Nexus USA Youth Summit

The inaugural Nexus USA Youth Summit convened December 1-3, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, bringing together young philanthropists, impact investors, and allies – including family business members, successful entrepreneurs and inspiring social change leaders. They discussed the challenges facing our country today, innovative solutions to them, and policy as an avenue for social change.

Connecting the financial, intellectual, creative, political and social capital of our generation in an action-oriented, solutions-focused and safe space, the Nexus USA Youth Summit aimed to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers.

A varied and interactive program of panels, workshops and social activities explored philanthropy, impact investing and social entrepreneurship as well as the challenges of wealth stewardship, family dynamics, strategies for investing and attracting investment, political transformation, and more. Sessions covered a range of social and environmental issues.

The event was organized by Nexus in partnership with the Millennial Action Project, the Common Ground Donor Network, and Children Uniting Nations to form the 2014 Congressional Summit on Next Generation Leadership.

The Summit opened at 1:00 PM on December 1st and ended at 1:00 PM on December 3rd.

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For more information email us at info@nexusyouthsummit.org

Partial List of Speakers

Aaron Schock, US House of Representatives

Aisha Alexander, KaBOOM!

Alex Bozmoski, Energy & Enterprise Initiative

Alex Torpey, Mayor of South Orange, NJ

Alexandre Mars, EPIC Foundation

Anastasia Dellaccio, United Nations Foundation

Ariana Snowdon, Hill Snowdon Foundation

Ashley Judd, Actress

Autumn Carter, California Common Sense

Brian Robertson, HolacracyOne

Charisse Lillie, Comcast Foundation

Christian Bailey, Curated Innovation

Dale Stephens, UnCollege

Dan Pabon, Colorado House of Representativest

Daniela Plattner, Nexus

David Harris, IFTF

David Rokeach, Millennial Action Project

Diana Mao, Nomi Network

Don Kendall, Philanthropy Workshop West

Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core

Ellen Dorsey, Wallace Global Fund

Garrett Snider, Foundation for Community Engagement

Graham Macmillan, Citi Foundation

Hans Von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation

Heidi Nel, Picture Motion

Hendrick Lee, Palm Drive Ventures

Holly Smith, Author of Walking Prey

Ibrahim AlHusseini, Full Cycle Fund, LLC

Jack Hidary, Candidate for New York City Mayor

Jan Piercy, Enclude

Jeanne Isler, National Commitee for Responsive Philanthropy

John Delaney, US House of Representatives

John Tyler, Kauffman Foundation

Julie Stewart, Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Karen Bass, US House of Representatives

Kate Kennedy, New Leaders

Kate Roberts, The Women’s Investment Network & PSI

Kelly Young, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Kristy Rodriguez, The Sampson Foundation

Lana Volftsun, Giving Circles Fund

Lauri Burns, The Teen Project

Laurie Michaels, Open Road Alliance

Maggie Dunne, Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.

Mandi Simon, Simon Says Give

Marc Pollick, Giving Back Fund

Margot Hirsch, Smart Tech Challenges Foundation

Mary Galeti, Tecovas Foundation

Megan Nicholson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Melissa Bradley, Georgetown University

Meryl Comer, Beene Foundation

Michael Davidson, Gen Next, Inc.

Nkechi Taifa, Open Society Foundations

Pat Nolan, American Conservative Union

Patrick Gage, Carlson Family Foundation

Randolph Adler, RK ADLER LLP

Samuel Bonsey, The ImPact

Sanjay Rawal, Food Chains

Sara Ojjeh, Women’s Investment Network

Sarah Gardner, Thorn

Sarah Stranahan, Stranahan Foundation

Scott Resnick, Hardin Design & Development

Seema Gajwani, Public Welfare Foundation

Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, P3GM

Stephanie Cordes, Cordes Foundation

Tara Miller, Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute

Ted Cruz, US Senate

Ted Hart, Charities Aid Foundation of America

Timothy Ogden, Financial Access Initiative

Timothy Oh, Inventor

Todd Young, US House of Representatives

Tulsi Gabbard, US House of Representatives

Valerie Weisler, The Validation Project

Vilas Dhar, Next Mile Project

Wayne Farmer, Malaga Ventures

William Ruger, Chales Koch Foundation

Zac Russell, The Russell Family Foundation


Aaron Schock, US House of Representatives
Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), 33, represents the 18th District of Illinois and currently serves on the House Ways and Means committee. In addition, he serves as a Deputy Republican Whip and as a member of the Conference Advisory Committee. At the age of 23, Aaron Schock was simultaneously the youngest school board president in history and the youngest Illinois State Representative. He is the first Member of Congress to be born in the 1980’s, making him the first Millennial to serve in Congress.


Aisha Alexander, KaBOOM!
Aisha Alexander is a modern day renaissance woman who specializes in results. Aisha is the Director of Impact & Innovation for KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming communities through play. In her role, Aisha focuses on maximizing the impact of the organization through research, innovation and grassroots engagement strategies. She also serves on several advisory committees, including those of University of North Carolina, Dream Defenders and Youth EmpowHERment. Some of her other community activities include the Junior League and Global Shapers. Aisha also chairs the board for the Alexander Fund, a family foundation started by her grandparents which focuses giving on issues of equity in the Carolinas.
On Twitter: @aishathinker


Alex Bozmoski, Energy & Enterprise Initiative
Alex Bozmoski leads E&EI’s policy development and educational programming. Prior to joining E&EI at its inception in 2012, Bozmoski spent four years as an entrepreneur developing rural energy projects in East Africa as well as consulting on energy and climate policy for think tanks, consultancies, and a major development bank. He has also worked on several federal and gubernatorial campaigns for GOP candidates. In his spare time, Bozmoski designs and teaches e-courses on energy policy and environmental economics for developing-country officials and practitioners. He has a BA from Georgetown University (summa cum laude) and an MS from the University of Oxford.
On Twitter: @republicEn


Alex Torpey, Mayor of South Orange, NJ
Alex Torpey, sworn in as the youngest Mayor in New Jersey in 2011 in South Orange at age 23, has become a leading voice in the government transparency and technology movement, as well as one of the nation’s foremost nonpartisan advocates for millennial civic leadership. Alex has been profiled in the New York Times and Inc. Magazine among others, and has spoken about these issues at Social Media Week, POLITICO, Columbia University, the National Constitution Center and delivered a keynote at Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Alex’s fiscal leadership and emphasis on economic development and operational efficiencies in South Orange have led to the three consecutive lowest tax increases in 15 years on the town’s $33.5m budget. Alex, a strong advocate for marriage equality, also had the privilege of performing one of the first same-sex marriages in New Jersey this year, opening Town Hall at midnight to perform the ceremony for a local couple. Alex is a partner at Veracity Media, a digital media consulting company, and continues to serve as a volunteer EMT with the South Orange Rescue Squad.


Alexandre Mars, EPIC Foundation
Alexandre Mars is a serial entrepreneur, expert in new technologies and digital communication, and an engaged philanthropist. As CEO of Epic Foundation, Alexandre’s goal is to “disrupt the act of giving”. This not-for-profit organization supports youth wellbeing (education, health, protection) globally. Epic connects leading philanthropists, foundations and corporate programs (CSR) with outstanding NGOs and social enterprises. By constantly reviewing best practices around the world, Epic offers an integrated supply of advanced tools to select, monitor and experience the real impact of a chosen project. Over the last 15 years, Alexandre has successfully launched and sold several companies in Europe and the US across diverse business sectors, including venture capital, Internet, mobile marketing, social media and advertising. His two latest startups, Phonevalley (the world’s largest mobile agency) and ScrOOn (a social media management system) were recently sold to Publicis Groupe and Blackberry, respectively. Alexandre’s passion for entrepreneurship blossomed early. At the tender age of 20, he founded one of Europe’s first web agencies while continuing his studies at the HEC Paris business school and Paris Dauphine University. At 25, he embarked on a new venture to create his own Internet investment fund, achieving the distinction of being one of the youngest players ever to participate in international venture capital. In 2001, Alexandre created a mobile marketing firm, Phonevalley, designed to pioneer the emerging mobile marketing industry. Within just a few years, he propelled Phonevalley to become the largest mobile marketing agency in Europe.
In 2007, Publicis Groupe, looking to get a head start in the growing market for mobile media, acquired Phonevalley and established the firm as its official worldwide mobile marketing and advertising entity.
With this distinction, Mars was appointed Head of Mobile at Publicis Groupe, thereby positioning the world’s largest advertising conglomerate at the forefront of the mobile communications era. In the same year, Alexandre seized another emerging communications opportunity: the social media revolution. Recognizing its potential, Alexandre launched ScrOOn, a proprietary social media deployment and management platform. ScrOOn was acquired by Blackberry in 2013 to be used as the underlying technology for monetizing its popular BBM product.
Regularly quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Advertising Age, Alexandre is sought after to share his mobile/digital and philanthropic vision at events such as MIT, CES, Advertising Week, OMMA, AdTech, Mobile World Congress, New York Media Summit, Nexus Youth Summit. Alexandre lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Passionate about music and sports, Alexandre enjoys jazz music and watching the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Saints, and New York Yankees. He has run both the Paris and New York Marathons and practices mixed martial arts.


Anastasia Dellaccio, United Nations Foundation
Anastasia Dellaccio oversees special initiatives and strategic outreach for the United Nations Foundation as part of the global public affairs and communications team. This outreach work includes helping plan strategic initiatives and events such as the Social Good Summit, Rio+Social and recently helped to launch a new holiday focused on giving back called #GivingTuesday. Anastasia graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in Visual Communications and Marketing. Anastasia then went to work for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations under Vice President Biden before completing her Master’s Degree in International Policy at the University of London.
On Twitter: @DolciGelati


Ariana Snowdon, Hill Snowdon Foundation
Ariana Snowdon is an independent philanthropy consultant specializing in Next-Gen and Family philanthropy. For the past four years, she has worked nationally and internationally with family foundations to promote engagement of young trustees, navigate multigenerational dynamics, and guide strategic planning. She is a regular speaker at national philanthropy events, discussing both her professional work and her role as a trustee with the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, her family’s foundation, where she has served on the board since 2006. A native of Jackson Hole, Ariana attended Wesleyan University, where she majored in the Science in Society Program, with concentrations in Environmental Science, Sociology and Public Health. She lives in San Francisco.


Ashley Judd, Actress
Ashley Tyler Judd is a 10th generation Eastern Kentuckian. She lives in Tennessee and Kentucky, and loves spending time in Scotland with her family. She is also a direct descendant of Pilgrim mother and father Mary and William Brewster, who, after years of religious persecution helped organize and then sailed on the Mayflower. A celebrated and acclaimed actor, she has starred in 20 films, both box office hits and independent treasures, and on Broadway. She is presently starring in Missing, a new drama for ABC that will premiere in 2012. Ashley is a dedicated humanitarian. Her work as an advocate and activist dates to her undergraduate years at the University of Kentucky. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of Population Services International, Defenders of Wildlife, and Shaker Village. She has traveled, literally, around the world, visiting grassroots programs that focus on poverty alleviation, public health, human rights, and social justice. A small sampling of her advocacy work includes: Giving the keynote address on the modern slave trade to the 2008 General Assembly of the United Nations, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the urgent need to prevent the spread of HIV to girls and women, speaking to the National Press Club, appearing on major news programs, and filming 3 documentaries seen by over a billion people worldwide. She has served as an expert panelist/moderator at conferences such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Women Deliver Conference, the International AIDS conference, and the Global Business Coalition to stop HIV, TB, and Malaria, as well as the the National Press Club. Additionally, she actively supports a number of organizations, ranging from Women for Women International, Women Thrive Worldwide, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Tennessee Refugee and Immigration Reform Committee. Her 2010 advocacy includes the DREAM Act, International Violence Against Women Act, the anti FGM bill, amongst others.


Autumn Carter, California Common Sense
Autumn Carter has served as Executive Director of California Common Sense, a young non-partisan policy think tank since 2012. As Executive Director, she has focused on establishing and building its reputation as a respected research institution whose content is approachable to broader audiences. She has advocated to more open, effective, and sustainable government at the state, local, and federal levels. Autumn graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Political Science with Concentrations in American Politics and Political Theory.


Brian Robertson, HolacracyOne
Brian Robertson is a seasoned entrepreneur and organization builder, and a recovering CEO – a job he now helps free others from with Holacracy. Generally regarded as the primary developer of the system, Brian’s work allows leaders to release the reins of personal power and persuasion into a trustworthy and explicit governance process. Brian also serves as the drafter and steward of the Holacracy Constitution, which captures the system’s unique “rules of the game” in concrete form. Beyond joyfully crafting legal documents, Brian’s creative expression takes many forms – he co-founded HolacracyOne to support Holacracy’s growth, and he fills and loves a broad variety of the company’s roles. He’s particularly grateful to hold no fancy titles and wield no special powers, so he can show up as just another partner doing his part to support something he cares about.
On Twitter: @HolacracyOne


Carolyn Maloney, Curated Innovation
Christian Bailey is the Founder of Curated Innovation, a nonprofit innovation lab started by MIT technologiest whose mission is to deliver breakthrough inventions for the benefit of humanity. Curated projects include preventing skin-cancer with computer vision, replacing the mammogram, and a quadcopter that can resucue a human. He is an investor in applied-science spinouts from MIT and Harvard, a founder of Lincoln Group, acquired 2008, and founder of Akaru, one of the first SaaS companies. He has served as a coach and advisor with United Way Youth Venture and Junior Achievement. Christian holds a BA and MA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford. He completed studies in molecular biology and materials science as a Fellow at MIT. At his core, Christian is dedicated to solving technology challenges that impact humanity.
On Twitter: @CMBail


Charisse Lillie, Comcast Foundation
Charisse R. Lillie is Vice President of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation. She joined Comcast in 2005 as Vice President, Human Resources-Comcast Corporation, and Senior Vice-President, Human Resources-Comcast Cable. She was a partner in the law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP in Philadelphia from January 1992 to February 2005. She was Chair of the Litigation Department from 2002 to 2005, and was a member of the Employment and Labor Law Group of the firm. She also served as an advisor to clients on diversity and anti-discrimination issues. She is a frequent lecturer regarding diversity, community investment and corporate social responsibility. Prior to joining the firm, Charisse’s legal experience included positions as Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; General Counsel to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia; and City Solicitor of the City of Philadelphia. In addition, Charisse has been a member of many civic commissions. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University, NBCUniversal Foundation, The Franklin Institute, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Philadelphia Electric Company, an Exelon Company. She is the former chair of the Board of The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. In 2012, she received the Inaugural Diversity Leadership Award from Temple University Law Alumni Association. She has been honored by CableFAX: The Magazine in 2013, 2012 and 2011 as one of the most influential minorities and powerful women in cable. The Houston, Texas native received her B.A. in 1973 from Wesleyan University (cum laude); her J.D. in 1976 from Temple Law School (Dean’s Honor List); and her LL.M. in 1982 from Yale Law School.


Christian Bailey, UnCollege
Christian Bailey is the Founder of Curated Innovation, a nonprofit innovation lab started by MIT technologist whose mission is to deliver breakthrough inventions for the benefit of humanity. Curated projects include preventing skin-cancer with computer vision, replacing the mammogram, and a quadricopter that can with potential of rescuing humans. He is an investor in applied-science spinouts from MIT and Harvard, a founder of Lincoln Group, acquired 2008, and founder of Akaru, one of the first SaaS companies. He has also served as a coach and advisor with United Way Youth Venture and Junior Achievement. Christian holds a BA and MA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford. He completed studies in molecular biology and materials science as a Fellow at MIT. At his core, Christian is dedicated to solving technology challenges that impact humanity.


Dale Stephens, Colorado House of Representatives
Dale Stephens is the author of Hacking Your Education (Penguin 2013). He left school at twelve to become an unschooler, the self-directed branch of homeschoolers. Instead of going to middle and high school he organized collaborative learning groups, found mentors, and volunteered in his community. Today he leads UnCollege which leads Gap Years for self-directed learners. His work has been covered by major news networks including CNN, ABC, NPR, CBS, Fox, TechCrunch, New York Magazine, and Forbes. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Fast Company. He has spoken around the world from debating education at TED 2012 to speaking to the executive leadership team of NBC about how changes in education impact the future of work. In May 2011 Dale was selected out of hundreds of individuals around the world as a Thiel Fellow. The Thiel Fellowship, created by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and first investor in Facebook, recognizes the top entrepreneurs around the world under the age of twenty. In 2013, Dale was recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30.
On Twitter: @dalejstephens


Dan Pabon, Nexus Youth Summit
Dan Pabon is a Democratic member of the Colorado House of Representatives, representing District 4. He was first elected to the chamber in 2010. Pabon earned his engineering degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 2005. His professional experience includes working as a senior associate of Holland and Hart Limited Liability Partnership from 2005 to 2010 and member of the Obama Biden Presidential transition team.
On Twitter: @reppabon


Daniela Plattner, Nexus
Daniela Plattner is a movement facilitator, community engagement strategist, and leadership coach. Her embodiment and play-based programs have activated thousands of minds and bodies around the world. She has facilitated solution-oriented events, innovation and team-building workshops, and marketing campaigns for leading mission-driven organizations, social enterprises, schools, and Fortune 100 companies. She holds a B.A in psychology, an M.A. in expressive arts consulting and coaching, and is a certified Health Coach, and teacher of 5Rhythms, a somatic movement practice she has been studying for fifteen years. Her leadership coaching programs help millenials gain the confidence, clarity and creativity to leverage their resources for personal, professional, and planetary momentum. She grew up in NYC, went to high school and graduate school in Switzerland, and identifies as a global citizen. Her mission is to catalyze cultural growth through community building, embodied learning, and social entrepreneurship.


David Harris, Nomi Network
David Harris brings an international perspective and a deep passion for social justice to his roles as IFTF’s social change agent and member of the Ten-Year Forecast and Governance Futures Lab core teams. As social change agent, he works to bring a critical social activist point of view to IFTF’s work. He is responsible for strategically identifying and developing collaborations that contribute to IFTF research, with a special focus on social action organizations and initiatives. He also contributes regularly to the Technology Horizons, Health Horizons, and Global Food Outlook programs. His research across programs focuses on poverty and inequality, development, geopolitics, political economy, social movements, and new media technology. A cross-disciplinary mediamaker, David founded the Global Lives Project, a growing video library of life experience; wrote and directed newscasts for CurrentTV; and penned articles and shot photos for the BBC, the Guardian, Adbusters, Focus on the Global South, AlterNet, and Grist. He has spoken publicly about his work to audiences at the Smithsonian, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, United Nations University, Apple, Google, Adobe, and numerous other venues around the world. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. David joined IFTF in 2008 and holds a BA in the political economy of development and environment, with a minor in forest science, from UC Berkeley and an MS in sociology from the University of São Paulo.


David Rokeach, Millennial Action Project
David Rockeach is an MBA candidate at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he is pursuing concentrations in Strategy and Decision Sciences. David is currently the Business Director for Time Capsule to Mars, a non-profit student-led project that will launch and land the first private mission to Mars. Prior to business school, David was a policy adviser for U.S. Congressman Randy Neugebauer, for whom he drove legislative strategy on energy, environment, space, defense, transportation, foreign affairs, education, and more. Originally from Albany, New York, David earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University.


Diana Mao, Nomi Network
Diana Mao received a B.A. in Business Economics/Accounting and Chinese at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Administration at Wagner, New York University. She is the co-founder of Nomi Network, a non-profit organization that creates economic opportunities for at-risk women and survivors of human trafficking. Her previous positions include, senior consultant at a governmental consulting firm and assistant manager at a New York City economic development agency. Prior to launching Nomi Network (www.nominetwork.org and www.buyherbagnotherbody.com), Diana spearheaded a city-wide campaign to raise money and awareness for the child soldiers of Northern Uganda. The result her efforts was the mobilization of over one hundred thousand people, sponsorship of local businesses, support of government officials, and funding raised for non-profit organizations working in the region. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post, United State Chamber of Commerce Civic Leadership Center and Women’s eNews.


Don Kendall, Philanthropy Workshop West
For most of his adult professional life, Don Kendall, has been a serial entrepreneur with a passion for creating startups as well as turnaround companies operating in new, or rapidly evolving market spaces. Following his tenure at McKinsey & Company, Don co-founded American Restaurants, which today has over $1 billion in sales and employs more than 20,000 people across seven Central and East European markets. An early pioneer in the e-commerce field, Don also co-founded or was founding board member of six other companies including hotwire.com, now part of Expedia. More recently, Don has devoted a significant portion of his time on philanthropy and socially-minded enterprise creation in the arena some people refer to as “Education 2.0”. He is a co-founder and board member of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, established to address the problem of gun violence by spurring market innovation and incentivizing technological advancements in gun safety to save lives. Furthermore, he is chairman of the Social Venture Partners-CT Board of Directors, an organization which cultivates effective philanthropists, strengthens nonprofits, and invests in collaborative solutions – building powerful relationships to tackle our community’s social challenges. He currently serves on the boards of the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Philanthropy Workshop West as well as SVP-CT’s first grantee, The International Institute of Connecticut. For 10 years, he was also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Don is a graduate of Stanford University. He resides in Weston with his wife, daughter, and two sons, and is a member of the town’s volunteer EMT force.


Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core
Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. Author of the book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, and the forthcoming book Interfaith Leadership: A Primer, Eboo is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. Eboo serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, on the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, and on the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-based Advisory Council. He has spoken at the TED Conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and universities around the world. Eboo is a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum and an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select group of social entrepreneurs whose ideas are changing the world. He was named by Islamica Magazine as one of ten young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America and was chosen by Harvard’s Kennedy School Review as one of five future policy leaders to watch. Both Eboo and IFYC were honored with the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship Medal in 2009 and Eboo was recently awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace. Today, Eboo lives in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz Mansuri, and their two sons.
On Twitter: @EbooPatel


Ellen Dorsey, Wallace Global Fund
Ellen Dorsey has 25 years experience promoting international human rights, particularly economic and social rights, and advocating for environmental sustainability. Dorsey is the Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation located in Washington, DC, that focuses on environmental sustainability, corporate accountability, women’s human rights, criminal justice, media reform and civic participation. Dorsey came to the Fund from The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving as senior program officer for the Environment Program. Dorsey has served on the board of numerous non-profit organizations promoting human rights and sustainable development, including serving as chair of the board of Amnesty International USA. Dorsey has a doctorate in political science from the University of Pittsburgh, was selected as a Fulbright Research Fellow in South Africa, and has served on the faculty of several Universities. She has lectured and written extensively on effective strategies of non-governmental organizations and social movements. Most recently, Dorsey is co-author, with Paul J. Nelson, of New Rights Advocacy: Changing Strategies of Development and Human Rights NGOs, published in 2008 by Georgetown University Press.


Garrett Snider, Foundation for Community Engagement
Garrett Snider has extensive experience with social activism and philanthropy. With a passion for child advocacy, Garrett has worked in close collaboration with Mission Kids, an advocacy center for child victims of sexual abuse where he has chaired a committee for 5 years. Garrett’s family owns Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor, the company founded by his grandfather who founded the Philadelphia Flyers and built the Wells Fargo Center. The business experience Garrett derived from his family’s success enabled him to formalize his charitable giving via The Foundation for Community Engagement, a charitable organization that stands in support of causes that expand horizons and advocate for youth, enrich culture and improve community, protect the abused and empower the underserved – with 15 advisory board members and incredible outreach in the Pennsylvania and California communities. Garrett has volunteered for the Suicide Hotline, hosted AA meetings, and founded Love Lunch, a unique lunch service for the poor that is implanted weekly by multiple Philadelphia church groups. Garrett hosted the Philadelphia premier of Fed Up, a documentary about food justice produced by Katie Couric, alongside the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and the Vetri Foundation for Children. Garrett works closely with Comcast-Spectacor Charities, the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Mission Kids, the Vetri Foundation for Children, the Petit Family Foundation, and more. Additionally, Garrett has consulted multiple causes where inheritors of wealth have pursued guidance on how to set up their own legacy foundations. Garrett has written a comedic self-help satire with a foreword by Donald Trump, obtained his real-estate license, served on dozens of event committees and boards, and has raised hundred of thousands of dollars for causes around the nation.


Graham Macmillan, Citi Foundation
Graham Macmillan is the Senior Program Officer at the Citi Foundation where he oversees grantmaking in 90 countries where Citi operates. Additionally, he manages direct philanthropic investments which leverage Citi’s business capabilities. Previously, he managed the Foundation’s Microfinance and Enterprise Development portfolios. Prior to joining the Citi Foundation, Graham was Senior Director of VisionSpring, a social enterprise selling consumer products to promote economic development. Graham is a member of the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). He received his Bachelor’s degree from Colby College, MSc from NYU Wagner, and MBA through a joint program at NYU Stern, London School of Economics and HEC Paris School of Management.


Hans Von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues – including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform — as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. As manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative, von Spakovsky also studies and writes about campaign finance restrictions, voter fraud and voter ID, enforcement of federal voting rights laws, administration of elections and voting equipment standards. Heritage’s election reform project examines not only how to protect the integrity of campaigns and elections but to achieve greater fairness and security. “In an era of razor-thin election margins, these issues are vital to the preservation of our republican form of government and the rule of law,” von Spakovsky says. Previously, as manager of the think tank’s Civil Justice Reform Initiative, von Spakovsky studied how plaintiffs’ attorneys and activists attempt to manipulate the courts for their own ends — at the expense of the public. He is the co-author with John Fund of the book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” (Encounter Books, 2012) and “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department” (HarperCollins/Broadside June 2014). Before joining Heritage in 2008, von Spakovsky served two years as a member of the Federal Election Commission, the authority charged with enforcing campaign finance laws for congressional and presidential elections, including public funding. Previously, von Spakovsky worked at the Justice Department as counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, providing expertise in enforcing the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act of 2002. A former litigator, in-house counsel and senior corporate officer in the insurance industry, von Spakovsky worked on tort reform and civil justice issues there for more than a decade. He has served on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and on the Fulton County (Ga.) Board of Registrations and Elections. He is a former vice chairman of the Fairfax County (Va.) Electoral Board and a former member of the Virginia Advisory Board to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He currently serves on the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union. His analysis and commentary have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico and Human Events, as well as such outlets as National Review Online and Townhall. His series for PJ Media, “Every Single One,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He appears regularly on Fox News Channel and on other national and regional TV and radio news outlets. He has testified before state and congressional committees and made presentations to, among other organizations, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the Federalist Society, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Legislative Exchange Council. He also has taught as an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law. A 1984 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law, von Spakovsky received a bachelor’s degree in 1981 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently resides in Vienna, Va.


Heidi Nel, Picture Motion
Heidi Nel runs the Washington, DC office for Picture Motion — the leading marketing and advocacy firm for issue-based films — where she develops social action campaigns that leverage movies to build movements. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Digital at FitzGibbon Media, and worked for Dewey Square Group -– a WPP company — as a Senior Associate. She began her career in Hollywood at Ghost House Pictures where she produced an original web series for Comcast, and served as a Marketing Manager at Lions Gate Entertainment. From South Africa, Heidi grew up in Colorado and studied Modern Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a Partner of the Truman National Security Project.


Hendrick Lee, Palm Drive Ventures
Hendrick Lee is a serial tech entrepreneur turned investor with experience in both China and the US. Currently he is Managing Partner of Palm Drive Ventures in New York. Prior, he was the founder and chairman of Pebbo, a human centered design consulting company with clients ranging from funds to conglomerates, which grew out of D-Taiwan, a venture he founded previously. During the development process of D-Taiwan, Hendrick worked in partnership with the Stanford Design School and the National Taiwan University on a design thinking seminar, and helped initiate design thinking in Taiwan. Earlier in his career, he founded Canidu to teach kids electronics, starting as young as 4-years-old. Finally, Hendrick also has experience in institutional growth equity. He earned his Master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering and his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Philosophy from Stanford University.


Holly Smith, Author of Walking Prey
Holly is a survivor of child trafficking, advocate against all forms of human trafficking and author of Walking Prey. In November 2011, Holly appeared on the Dr. Oz show to raise awareness for the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), along with Tina Frundt (founder of Courtney’s House), Lisa Ling (American journalist and advocate), and Kevin Perkins (Director of the FBI’s Innocence Lost project). Holly was also featured in the August 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, along with survivors Carissa Phelps and Minh Dang. Holly submitted joint testimony to Congress in September 2011 with labor trafficking survivor, Ima Matul (CAST Advisory Caucus member), in support of the reauthorization of the Trafficked Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). She also addressed the Virginia General Assembly in February 2012 in support of Senator Adam Ebbin’s bill SB 259, which will require the Board of Education to provide awareness and training materials for local school divisions on human trafficking, including strategies for the prevention of child trafficking.


Ibrahim AlHusseini, Full Cycle Fund, LLC
Ibrahim AlHusseini is a venture capitalist and philanthropist dedicated to financing free-market solutions to our bigger social and environmental challenges as well as advancing social change in societies that adversely impact women and girls. Ibrahim has spent much of his career as a sustainability-focused entrepreneur and investor, with significant experience in operations, sales, and finance. Currently, he is dedicating himself to addressing our growing garbage problem. By launching FullCycle Energy LP, Ibrahim and his partners are financing projects that revolutionize our relationship with waste by converting a costly environmental problem into clean, valuable fuel to power communities around the world. Mr. AlHusseini is concurrently manages his Family Office in Los Angeles, CA. The Husseini Group LLC, has over a decade of funding ventures that embrace social enhancement and ecological sustainability. The Husseini Group holdings are numerous, with notable examples like Infenera (NASDAQ:INFN), Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), Bloom Energy, Ethical Electric, Zep Solar & Kavita via Ecosystem Integrity LP, Renewal III, MIR3, Proteus Energy and Sites. Earlier in his career, Ibrahim co-founded Natural Solutions Inc., a national leader in the marketing of natural industrial cleaning products, Accent Teller Services, a pioneering corporation in the servicing of independent Automated Teller Machines (sold to Merrimak Capital Inc. in 2005), co-financed Advanced Laser Clinics Inc. in 2000 (sold to American Laser Clinics in 2006), EcoPerks, inc a loyalty program for environmentally conscious consumers and PakIT Inc., a Canadian-Swedish designer, developer, and supplier of cellulose fiber molding equipment to the packaging industry. Mr. AlHusseini serves as a current board member of The Culture Project, DevelopHer, The Center for Integral Wisdom, The Transformation Foundation and The Global Partnership for Women and Girls.


Jack Hidary, Candidate for New York City Mayor
Jack Hidary is a technology and financial entrepreneur who lives In New York City. He is the chairman of Samba Energy and was the co-founder of EarthWeb/Dice, Inc. and Vista Research. He also co-founded the Auto X Prize and was one of the architects for the Cash for Clunkers program. Hidary was a 2013 New York City mayoral candidate running as an independent.


Jan Piercy, Enclude
Jan Piercy, Senior Advisor, Enclude, has been committed to promoting public service and social entrepreneurship her entire career, which has spanned private, public, academic and citizen sectors. She headed public management programs at Cornell and then Stanford’s Graduate Schools of Business; led development programs in Bangladesh and Thailand, then entered community banking until joining President Clinton’s Administration in the White House until appointed to serve on the Board of the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development. Rejoining ShoreBank, Jan helped raise capital for one of the earliest impact investment funds making equity investments in locally owned small business and microfinance lending institutions in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. She today works with Enclude’s Capital Advisory Services practice to help social benefit enterprises access mission-aligned capital for growth and scaling.


Jeanne Isler, National Commitee for Responsive Philanthropy
Jeanné L. L. Isler joined NCRP in March 2014 as field director and is responsible for ensuring NCRP maintains deep partnerships and a vibrant presence throughout the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. She also leads signature initiatives such as the NCRP Impact Awards and Philanthropy’s Promise, and oversees membership growth and engagement. Jeanné is currently serving on the interim leadership working group for the Within Our Lifetime Network to end racism, partnering with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and others. Immediately before joining NCRP, Jeanné served as Director of U.S. Programs at Search for Common Ground, where she led national initiatives including Congressional Conversations on Race. Earlier in her career, Jeanné worked to pro­mote an assis­tance pro­gram for military ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies. She also worked with youth at a com­mu­nity medi­a­tion cen­ter, and as a community organizer. Jeanné holds a B.S. from Washington University and an M.A. from Antioch University.


John Delaney, US House of Representatives
John K. Delaney is an American politician and businessman who has been the United States Representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district since 2013. The district, the state’s second-largest, includes the entire western portion of the state, but the bulk of its vote is cast in the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Democratic Party.


John Steiner,
John Steiner brings together people, projects, ideas, money and spirit around common themes. He and his wife and partner, Margo King are currently working with an eminent group of US and British climate change scientists –preparing for a first field test, — whose computer modeling shows that it’s possible to slow down and even halt global warming for several decades and re-cloud and re-ice the Arctic, while we get our planetary act together. Marine Cloud Brightening — geo-mimicry — can also reduce the strength of hurricanes and deal with ocean acidification. He is deeply engaged in helping to take the transpartisan movement to scale in the U.S. — shifting from hyperpartisanship to collaboration, from gridlock to solutions. He is working with many leaders in this field and is part of a planning team to put on a National Convening in 2016 to celebrate Americans working together, showcase solutions to challenging issues, to highlight new forms of decision making and citizen engagement, and to feature political leaders for the common good. He is a member of the leadership council of the DC based Convergence Center for Policy Solutions. He was a founding member and early leader the Threshold Foundation (aka Donuts), a founding member of the Social Venture Network, and a founding board member of Search for Common Ground.He and is family are deeply engaged with the documentary film organization, Impact Partners, and with Gamechanger Films.


John Tyler, Kauffman Foundation
John Tyler is vice president and corporate secretary of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he also served as general counsel for over ten years. With Evelyn Brody, Mr. Tyler co-authored The Philanthropy Roundtable’s 2009 monograph How Public is Private Philanthropy? Separating Reality from Myth, which rejects the view that foundation assets are “public money.” In addition to serving on the board of the Roundtable, he serves and has served as a director and officer of several national and Kansas City–area nonprofit organizations, including serving as chair of the Philanthropic Collaborative. Mr. Tyler has been a member of the advisory board of New York University’s National Center for Philanthropy and the Law, and he currently advises the Alliance for Charitable Reform and Independent Sector’s Advisory Group on Nonprofit Effectiveness. Prior to joining Kauffman in 1999, he practiced law as a commercial litigator with one of Kansas City’s largest law firms. The author of numerous legal articles, he speaks frequently on topics ranging from nonprofit governance to intellectual property and advancing university innovation. Mr. Tyler received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame.


Julie Stewart, Families Against Mandatory Minimums
Julie Stewart is the president and founder of FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting for smart sentencing laws that maintain public safety. In 1990, Julie was public affairs director at the Cato Institute when she became aware of mandatory sentencing laws. Her brother had been arrested for growing marijuana in Washington State, had pled guilty, and — though this was his first offense — had been sentenced by a judge to five years in federal prison without parole. The judge criticized the punishment as too harsh, but proceeded with the sentence because the mandatory minimum law left him no choice. “My brother has long since left prison and now has a wife, two beautiful children and a good job,” says Julie. “But I am still motivated by the unfairness of a system in which politicians mandate sentences for defendants they have never laid eyes on. I am also motivated by the faces of all those now serving needlessly long sentences — and their families who await their return.”


Karen Bass, United States House of Representatives
Karen Bass was re-elected to her third term representing the 37th Congressional District of California in November 2014. Representative Bass serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa as well as the House Judiciary Committee. She was selected by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee, which sets the policy direction of the Democratic Caucus. Throughout her career, Representative Bass has maintained a focus on our nation’s foster care system. In her first term, she co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Foster Youth Caucus which aims to transform the foster care system in America. Prior to serving in Congress, Representative Bass made history as the first African American woman to serve as Speaker of the California Assembly. In this powerful state legislative role, she helped California to recover from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.


Kate Kennedy, New Leaders
Kate Kennedy is a member of RFK Young Leaders, which is a program of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. RFK Young Leaders organizes young people to take action on local social justice and human rights issues, including farm workers’ rights. Kate currently works as the Development Manager at New Leaders New York City-Newark, a national education organization dedicated to ensuring high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and students of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed. Kate has developed a great interest in social justice issues, particularly education, hunger, and health.


Kate Roberts, The Women’s Investment Network & PSI
Kate is the co-founder of a new philanthropic initiative launched in 2012 co-chaired by Melinda Gates, focused on transforming the lives of girls and women. She is also the founder of YouthAIDS and Five & Alive, two health campaigns implemented at the leading global health organization PSI. In 2007, Kate was named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, featured as a CNN Hero and received the Jack Valenti AIDS outstanding achievement award. In 2009, she was named one of the Vogue 100 Women. Prior to PSI, Roberts worked at The Bates, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Agency.
On Twitter: @KateRobertsPSI


Kelly Young, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution
Kelly Young is the director of Convergence’s Re-imagining Education Project. Kelly was previously the Interim Chief of the Office of Family and Public Engagement (OFPE) for the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she helped implement high-impact family engagement strategies to drive student achievement and school improvement. With extensive experience in community organizing, fundraising, and strategic planning, Kelly was able to support D.C. communities in building bridges across ideological boundaries and developing a shared vision for progress. Prior to joining DCPS, Kelly was a founding Vice President of Convergence. Before Convergence, Kelly worked as an organizational development consultant for entrepreneurial non-profits, providing support in strategic planning and fundraising. She also has several years of experience in grassroots organizing and campaign field operations. From 1998 to 2007, Kelly served as the Executive Director of a national political organization. Under her leadership, the organization thrived and grew exponentially in size and reach — helping elect over a hundred of candidates nationwide. She is the mother of two young children. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia.


Kristy Rodriguez, The Sampson Foundation
Kristy Sampson Rodriguez is the Lead Trustee of the Myles D. and J. Faye Sampson Family Foundation, which works to create healthy communities by promoting access, awareness, research and education on healthy food choices and integrative medicine. In addition to this she also serves on the board of Real Food For Kids, in Fairfax, VA. Kristy graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2000 with a BA in Business Management and Dance, and received a Masters Degree in Multicultural Education from George Mason University in 2005. Along with her education degree, she also studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City and at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Her goal is to combine her knowledge base of yoga, nutrition, education, holistic health, philanthropy and personal experiences to guide, support and inspire others to create a healthier, happier and more active lifestyles.


Lana Volftsun, Giving Circles Fund
Lana Volftsun is the Executive Director of the Giving Circles Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing persistent global challenges by building a broad-based movement for next generation philanthropy. She is Founder of of jenerocity, a giving circle project for young Jewish professionals in DC and is Chair and member of the Slingshot Fund Committee, a fund which provides support for a subset of innovative Jewish organizations featured in the Slingshot Guide. In addition, Lana facilitates the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute (JYPI) program in Northern Virginia, sits on the Issues Committee for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, is on the Young Leadership Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and sits on the board of her family’s foundation.


Lauri Burns, The Teen Project
Lauri Burns is an ideal example of someone who has been able to use her own adverse experiences and personal past with drug addiction to help others. The Teen Project, whose 100-bed free drug treatment program has treated 150 girls already since its initial opening in May of 2014 is more than just a chemical rehab. It is life transformation center where a combination of high school education, technical training and job training gives the participants an opportunity for successful transition to adulthood. The Teen Project is the culmination of Lauri’s “paying it forward” for the past seven years. This much needed organization is an umbrella for a comprehensive set of programs for homeless foster youth and girls who have been trafficked as sex workers. She also has developed several technology based solutions to facilitate her work, such as a national cell-phone-based emergency housing finder called Text Shelter. Lauri has been celebrated by both local and international press such as People Magazine, CNN, Huffington Post, Family Circle, CBS/NBC/FOX News, and Oprah for her work with America’s most vulnerable youth. The Teen Project continues to expand under Lauri’s guidance and provide a promising future and hope for young people that might not otherwise have these opportunities


Laurie Michaels, Open Road Alliance
Laurie Michaels is an individual philanthropist based in Aspen, CO. In 2012, she founded the private philanthropic investment fund, Open Road Alliance. The world is unpredictable. No matter how rigorous your planning, at some point events may throw you off script. Yet, the philanthropic financial market is not structured to deal with the unexpected. When it comes to meeting the unexpected, most traditional grant programs are inflexible, restrictive, and slow. The result of this structure leaves even the best-conceived programs with little or no access to capital when unanticipated obstacles are encountered mid-implementation. To address this issue, Open Road provides grant capital to address the unexpected. Specifically, OR reserves its charitable and recoverable investments for when a mid-implementation project encounters an unexpected roadblock or opportunity. We provide the necessary, fast, flexible capital to help organizations overcome the unexpected. Through this strategy we seek to maximize financial leverage and social return. Open Road’s strategy supports projects across all sectors and geographies. Laurie has served on the board of the Aspen Community Foundation for twelve years and has been board chair for the last four years, overseeing a collective impact initiative in the greater Roaring Fork valley. Until recently, she maintained a psychology practice in Aspen.


Maggie Dunne, Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
Maggie Dunne is CEO & Founder of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, a nonprofit that empowers youth in the Pine Ridge Reservation, SD through opportunities in arts, sports, leadership and mentorship. Maggie is a Leadership Council Member for Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and formerly worked for Pueblo de Cochiti Tribal Council and the Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Selected awards include: Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship; President’s Call to Service; Women in the World Foundation Next Generation Leader; Grand Prize, Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Woman; twice awarded Critical Language Scholarships from the State Department to study Bengali.
On Twitter: @lakota_children


Mandi Simon, Simon Says Give
At age 7, our Founder, Mandi Simon, knew she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Most importantly, the lives of other kids! A few months before Mandi’s 8th birthday, she shared her vision to start a company. Dina Simon, her mom, soon realized Mandi was describing a business plan, without even knowing it. Dina captured the story, vision and passion to raise money to help kids in-need. To Mandi, a kid in-need is someone that has to worry about where to call home, where to go to be safe, or how to get clothes, food and school supplies. Mandi was soon asked what she would name her company. With the last name Simon, it was pretty easy to come up with “Simon Says Give”. From that day forward, Simon Says Give was born, and has blossomed into a value oriented charity foundation, grown almost entirely by kids.


Marc Pollick, Giving Back Fund
Marc Pollick graduated from the University of Chicago before pursuing his doctoral studies at Boston University under the direction of Professor Elie Wiesel, 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. After serving as Executive Director of the Zachor Institute for Holocaust Studies and Assistant Director of Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies, Pollick founded The Elie Wiesel Institute for Humanitarian Studies. Pollick quickly came to appreciate the unique power inherent in leveraging celebrity and wealth on behalf of philanthropy. Thus, in 1997, he established The Giving Back Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides philanthropic consulting and management to athletes, entertainers, business entrepreneurs and corporations.


Margot Hirsch, Smart Tech Challenges Foundation
In her current role as President of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, a non-profit focused on reducing gun violence through technology and innovation, Margot Hirsch is responsible for overall operations and fundraising. Prior to joining STCF, Margot was Regional Vice President of Blackboard, Inc. were she led international sales for the Connect division of Blackboard, a leading provider of learning solutions to the education market. With over 25 years of sales and business development in the technology industry, Margot has held business development and sales management roles at Skillsoft, eProsper, Angel Investors, Global Village and American Express. Margot is a graduate of the University of Colorado .
On Twitter: @SmartTechFDN


Mary Galeti, Tecovas Foundation
Mary Galeti serves as the Vice-Chair of the Tecovas Foundation which funds social innovation and entrepreneurship by focusing on leveraging new service models. She also served on the Board of the Council on Foundations and currently serves as a member of the Board of the Global Shapers. She is the Vice-Chair of the StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellowship Program and was was recently named a Babson Senior Fellow on Social Innovation. Mary has spoken on the issues of generational transition and leadership cultivation in philanthropy and the nonprofit space at many venues, including the Council on Foundations, the White House, the UN, and Nexus.
On Twitter: @tecovasfound


Megan Nicholson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Megan Nicholson is a Policy Analyst with ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI). She specializes in clean energy policy, the federal energy budget, the role of the Department of Defense in the energy innovation ecosystem, and international environmental policy. She also manages CCEI’s Energy Innovation Tracker, a public database of federal investments in energy innovation down to the project level, which is widely used as an analytical resource by policymakers, think tanks, and academics. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Forbes, Politico and MIT Technology Review, among others. Prior to joining ITIF, Megan interned with the World Bank’s Global Environmental Facility, where she assisted with the research and writing of a publication on the organization’s 20-year contribution to eliminating barriers to energy efficiency investment in developing countries. She graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies.


Melissa Bradley, Georgetown University
Melissa L. Bradley has more than 20 years of entrepreneurship, investment and leadership experience. She is a Professor of Practice at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University where she teaches impact investing, social entrepreneurship, P2P economies and innovation. Melissa also serves as a faculty advisor for the Social Venture Lab and runs experiential learning opportunities for students across the entire University. Previously Melissa served as the Chief Strategy Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As a presidential appointee, Melissa successfully revised the CNCS four-year strategic plan, completed a feasibility study for a congressionally chartered foundation, and served as the policy lead on the Performance Partnerships Pilot for Disconnected Youth (P3). She was responsible for securing over $15M of public and private sector partnerships to support the President’s Task Force on Expanding National Service in one year; this included securing the largest corporate sponsored AmeriCorps program with the Citi Foundation with an investment of $10M. Melissa also served as a member of a cross-agency team to develop and draft the NOFO for an $11M Pay for Success pilot, the second largest offered by the federal government. During her tenure at CNCS, Melissa was detailed to the Department of Education to continue her work in support of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, designed to bring attention to, and support for decreasing, the disparities facing boys and young men of color. As part of the launch of the President’s initiative, Melissa has authored the chapter on mentoring, launched the national engagement call to action for mentors, served as agency lead on the interagency task force, and identified public-private partnerships to support this important work which included a $13M commitment from AT&T. Before joining CNCS, Melissa served as Chief Executive Officer of Tides, a network of entities committed to helping donors and doers create a better world. As the first professional CEO she managed over 120 staff in four locations with an annual budget over $20 million. Under Melissa’s leadership, the organization doubled the number of donors in one year and generated the highest contributions since 2000. Melissa’s corporate experience includes her role as Director of Investment Services at CIT GAP Funds, which provides seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology and life science companies. She also served as Vice President at UBS in the Private Client Group, where she was responsible for developing and releasing online properties to increase wallet share from high net-worth clients. Melissa currently serves as a board member to Aeris, Office Depot Foundation and ideas42. She serves as an Advisor to Wallet AI, the Center for the Advancement of Social Enterprise (CASE) at Duke University, LGBTQ Center at Georgetown University and Founding Advisor to the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs. She is also Founder and Former Chair of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance and served as a board member on the Georgetown University Board of Governors for more than 10 years. Melissa’s educational background includes graduation from Georgetown University in 1989 with a bachelor’s of science degree in Finance from the School of Business, and a master’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from American University in 1993.
On Twitter: @tidesgal


Meryl Comer, Beene Foundation
Meryl Comer is president and CEO of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative, which promotes early diagnosis, global innovation challenges, mhealth technology solutions and national public service campaigns like Geoffrey Beene’s Rock Stars of Science™. A co-founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, Comer is the recipient of the 2014 Wertheim Global Medical Leadership Award, 2007 Proxmire Award and 2005 Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award. In 2012, she led the formation of the 21st Century BrainTrust® (21CBT), a non-profit partnership to advance mobile health technologies and brain health. Comer has been the subject of primetime news stories by ABC’s Nightline and the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. One hundred percent of proceeds from her new New York Times Bestseller book, Slow Dancing with a Stranger, will support Alzheimer’s research.


Michael Davidson, Gen Next, Inc.
Michael P. Davidson connects innovative and successful leaders to dynamic mission-based ideas and organizations, creating powerful networks that help make the world better. As CEO of Gen Next, an exclusive organization of successful individuals engaged with ensuring future generations have access to great opportunities. Michael works with emerging and established leaders and helps them take on tomorrow’s biggest societal challenges.
Michael helped launch Gen Next, Inc. as a Membership organization in 2008, after starting with Generation Next PAC in 2005. While Michael has been CEO, Gen Next has grown from ten Members in Southern California to a multi-million dollar enterprise, with close to 250 Members nationwide and operations in six major cities and growing. He has helped engage some of the brightest, most innovative entrepreneurs and leaders from around the U.S. and world in Gen Next’s mission to ensure future generations have opportunity to flourish. Gen Next regularly hosts programs with thoughts leaders, dignitaries, elected officials, and high-profile business executives, allowing its Members to dialogue on global issues with the world’s foremost experts and decision makers. Michael has also lead Gen Next delegations to key regions around the world, including China, Western Europe, Brazil, Russia, and the Middle East, in order to stay at the leading edge of global trends. Michael’s leadership has helped Gen Next provide unmatched experiences to its Members and partners.
In addition to his leadership of Gen Next, Michael is also the President of the Gen Next Foundation (GNF), which utilizes venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship strategies to create high-impact solutions in the areas of economic opportunity, education, and global security. Through 2013, the Gen Next Foundation raised more than $1.6 million. Michael has helped lead GNF to significant partnerships, including collaborations with Google Ideas, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, on projects like AgainstViolentExtremism.org (AVE).
Michael’s work supporting great missions and exploring generational issues goes beyond Gen Next. He also serves on the U.S. Board of Directors for the Quilliam Foundation, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank, which was created to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and community in a globalized world. He is also a Fellow at the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. He is also a Founding Member or PTTOW!, an annual summit that discusses culture, media, and marketing to consumers between the ages of 14 and 34. In the private sector, Michael was on the Board of Managers for PersonalCare Physicians from 2012 to 213, a medical concierge healthcare company based in Newport Beach, CA. He also currently serves on the Board of Advisors of EQtainment, an educational media company that makes fun and affordable games, toys, and videos to promote emotional intelligence.
Prior to Gen Next, Michael was a candidate in a national political campaign, for which two governors, more than thirty Members of Congress, and senior political operatives endorsed him. His campaign was profiled in a The New Republic Magazine cover story, Roll Call, The Hill, and The Los Angeles Times.
Michael has provided commentary for CNN, Fox News, MTV, C-Span, KABC radio, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Business Journal, Orange County Register, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, California Political Review, Flashreport.org and more.
He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and enjoys spending time with family and friends, travel, movies, trying to play guitar, and reading.
On Twitter: @mpdavidson


Nick Troiano, 2014 Candidate for Pennsylvannia’s 10th District
Nick Troiano is a civic entrepreneur from Milford, PA. He ran for U.S. Congress as an independent, citizen-funded candidate from Pennsylvania’s 10th District in the 2014 election. He was formerly a co-founder and Communications Director for The Can Kicks Back. Nick holds a Master’s degree in American Government from Georgetown University.


Nkechi Taifa, Open Society Foundations
Nkechi Taifa is a senior policy analyst for civil and criminal justice reform at the Open Society Foundations. She works to influence the public policy debate in support of comprehensive justice reform. Taifa focuses on issues involving federal sentencing reform, accountability in federal law enforcement, re-entry of previously incarcerated persons, and prison reform. She has played a major role in raising visibility of issues involving unequal justice. Taifa also convenes the Justice Roundtable, a Washington-based advocacy network advancing federal criminal justice policy reforms. Prior to joining the Foundations, Taifa served for ten years as an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law teaching the seminar “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.” She was the founding director of the Law School’s award-winning Equal Justice Program, where she developed and created new opportunities for public interest and pro bono activities. Taifa spent four years as legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, serving as the principal spokesperson for the ACLU Washington office on criminal justice and civil rights issues. Prior to that position, Taifa was also public policy counsel for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund and worked as a staff attorney for the National Prison Project. She also maintained a private law practice specializing in the representation of indigent adults and juveniles as well as employment discrimination law.


Pat Nolan, American Conservative Union
Pat Nolan is the Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform. Launched in 2014, The Center will inform and mobilize public support for criminal justice reforms based on conservative principles, and will work with government officials to effectively implement those reforms. Nolan is a leading voice on criminal justice reform, highlighting the skyrocketing costs of prison, fiscal responsibility in the criminal justice system and reforms for non-violent offenders. He moderated a prominent panel at CPAC 2014 on prison reform, featuring Texas Gov. Rick Perry that received widespread media attention. He is a leader of the Right on Crime project— a national movement of conservative leaders supporting sensible and proven reforms to our criminal justice system – policies that will contain prison costs while keeping the public safe. Previously, he served for 15 years in the California State Assembly, four of those as the Assembly Republican Leader. He was a leader on crime issues, particularly on behalf of victims’ rights, was one of the original sponsors of the Victims’ Bill of Rights (Proposition 15), and was awarded the “Victims Advocate Award” by Parents of Murdered Children. Nolan was targeted for prosecution for a campaign contribution he accepted which turned out to be part of an FBI sting. He pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and served 29 months in federal custody. Before entering prison a friend his told him that “for centuries Christians have left their day-to-day world, humbled themselves, done menial labor, prayed and studied their faith. We call that a monastery. View this time as your monastic experience.” Pat credits this friend with helping him enter prison in a frame of mind which allowed him to put the time to good use. Pat says he drew great comfort from the story of Joseph in Genesis. “Man intended it for evil, but God intended it for good.”


Patrick Gage, Carlson Family Foundation
Patrick Gage is a sophomore at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. He runs two political blogs, The Elephant in the Corner and The Right Way, serves as the Georgetown University College Republicans’ Director of Publications, and co-chairs the Nexus Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Working Group. As a fourth generation member of the Curtis L. Carlson family (Radisson Hotels, Country Inns and Suites, Carlson Wagonlit Travel), philanthropy has been part of Patrick’s life since the day he was born. He and his family are especially interested in fighting human trafficking.
On Twitter: @GagePatrick


Randolph Adler, RK ADLER LLP
Randolph K. Adler, Jr. is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of RK ADLER LLP, one of New York’s premier boutique law firms for startups, venture-backed businesses, and small to mid-cap emerging growth companies. Before co-founding the firm, Randy practiced law at the Manhattan office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Randy serves as an advisor to a handful of select companies, including new media start-ups. Notably, he was part of the founding team of Vine, which he advised from its founding to its acquisition by Twitter. Randy is co-chairman of the Board of Directors of A Caring Hand, The Billy Esposito Foundation, a New York not-for-profit that established and operates the only free-standing bereavement program in New York City.
On Twitter: @randolphadler


Samuel Bonsey, The ImPact
Samuel Bonsey is the Director of Operations for The ImPact, a nonprofit member organization comprised of investors who pledge to make impact investments, track their financial performance and social impact, and share that data with others who have made The Pact. He is also co-founder of the 2Seeds Network, an NGO building a network of community-based development projects in Tanzania. An active impact investor, Sam has served in various leadership roles with Keller Enterprises, a private company dedicated to venture investing, agriculture, and philanthropy. Sam graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in History and Literature. Currently living in New York, he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and enjoys teaching Swahili and rooting for Boston sports teams.
On Twitter: @swkbonsey


Sanjay Rawal, Food Chains
Sanjay Rawal spent over a decade working in the non-profit and government sectors while running a small agricultural genetics company with his father, Dr. Kanti Rawal. After working with Abby Disney and Gini Reticker as a consultant to their hit documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008), he was bit by the film bug. His first short, Ocean Monk (2010), took the Best Short Doc Prize (online) at the 2010 St. Louis Film Festival. His second film, Challenging Impossibility (2011), premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and played in 75 more, winning a number of awards. Food Chains is his first feature.


Sara Ojjeh, Women’s Investment Network
Sara Ojjeh is a philanthropist dedicated to international development, health, education and human rights. She is a DONA trained doula and an advocate for maternal health and birthrights. She was a Director at the Swiss Philanthropy Fund, a non-profit helping women and children across the world live better lives. Sara spent two years building Michael Kors’ CSR platform including a partnership with the World Food Programme and the “Watch Hunger Stop” campaign. In 2013, Sara joined a girls and women’s initiative led by PSI and co-chaired by Melinda Gates. She is pursuing her M.S. in Fundraising and Grantmaking at NYU.
On Twitter: @Sojjeh


Sarah Gardner, Thorn
Prior to joining Thorn, Sarah worked at Free the Slaves, an International NGO dedicated to ending modern day slavery, where she oversaw the Major Giving Program. Originally from Los Angeles but now based in Washington D.C., Sarah leads Thorn’s development efforts to raise support for all programmatic work, identify potential partners and expand Thorn’s network on the East Coast. Sarah holds a B.A. from the University of California Berkeley where she studied Art History and Gender Studies.


Sarah Stranahan, Stranahan Foundation
Sarah Stranahan has more than 20 years of experience in social change philanthropy, mission related investing and community organizing. As a Board member of the Needmor Fund from 1980-2009 she helped design and oversee its grant program in support of community organizing and its integrated mission related investment program. Sarah worked from 2009-2012 as the founding coordinator of the New Economy Network, accelerating the transition to an economy that supports people and the planet, and from 2012-2013 as Program Director at Bolder Giving, where she managed the Bolder Investing and Environmental Justice Initiatives. She is now the Strategic Development Director at Free Speech For People, working to challenge the misuse of corporate power and restore democracy to the people. She currently serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition and the Stranahan Foundation. Sarah lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband Henry Richardson, a glass sculptor.


Scott Resnick, Hardin Design & Development
Scott Resnick serves as the COO of Hardin Design & Development, a software development firm that works on national and international scale with everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx, Coleman Campers, Mercedes Benz and Toyota. Hardin’s work has been featured nation market campaigns, including a recent Apple iPad commercial. Scott oversees business partnerships, internal team development, marketing, and sales for the company. Having been with the company since its creation, Scott is closely connected with the day-to-day activities of Hardin Design & Development. In addition to his role at Hardin, Scott is the visionary and founder of StartingBlock Madison, a 15 million dollar development project that will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and community members to share ideas and create next-generation businesses. Scott is serving his second term on the City of Madison Common Council where he serves on the Plan Commission and Economic Development Committee, and is running for Mayor of Madison in the 2015 election.


Seema Gajwani, Public Welfare Foundation
Seema Gajwani came to the Public Welfare Foundation in 2007 as Program Officer for the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program. She is currently Program Officer for the Criminal Justice Program, running a grantmaking portfolio that is focused primarily on sentencing reform and reform of pretrial policies and practices. Before coming to the Foundation, Ms. Gajwani worked in the Trial Division of the Public Defender Service of Washington, DC. There, she represented juvenile and adult defendants accused of offenses from misdemeanors to homicides at trial. She also trained investigators, new Public Defender Service attorneys, and students from Washington-area law schools in criminal trial practice. Previously, Ms. Gajwani worked as a mentor for formerly incarcerated youth, participated in New York University School of Law’s Capital Defense and Community Defender Clinics, and served as associate editor of the law school’s Moot Court Board. She also interned at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York, the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, the Defender Association of Seattle, the Miami State Attorney’s Office, and with Judge Rudolfo Sorondo on the Florida Circuit Court. Ms. Gajwani received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. from Northwestern University.


Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, P3GM
Sergio Fernandez de Cordova is an internationally recognized entrepreneur, investor & philanthropist working at the intersection of media and leveraging public-private partnerships for social impact. He is co-founder of Innovators Fund, investing in disruptive civic focused ventures, and Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation, which donates millions of dollars’ worth media impressions to non-profits each year. Sergio is a serial entrepreneur and one of the youngest initiators of public-private partnerships to drive business and social change.


Stephanie Cordes, Cordes Foundation
Stephanie Cordes joined her family foundation as Vice Chair after transitioning out of a career in publishing at Self Magazine within the Conde Nast group. Currently, Stephanie advances the foundation’s Women & Girls Portfolio as well as other field building activities that directly leverage capital to organizations that elevate the role of women and girls worldwide. Stephanie is also a long time fashionista and has held various positions in the fashion industry, including working with Allure magazine and conscious luxury brands such as Alberta Ferretti and Maiyet.
On Twitter: @sncordes


Tara Miller, Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute
Tara Maller serves as the Associate Director for Strategic Communications for the Franklin Project. She is also a research fellow in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation. She has recently published articles with ForeignPolicy.com, CNN.com, BlogsofWar.com, Bloomberg View, Al Jazeera America & The Huffington Post. She has also appeared as a commentator on Bloomberg, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Al Jazeera America and HuffPost Live. Tara is also currently a member of the Truman National Security Project and a fellow with the Millennial Action Network. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago. She graduated with a B.A. in government from Dartmouth College.


Ted Cruz, US Senate
Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz is the junior United States Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012, he is the first Cuban American or Latino to hold the office of US Senator from Texas. Cruz is a member of the Republican Party. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008, after being appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Cruz was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation, from 2004 to 2009.


Ted Hart, Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America)
Ted Hart brings extensive experience in internet and global philanthropy as an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on topics related to nonprofit strategy and board/volunteer development both online and offline. He previously served as CEO of Hart Philanthropic Services, an international consultancy to major nonprofits/NGOs. He was critical in the creation of People to People Fundraising, now an online fundraising movement, and the international ePhilanthropy Foundation. He has become the world source in helping nonprofits become more environmentally friendly, founding the “greennonprofits.org” movement and writing the book Going Green for Nonprofits.

Previously, Hart has served as CEO of the University Maryland Medical System Foundation and as Chief Development Officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Bayview Campus. One of the youngest professionals ever awarded the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE), Hart is the editor and author of numerous books and published articles and also hosts the “Nonprofit Coach” radio show. His most recent book is entitled Internet Management for Nonprofits. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member to the Master of Science in Fundraising Management program at Columbia University in New York.

On Twitter: @cafamerica


Timothy Ogden, Financial Access Initiative
Timothy Ogden oversees FAI’s research, communications and operations including the U.S. Financial Diaries Project. Prior to joining the Financial Access Initiative he was the Chief Knowledge Officer at Geneva Global, Inc., an international philanthropy advisory company, and founding editor of Gartner Press. He founded and currently leads Sona Partners, a thought leadership communications firm, where he has helped develop more than 20 books for major publishers. Ogden is co-author
of Toyota Under Fire, and author of the forthcoming Experimental Conversations, a collection of interviews with economists conducting field experiments on poverty alleviation interventions. Ogden also serves as a contributing editor for Alliance Magazine, writes regularly for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and is a member of the board of directors for GiveWell and the Bardet Biedl Syndrome Foundation.
On Twitter: @timothyogden


Timothy Oh, Inventor
Timothy Oh is an 18-year-old mechanical engineering/design dual degree student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. His invention, BASElock, is a biometric-access handgun locking base that boasts a user-centric design. The technology earned a grant from the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation and has already won several pitch and design competitions. He is actively engaging with contacts inside the Los Angeles Police Department for expertise and prototype refinement. He is originally from La Habra, California.


Todd Young, US House of Representatives
Rep. Todd Young represents the 9th District of Indiana, a thirteen county area in the southeast corner of the state. He currently serves on the House Ways and Means committee which has jurisdiction over taxes, health care, Social Security, Medicare, international trade and welfare. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, he serves on both the Select Revenue Measures and Human Resources Subcommittees. Previously, he served on the House Armed Services Committee and House Budget Committee.


Tulsi Gabbard, US House of Representatives
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), 33, represents the 2nd District of Hawaii and currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She is one of the first two female combat veterans, first Hindu and first female of Samoan ancestry to ever serve as a member of the U.S. Congress. Rep. Gabbard is also the youngest woman serving in Congress.


Valerie Weisler, The Validation Project
Valerie Weisler founded The Validation Project in January of 2013. She’s a writer, volunteer, and Ellen DeGeneres’s #1 fan. Aside from being the head of an organization committed to uniting the next generation of do-gooders, Val loves to travel, explore, and watch Big Bang Theory. You can chat her up at thevalidationproject@gmail.com.


Vilas Dhar, Next Mile Project
Vilas Dhar is an American attorney, social entrepreneur and philanthropist. Vilas is a noted expert on impact investing and new models for private/public partnerships, and has lectured globally, advised governments, and been profiled/published in media ranging from Forbes Magazine to the Harvard Business Review. At Dhar Law, LLP, Vilas has built a nationally recognized platform for socially conscious legal engagement. The firm’s model balances sophisticated high profile private representation with a practice advising governments, development actors, and nonprofits on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. Beyond legal counsel, Vilas founded and directs the Next Mile Project, a first of its kind accelerator fostering non-profit collaboration and growth through innovative philanthropy. Currently based in Boston with 22 member organizations representing programmatic impact in 15 countries, the Next Mile Project will soon expand nationally. He is currently based in Boston.

On Twitter: @vilasdhar


Wayne Farmer, Malaga Ventures
Wayne Michael Farmer has nearly a decade of experience advising foundations, philanthropists and families and helped to start or scale several successful non- and for-profit organizations. World Links, founded by former World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn, was launched from inside the World Bank when Wayne was recruited to build the board and diversify revenue. Prior to World Links, Wayne helped to launch the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Prior to joining Arabella Advisors Wayne was a director for The HealthStore Foundation, a senior director to KaBOOM!, a board member to Living Goods and an advisor to numerous social ventures. Wayne is active in many philanthropy networks including food activism, veterans’ issues, impact investing, documentary film and modern slavery. Wayne has presented and organized panel sessions and keynotes at many national and international conferences such as the National Prayer Breakfast, the World Economic Forum, Nexus Summit, Family Office Association, Ashoka Changemakers, Clinton Global Initiative, Global Philanthropy Forum, Council on Foundations, the Philanthropy Roundtable and many others. Wayne has a B.A. in English Literature from Washington College and a Masters in Fine Arts.


William Ruger, Chales Koch Foundation
William Ruger serves as the vice president, research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute and the vice president for research at the Charles Koch Foundation. Before coming to CKI, he was most recently an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas State University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. Ruger earned his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University and an A.B. in Government from the College of William and Mary. He is the author of a biography titled Milton Friedman and co-author of two books on state politics: Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom and The State of Texas: Government, Politics, and Policy. Ruger’s recent scholarly articles appeared in International Studies Quarterly, Economics of Governance, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. He has been interviewed frequently for television and radio, including appearances on MSNBC, Fox News, and Fox Business; his op-eds have been published across the country by, among others, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, and the New York Daily News. Ruger is a veteran of the Afghanistan War and an officer in the U.S. Navy (Reserve Component).


Zac Russell, The Russell Family Foundation
Zac Russell founded Russallo in 2013, a firm focused in using stories to develop business and organizational strategy. He works with and is an advocate for next generation philanthropy, impact investing, and global entrepreneurship for non-profits and foundations. Zac has worked as a Hawaiian cattle hand, Marketing for FOURPOINTS a French international equities fund manager. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in Nonfiction Writing and global economics. Zac serves on the board of directors of the Russell Family Foundation as a part of their investment committee.
On Twitter: @Russallo