Chief Executive Officer, Women for Women International
Laurie Adams is the chief executive officer of Women for Women International (WfWI), a leading global organization that works with women survivors of war, offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move women and communities from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. From college days as an anti-apartheid and gender rights activist at Dartmouth, to serving on the Board of LGBTI organizations in South Africa, to several decades of managing development programs for INGOs, Ms. Adams has devoted her life to eradicating all forms of injustice, poverty, gender-based violence, inequality and racism, and other forms of human rights abuses. Ms. Adams holds a master’s degree in public policy management from the University of London, a bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s rights from Dartmouth College, and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, LIDE
Dr. Kathryn Adams is a co-founder and executive director of LidÃ¨ Foundation (LIDE), an organization aimed at building resiliency and improving literacy and learning skills for adolescent girls through long-term, year-round programs in underserved rural communities or crises zones as well as providing training for "Education in Emergencies," "Impacts of Trauma in Crisis," and "Self-Care" for disaster response teams. A specialist in the psychology of teaching and learning, resiliency building, and the impacts of trauma, Dr. Adams has worked in crisis and conflict zones worldwide. Additionally, she is a founding team member of Health Support Team and the Community Care Training Initiative, providing training on the effects of conflict and displacement on learning in countries bordering Syria, which led to the creation of a video training series on the effects of traumatic situations on learning that has been used within more difficult-to-access conflict zones.
Goodwill Ambassador, UNICEF
Muzoon Almellehan is a Syrian refugee and education activist. She has been campaigning for children’s education in emergencies since she was forced to flee Syria in 2013 with her family. Muzoon started her campaign in Jordan, where she was living as a refugee in camps for three years, including in Za’atari. As part of a UNICEF-supported back-to-school campaign, she first advocated for more girls to go to school and went from tent to tent speaking with parents of children who were at risk of child marriage or early labor. In 2017, Muzoon became the youngest UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador ever appointed and continues to strongly advocate for the rights of all children to go to school. Muzoon is currently in her first year of university in Newcastle, United Kingdom, where she has been resettled with her family.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Purposeful Productions
Chernor Bah is a global advocate for education and girls’ rights. He is the co-founder and executive director of "Purposeful Productions," which supports movements to empower girls and positively transform communities in Africa. He also co-founded "A World at School," a global education campaign, and has been a leader of the girls’ rights and education campaign inspired by Malala Yousafzai. At "Girl Effect," an organization that highlights girls’ potential to help end poverty, Bah co-led a project to boost their voices and visibility in Ethiopia. At the Population Council, he led an initiative for adolescent girls affected by the Ebola outbreak. At the United Nations, the Secretary-General has appointed him to two high-level committees on global education and on youth, peace, and security. UNICEF recently appointed Chernor to high-level Task Force on Workplace Gender Discrimination and Harassment. A former refugee, Chernor founded Sierra Leone's children’s parliament when he was a teenager.
Mayor, City of Milwaukee
Tom Barrett was elected Milwaukee's 40th mayor on April 6, 2004. As Milwaukee’s chief executive, Tom Barrett has prioritized safety, jobs, equity, and quality of life. His work has strengthened Milwaukee neighborhoods with planning, strategic investments, and innovative programs. Mayor Barrett’s leadership has been instrumental in the city’s success in reimagining former industrial sites, navigating the local impact of national housing issues, and promoting unprecedented growth in the center of Milwaukee. Mayor Barrett has championed the creation of family-supporting jobs and provided assistance to entrepreneurs. He creates hope in the lives of young people throughout the city with workforce initiatives such as his Earn & Learn program which has placed more than 25,000 students in summer jobs. He has worked to increase safety in Milwaukee neighborhoods with strategic public safety investments, an innovative Office of Violence Prevention in the City’s Health Department, and partnerships with neighborhood organizations. He is a founding member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
As mayor, he has advocated for modern public transit. His commitment to a healthy city has included major drives to reduce both infant mortality and teen pregnancy. Mayor Barrett has promoted his vision for a more sustainable Milwaukee by establishing the Environmental Collaboration Office, which advances cost-effective sustainability practices that meet Milwaukee’s environmental, economic, and social needs while enhancing economic growth. He is one of the region’s greatest champions for the Great Lakes and is the past chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a binational organization comprised of local officials actively working to protect and restore the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The mayor is recognized as a national leader on stormwater mitigation, sustainable manufacturing, and urban agriculture. His leadership in Milwaukee has earned broad support from his constituents. He has been reelected with more than 70 percent of the vote in 2008, 2012, and 2016.
Tom Barrett grew up on Milwaukee's West side, earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a member of both the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate, and served five terms representing Milwaukee in the U.S. Congress.
Founder, The If Project, Detective, Seattle Police Department
Detective Kim Bogucki is the co-founder of The IF Project, an innovative partnership among law enforcement, currently and previously incarcerated adults, and community leaders to build commonality, reduce misperceptions, and serve as a deterrent to recidivism and future incarceration. A 30-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, Kim has developed nationally replicated programs that create dialogue around issues of social justice between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve. The IF Project engages current and former inmates of the Washington Department of Corrections to share intimate accounts of their experiences through writing and video diaries. This work creates a knowledge base that can educate communities and reduce the cycle of crime. In 2007, Kim co-created the West Side Story Project to bring together young people and law enforcement around the performing arts to address the plight of gang violence. She also developed the Donut Dialogues, a series of programs that engaged young people and law enforcement to enhance connectedness and dispel misperceptions about police officers. Kim launched Tithe One On, a program focused on creating communities of kindness. Kim has received numerous awards for her work, including The Red Cross Heroes Award, the Seattle Storm’s (WNBA) Women that Inspire Award, the Center for Children’s Youth and Justice President’s Award, the Seattle Police Foundation Excellence Award, the Department of Corrections Volunteer of the Year at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW), the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Community Leader Award, The FC Seattle Reign Legends Award and Washington State Mentors Association Unsung Heroes Award. Kim is a part of a gender-responsive initiative with the Washington State Department of Corrections. She serves as officer liaison to the LGBTQ Advisory Council and East African Community . She is an active member of the board of directors of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) and Correctional Industries. Kim has also been appointed by Washington State Governor Inslee to sit on both his Re-Entry and Ending Youth Homelessness task forces.
Harris Bostic II
Senior Strategy Advisor, Tides Foundation
As part of the Tides community based in San Francisco, Harris is working with donors and social venture partners to respond to growing challenges and achieve multifaceted goals and impactful results. Having served as an advisor, board member, consultant, and employee with scores of domestic and global nonprofit organizations, Harris has gained a vast knowledge of the social change sector. Through his previous work with the Clinton Foundation, American Red Cross, Peace Corps, the Olympic Movement, Abyssinian Development Corporation as well as various nonprofit board affiliations, he has helped to build positive social impact in locales ranging from Atlanta to Zimbabwe and many points in between. Harris has an master’s in public policy from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s in business from Morehouse College and is currently pursuing a certificate in Project Management from the University of California, Berkeley.
Community Lender, Accion
Tierra is a community lender at Accion in Chicago. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and African-American studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Tierra has a passion for helping with the development and growth of minority-owned businesses. She sees entrepreneurship as a way to build impoverished communities by creating wealth and equity. She focuses her work at Accion on the west side of Chicago in the Austin, North Lawndale, and Humboldt Park communities, providing capital and coaching to entrepreneurs in those communities. Tierra also volunteers with Pitch-In, an after-school program in the North Lawndale community, mentoring 4th graders. She is expecting to start law school in the fall of 2019 and wishes to practice public interest law to continue her dedication to serve underrepresented groups and communities.
Deputy Director, Family Interest Grants, Community & Civic Engagement, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Amy Carter is the deputy director of family interest grants at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. In this role, Amy manages the personal, charitable giving for the Gates family. Amy has been at the foundation for nearly 20 years, during which time she has worked in Global Health (specialty area: Family Planning & Reproductive Health), as special program officer to CEO Patty Stonesifer, and worked on the genesis of the Postsecondary Success Program. Prior professional experience includes the Population Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Echoing Green Foundation. Amy has served on the Boards of Directors of the Planned Parenthood Western Washington, New Futures (Burien, WA), and the National Nominating Committee of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Amy received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s of public health from Columbia University with a focus on Population and Family Health. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two middle school-aged kiddos.
March For Our Lives admin & founder, March For Our Lives
Sarah Chadwick is a 17-year old-rising senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In combination with her peers, Sarah helped orchestrate a movement that quickly rose to international fame — commonly known as "March For Our Lives" a student-led push for gun reform. Although, she is most commonly known for activism against gun violence, Sarah is also outspoken on other topics including minority and LGBT rights, especially being a queer teen herself. In the wake of tragedy, she has dedicated her life to giving a voice to those who can no longer speak for themselves. At only 17, she looks forward to continuing her activism and speaking out about topics she believes in.
President Bill Clinton
42nd President of the United States
William Jefferson Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice, led the U.S. to the longest economic expansion in American history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.
After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation, and today, the renamed Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, works to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change.
Today the Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, through which over 11.5 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications. The Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Development Initiative, the Clinton Foundation's Haiti team, and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership are applying a business-oriented approach to promote sustainable economic growth and to fight climate change worldwide and in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In the U.S., the Foundation is working to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity and preventable disease through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. Established in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative brings together global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. So far, more than 3,600 Clinton Global Initiative commitments have improved the lives of over 435 million people in more than 180 countries.
In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has joined with former President George H.W. Bush three times — after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008, and with President George W. Bush in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Today the Clinton Foundation supports economic growth, job creation, and sustainability in Haiti.
President Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. He and his wife Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton have one daughter, Chelsea, and live in Chappaqua, New York.
Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation
Chelsea Clinton works to drive the vision and programmatic objectives of the Clinton Foundation.
As vice chair, Chelsea works alongside the Foundation’s leadership and partners to help create greater opportunities for people to build better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. Chelsea is a tireless advocate for expanding access to early childhood education, improving the health and well-being of Americans across the country, providing the next generation of young leaders with the resources they need to turn their ideas into action, and ensuring the empowerment of girls and women is a cross-cutting priority across all of the Foundation’s programs and initiatives.
Chelsea also serves on the board of the Clinton Foundation’s affiliated Clinton Health Access Initiative — which works to expand access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications and services in the developing world, as well as on the board of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation — a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, which works to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits around food and physical activity.
Chelsea currently teaches at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital. In addition, Chelsea serves on the boards of the School of American Ballet, the Africa Center, IAC, Expedia, Clover Health, and the Weill Cornell Medical College. She is the co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Of Many Institute at NYU. Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford, a Master of Public Health from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, and both a Master of Philosophy and a Doctorate in international relations from Oxford University.
Chelsea is co-author with Devi Sridhar of "Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why?" which examines the role of public-private partnerships in combating the spread of infectious diseases like AIDS and reducing pervasive chronic health problems like malnutrition. Chelsea is also the author of "It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going" — a book for young readers, ages 10-14 which explores some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and shares inspiring stories of young people who are already making a difference in their own communities and around the globe by tackling them in fun and creative ways — and, "She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World" and the companion "She Persisted Around the World" — picture books that introduces tiny feminists, mini activists, and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.
She lives with her husband Marc, their daughter Charlotte, and their son Aidan in New York City.
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
Former Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and presidential candidate.
Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947. After graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she began her life-long work on behalf of children and families by joining the Children’s Defense Fund.
In 1974, she moved to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton and became a successful attorney while also raising their daughter, Chelsea.
As First Lady of the United States, from 1993 to 2001, Hillary Clinton championed health care for all Americans and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and create the Children's Health Insurance Program.
In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate, and the first woman elected to statewide office in New York. As Senator, she worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care. After September 11, 2001, helped to rebuild New York and provide health care for first responders.
In 2007, she began her historic campaign for president, winning 18 millions votes and becoming the first woman to ever win a presidential primary or caucus state.
In her four years as America's chief diplomat and the President's principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton led the effort to restore America’s leadership in the world. She negotiated a cease-fire in Gaza that defended Israel’s security and headed off another war in the Middle East, mobilized an international coalition to impose crippling sanctions against Iran, and championed human rights around the world, as she has her entire career.
In 2016, Clinton made history again by becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. As the Democratic candidate for president, she campaigned on a vision of America that is "stronger together" and an agenda to make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top., earning the support of nearly 66 million Americans.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is the author of seven best-selling books. What Happened — released in September of 2017 — spent 16 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.
She and President Clinton reside in New York, have one daughter, Chelsea, and are the proud grandparents of Charlotte and Aidan.
Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs, University of Chicago
Derek leads the University’s local, national, and international urban development and civic engagement efforts, collaborating across campus to enhance local communities and enrich the work of faculty and students through research, education, and direct engagement. His team is responsible for civic partnerships, neighborhood initiatives, and federal, state, and local government relations. Prior to joining UChicago in 2012, Derek led work on urban and metropolitan policy issues for the White House Domestic Policy Council as Special Assistant to President Obama. He also served as Washington Counsel to New York Governor David A. Paterson. Derek graduated from the University of Michigan with Highest Honors in Economics and from the Yale Law School.
Founder & CEO, Chicago Beyond
From education to activism, Liz Dozier has spent her career working to disrupt the culture of inequity pervasive in urban neighborhoods. As principal of Fenger High School, once known as one of the most violent and underperforming schools in Chicago, Dozier and her team adopted new intensive practices to turn the school into a district leader in restorative justice, and social and emotional learning interventions. Under Dozier’s leadership, the school experienced a decrease in its dropout rate from 19 percent to 2 percent, a 40 percent increase in freshmen on track to graduate, and double digit increases in attendance and graduation rates. Today, she is the founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, a youth equity platform fighting to give all youth the opportunity to achieve their fullest human potential. Since launching in 2016, Chicago Beyond has invested more than $30 million in organizations that work to improve life outcomes for young Chicagoans.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
55th Mayor, City of Chicago
Since his election in 2011, Mayor Emanuel has led major investments across education, youth programming, neighborhood development, transportation, infrastructure, public health, and public safety.
Over Mayor Emanuel’s tenure, Chicago’s students have experienced record education gains, while the city has led the nation in corporate relocations for five consecutive years, and led the nation in foreign direct-investment for six consecutive years.
Mayor Emanuel has also marked record progress in reducing Chicago’s structural deficit from $635.6 million in 2012 to $97.9 million for 2019 — the lowest it has been since 2007.
Previously, Mayor Emanuel served as White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois’ 5th District, and was a key member of the Clinton White House.
He is married to Amy Rule, and they have three children.
Founder and Executive Director, Center for Technology and Civic Life
Tiana Epps-Johnson is the founder and executive director of the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL). Prior to CTCL, she was the New Organizing Institute's election administration director. She and her team provide resources and training to support local election administrators in modernizing the ways they communicate with voters. They also publish free, open-source civic datasets that have been accessed over 200 million times through some of the most powerful tools that drive civic participation. Tiana earned a master’s in politics and communication from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s in political science from Stanford University. In 2015, Tiana joined the inaugural class of Technology and Democracy Fellows at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, and in 2018, Tiana was selected to join the inaugural class of Obama Foundation Fellows.
CEO & Founder, D&E Green Enterprises & Savings by Consumption
Duquesne is a serial entrepreneur whose experience encompasses finance, management, operations, and engineering in both start-ups and established enterprises in developed and developing countries. His latest social initative is the development of a revolutionary new financial inclusion tool for ultra-low income and vulnerable populations that uses these populations’ existing basic staples for consumption. Present and past positions include CEO of D&E Green Enterprises/Savings by Consumption, CEO of B2D S.A, director of Cetemoh Digital Center (CDC), co-founder of Centre de Technologie Moderne d'Haiti (CETEMOH), director of NYC Business Solutions at Wildcat Service Corporation, associate at Citi Group, and vice president at Perfection, one of the largest machine shops in Haiti.
Duquesne is an Ashden and Ashoka Fellow, a past Digicel Haiti Entrepreneur of the Year winner, and a member of the Clinton Foundation and the European Environmental Foundation. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in international affairs and bachelor’s degree in management information systems (MIS) from State University of New York.
Chief Program Officer, The Obama Foundation
Over the last dozen years, Anne Filipic has held senior leadership roles in some of the most impactful progressive initiatives. Prior to joining the Obama Foundation, Anne served as president of Enroll America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maximizing the number of Americans who enroll in and retain health coverage made available through the Affordable Care Act. Enroll America’s work supported a net increase of 22 million Americans gaining health coverage in under four years. Its program was described by the independent evaluation firm Mathematica as "conducted at a level of scope, rigor, and sophistication never seenâ¦ in a public coverage program outreach effort."
Previously, Anne served as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, deputy executive director of the Democratic National Committee, and deputy director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her background includes key positions in a variety of electoral and issue campaigns, including the 2008 Obama for America campaign, where she served as field director during the Iowa caucuses and Colorado general election director. As an early leader in the Obama for America campaign, Anne played an instrumental role in developing and implementing the campaign’s successful organizing model, which has fundamentally altered the nature of grassroots engagement in the electoral and public policy context.
In 2015, Anne was named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare magazine.
Anne is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.
Founder & Executive Director, Prosecutor Impact
Adam J. Foss is a former assistant district attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, Massachusetts, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Mr. Foss believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply "cases won" leading him to found "Prosecutor Impact" — a nonprofit developing training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system.
Founder & CEO, Cocoa360
A proud son of a peasant farmer and charcoal seller, Shadrack Frimpong was born on a farm, and grew up without running water and electricity in rural Ghana. Despite his background, Frimpong secured full funding to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated as a University Scholar and as one of five students in his graduating class to be awarded the $150,000 President’s Prize, UPenn’s highest honor. With the prize as seed funding, Frimpong founded Cocoa360 and pioneered and built the "sweat-for-impact" health equity model; a tuition-free girls' school and hospital sustained by proceeds from a cocoa plantation. Shadrack is a recipient of many awards including the prestigious Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, Future of Ghana’s Top 30 Under 30 and the Cordes Fellowship. Shadrack was named to CGI U’s Honor Roll in September 2017 and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth named him a 2018 Queen’s Young Leader in December 2017.
CEO & President, Chicago Community Trust
Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s leading community foundations. The Trust works with donors, nonprofits, community leaders, and residents to lead and inspire philanthropic efforts that improve the quality of life in the Chicago region.
Previously, Dr. Gayle was CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit that builds partnerships for social impact. For almost a decade, she was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development and humanitarian and health issues, Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She also worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, and the ONE Campaign. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Public Health Association, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Named one of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, she has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and social justice.
Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s of public health at Johns Hopkins University. She has received 15 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
Founder & President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Ruchira Gupta is a journalist, social justice activist, feminist campaigner, visiting professor at New York University, distinguished scholar at University of California at Berkeley, and founder-president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide. She has pioneered gender-sensitive interventions to end inter-generational prostitution among De-Notified Tribes in Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and West Bengal. Among her distinctions are the French Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, the Clinton Global Citizen award, and an Emmy for her documentary, "The Selling of Innocents." She was a member of the Government of India’s Planning Commission’s steering committee for women and children for the 11th and 12th five-year plans from 2002. In that capacity, she helped develop India’s first child protection framework and recommendations for an inter-ministerial approach to trafficking. Ruchira currently teaches courses at New York University on human trafficking as gender-based violence and movement-building to end trafficking.
CEO, Headspace Denmark
Trine is chief executive officer of the NGO The Social Network, which is behind headspace Denmark. headspace Denmark was established in 2013 to provide walk-in centers for young people between 12 and 25 years old, where they can get help, no matter where they live or the size of their problems. In the past five years, headspace Denmark has helped more than 40,000 young people and is now represented in 19 cities in Denmark. More headspace centers are opening soon. headspace Denmark helps young people who need someone to talk to about issues such as conflicts with family/friends, loneliness, education, drug habits, or if they need psychiatric help or to get out of gang violence. Within each headspace center, volunteers and headspace professionals help and co-create with social workers from the muncipality and the psychiatric system to help young people early and fast before their problems get bigger. Today, headspace Denmark is funded by private funds, muncipanilties, and the Danish State. Trine is 48 years old and has a degree in communication and law from Roskilde University in Denmark and has among others worked as head of communication in the Prime Minister’s Office and as special advisor to former Prime Minister and member of European Parliament, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, both in Copenhagen and in Brussels.
President, American Civil Liberties Union, Centennial Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Susan N. Herman is president of the American Civil Liberties Union and centennial professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, specializing in constitutional and national security law. Oxford University Press reissued her book, "Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy," in paperback in 2014.
Chief Executive Officer, The Africa Center
Uzodinma Iweala is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and medical doctor. He is the CEO of The Africa Center in New York, promoting a new narrative about Africa and its diaspora through a focus on culture, policy, and business. Uzodinma is the co-founder of Ventures Africa Magazine, a publication that covers business, policy, culture, and innovation spaces in Africa. He has written three books: "Beasts of No Nation" (2005), a novel also adapted into a major motion picture; "Our Kind of People" (2012), a non-fiction account of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; and "Speak No Evil" (2018), a novel about Washington, D.C. Instagram: @uiweala.
Founder & Director, Myna Mahila Foundation
Suhani Jalota is the founder and director of a women’s health organization, Myna Mahila Foundation, based in Mumbai's slums. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in health policy/economics from Stanford University as a Knight Hennessy Scholar. She completed her bachelor’s in economics and global health from Duke University in 2016. Her mission is to bring equal access to health care services for all. She has been working in urban slum areas and rural communities, researching and designing strategies on projects ranging from adolescent girl health, water, and sanitation, to social protection policies. In the past few years, Suhani has worked in the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and several cities in India. She is on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Asia for social entrepreneurs, a Queen’s Young Leader 2017, and Glamour College Woman of the Year 2016 awardee. Her work with Myna has been featured in TIME Magazine, Huffington Post, Vogue, and BBC, among others.
Children's Program Director & Managing Attorney, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
Mayra Jimenez is the Children’s Program director at RAICES. She has been dedicated to the Children’s Program and the work of unaccompanied minors for over five years. As director, she oversees the legal services RAICES provides to both detained and released unaccompanied children in over five Texas cities. She attended Baylor University for her undergraduate studies, where she received a bachelor’s in business administration in economics and international business, and went on to graduate from St. Mary’s University Law School. Prior to joining RAICES, Mayra clerked at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid specializing in family and property law. She also worked at the Bexar County Court House District Court Division, clerking for civil county judges.
Chief Development Officer, Bunker Labs
Becca Keaty is a 20-year retired veteran of the Army National Guard, with extensive experience in corporate and nonprofit strategic partnerships and development. Prior to joirning Bunker Labs, she executed more than 200 events a year with the Tribune Media Group and co-founded the literacy social enterprise, "Open Books." She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her passions include reading, donuts, and fitness adventures. She is the proud wife of a Chicago firefighter and is raising three sons, Finn, Leo, and Cash.
Founder, Project Orange Tree, Co-Creator, Wear Orange Campaign
Nza-Ari Khepra, co-founder of Wear Orange and Project Orange Tree, is a recent graduate of Columbia University where she majored in economics and concentrated in African-American studies. During high school, Hadiya Pendleton, one of Nza-Ari’s friends, was murdered in a senseless shooting minutes away from her school. In response to Chicago’s violent state, Nza-Ari and a group of youth founded a structural violence awareness organization called Project Orange Tree. Project Orange Tree members transformed the narrative of hunter orange by asking all campaign participants to wear orange and fast from sunup to sundown to commemorate the lives lost in Chicago. Their efforts were recognized globally, and Project Orange Tree’s symbolism for orange became the inspiration behind the annual Wear Orange campaign. Nza-Ari had the honor of co-creating this campaign that formed the Annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 2, Hadiya’s birthday. The campaign unifies organizations with a diversity of missions under the common goal of ending gun violence.
Civil Rights Activist, Founder, Our Destiny STL
Clifton Kinnie, at age 17, became one of the prominent leaders of the Ferguson protests that erupted in August 2014. Clifton founded "Our Destiny STL," a network of more than 1,000 St. Louis high school student activists uniting against police and gun violence. Our Destiny organized massive walkouts and demonstrations, protests inside and outside of schools, community outreach, and youth voter registration. Having lost his mother to breast cancer, Clifton feels as if he is continuing the legacy of his mother, a former social worker. Since then, Clifton has become a prominent face of the Black Lives Matter movement. His work has been documented in MTV, Al Jazeera, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic. In 2016, Clifton met with President Barack Obama to discuss race and policing. In 2018, he has been organizing to make sure that police violence is included in the gun reform conversation during #MarchForOurLives.
Project Team Lead, Violence Against Women Centers
Hafsah Lak is a strong advocate of women empowerment and has worked extensively in Punjab, Pakistan, to design and implement comprehensive reforms which address gender-based violence. She recently graduated from The University of Chicago with a master’s degree in public policy, and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS). As a Fellow at The University of Chicago’s Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflict, Hafsah has studied and worked on international human rights and women, peace, and security initiatives, including co-authoring a field-based study for Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and University of Chicago’s International Human Rights Law Clinic on the impact of counter (and preventing) violent extremism programs on women’s rights in Kenya, Tunisia, and the United States.
Hafsah joined Chief Minister's Strategic Reforms Unit — SRU (formerly, Special Monitoring Unit - Law and Order) in 2014, where she co-drafted the landmark Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act 2016, and has worked extensively on Punjab Women Protection Authority, Shehr-e-Khamoshaan (model graveyard) reform initiatives, and the first-of-its-kind Violence Against Women Centers (VAWC). VAWCs integrate police, prosecution, forensics, medical treatment and mental health, and post-trauma rehabilitation services under one roof to help deliver justice to survivors of gender-based violence and to create a deterrence for such crimes. Pakistan's first VAWC was established in March 2017 and has provided services to over 1400 GBV survivors in its first year alone. Currently, Hafsah is engaged in implementing Violence Against Women Centers but is also working at a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy, Cambridge Global Advisors.
Jean Paul Laurent
Founder & CEO, Unspoken Smiles Foundation
Jean Paul Laurent is the founder and chief executive officer of Unspoken Smiles Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes both long-term oral health care and economic security in the world’s most disadvantaged regions. As CEO, Jean Paul works across two key program areas — oral health education and prevention, and the Unspoken Smiles Fellowship — to help ensure better access to quality dental services for the greatest number of people. By developing, supporting, and incubating those initiatives, Unspoken Smiles Foundation is improving lives in underserved communities across the world.
Previously, Jean Paul served as a contributing writer at Huffington Post covering social impact, the future of philanthropy, and young global leaders. His work has appeared in Thrive Global, The New York Times, among other places. Jean Paul is an award-winning social entrepreneur, oral care specialist, author, and philanthropist. His philanthropic achievements have garnered recognition from a variety of prestigious organizations including the United Nations (ECOSOC), New York State Senate, American Express Leadership Academy, Ashoka Changemakers, The Resolution Project, Clinton Global Initiative University, Global Entrepreneurship Summit India, NYN 40 Under 40 Rising Star, National Society of Leadership and Success, Dr. Ambedkar Ratna — Global Changemakers Award, President Obama Volunteer Service Award, and more. Jean Paul lives in New York and holds an executive master’s in public administration from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, a bachelor’s of in health service administration from NYC College of Technology, a dental hygiene degree from New York University College of Dentistry, and a liberal arts degree from Rockland Community College. For fun, you can often find him at a ballroom dance competition.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Run For Something
Amanda Litman is the co-founder and executive director of Run for Something, a PAC that helps recruit and support young, diverse progressives running for down-ballot office. She’s also the author of "Run for Something: A Real Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself," published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. Previously, she was the email director for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, digital director for Charlie Crist’s 2014 Florida gubernatorial campaign, and an email writer for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2012.
Chief Digital Officer, IBM
Bob Lord was appointed as IBM's first chief digital officer with a mission to help transform the 107-year-old brand into a global platform for open innovation. Building on IBM’s long history of pioneering and nurturing open communities, Bob’s team — IBM’s Digital Business Group (DBG) — has reimagined how those communities access IBM technologies. By curating new digital experiences, they are empowering business leaders, developers, partners, and the startup community to change the way we all live and work. Prior to IBM, Bob was president of AOL, where he helped the company adapt to the new realities of digital advertising. Before AOL he was CEO of Razorfish, one of the world’s first digital transformation agencies. Bob gained an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in engineering from Syracuse University. He serves on the boards of Williams-Sonoma and Screenvision Media and is an active member of the TED community, and a founding member of The Nantucket Project.
McCormick Foundation Professor and Faculty Director of The crime and Education Labs, University of Chicago
Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation professor of social service administration, law, and public policy at The University of Chicago. He is also director of the UChicago Crime Lab and co-director of the UChicago Urban Education Lab, and he serves as the director of the new Crime Lab New York, which opened in 2014. Ludwig is a non-resident senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and co-director of the NBER's Working Group on the Economics of Crime. He is an economist by training and in 2012 was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. His work on crime reduction and education interventions has shaped urban policy in Chicago and received nationwide news coverage in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and on NPR.
Independent Artist and Activist
Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese artist-musician who was banished from the country’s music industry and media for engaging in acts of dissent. She has protested President Trump for what she highlights as misogynistic and racist practices, met with former President Obama after being unfairly rejected from running in the congressional elections, and advocated for internet freedom. Mai Khoi is currently the subject of a feature length documentary that is planned to air on Netflix in 2019.
Former Director of Social Science and Civic Engagement of Chicago Public Schools, PhD Student; Northwestern University
Jessica Marshall served as the director of social science and civic engagement for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) where her work focused on re-imagining and expanding civic learning opportunities to reach all students. CPS has emerged as a national leader in K-12 civic education, expanding initiatives that build student voice and ensuring all students have access to a dynamic and research based civics curriculum. She has served on the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition and the Illinois State Social Studies Task Force. Jessie began her career in education in 2006, as a teacher in the South Bronx in New York City, later returning to Chicago where she led civic education initiatives that earned her school designation as an Illinois Democracy School. A proud Chicago native and CPS graduate, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Latin American studies from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in special education from City College — City University of New York. This fall, she has transitioned to a doctoral program at Northwestern University where she will continue to explore opportunities to deepen civic learning experiences for youth.
Member, Nicaraguan Platform for Social Movements and Civil Society Organizations
Julio Martinez Ellsberg lives in Nicaragua and is a member of the Platform for Social Movements and Civil Society Organizations (ArticulaciÃ³n de Movimientos Sociales y OSC) as well as an advisor to one of the main student movements in the National Dialogue (Coordinadora Universitaria por la Democracia y la Justicia). Both organizations have been working since April 18 to bring an end to the politically motivated murders and detentions in Nicaragua, ensure that there is justice for the repression that has occurred, and return the country to a democratic path.
Executive Director, Peace Warrior Organization at North Lawndale College Prep
D’Angelo McDade is a graduate of North Lawndale College Prep (NLCP). He also held the role of assistant director of civic engagement at NLCP from 2016 to 2018, during which time he co-founded the Peace Warrior Organization, bringing youth program management and establishing student leadership teams, while seeking ways to improve student culture, and also attending NLCP as a full-time student. He lived and worked on the west side of Chicago in the West Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park communities as an interim intern director of operations at Galapagos Charter School and a coordinator of special learning and community projects. In May 2016, he became a "Peace Warrior," whereas he was also introduced to the Kingian Nonviolence Philosophy. D’Angelo is a member of the national chapter of March for Our Lives and was honored with the Youth Activism Award, due to his activism in reforming gun violence. D'Angelo enjoys spending time with his family, walks in the park and reading. D’Angelo is currently enrolled at Depauw University as a freshman. He is majoring in educational studies and economics with a minor in psychology. He is a level nationally certified trainer of Kingian Nonviolence Reconciliation.
Executive Director, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
Parag Mehta is the executive director of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. He leads a team of professionals dedicated to ensuring fair and lasting economic growth around the world and is responsible for overseeing the Center’s programs, research, and engagement. For nearly two decades, Parag has been a leader in creating positive social impact. From shaping evidence-based public policies to organizing large-scale social change movements, he has worked with diverse groups of stakeholders to advance the common good. Prior to joining Mastercard in 2017, Parag served as chief of staff to the U.S. Surgeon General. He also spent four years directing communications for a civil rights agency in the Department of Labor and served on Barack Obama’s presidential transition team. Parag has a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Founder & CEO, Empowerment Through Integration (ETI)
Sara Minkara is the founder and chief executive officer of Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), a nonprofit committed to developing a more inclusive society through empowering youth with disabilities and transforming social and cultural stigma against disability. ETI works to achieve inclusion for all people through groundbreaking initiatives that challenge stereotypes about people with disabilities and from other marginalized groups. Sara strives to elevate these voices and viewpoints, and to promote a robust, authentic respect for individual value. A Lebanese-American Muslim woman who lost her sight at the age of seven, Sara has transformed her unwavering passion for empowering persons with disabilities into innovative, empowering programs. Sara is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Kennedy School. Her work has been recognized by Forbes, MIT, Halcyon, Echoing Green, and more.
Founder, XS Tennis and Education Foundation
Kamau Murray is the founder of the XS Tennis and Education Foundation. As a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools, Kamau knows firsthand how athletic programs are crucial to Chicago’s youth during the most critical stages in their life. Kamau participated in Chicago Park District tennis programs as a child and subsequently was awarded a tennis scholarship to Florida A&M University where he received a full scholarship earning his bachelor’s and M.B.A.
Kamau began offering tennis coaching to five children in 2004. As the need for a program of its type became increasingly evident, XS Tennis was founded in 2008. Murray’s initial five students have gone on to win national championships, IHSA state championships, and two Junior Olympic Gold medals. Today, all of the "first five" have graduated college, from Harvard University, West Point, Northern Illinois, the University of Illinois, and Emory. As XS Tennis has grown, the record of successes — both athletic and academic — has not diminished. The average ACT scores of XS graduating seniors is an impressive 26. From 2008 to 2017, 100 percent of graduating seniors have received college tennis scholarships to prestigious universities such as Duke, University of Illinois, Howard, Iowa, DePaul, Florida A&M, Harvard, and The University of Chicago.
As a child Kamau dreamed of going to the U.S. Open. Although he never got that chance, each year for the past six years, Kamau has given 40 children the opportunity of a lifetime as they their first plane rides to New York City. This year, Kamau coached Sloane Stephens to her historic 2017 U.S. Open title and become only the third African-American coach to win a grand slam in its 95-year history. In 2014, Kamau walked into city hall with a proposal to build a world-class tennis facility on the south side of Chicago and now, the new $15 million XS Tennis Village — opening in November — is only the third facility to ever be built in a low-income census track area. Kamau’s foundation has transformed many lives and now he’s using tennis to transform Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood.
Wai Wai Nu
Executive Director, Women's Peace Network
Wai Wai Nu is selected as one of the Young Global Leaders (YGLs) 2018 by the World Economic Forum. She was a political prisoner for seven years under the Burmese military government, released under a presidential amnesty in 2012. She is executive director and founder of Women Peace Network, a platform to build peace and mutual understanding between Myanmar’s different ethnicities and to empower and advocate for the rights of marginalized women in Arakan and Myanmar. She has been working to reduce discrimination and hatred among Buddhist and Muslim communities and to improve the human rights of the Rohingya people. Nu has conducted women’s empowerment training, offered legal education seminars, and organized human rights and peacebuilding activities. In 2014, she founded Justice for Women, a network of women lawyers providing pro-bono legal consultation and education. Nu organized the "My Friend Campaign" with youth from different communities to promote tolerance and to reduce discrimination among diverse groups. In 2016, she founded Yangon Youth Center, where young people can learn and explore their ideas and promote leadership in social, political and peace-building. In 2014, Nu graduated with a degree in law in Myanmar. Recently, she graduated with a master’s of law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Director, Caribbean Youth Environment Network Puerto Rico
Amira Odeh is a Puerto-Rican geographer and environmental activist. She developed and led a campaign at the University of Puerto Rico — Rio Piedras Campus, with the purpose of reducing plastic use and waste on campus. Amira is also a trainer for new environmental organizers. She has trained in Puerto Rico, the U.S., Chile, Argentina, and Australia. She is currently working on reforestation and food security for the recovery of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Mayor, City of Belfast, Registered Nurse; Waldo County General Hospital
Samantha Paradis was elected mayor of Belfast, Maine in November 2017. She is the first queer, second woman, and youngest mayor elected to lead the mid-coast city. During her campaign she knocked on 2,500 doors and heard about issues and concerns that are important to local residents. She ousted a four-term incumbent who had been involved in city politics for thirty years. Under her leadership the city has taken significant strides in addressing climate change, including transitioning to 90 percent solar energy for municipal electricity use, creating a city climate change committee to study the effects of sea level rise, and installing free public electric vehicle chargers. Mayor Paradis is a registered nurse who started her career at the Mayo Clinic and currently works at a critical access hospital in Belfast. Her skills as a bedside nurse helped prepare her to be a successful political leader. She is currently studying to become a family nurse practitioner. Mayor Paradis rows with a women’s gig rowing team and in May 2018 she competed in the World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly, UK. Mayor Paradis holds bachelor’s degrees in nursing and psychology from the University of Maine as well as a master’s degree in public health from the University of New England. She grew up in a French-speaking home near the border of Canada in northern Maine.
Gun Violence Prevention Advocate & Volunteer, #VetsForGunReform & The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Joe Plenzler is a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having barely survived an ambush in Az Zubayr, Iraq on March 23, 2003 where two of his six-man team were injured, he understands the consequences of gun violence on a personal, visceral level. He retired from the Marines in 2015 after 20 years of service, and now works to increase public awareness of gun safety and lower incidents of gun violence in America. He thinks it's "insane" that military-grade weapons are made available to civilians for purchase and believes military veterans can help both sides of the gun debate find common ground to build a more peaceful society based on mutual respect. When he isn’t working, he can be found section hiking the Appalachian Trail with his partner-in-crime Kate Germano, an author and expert on defeating gender bias in the workplace.
Founder & CEO, Million Dollar Scholar / BREAUX Capital
Born and bred on the southside of Chicago, Derrius is an author, entrepreneur, and web designer whose business ventures have collectively impacted the lives of more than 25,000, marginalized youth in America. He is the founder of Million Dollar Scholar and BREAUX Capital.
In 2015, he was honored by Barack Obama at the White House for his activism in expanding educational access. His work has been highlighted by the Associated Press, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, CNN, MTV, Time Magazine, and BET among others.
Executive Director, Albert Einstein Institute
Jamila Raqib is a specialist in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action and the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which works to advance the research and application of nonviolent action worldwide. Since 2002, she worked with the late scholar Dr. Gene Sharp, the founder of the field of strategic nonviolent action. Jamila oversees the development and distribution of resources on nonviolent action and conducts workshops on strategic planning for human rights organizations, universities, and governments, and for individuals and groups struggling for diverse objectives, including to oppose dictatorship, combat corruption, and to attain political rights, economic justice, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment. She is currently a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she is exploring how innovations in technology and education can strengthen the study and application of nonviolent struggle. She is currently developing a curriculum intended to help groups prepare wise strategic plans to conduct struggles for the defense and attainment of their civil and political rights.
Justin Luke Riley
President & CEO, Young People in Recovery
Justin Luke Riley serves as president and chief executive officer of Young People in Recovery (YPR). YPR envisions a world where everyone can access the necessary tools to recover from substance use disorder and associated high-risk behaviors. Justin is 30 years old and has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder since 2007. He is a former organizational development consultant and a youth and community engagement pastor in Denver, Colorado; former secretary of the board of Faces & Voices of Recovery in Washington, D.C.; and past president of the board of Advocates for Recovery in Denver. He is also a White House Champion of Change award recipient. Most recently, Justin was featured as one of the four Social Entrepreneurs Advancing The Nationwide Recovery Movement in Forbes. He also sits on the National Advisory Council for the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration and the Executive Committee for the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose.
Chief Resilience Officer, Chicago Mayor's Office
As Chief Resilience Officer, Stefan leads the design and implementation of Chicago’s resilience strategy as part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative. 100 Resilient Cities is a global network launched by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities build resilience to the physical, social, and economic challenges they face and to make cities better for the benefit of their residents, particularly those most vulnerable.
Stefan also leads the Mayor’s ThinkChicago program, which recruits top college students to work in Chicago’s tech sector, and directs the Mayor’s Office Fellows program, which brings in 25 graduate-level students each year to carry out public policy-related efforts within the city. In his time at the Mayor's Office, Stefan has crafted policy on diverse issue areas including transportation, emerging business, and labor.
Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt BVM
Campus Ministry, Men's Basketball Team Chaplain, Loyola University Chicago
Jean Dolores Schmidt, or "Sister Jean" as she is affectionately known on the campuses of Loyola University Chicago, has been a sister in the religious order of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) for 81 years and a beloved member of the greater Loyola community for more than half a century. She has been the chaplain of the Loyola men's basketball team since 1994 and gained international fame following the team's magical run to the 2018 NCAA Final Four. Sister Jean was recently honored with Loyola's highest award, the Sword of Loyola. She is a truly beloved figure at Loyola who has inspired thousands of students with her unfailing energy, faith, and warmth.
Vice President of Partnerships, Snap, Inc.
Ben Schwerin has been the Vice President of Partnerships at Snap, Inc. since 2015. In this role he is responsible for Snap's global strategic partnerships in sports, music, entertainment, and politics.
Prior to joining Snap, Ben co-founded Fenway Strategies, a communications consulting firm. He also worked for u2 on two world tours, and with former President Clinton as assistant director of scheduling and advance. In addition, he has served as an advisor to the ONE Campaign.
Ben holds a B.A. in psychology from Cornell University and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Executive Director, DREAM Big Nevada
Astrid Silva arrived to the U.S. from Mexico with her parents at the age of four. In 2009, an encounter with an unlikely ally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, changed this in a most unexpected way. She began getting more deeply involved in the politics surrounding the DREAM Act and became the poster child for the legislation in her home state of Nevada. At the time, she was one of only a handful of students in the state who had so publicly revealed their undocumented identity and status. Silva has also received local and national acclaim for her work. She was named Youth Immigrant of the Year for the American Immigration Council in 2014, was named a rising Civil Rights leader by the Los Angeles Times, and most recently delivered the first Spanish-language Democratic response to President Trump’s first speech to Congress in 2017.
Silva is now the executive director of DREAM Big Nevada, an organization she founded to continue to raise her voice and empower others so that together they can achieve their goal — keeping families, like hers, together.
Andrea Sreshta is a co-founder of LuminAID. Andrea previously worked in and studied design and architecture with an emphasis in project management. Andrea has an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University prior to attending Booth. She is originally from Houston, Texas.
Director of Philosophy, Patagonia
Vincent Stanley has been with Patagonia on and off since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. More informally, he is Patagonia’s long-time chief storyteller. Vincent helped develop the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products; the Common Threads Partnership (precursor of Worn Wear); and Patagonia Books. He currently serves as the company’s director of Patagonia Philosophy, is a visiting fellow at the Yale Center for Business and Environment, and a visiting executive at INSEAD in Fontainebleau. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry. He and his wife, writer Nora Gallagher, live in Santa Barbara.
Barbados Ambassador to the United Nations, Government of Barbados
Liz Thompson is Barbados’ ambassador to the United Nations. She is a former member of Parliament, senator, and minister. She also previously served as assistant secretary general of the United Nations. She is experienced in multilateral negotiations, national and international policy, and sustainable development. Previously, she worked as a consultant to multinational corporations, international development organizations and governments across the Caribbean. She served as a mentor for the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE) Network from 2017-2018. Her work in environment, climate change, and sustainable development earned her the prestigious Champion of the Earth Award. Liz has lectured or spoken on panels at several universities, including the ivy leagues of the United States and authored papers and articles on development issues. She has co-authored two books on sustainable development and authored a motivational book, "Make Yourself Happy." She is a lawyer, with L.L.B., M.B.A., and L.L.M. degrees.
President & CEO, Direct Relief
Thomas Tighe became president and CEO of California-based nonprofit Direct Relief a role in 2000 following federal service as COO of the Peace Corps, committee counsel in the U.S. Senate, and as a Peace Corps volunteer. Direct Relief operates a humanitarian medical supply chain serving people in chronic need or affected by emergencies, and is among the largest providers of charitable medications and supplies. The only nonprofit accredited to distribute Rx medications in all 50 states, DR annually supports thousands of US nonprofit health centers and clinics and public-benefit health partners in 90 countries globally with more than $1 billion in medical donations. In the last year, Direct Relief has provided over $15 million in grants to provide solar power at health facilities and also and 450 tons and $100 million of requested medications and supplies to partners in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, as well as in Texas and Florida.
Author & Producer, Putnam Books at Penguin Random House
Jacob Tobia is a writer, producer, and author of the forthcoming memoir "Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story" with Putnam Books at Penguin Random House. As a performer, visionary, and internet personality, Jacob helps others embrace the full complexity of gender and own their truth, even when that truth is messy as hell. Currently living in Los Angeles, Jacob was recently named to the Biden Foundation’s Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality. A member of both the Forbes 30 Under 30 and the OUT 100, Jacob made their debut on the national stage when they were interviewed by Laverne Cox as part of MTV’s "The T Word." In 2017, they served as the social media producer on Season 4 of Amazon’s Emmy Award-winning series, "Transparent" and collaborated with Instagram and GLAAD to produce #KindComments, a custom campaign for Trans Day of Visibility that was viewed over 14 million times. A Point Foundation Scholar, Harry S. Truman Scholar, and recipient of the Campus Pride National Voice and Action Award, their writing and advocacy have been featured on MSNBC, MTV, The Washington Post, The New York Times, TIME, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Playboy, The Guardian, and Jezebel, among others.
Director of Outreach and Recruitment, Chicago CRED
Curtis Amir Toler is one of the leading advocates for peace and nonviolence in the city of Chicago. As director of outreach and recruitment for the Chicago CRED Program, Curtis is committed to impacting the culture of violence in Chicago by linking at-risk young men with the chance to reset their lives through job training and permanent employment opportunities. A native of Chicago and a former leader of one of the city’s most notorious street gangs, today Curtis focuses on leading current gang members into settling their disagreements on the streets and into a new future reconnected to jobs and community restoration. His central passion is to link neighborhoods suffering from poverty and violence to corporations and community-based organizations best poised to provide both an economic and social pathway to peace stability. He is also passionate about educating others about becoming bridge builders in their own communities.
Senior Program Officer, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Jeff Ubois is a senior program officer with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change Program, a competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time. Previously, Jeff was a consultant on media, memory, and innovation for the Bassetti Foundation in Milan, Italy, the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision, and the Internet Archive. He is past president of the Hillside Club in Berkeley, CA, and serves on the boards of the Kahle/Austin Foundation; Humanity 2050, a new organization seeking to ensure a livable human future in 2050 and beyond; and QuestionCopyright.org, a Chicago-based organization focused on free culture and free expression.
Associate Vice President, University of Chicago
Susana has more than 25 years of experience in community development, civic engagement, and philanthropy. She is the associate vice president for civic engagement at the University of Chicago. Her responsibilities include leading the daily operations and the advancement of civic engagement strategies and programs to strengthen the University’s impact in its neighboring communities and citywide. Previously, Susana served as vice president for strategic partnerships at IFF. She developed program strategies to build nonprofit capacity and identified capital and grant opportunities. She also served as executive director for the local office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Susana helped to raise $100 million in grant and loan commitments and developed innovative programs to advance neighborhoods in many areas. She serves on the boards of directors for ChangeLab Solutions, SkyARTS, Chicago Foundation for Women, and the Leadership Council of Civic Consulting Alliance, and is also on the UChicago Medicine Advisory Board. Susana has provided community engagement training to a range of institutions. Susana earned a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois.
Global Head of Talent Management & Client Services| Global Talent Solutions, The Boeing Company
Tiffany Verzino is the talent management and client services director within Global Talent Services, the talent-focused Community of Excellence (CoE) in the human resources function at The Boeing Company. She leads the integration and delivery of talent strategies and talent solutions, and under her leadership talent client specialists help build both leaders and capable organizations for Boeing’s second century as a global aerospace industry leader. Her team is responsible for developing and deploying talent solutions and leading their integration across Boeing. Tiffany’s previous Boeing assignments include human resources manager within the business unit and talent management manager for Boeing International. Prior to joining Boeing, Tiffany was an engagement manager for JWT Consulting. She is an honors graduate of St. Louis University (magna cum laude) and received her master’s degree in I/O Psychology from the University of Missouri. She is a Birkman-certified consultant and a Myers-Briggs (MBTI)-qualified practitioner.
President & CEO, VentureWell
Since 1996, Phil Weilerstein has been the chief executive of VentureWell, a U.S.-based NGO formed to stimulate and support the incorporation of innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education. From the beginning, Phil’s focus for VentureWell has been to help bring socially beneficial applications of science- and technology-based inventions to market. He’s accomplished this goal by designing and overseeing programs that encourage curricular innovation and student venture creation; provide resources and investment to researchers, faculty, and student entrepreneurs; and develop community through knowledge, support, and processes that enable innovation ecosystems and innovators to grow and prosper.
President & CEO, VentureWell
Since 1996, Phil Weilerstein has been the chief executive of VentureWell, a U.S.-based NGO formed to stimulate and support the incorporation of innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education. From the beginning, Phil’s focus for VentureWell has been to help bring socially beneficial applications of science- and technology-based inventions to market. He’s accomplished this goal by designing and overseeing programs that encourage curricular innovation and student venture creation; provide resources and investment to researchers, faculty, and student entrepreneurs; and develop community through knowledge, support, and processes that enable innovation ecosystems and innovators to grow and prosper.
Partner, McKinsey & Company
Olivia White is a partner in McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office. She works on financial inclusion topics in emerging markets and has authored major research efforts on economics of digital finance. Recent publications include the McKinsey Global Institute report, "Digital Finance for All: Powering Inclusive Growth in Emerging Economies," and the McKinsey Global Banking publication, "Mobile Money in Emerging Markets: The Business Case for Financial Inclusion." Olivia also leads McKinsey’s Global Risk Knowledge Committee globally and its Enterprise Risk Management service line in North America. She works with a broad range of financial institutions in the U.S. and Europe on risk and strategy topics. Before joining McKinsey, Olivia was a Pappalardo Fellow in physics at MIT. She holds a doctorate in physics from Harvard, a master’s in mathematics from Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a bachelor’s in physics and mathematics from Stanford.