships. With her leadership, NLC became the District’s fifth Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). She also founded Women Leaders of NLC, a student group established to nurture the leadership skills of women of color.
Dr. Recasner’s career spans 19 years, and she has served K12 and higher education in various roles and always with a commitment to growing stronger, more equitable communities. She is steadfast in her efforts to eliminate barriers to resources, systems, and/or institutions—especially for those historically ostracized and oppressed. She earned her PhD in Education from the University of Cincinnati, and her three master’s degrees are from The Ohio State University in Business Operational Excellence, Teaching & Learning, and African American & African Studies. She earned her BA in English from Loyola University New Orleans.
Dr. Recasner is also currently Vice Chair of the Steering Committee and Executive Council Member of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and an Evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Writer, Communications Consultant, Transgender Activist, & Military Veteran
Charlotte Clymer is a writer, communications consultant, transgender activist, and military veteran.
She writes “Charlotte’s Web Thoughts,” a popular Substack newsletter about politics, religion, and culture. It was named a finalist for Outstanding Blog at the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards, featured at the 2022 SXSW Conference & Festival, and will be anthologized in a forthcoming textbook for young writers by W. W. Norton & Co.
She was most recently named to the 13th class of political fellows at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service in the Fall of 2021 and previously served as the Director of Communications & Strategy at Catholics for Choice, a reproductive rights advocacy organization.
Prior to that, she was the Press Secretary for Rapid Response at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to advancing LGBTQ equality. Her day-to-day work involved running the organization’s messaging in response to the White House and federal policy.
Her political and social commentary has been quoted by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and numerous other outlets. Her writing has been published in USA Today, The Washington Post, NBC News, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, GQ, The Independent, and other publications. She has also been a guest commentator on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, CBS Sunday Morning, and various public radio programs.
In 2021, she became the first openly-transgender woman appointed to the Board of Directors for LPAC, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to advancing queer women in politics.
In 2022, she was nominated by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser—and unanimously confirmed by the City Council—to serve on the D.C. Human Rights Commission, the first openly-transgender person to do so. She previously served on the Commission for Persons with Disabilities as a Mayoral Appointee.
She also serves on the Board of Directors for Running Start, an organization that trains and empowers young women and nonbinary youth to get involved in politics. Additionally, she volunteers on the advisory councils for Modern Military Families of America, an advocacy org for LGBTQ service members and their families, and the Lone Star Parity Project, which works to increase the representation of women elected officials in Texas.
She was selected for the Truman National Security Project’s Class of 2019 and has served as the co-lead of the D.C. Chapter and the Executive Committee for membership applications.
She was honored as “Best Transgender Advocate” in 2018 and “Most Committed Activist” in 2019 in the Best of Gay D.C. Awards by readers of The Washington Blade. She was named to Fortune Magazine’s 2020 40 under 40 list in the “Politics & Government” category and the 2019 40 under 40 Queer Women of D.C. by the Mayor’s Office and The Washington Blade. In 2022, she received Equality North Carolina’s Visibility Award.
In her free time, she works as a film and television critic for Metro Weekly, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ print magazines.
She is a proud graduate of Georgetown University and resides in Washington, D.C.
Teacher, Bestselling Author, & LGBTQ+ Rights Advocate
Chasten Buttigieg, husband of former mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, has become a popular figure in his own right. The teacher's wit, intimate social media musings, and polished speeches have prompted glowing media coverage and declarations that he "won the 2020 spouse primary."
As his husband launched a campaign that made him one of the most talked-about Democrats in the 2020 race, Chasten leveraged his own platform to bring attention to improving public schools, access to arts education, and mental healthcare.
After leaving the 2020 campaign trail, he published his first book, I Have Something to Tell You. In this moving, uplifting memoir, he recounts his journey to finding acceptance as a gay man.
Throughout the campaign, Chasten came across many people who have felt supported and loved by his message: "You belong. You are loved. You are welcome here."
Vice President of Education and Workforce Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce & Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Cheryl A. Oldham is vice president of education and workforce policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In her role with the Foundation, she serves on the senior leadership team informing the strategic direction of the Foundation in addition to leading education and workforce—the underpinnings of American competitiveness and prosperity. Oldham sets the vision and manages a multi-million-dollar program of work around early childhood education and childcare; K-12 education; and post-secondary education, skills, and training.
She has 25 years of experience in public policy development and implementation as well as in project management and government relations. Her previous experience includes serving for eight years in President George W. Bush’s administration.
The president designated Oldham as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education while she also served as chief of staff to the undersecretary. The secretary of education appointed Oldham executive director of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education—the first of its kind to look at needed reforms in higher education related to accessibility, affordability, and accountability. The Commission produced a seminal report titled, A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education.
Oldham was appointed by Governor Glenn Youngkin to the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. She also serves on the Achieve Workforce Fund Advisory Board and Strategic Education Inc.’s Hire Board.
Oldham received her Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Texas Christian University. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her two sons, Jeffrey and Dylan.
Clare Bertrand is a JFFLabs advisor at Jobs for the Future, and the co-founder of Link OT Consulting, a neurodiversity intermediary. She leads federal and public sector efforts to integrate technology and innovative best practices into solutions designed to ensure that all early talent can successfully navigate education and career pathways. She has extensive experience working with partners to identify and disrupt barriers to inclusion and progression in education and workforce systems.
President and CEO, CAPS Network
Corey is the President and Executive Director of CAPS Network, empowering high school students to fast-forward into their future through real-world business projects and the development of professional skills. Prior to CAPS, Corey served as Director of Statewide Programs for the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship.
In July 2015, CAPS launched CAPS Network, a consortium of school programs committed to this model of profession-based education. CAPS Network has grown to include 100 affiliate programs, including over 170 school districts across 23 states and four countries.
Student at University of Colorado Denver & Advisor, The Aspen Institute
Cortni (He/Him/His), a 1st generation Jamaican-American, and proud alumnus of Florida A&M University’s School of Business & Industry. Professionally, Cortni is a dot-connector, who can identify and build bridges around inclusionary blind spots. He has dedicated his career to maximizing the business impact associated with equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I)
Cortni’s eclectic background in technology, enterprise sales, nonprofit leadership, educational innovation, mental health, and entrepreneurship is what shapes his lens as a subject matter expert in ED&I. Having seen the business world through many vantage points, Cortni sees ED&I as a bridge that connects cultural authenticity to business growth- embracing “different” enhances the customer experience (internally & externally), and ultimately makes the organization more valuable.
Outside of career Cortni is an advocate for all things wellness, a lover of exploring new cultures, and an avid melophile (music is his love language). You can find Cortni involved in everything from teaching mindful meditation, to organizing camping trips for inner-city youth via Camping 2 Connect. Cortni is the father of a precocious 6 (going on 60) year-old named Jameson, the eldest of 29 cousins, and an undefeated jerk chicken competition champion.
Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation & President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation
Dalila Wilson-Scott serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. In this role, Dalila oversees all Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives and philanthropic strategy for the corporation with a focus on advancing digital equity through Project UP, and the company’s $100 million pledge to advance social justice and equality.
Dalila also leads Comcast’s community impact initiatives, working across the organization to provide strategic leadership for all corporate social responsibility programs, including employee engagement and volunteerism. In addition, Dalila oversees efforts to utilize Comcast’s world-class media platforms to bring greater attention to the work of our philanthropic partners, where in 2020, she shepherded over $500 million in support to nonprofit partners – deepening Comcast’s commitment to creating a more connected and equitable world.
Prior to joining Comcast, Dalila served as Head of Global Philanthropy and President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. In this role, she led the firm’s philanthropic and economic opportunity initiatives, including the firm’s $100 million commitment to Detroit’s recovery, while helping to set the company’s overall corporate responsibility strategy.
Currently, Dalila serves on the boards of Main Line Health, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern NJ, City Year, CodePath, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. Dalila has been named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” by Cablefax Magazine; one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise; and an “Innovative Rising Star: Building Communities” by Forbes Magazine. Most recently, she was recognized by ColorComm as one of the "28 Black Women in Communications Making History Now;” and named a “2022 Wonder Woman” by Multichannel News.
Dalila earned an MBA in Finance and Management from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from New York University’s College of Arts and Science.
Senior Vice President of National Expansion & Strategic Initiatives, Skills for America's Future
Daniel is a founding senior member and current SVP of National Expansion & Strategic Initiatives for Skills for America’s Future (“Skills”), operated out of Chicago, IL. In his role, Daniel is responsible for spearheading the launch of 25 replication sites, resulting in 500,000 job placements, using a jobs-first model over 10 years across the U.S. Prior to his current role, Daniel served as the SVP of Programs for the Chicago affiliate, responsible for overall strategy and management of the delivery of Skills’ programs and services for job seekers. His entry into Skills was as VP of Finance & Administration. Prior to Skills, he held financial leadership roles at The Chicago Public Education Fund, KPMG, and Gatorade.
Daniel serves on the board of the Leadership Council for Loyola University’s Baumhart Center and Territory NFP. Daniel also is a founding Mentor with The Ladder, a career accelerator for Black and Latino Innovators. Daniel earned his MBA from Loyola University Chicago and undergraduate from DePaul University. He is a 2016 Fellow of the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy.
Vice President of Strategic Engagements, Jobs for the Future
Based in our Washington, DC, office, David works closely with CEO Maria Flynn to provide strategic and programmatic leadership for key initiatives across JFF and JFFLabs. His work includes the design, development, and incubation of initiatives supporting JFF’s mission of accelerating the alignment and transformation of the American workforce and education systems to ensure access to economic advancement for all.
Before joining JFF, David spent more than seven years as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. He was a key architect of the department’s higher education innovation agenda during the Obama administration and later served in the Office of the Secretary’s Office of Educational Technology. Some key policies and projects he worked on yielded new and refreshed federal initiatives, including the EQUIP pilot program, the First in the World grant program, and the Higher Ed Ecosystem Challenge. He also led a series of meetings convened by the U.S. Department of Education and the Obama White House to promote innovation.
David has appeared on NPR, the PBS News Hour, and Federal News Radio, and he has been quoted by Inside Higher Ed and U.S. News & World Report. He has spoken at events at the White House, the Aspen Institute, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ASU+GSV Summit, SXSW EDU, Educause, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, and LearnLaunch. He is also a senior scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for New Designs in Learning.
What attracts David to JFF is our focus on dual transformation—the strategy of iterating to improve current systems while building new systems and structures to provide economic advancement for all.
David lives in Washington with his husband and twin toddlers.
Founder & CEO, Evolucionada Consulting, LLC
Born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, New York. Dayanna Torres is a first generation Dominican American, with over 15 years of experience in social impact, spearheading new public and private initiatives to increase access, resources and economic opportunity for historically excluded communities. She has worked in Higher Education, Non- Profit, Government and Corporate Philanthropy and is the Founder and Principal of Evolucionada Consulting LLC. She brings a passion for systems change and community investment for a more just and equitable society and is on a mission to catalyze stakeholders across sectors to develop and execute inclusive strategies and partnerships to scale impact through economic development, education & training, talent pipeline solutions, financial capability, small business development and entrepreneurship. Before launching her consulting business, Dayanna was a Director at Blackstone Charitable Foundation where she managed a national grantee portfolio of 50 entrepreneurship programs in public and private colleges and universities; including community colleges, HBCUs and MSIs establishing a network focused on $40M commitment to equipping a more diverse set of students with entrepreneurial mindset, skills, resources, and social capital to help launch successful careers/businesses.
Prior to Blackstone, she worked for a non-profit intermediary playing a leading role in working with local communities to develop new workforce development and economic development partnerships and investment solutions responsive to the unique needs of the people and small businesses in underserved neighborhoods. Earlier in her career, she held roles at complex public institutions from launching partnerships and initiatives to spur inclusive economic growth, to connecting public housing residents to financial empowerment, entrepreneurship, and workforce development opportunities, to providing undergraduate counseling and founding a site to bridge the access to financial, social services, and legal resources for first generation college students. Dayanna learned the value of purpose driven collaborations at her first job at Catholic Charities Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program, where she established partnerships with the Department of Corrections and community-based organizations to connect families impacted by the criminal justice system to mentors and resources.
Dayanna earned two Bachelors and two Masters degrees from Syracuse University. Has been featured on BronxTimes and SU Magazine, and is on the Board of Women Creating Change, at the City University of New York (CUNY) Bronx Community College Foundation and serves on various Alumni Councils for Syracuse University.
Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Thompson is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he writes about issues ranging from the consumer habits of millennials to the economics of entertainment. His landmark cover story “A World Without Work,” offered a wide-ranging exploration of the future of artificial intelligence and employment, and how Americans might cope with a jobless future. Thompson has a unique way of clarifying the biggest technological, economic, political, and cultural trends of the moment, and interpreting what they might mean for our futures. For example, his story “America Is Running on Fumes” weaves a surprising connection between a lack of cutting-edge exploration in science, 40 years of technological stagnation, and the decline of originality in Hollywood blockbusters—today mostly comprised of sequels and superhero movies. Original and prescient, his writing has earned him a Best in Business Award for Columns and Commentary from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Thompson is just as engaging on his podcast Plain English, where he cogently breaks down the weekly headlines in an attempt to cut through the noise, and his newsletter Work in Progress: an exploration of the world’s biggest mysteries, especially as they pertain to the future of work and human progress in science, technology, happiness, and beyond. “My job is to notice when I’m curious, and to notice when I’m confused, and to turn those noticings into words, and to hope that people enjoy reading the crystallization of a quietly shared curiosity,” Thompson explains.
In his debut book Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction, Thompson shows us why blockbuster success isn’t a matter of chance, but a fascinating intersection of power, network, science, art, and sheer brilliance—making some ideas disappear, and others explode. In an age of distraction, human attention is our most valuable currency; and in this groundbreaking study, Thompson reveals the ways songwriters, advertisers, filmmakers, speech writers, and more have all realized this modern secret of enormous popularity. His keynotes on the subject offer practical ways to rethink what you know about fame, success, and longevity. Since its release, Hit Makers has been hailed by critics as a “wonderful book … [filled with] solid research, ready wit, and catchy aphorisms” (USA Today) and “a fun, thought-provoking take on the strange turns of cultural fortune” (Publishers Weekly). To bestselling author Adam Alter, it’s “a bible for anyone who’s ever tried to promote practically anything, from products, people, and ideas, to books, songs, films, and TV shows.”
Thompson hosts The Atlantic’s podcast Crazy/Genius, which was nominated for an iHeartMedia Best Podcast in its first year, and is a weekly contributor to “Here and Now,” the national afternoon news show on NPR. He is a regular guest on CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC, has appeared on Inc and Forbes’ “30 Under 30” round-up, as well as Time magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds.
Vice President of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
Deshaun Mars is a Vice President of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. Part of the Jobs & Skills portfolio, Deshaun supports the firm's strategic economic development investments to help create an inclusive economy, develop high-quality career pathways aligned to local labor market needs, and prepare workers for the in-demand careers of the future.
Deshaun has over a decade of economic development, business, and urban education experience that spans the private, non-profit, and government sectors.
Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Deshaun led the pandemic recovery efforts for businesses at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the business outreach efforts for the NYC Department of Small Business Services. Deshaun began his career in urban education, working directly with students in high schools and colleges in New York City.
A graduate of Brown University, Deshaun is a proud New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn.
Director of Solutions Design & Delivery, Jobs for the Future
Devon is a Director of Solutions Design & Delivery and Co-Chair of Jobs for the Future’s (JFF) “Language Matters” work. Devon’s work focuses on launching, scaling, and leading initiatives that support workforce intermediaries and boards, education and workforce development systems, nonprofit organizations, and business and industry. His work focuses on integrating educational opportunities, workforce initiatives, and economic partnerships to help individuals who have been systematically marginalized transition through postsecondary education into quality jobs that pay family sustaining wages. As JFF’s Language Matters Co-Chair, Devon advances organizational efforts to reexamine the words we use in public content and develop momentum for more equitable alternatives.
founder and Executive Director, Girl + Environment
The Detroit native and two-time TEDx speaker has spent years at the intersection of environment and health. Her strong dedication to the sector has earned her the William H. Sterner Memorial Award (2017), the Elmore Manufacturing Award (2018) and the Yale New Horizons in Conservation Award (2021, 2022).
In addition to her work at Girl + Environment, she has helped many cities, companies, and organizations globally to adopt meaningful, equitable processes that prioritize community and protect our planet. Namely, Diamond has supported projects at Bloomberg Associates, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, City of Atlanta, Climate Advocacy Lab, Greenlink Analytics, International Society for Urban Health, among others.
Subject matter expertise include: environmental justice; health equity; energy justice; nonprofit management; public speaking; climate storytelling; equitable community engagement; digital media advocacy
Notable speaking engagements: Earth Day at Hasbro, Columbia University, COP27, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Detroit Mayor's Council on Equity, Families USA Health Action Conference, World Resource Institute, University of Michigan
Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce
Don Graves is the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce.
Graves brings decades of experience in the private sector, government, and nonprofits to the Department of Commerce. Most recently, he served as Counselor to President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign. Prior to that, Graves served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations at KeyBank. In this role, Graves led KeyBank’s corporate responsibility team, including the bank’s $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, the bank’s sustainability work, stakeholder engagement, and outreach, and oversaw the KeyBank Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation.
During the Obama-Biden Administration, Graves served as Counselor and Domestic and Economic Policy Director for then-Vice President Biden. He was previously appointed by President Barack Obama as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and led the federal government’s efforts in the economic recovery of the city of Detroit. Graves also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he oversaw the CDFI Fund, the $4 billion Small Business Lending Fund, and the $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative. He was also the U.S. Federal Representative to the G7 Task Force on Social Impact Investment.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the MetroHealth Foundation, the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, the Board of Trustees of the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Policy Advisory Board of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, the Board of Visitors of the Cuyahoga Community College, the Advisory Board of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, and as Co-Chair of Cleveland Rising.
Graves has a rich family history connected to the Commerce Department. His four-times great grandparents built a successful horse and buggy taxi business in Washington that once stood at the site of the Department’s headquarters. Their son went on to own a premier hotel just blocks away and become one of our nation’s first Black patent-holders through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Williams College and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he received the Dean’s Award. He is a fellow of the National Association of Public Administration. Graves is married and has two children.
Chief Executive Officer, Mainstay
For more than a decade, Drew Magliozzi has designed and built technology for higher education to help students learn and succeed. He currently serves as CEO of Mainstay (formerly AdmitHub), a student engagement platform powered by behaviorally intelligent chatbots that has helped Georgia State University, Arizona State University, the CommonApp, and many other colleges and organizations support student success at scale. A frequent commentator on issues of equity and innovation in higher education, Magliozzi has spoken at the ASU GSV Summit, AACRAO, and the AI Assistant Summit. His writing has been published in Inside Higher Ed. Andrew is a graduate of Harvard College and Hack Reactor.
Chief Executive Officer, Reboot Representation
Dwana Franklin-Davis is the Chief Executive Officer of Reboot Representation. She is a visionary, collaborative and compelling executive leading the Tech Coalition in closing the gender gap in tech by doubling the number of Black, Latinx, and Native American women earning bachelor’s degrees in computing by 2025. Dwana joined Reboot Representation after 13 years at Mastercard, where she contributed to innovative, leading-edge efforts as a senior software engineer and as a project lead before ascending to senior leadership roles. She spent five and a half years in Vice President positions and has brought immense value as a leader, mentor, decision maker, and team member. She also acted as the St. Louis Chapter President for the Black Data Processing Associates, which is focused on enabling the upward mobility of African Americans and other underrepresented groups in technology fields, for nearly two years.
Senior Lead Manager of Public Policy and Economic Graph, LinkedIn
Efrem Bycer is a member of LinkedIn's Global Policy Partnerships team where he leads sustainability and workforce policy partnerships. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Efrem led Code for America's efforts to help governments better leverage agile software development and user-centered design to support their economic and workforce development efforts. Based in San Diego, Efrem is an avid runner, snowboarder, and homebrewer.
Executive Director, Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
Eleni Papadakis has served as the Executive Director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, more commonly known as the Workforce Board, since 2007. Business, labor, and government stakeholders are equally represented on this tri-partite board, which oversees 16 different state and federal funding streams in the state’s comprehensive workforce development system.
Eleni came to Washington with more than 25 years of experience in the workforce development arena–from service delivery through state and federal policy work. She came to Washington from Commonwealth Corporation, a Massachusetts quasi-public corporation, where she established the Center for Workforce Innovation, a research and demonstration arm of the state’s workforce development system, and a national consulting organization on economic and workforce development strategies. Leading up to that role, Eleni oversaw the development and implementation of numerous state-wide and regional initiatives for special population groups and targeted industry sectors, including healthcare, biotechnology, fiber optics, manufacturing, financial services, telecommunications, and software. She also helped facilitate Massachusetts’ development of a state plan to eradicate healthcare workforce shortages.
Eleni has also worked in business–including operating her own small business, a bistro-entertainment venue–and lead a multi-service community-based organization for 9 years. Eleni holds a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College and Bachelors in Psychology from Clark University, both in Worcester, Massachusetts.
President and Chief Executive Officer, GitLab Foundation
Ellie Bertani is President and CEO of GitLab Foundation, a private foundation founded in September 2022 with the mission of improving lifetime earnings and economic mobility of workers worldwide. With a background in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, she brings a shared value, cross-sectoral approach to drive sustainable impact.
Prior to joining GitLab Foundation, Ellie spent ten years in the private sector, with roles at Wells Fargo and Walmart. Much of her work focused on frontline worker economic stability and mobility, and included work on instant access to earned pay, scheduling predictability, removing hiring barriers, and developing internal learning and career pathing programs. In 2020 Ellie was awarded Walmart’s highest recognition, the Sam Walton Entrepreneurship Award, for the development of LiveBetterU, the largest free educational benefits program in the US, and Walmart’s most successful diversity & inclusion program.
Earlier in her career, Ellie spent nearly ten years in the nonprofit and public sector, including positions with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. State Department, Third Sector Capital Partners, and Rotary International. She received her Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. She loves comedy, karaoke, and being kept on her toes by her husband and three crazy boys.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley
President and CEO, College Futures Foundation
Eloy Ortiz Oakley is an American educator, leader and advisor. He is considered a leading voice on improving equity in higher education and for positioning institutions for the global shifts in the workforce and the future of learning.
Oakley is President and CEO of the College Futures Foundation where he leads California’s premiere philanthropic and advocacy organization focused on improving college credential attainment for Californians of all backgrounds. Previously he served as Chancellor of the California Community Colleges for six years where he led the nation’s largest and most diverse system of higher education. In 2021, while on a sabbatical, he served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and the Biden Administration where he supported the development and communication of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda for Higher Education and the America’s College Promise proposal. Under his leadership the California community colleges were positioned as a vital source for maintaining global competitiveness of the California workforce. Oakley’s work included the establishment of the California College Promise, the design and implementation of the systems’ strategic vision, the Vision for Success, the elimination of standardized testing, the reform of remedial education, the adoption of a student-centered funding formula, the reform of state-based financial aid for community college students and the design and launch of California’s first public fully online competency-based education college.
Oakley serves on the board of MDRC. He advises various education related companies such as Guild Education, OpenClassrooms, Handshake and Certree. Oakley has also served on the University of California Board of Regents.
For his leadership, Oakley has been recognized with the 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, as a 2016 President Barack Obama White House Champion of Change, the 2018 Higher Education Dive President of the Year, the 2018 Roybal Foundation Medal of Courage in Education and the 2021 Diverse Champions Award.
Managing Director of Policy & Programs, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
Emily Rusca is the Managing Director of Policy and Programs at Education Systems Center (EdSystems) at Northern Illinois University. Since joining the EdSystems team initially as an Education Pioneers fellow in the summer of 2015, Emily’s portfolio has spanned the full breadth of EdSystems’ focus areas, from college and career pathways to data engagement. She leads the team’s State policy portfolio by facilitating interagency and statewide structures, cultivating and managing relationships with State agency partners and fellow policy organizations, exploring national best practices and representing Illinois in cross-state learning opportunities, and collaborating with team members to identify where implementation and innovation work across Illinois can inform new opportunities for effective policy.
Emily previously managed the U.S. State Department-sponsored Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study grant program for a high school exchange nonprofit in San Francisco, and has additional background in international development, city planning, and gender equity work. She holds a Bachelor’s in International Development from University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
Executive Director, African Bridge Network
Emmanuel is the Executive Director of the African Bridge Network, which creates a supportive community for African and skilled immigrants to maximize their potentials in Massachusetts. He is also an experienced urban, environmental and policy planner with more than eight years grant program management experience. Focus areas including urban housing, land use, land conservation, urban tree planting and community development. Emmanuel is also an instructor at Boston University for the Akan Twi language, most spoken of Ghana.
IT System Administrator, Opportunity@Work
Emmeca serves as an Information Technology System Administrator for Opportunity at Work; a nonprofit on a mission to rewire the labor market. In this role, Emmeca provides technical support management, supports cloud-based systems, and creates implementation plans for tool onboarding with a focus on standard operating procedures.
Before Opportunity at Work, Emmeca has experience working in a variety of roles that have become a vehicle for where she is today. To name a few; Little Caesars, T-Mobile, and Apple. She has contracted with Pinterest as an asset recovery technician where she recovered an estimated 2 million dollars in assets. The role she's most proud of is when being the owner of The Audacity Club, a virtual empowerment space, from 2020-2021.
Emmeca grew up believing anything was possible as long she believed and worked hard for it. Her mom and grandma also taught her the value of community and how to build relationships that have stayed with her throughout her life journey.
Director of Economic Empowerment, International Rescue Committee
Erica is a member of CEO’s Internal Loan Committee, in addition to her responsibilities with the IRC as Director of Economic Empowerment. She has worked at the IRC for 10 years after time spent in higher education and economic development. Erica knows moving the needle on poverty moves the needle on so much more, and that accessible finance is an important part of lifting people out of poverty. She helps integrate CEO products into IRC’s work. Erica earned a PhD in International Studies and MBA from the University of Denver and speaks French.
Director, Stanford Digital Economy Lab & Professor and Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI
Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
One of the most-cited authors on the economics of information, Brynjolfsson was among the first researchers to measure productivity contributions of IT and the complementary role of organizational capital and other intangibles. He has done pioneering research on digital commerce, the Long Tail, bundling and pricing models, intangible assets and the effects of IT on business strategy, productivity and performance.
Brynjolfsson speaks globally and is the author of nine books including, with co-author Andrew McAfee, best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, and Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future as well as over 100 academic articles and five patents. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University in applied mathematics and decision sciences and a PhD from MIT in managerial economics. His papers can be found at https://www.brynjolfsson.com/research
Director of Financing the Future, Jobs for the Future
Ethan Pollack is a director at JFF, where he leads Financing the Future, an initiative that seeks to reimagine the way education and skills development investments are financed.
In that role, he explores innovative approaches to education financing, including income share agreements, merit-based financing plans, social impact bonds, and individual training accounts. He aims to track the evolution and performance of these new approaches, establish best practices and policy guardrails to ensure that they are learner-centered, and cultivate an ecosystem that fosters experimentation and emphasizes consumer protection.
Before joining JFF, Ethan spent five years at the Aspen Institute, where he served as associate director for research and policy at the Future of Work Initiative. His work examined how sweeping changes to the economy—including the rise of outsourcing and independent work—are undermining the social contract, and how policies related to worker training, portable benefits, corporate governance, and worker ownership can create a more inclusive and dynamic model of capitalism. He authored two of the initiative’s foundational reports: Towards a New Capitalism and Automation and a Changing Economy.
Earlier in his career, Ethan served as a senior associate at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where he explored the fiscal relationships between federal, state, and local governments and advised state policymakers on how to stabilize their budgets across the business cycle using rainy day funds, debt issuance, and other tools. Before that, he worked for the Economic Policy Institute, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and Freedman Consulting.
Ethan says he was drawn to JFF by its willingness to think outside the box while remaining grounded in concrete evidence and decades of practical experience in workforce, education, economic opportunity programs.
Outside of work, he helps run a DC-based cross-cultural music and arts nonprofit.
Managing Director of Lifelong Learning, JFFLabs
Eugene So is managing director of Lifelong Learning at JFFLabs. Previously, he was a member of the Postsecondary Market Solutions team in Labs, where he helped drive the growth and innovation of JFF’s market-focused strategy to redesign the connection between education and workforce systems to better serve the needs of workers and learners.
Eugene has spent 15 years working in the global education field. He has been a teacher and a career advisor, and most recently he led strategic partnership and product development initiatives for two major education companies.
Before joining JFF, he served as the director of academic programs and pathways at InStride, where he led a team tasked with creating diverse workforce education solutions in collaboration with corporations, higher education institutions, and postsecondary education providers.
Earlier in his career, Eugene served as the associate vice president for global solutions at Shorelight Education. In that role, he helped drive portfolio and program development and created innovative business and delivery models that empowered universities to scale content and curriculum to reach a broad global learner base.
His skills and areas of expertise include:
- Postsecondary partnership development
- Skills-based learning model development
- Workforce development initiatives
- Comparative education system analysis
Eugene has a bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in education, from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree in international and comparative education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Eugene was born and raised in Southern California, where he currently lives with his wife, Terry, and their two dogs, Otis and Koko. He’s an avid golfer and snowboarder, and an amateur (very amateur) ceramicist. A lover of movies and music, he started a punk/hip-hop record label for local artists when he was in his early twenties.
Co-Founder and CEO, AdeptID
Fernando is a veteran of machine learning ventures whose passion for improving job mobility comes from his own unconventional career transitions. He was the commercial lead and founding team member at TellusLabs, a satellite analytics venture which was acquired by Indigo Ag in 2018. At Indigo, he served as Director, International Strategy. Previously, he drove EMEA expansion for Knewton, an adaptive learning company. He began his career in investment banking at J.P. Morgan covering Financial Institutions. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
He’s a member of the Board of Trustees at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (“BFIT”) in Boston.
Big (6’6″) reader… mostly sci-fi and historical fiction. Talk to him about the Celtics, Arsenal, or guitar.
Gayatri Jane Agnew
Senior Director and Head of Accessibility Center of Excellence, Walmart
Gayatri Agnew comes to Walmart having worked in the public sector with both government and non-profit organizations and found her way to business because of her desire to work on impact at scale. She is committed to shared value and believes businesses can be a force for good in society. Raised by a single mom in California she knows firsthand that access to education and good jobs change lives – and she is proud of the way Walmart unlocks opportunity for so many of our associates. Gayatri serves on the leadership team of Walmart’s Global Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office where she leads the Global Accessibility Center of Excellence, focused on serving customers and employees with disabilities. She previous served on the leadership team for Walmart’s Global Responsibility division where she led strategy and philanthropy for Walmart’s efforts on economic mobility. Gayatri’s personal mission is for more people to find purpose through the way they earn a living. She is a Presidential Leadership Scholar and an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow working on changing corporate culture for working moms. She is active in the community serving on the Bentonville City Council as well as serving as chair for the Vote Mama Foundation. In 2020 she created Mother’s Monday, celebrated on the first Monday after Mother’s Day, and now hosted by Path Forward. When not engaged in work or in civic life she can be found hiking, singing karaoke, enjoying the local farmers market, and crafting at home – She is her two children, Rohan and Kamala in Bentonville Arkansas.
Director of Belonging, Meaning, Well-being, and Purpose, Aspen Institute
Geneva Wiki, citizen of the Yurok Nation of northern California, brings extensive experience in social change to the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, having held leadership roles in philanthropy, education, and Tribal government. Previously the Deputy Executive Director of the Yurok Tribe, Geneva founded and led a community-designed early college high school, and served as the Executive Director of the Wild Rivers Community Foundation. Most recently a Senior Program Manager at The California Endowment, Geneva was responsible for leading a statewide investment strategy to advance Native American health and racial equity. In that role, Geneva worked closely with the Opportunity Youth Forum as a funding partner, and was engaged with the Del Norte and Tribal lands Opportunity Youth collaborative, resulting in improved education, work and leadership pathways for youth and young adults in rural and Tribal California. Geneva brings training and experience in collaborative facilitation, human-centered design, systems-thinking, and generative somatics to the role of Director of Belonging, Meaning, Well-Being and Purpose.
State Representative, Washington
Rep. Greg Cheney is serving his first term representing Southwest Washington's 18th Legislative District.
Greg, who was raised in Clark County and is a longtime resident of Battle Ground, is an attorney focused on helping small to medium-sized businesses and providing indigent representation to low-income Washingtonians in need of legal support. He is also a small business owner.
As a member of the Legislature, Greg is focused on:
- Keeping taxes low and cutting government waste.
- Eliminating regulations that hurt small businesses and negatively impact job growth.
- Fixing the Blake decision to recriminalize drugs, while incentivizing treatment-based care over incarceration.
- Increasing funding for, and improving the delivery of, mental health services.
- Working on regional transportation solutions and reducing congestion.
The 18th District lawmaker is currently serving on four House committees – State Government (Ranking Member), Capital Budget, Civil Rights and Judiciary, Regulated Substances and Gaming.
Greg previously served as a Congressional aide prior to attending law school. In his law practice Greg handles complex business disputes in federal and state court. In addition, he contracts with numerous local jurisdictions to provide indigent defense, particularly in the mental health area.
Executive Vice President of Programs, Ford Foundation
Hilary Pennington is the foundation's executive vice president for program. She oversees all of our programs globally, working closely across programs and offices to ensure strategic, meaningful, and well-aligned global grantmaking. She also oversees the foundation’s BUILD program, and the Office of Strategy and Learning. Before assuming her current role, she served as the foundation’s vice president for Education, Creativity, and Free Expression.
A national expert on postsecondary education and intergenerational change, Hilary joined the foundation in 2013. Earlier, she was an independent consultant whose clients included the Next American University project of the New America Foundation and Arizona State University. She also led the Generations Initiative, a project funded by national foundations to develop effective responses to the dramatic demographic shifts occurring in the United States.
Between 2006 and 2012, Hilary served as director of education, postsecondary success, and special initiatives at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she guided grant programs across the country and worldwide. Before joining Gates, she was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and president and CEO of Jobs for the Future, a research and policy development organization she co-founded. In 22 years with JFF, Hilary helped the organization become one of the most influential in the country on issues of education, youth transitions, workforce development, and future work requirements. She also served on President Bill Clinton’s transition team and as co-chair of his administration’s presidential advisory committee on technology.
Hilary serves on the boards of Bard College, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and Giving Tuesday, and she is a member of the Trinity Church Vestry. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Management and Yale College, and she holds a graduate degree in social anthropology from Oxford University and a master’s degree in theological studies from the Episcopal Divinity School. In 2000, she was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Founder, red helicopter and former CEO, Ashley Stewart
James Rhee is an acclaimed impact investor, founder, CEO, goodwill strategist, community connector, and educator. He empowers people, brands, and organizations by marrying capital and creativity through operationalized purpose. He is an award-winning thought leader on topics such as multidimensional transformation, the intersection of capital, race, and gender, the future of capitalism, and values-based investing and leadership. His newest venture, red helicopter, is forging systemic alliances through the principles of kindness and math to shape a more sustainable form of capitalism. His work has been featured on by TED Conference, Brene Brown, and the leading global media outlets and platforms. He is a soon-to-be-published author.
Through business, James has created impact across multiple industries and peoples. As an investor, chairman, and first-time CEO (from 2013-2020), James & the female leaders of Ashley Stewart led the reinvention of a company, which was facing almost certain liquidation in 2013, to a place of unprecedented success. The story of the remarkable transformation and re-imagination of Ashley Stewart, one of America’s largest clothing brands serving plus-sized Black women, offers a glimpse into the future of organizations and ecosystem behavior. The story is proof of how trust and joy, grounded in math and amplified by authentic voices and digital excellence, can overcome impossible odds and fuel individual and enterprise-wide innovation. It is a tangible example of the power of diverse ecosystems, as well as a commentary on a potential way forward for achieving multi-stakeholder goals. At its core, it is the story of an unlikely friendship between the son of Korean immigrants, who had previously spent his career managing billions of dollars of private equity capital at two elite firms, and a predominantly Black female employee group who placed their mutual trust in each other, learned from one another, and then proceeded to quietly shock the world.
Through red helicopter, James’ philosophies and methodologies are connecting entrepreneurs with civic leaders, students with CEOs, investors with professors. James serves as the Johnson Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Senior Adviser to the Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership, at Howard University. He is also Executive-in-Residence and Strategic Advisor at the MIT Leadership Center and Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also teaches a class at Duke Law School entitled, “The Way It All Works: Investing, Negotiating, and Operating in the Real World” a course that teaches the systems of money, life, and joy. Before all of this, James was a high school teacher and an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
James serves as a founding member of the Advisory Council of JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways and a member of the Governing Committee of the CEO Action for Racial Equity. He is a newly elected charter member of Ashoka’s Entrepreneur-to-Entrepreneur Network, which brings together high-impact entrepreneurs from the business sector with the world’s most powerful social entrepreneurs at Ashoka. James formerly served on the Board of Directors of National Retail Federation, where he served as Chair of the Innovation Committee and earned their Power Player Award, given to the industry’s most influential CEOs. For his life work, the New York Urban League awarded him its Frederick Douglass Award.
He works with the most forward-thinking leaders and organizations on creating sustainable and systemic change during inflection points. He is an honors graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
More about James Rhee:James Rhee’s Ted Talk: The Value of Kindness at Work
Senior Program Manager of Inclusive Economic Opportunity, Unity
James is a Senior Program Manager for Inclusive Economic Opportunity at Unity Technologies. Before that, he worked in content production, helping to create tutorials and live learning sessions on Unity development. His passion for games led him to earning his Bachelor’s degree in Game Art & Design. As a lifelong consumer of games and entertainment, he's excited to be in the position of helping underrepresented creators break into the real-time 3D industry.
Jason A. Tyszko
Vice President, Center for Education and Workforce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Jason A. Tyszko is a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he advances policies and programs that enhance the career readiness of youth and adult learners and strengthen economic competitiveness. Jason oversees the Chamber Foundation’s workforce development portfolio, including the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) initiative as well as JEDx, the T3 Innovation Network, JobSIDE, EPIC, Talent Finance, and economic security initiatives.
Jason’s prior experience focused on coordinating interagency education, workforce, and economic development initiatives. In 2009, he served as a policy adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration. In addition, Tyszko was deputy chief of staff and senior policy adviser to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Tyszko received his Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University.
Founder and Chairman, The National Reentry Workforce Collaborative
Jason Whyte, Is the Founder and Chairman of the National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC), a network of organizations that spans across 173 cities in 40 states. He is responsible for casting the vision and guiding the collaborative’s strategic direction. A leader with a keen aptitude for social justice and a strategic thinker, Jason is also the Director of Partnership Strategy at the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership (LCCL). In this role, he develops strategies and build relationships to expand the organization’s national footprint. Before joining the LCCL, Jason led operations and strategy for the OIC of America national network, where he secured over $30M in federal and foundation funding; replicated national initiatives, programs and projects that support the organization’s ambitions of breaking the cycle of poverty; and expanded a national reentry program from one to ten cities. Jason served on a committee that provided expert advice to the Office of America Innovation at the White House. Jason holds a BS in Business Administration from Biola University and an MBA in Economic Development from Eastern University.
Mayor, City of Earle, Arkansas
Jaylen Smith a native of Earle Arkansas for 18 years, is the newly elected Mayor of the city of Earle, AR. elected in December of 2022. Prior to becoming mayor, Smith served as President of Earle High School’s Student Government Association; class president; a member of career and technical student organization Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, and acted as President of Student Voice.
He is currently known and globally recognized as the youngest African American mayor in the history of the United States Government and this momentous achievement has opened doors for appearances on the Jennifer Hudson Show, the Towanna Murphy Show and the Roland Martin's show, amongst others.
Mayor Jaylen Smith currently lives in Earle, AR where he is surrounded by the love, respect and support of his family and a team of governmental colleagues. Faith and focus are priorities for Mayor Smith therefore he believes that individuals are never too young to want to make a difference in their communities and looks forward to working on building a better chapter for Earle during his term.
President and CEO, American Student Assistance® (ASA)
Jean is the President and CEO of American Student Assistance, where she works with the Board of Directors and the senior management team to develop and drive the overall strategic direction of the organization in fulfillment of ASA’s mission. Having served on the Board of ASA® for 20 years and holding numerous positions in higher education leadership throughout her career, Jean is deeply committed to helping kids – as early as middle school – know themselves, know their options, and make informed choices about their education and career goals. She is known for building student-focused infrastructures at higher education institutions, and she is an outstanding communicator with internal and external audiences.
Senior Manager of Career Choice, Amazon
Jeff Bulanda currently leads the Global Foundations, College, and Coaching Team with the Amazon Career Choice Team. Prior to this role, he led the Amazon Web Services re/Start program, a cloud computing upskilling program for unemployed and underemployed individuals. Before coming to Amazon, Jeff had 15 years as a social worker and a social work professor, including one year serving as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sierra Leone.
Chief Executive Officer, Coursera
Jeff Maggioncalda is CEO of Coursera, the global online learning platform helping people build career-relevant skills and unlock economic opportunity in a world of accelerating change. He joined Coursera as CEO in June 2017 and since then helped the company grow to more than 110 million learners and 7,000 businesses, governments, and academic institutions, served by high-quality learning content from over 300 of the world’s top universities and companies in high-demand fields such as business, technology, and data science. He previously served for 18 years as the founding CEO at Financial Engines Inc, a company co-founded by economist and Nobel Prize winner William Sharpe. Mr. Maggioncalda has also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and Cornerstone Research and continues to serve as a director of Silicon Valley Bank, Inc.
Partner and Co-Head of Global Liquid Credit
Ms. Kozicki is a Partner in the Ares Credit Group, Co-Head of Global Liquid Credit. She additionally serves as a member of the Ares Credit Group's U.S. Liquid Credit Investment Committee. Ms. Kozicki began her career at Ares as a member of the Private Equity Group. Prior to joining Ares in 1999, she was a member of the European Leveraged Finance Group at Merrill Lynch & Co. in London. Previously, Ms. Kozicki worked in the Global Leveraged Finance Group at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York, where she focused on the origination and structuring of high yield bond and mezzanine financing transactions across a number of industries. Ms. Kozicki holds a B.S. from the New York University Stern School of Business in Finance and International Business.
Former Vice President of Workforce Development, Salesforce
In her most recent role, Jennifer Stredler was the Vice President, Workforce Development, at Salesforce. During her 7 year tenure, she led global programs and partnerships focused on bringing untapped talent into Salesforce and supporting them as they launch their careers. Earlier in her time at Salesforce, Jennifer also led the company's workforce development philanthropy, establishing the strategy and theory of change, and building its grantee partner portfolio. Jennifer has worked at the intersection of the public and private sectors throughout her career, with roles at Capital One, the General Electric Foundation (at the NYC Department of Education), and Eagles Youth Partnership, the non-profit arm of the Philadelphia Eagles Football Team. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Yale University. She serves on the board of directors of NYC Outward Bound Schools and uAspire, both organizations working at the intersection of equity and education.
President and CEO, Upwardly Global
An expert on refugee and immigrant economic inclusion, Jina Krause-Vilmar brings more than 15 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors to Upwardly Global. As President and CEO of Upwardly Global, she oversees the organization’s workforce operations in the United States and abroad. She also leads its policy & advocacy efforts domestically and internationally. Under Jina’s leadership, Upwardly Global has expanded its impact by helping a growing number of immigrant and refugee professionals restart their careers in the United States and expanded its operations to Warsaw, Poland.
Before Upwardly Global, Jina spearheaded efforts at two leading international and humanitarian organizations to craft and implement solutions to enable women refugees to safely access economic opportunity in partnership from the government, the United Nations, and corporations. Previously, Jina started the Near East Foundation’s refugee portfolio in Jordan and Lebanon, advising the U.S. Department of State and USAID on Iraq and Syria response, initiating the One Refugee Response, and leading its women’s empowerment work.
Jina has also served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and co-chaired, alongside UN Women, an international network of agencies to advance women and girls. Previously, she also worked for the International Rescue Committee, Chemonics, and Women for Women International. She has been interviewed on MSNBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and the Guardian and published in CNN, Times Magazine, and other news outlets.
Jina was born and raised in Texas. Coming from an immigrant family, she was raised by her mother, where Jina learned that circumstance, color, and gender do not define someone’s worth or potential. Later, Jina earned a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, earned her MSc in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, and a certificate in political studies from University of Aix-Marseille.
Jina currently calls New York City home, where she lives with her husband and children.
Vice President of Programs, Jobs for the Future
Joel Vargas is a vice president of programs at JFF. He oversees programs focused on improving learning systems and outcomes, advancing the application of research and analytics, and inclusive regional economic development.
Joel has also advanced state policies and local practices that promote improved high school and postsecondary outcomes for underserved students. He has helped policymakers and intermediary organizations develop state and federal policies that incorporate college and career experiences into high school.
Since joining JFF in 2002, Joel has designed and implemented a research and state policy agenda for implementing early college designs; created policy frameworks, tools, and model legislation; written and edited white papers, books, research reports, and national publications; provided technical assistance to state task forces and policy working groups; served on national advisory groups; and organized national policy conferences.
In 2015, he launched JFF’s West Coast office, which has supported the efforts of leaders of regional networks to advance cross-sector strategies for improving the economic mobility of low-income youth and adults.
Vice President of Workforce Strategy and Organizational Growth, Walmart
Jocelyn currently leads the workforce strategy and organizational growth team that defines and optimizes the workforce & organization required to execute on Walmart’s business strategy. Previously, she held the position of Talent Partner for Sam’s Club, where she led, defined and drove the talent strategy for their associates.
Jocelyn joined Walmart from TIAA where she held the position of Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Strategy and HR Strategy and Planning, she led Talent Acquisition operations and compliance, contingent worker program, early talent and campus recruiting, diversity TA and affinity programs, internal mobility, candidate experience, employment brand and strategic workforce planning and analytics. She also was responsible for identifying and leading transformation initiatives to increase efficiency and effectiveness, while reducing costs and risks across TIAA. Prior to joining TIAA, Jocelyn helped to build the university-wide institutional effectiveness capability at Howard University. Jocelyn also held a series of positions of increasing responsibility and complexity during her tenure at The South Carolina Retirement Systems, Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel and General Electric. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Project Management Professional.
Jocelyn and her husband, Darryl, have two sons and currently reside in Columbia, South Carolina
She has served on the advisory board for Center of Applied Business Analytics at the University of South Carolina, the Clemson University Black Alumni Council, and the Clemson University Board of Visitors. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Smart Set, and was formally a member of Jack and Jill. Jocelyn and her husband, Darryl, have two sons and currently reside in Columbia, South Carolina
John L.S. Simpkins
President and CEO, MDC
John works with the entire MDC team to set strategy, shape our portfolio of work, and engage with partners and the public around the urgent challenge of eliminating disparities to build a South where all people can thrive.
Before coming to MDC in 2020, John held various leadership roles in efforts to promote equity, access, and inclusion at the state, national, and international level. Most recently he was Vice President of the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute, where he mobilized the more than 3,000 Fellows around the world to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic effects.
A constitutional scholar and practicing attorney, John served in the Obama Administration as deputy general counsel for the White House Office of Management and Budget and general counsel for the U.S. Agency for International Development. After leaving government service, he joined Prisma Health as an executive and led collaborative, evidence-based efforts to promote health innovation, access, and equity in South Carolina’s largest private-sector employer. While serving in this role, Simpkins facilitated community conversations throughout the Upstate on racial equity in healthcare, housing, and education.
John grew up and attended public schools in Lexington, S.C. After beginning his legal career in Washington, D.C, he returned to his home state as a faculty member in political science and Associate Director of the Richard Riley Institute at Furman University, where he focused on youth leadership, public school education practice and policy, and diversity programming for community and business leaders. He also was an assistant professor and director of diversity initiatives at the Charleston School of Law.
“The South belongs to all of us, and it matters a great deal to me. Through the work of MDC and our community partners throughout the region, we seek to be a model not just for the South, but for the rest of the country, and perhaps the rest of the world.”
Simpkins received his AB in government from Harvard College and a JD and LLM in international and comparative law from Duke University School of Law. He is a Senior Lecturer at Duke Law School and is a member of the Liberty Fellowship, a program in the Aspen Global Leadership Network dedicated to moving South Carolina forward.
Founder and CEO, Rooted School Foundation
Jonathan Johnson is the founder and CEO of Rooted School Foundation. Rooted School is a non-profit network of four schools across four states and other projects focused on increasing upward mobility for youth faster than local projections. Prior to his current role, Jonathan founded Rooted School New Orleans, a 9th-12th grade public charter high school located in New Orleans, Louisiana that provides its students a chance to earn a college acceptance in one hand and an entry-level career job offer in the other. Rooted School has been recognized by organizations like the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Transcend Education as one of the most innovative public school models in the U.S. Jonathan also manages "The $50 Study" in partnership with The University of Tennessee–Knoxville, The Center for Guaranteed Income, and school partners which is the first, only, and most extensive randomized control trial exploring the impact of direct cash transfers to youth using schools as the disbursement vehicle. Also an Aspen Economic Opportunity Program Fellow, Jonathan began his teaching career at KIPP Central Academy in New Orleans as an 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Chapman University in Religious Studies and in his spare time, Jonathan enjoys skiing, winemaking, and cooking.
CEO, Urban League of Louisiana
Judy Reese Morse serves as President & CEO of Urban League of Louisiana where she leads the largest African American-led, African American-serving civil rights organization in Louisiana which promotes economic self-reliance, parity, racial equity and civil rights for African Americans and others. As President & CEO, Ms. Morse leads an executive team that oversees education and youth development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, policy and advocacy. Ms. Morse created the statewide Empowerment and Policy Conference in partnership with the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, designed and developed the SEE CHANGE Collective, a signature regional initiative that serves as a policy and practice catalyst to close the racial wealth gap for African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and has helped create a health equity footprint that creates policies and programs that address health disparities for African Americans in Louisiana. Ms. Morse is the former Deputy Mayor for the City of New Orleans. Ms. Morse has served at all three levels of government, working early in her career in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Lindy Boggs. Ms. Morse would later work in the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office as Chief of Staff for Mitch Landrieu and then as a Deputy Mayor in the Landrieu Administration. During her time in Washington, DC, Ms. Morse worked at National Public Radio as Director of New Audience Development and Director of Corporate Communications. Prior to her time at NPR, Ms. Morse worked at WWL-TV New Orleans gaining experience in production and management.
Program Manager, Tyson Upward Academy
Julie has partnered with multiple manufacturing corporations implementing workplace literacy opportunities throughout the U.S. Her work has included the support and development of AEFLA funded programs, building IET's and implementing training programs for non-native speakers, refugees and immigrants. She endeavors to lead solutions seeking conversations to implement sustainable programs for the evolution of adult learners. She's interested in building barrier free opportunities with servant minded collaborators.
Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility, American Student Assistance (ASA)
Julie leads ASA’s corporate social responsibility, government relations and advocacy efforts on both the federal and state level, helping to build relationships with elected officials and promote ASA’s legislative priorities. In addition, Julie oversees the Education and Career Planning Division of ASA® which provides direct college and career-based services to kids through in-school programing and community-based centers. Julie has been at ASA since March 2010. Prior to ASA, Julie spent more than nine years as Congressional Aide to Senator Edward M. Kennedy and his successor, Senator Paul Kirk, Jr. The focus of Julie’s work was managing public outreach to constituent groups on national policy related to education, the arts, environment and welfare issues. Julie is a graduate of Northeastern University, the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, Suffolk University Law School, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
Logistics Coordinator, Son of a Saint
Creating connections that can benefit mentees in the Son of a Saint program.
"Young people have the largest ability to create change in the community. It is important that young people feel they have a voice. Youth in the city need to participate in programs that create safe environments for their well-being."
Chief Economist, LinkedIn Corporation
Karin Kimbrough is the chief economist at LinkedIn Corp. Prior to joining the LinkedIn Corporation in 2020, she served as the Assistant Treasurer for Google and the Managing Director and Head of Macroeconomic Policy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In addition, Kimbrough worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a Vice President and Director for the Financial Stability Monitoring Function in the Markets Group from 2005-2014. She serves on the board of directors for Fannie Mae, is an advisor to 3x5 Partners, and serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Academic Advisory Council and the Economic Advisory Panel of the New York Fed. She holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University, a master’s from Harvard and a PhD from the University of Oxford.
Associate Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Jobs for the Future
Karishma Merchant is the Associate Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Jobs for the Future. She leads JFF’s nonpartisan policy team as it engages with federal and state education and workforce policymakers and practitioners to craft policies that drive equitable economic advancement for all.
Before joining JFF, Karishma spent nearly a decade on Capitol Hill, first as a legislative fellow for U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet and then as senior education and workforce policy advisor for U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, for whom she oversaw education, child welfare, and labor policy issues.
Karishma has worked on the reauthorizations of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Child Care Development Block Grant, the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act, and the Higher Education Act, as well as federal appropriations.
Before that, she was a researcher for the Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation, and Development and earlier worked at the Tennessee Department of Education.
She began her career as a high school social studies teacher in Washington, DC.
Karishma serves as a member of the board of the Virginia Council of Women and on the city of Alexandria, Virginia’s Economic Opportunities Commission.
Karishma holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s in teaching from American University, and a master’s in public policy with a focus on education policy from Vanderbilt University. In 2019, she completed the University of Virginia Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program.
AVP of Global Functions Technology Talent Development, Citi
Kassandra Pierre is a leader with 10+ years of experience supporting non-profit, healthcare, and financial services business operations. Currently, she is serving as the AVP, Global Functions Technology at CITI and recently served as the President of the Neurodiversity Affiliate for the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS).
Founder and Chief Education Officer, EnGen
For 25 years, Dr. Katie Brown has leveraged the science behind language acquisition to create impactful, scalable English instruction for millions of learners. As founder and chief education officer of EnGen, a Certified B Corporation, Katie is pioneering a personalized, career-aligned, mobile-first approach to English upskilling and partnering with higher education, public, and private sector stakeholders to advance immigrant workforce inclusion across the U.S. An edtech and instructional design expert, she has authored multiple technology patents and award-winning language courses. Katie holds a PhD in second language acquisition from the University of Maryland. Find her work on LinkedIn.
Executive Director and President, Siegel Family Endowment
Katy Knight is the Executive Director and President of Siegel Family Endowment, a foundation focused on understanding and shaping the impact of technology on society. Katy started at the endowment in 2017 as Deputy Executive Director, and draws on a diversity of professional experience from her previous roles in education, technology, and community-based organizations.
Before joining Siegel, Katy worked on community engagement at financial sciences company Two Sigma. Her earlier career includes several years at Google in various capacities, most notably on the public affairs team. Before that, she held roles in nonprofit development and real estate.
Katy has earned recognition in 2022 as a Crain's Notable Black Leader and in 2015 as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star in City & State. She currently serves on the boards of a number of local and national organizations, including READ Alliance, CSforALL, Pursuit, the Regional Plan Association, the Women's forum and the Brearly Alumni Board.
Founder and Principal Consultant, Inclusive Design Group
Kelly Mitchell is the founder and principal consultant of Inclusive Design Group, an equity focused education to workforce consulting organization, and has over a decade of experience in K-12 education, workforce development, leadership, and improving equitable outcomes with communities.
Prior to starting Inclusive Design Group, Kelly was a Pathways Director with The Attainment Network and the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Coordinator for the state of Colorado. In that role she supported connections between industry and education and the development of work-based learning programs in K-12. Kelly has also served as a teacher, program manager, and administrator in K-12 schools.
Kelly was born and raised in Colorado and earned her bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Colorado State University and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. As part of her work, Kelly utilizes the perspective of her spirited elementary schooler, Hazel.
Vice President of Learning Enterprise, Arizona State Universtiy
Kimberly Merritt is an educational architect, committed to creating high-quality, innovative learning design connecting career, community and technology. She currently serves as Vice President and Deputy for the newly launched Arizona State University, Learning Enterprise. She most recently served as founding Executive Director of ASU Local, a hybrid college program, was a teacher and leader in the design and launch of many of the Da Vinci Schools award winning innovative school models and the Transforming Learning Collaborative’s National School Design Incubator. She has collaborated with leading industries, colleges and community organizations to re-imagine how school, work and life intertwine in scalable, sustainable models. These models consistently reflect the need to ensure inclusivity, innovative structural design and success for all learners. Kimberly earned her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills and her teaching credential and MEd from Pepperdine University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Pepperdine University.
Director of Economic and Workforce Initiatives, Kapor Center
Kirsten Lundgren is the Director of Economic and Workforce Initiatives, leading research, partnerships, and programming focused on the future of work, innovative tech workforce development, and resilient tech ecosystems.. In this role, she also oversees Pathways to Tech, a Kapor Center initiative that connects racially underrepresented talent to inclusive upskilling opportunities and high-wage, high demand tech careers.
A proud Oakland native, she previously co-founded TechHire Oakland — part of the Obama White House TechHire initiative that expanded inclusive tech sectors and talent pipelines across 70 US cities. Prior to this domestically-focused work, Kirsten managed program design and new business development for TechnoServe in East Africa, delivering a $30 million portfolio of inclusive market/enterprise development programs that generated jobs and income increases across five countries. She also worked in international microfinance at Women’s World Banking and Trickle Up while completing graduate studies at Columbia University. Outside of work, Kirsten enjoys triathlons and backcountry adventures.
Executive Director, JFFLabs
Kristina Francis is the executive director of JFFLabs. In this role, she oversees advisory, acceleration, data, and investing initiatives that connect traditional systems with systems disruptors to enable equitable economic advancement.
Kristina has more than 20 years of experience in corporate operations and entrepreneurial ventures focused on management consulting, business development, software and data integration, and impact investing competencies.
Before joining JFF, Kristina served in a variety of roles of escalating authority with EsteemLogic, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, General Dynamics, and American Institutes for Research. In those positions, she managed business portfolios valued between $10 million and $80 million and was charged with driving growth, developing strong delivery teams, implementing innovative and collaborative systems, and activating cross-sector partnerships.
Kristina has a passion for education, empowerment, and wealth building. She wants to make sure that all people, especially women, have pathways to education and reliable pathways to solid jobs that lead to rewarding careers and economic advancement. For some adults, this may mean learning new skills at community college, obtaining a four-year degree online, working toward a promotion with an employer, or pursuing entrepreneurship as a career.
Kristina serves as chair of the board of Black Girl Ventures and is a member of the board of CivStart. She is also a managing member of The Marathon Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund; a member of Pipeline Angels; and a co-host of the Get Found Get Funded podcast.
When she’s not at work, Kristina enjoys watching This is Us with her husband, Elliott, and raising her children, Nyla and Evan, to fully operate in their genius! She also enjoys time with her 5-year-old Newfoundland, Onyx.
State Representative, Washington
Kristine Reeves is currently a third-term WA State Representative. First elected in 2017, Kristine was the first African American woman elected to the Washington State House in 18 years and the only woman in the legislature with children under 5. She resigned in 2019 to run for Congress in WA-10. After coming in 3rd in a 19-way primary, Kristine went on to serve as the WA Senior Advisor for the Biden-Harris campaign, then was selected to join the Open Society Foundation “Leadership in Government” Fellowship, where she founded the Political Equity Project. Motivated by her lived experience and challenged by the continued inequities for women, and women of color in particular, once elected to public service, Kristine was inspired to launch a program focused on providing individual leadership and governance supports, organizational tools, and DEI change management resources to combat systemic oppression and exclusion in public policy development and political institutions as places of work.
While in the state house, Kristine has been instrumental in championing issues for women and children, working families, veterans, and the environment. As an economic developer, Kristine championed nation-leading legislation on childcare reform, environmental justice, and consumer protection efforts. Kristine brings a lived experience to her work as a first-generation college graduate, former foster youth, and someone who's experienced homelessness to ensure we are fighting for a future that includes us all.
Founding the legislature's first Black Legislators Caucus, Kristine now serves as its Vice Chair. Kristine also serves as the Vice Chair of the Consumer Protection and Business Committee, Vice Chair for Natural Resources on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and a member of the Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee. Outside the citizen legislature, Kristine is the principal consultant and CEO of a small strategic planning and project management firm and a doctoratoral student in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Kristine lives with her husband, Camron, and their two elementary-age children in Federal Way, WA.
Founder, Brown Girl Green & Co-Founder, Green Jobs Board
Kristy Drutman, otherwise known as “Browngirl Green” is a speaker, consultant, media producer, and environmental educator passionate about working at the intersections between media, diversity, and environmentalism.
As a young entrepreneur, Kristy has educated hundreds of thousands of people across the globe about modern-day environmental issues through speeches and media content as well as facilitates workshops centered around environmental media and storytelling in cities across the United States.
Kristy is also the Co-Founder of the Green Jobs Board, a climate tech start-up bridging the equity and inclusion gap within the green economy through conversations, resources, and pathways to bring more diverse talent into the environmental field.
Former Governor, Maryland
Larry Hogan is not a career politician. As a lifelong Marylander and small business owner who was fed up with sky-high taxes, p