Gara LaMarche is president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, an international grantmaking foundation dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. Before joining Atlantic, LaMarche held executive positions at various human rights organizations, including vice president and director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute, associate director of Human Rights Watch and director of its Free Expression Project, and director of the Freedom-to-Write Program of PEN American Center. In addition, he was associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) New York branch and executive director of the ACLU of Texas. LaMarche is the author of numerous articles on human rights and social justice issues and is the editor of “Speech and Equality: Do We Really Have to Choose?” LaMarche serves on the boards of The White House Project, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the Leadership Council of Hispanics in Philanthropy.
Akwasi Aidoo is the founding executive director of TrustAfrica, with extensive experience in philanthropy in Africa. TrustAfrica is a foundation dedicated to securing democracy and equitable development in Africa. Aidoo’s previous positions include regional program officer for West and Central Africa at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), head of the Ford Foundation’s offices in Senegal and Nigeria, and director of the Ford Foundation’s Special Initiative for Africa. Aidoo serves as a director on boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Resource Alliance, International Beliefs and Values Institute, the Fund for Global Human Rights, Amandla Development, the Soros Foundation’s AfriMAP initiative, and the Global Network Committee of the Ash Institute at Harvard University. In addition, he chairs the executive committee of the Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group. Aidoo has also taught at universities in Ghana, Tanzania, and the United States.
Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based institution that is helping to build the global interfaith youth movement. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009 and author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith, Patel is also a regular contributor to The Washington Post, National Public Radio and CNN, and he and has written for the Chicago Tribune, the Review of Faith and International Affairs, and the Sunday Times of India. He is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and on the Aga Khan Foundation, USA National Committee. In addition, Patel is a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum and an Ashoka Fellow.
Susan Dentzer is editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation's leading journal of health policy, and an on-air analyst on health issues with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Dentzer assumed the job of editor-in-chief on May 1, 2008, after a decade as the on-air health correspondent for The NewsHour. Health Affairs, which has been called the nation's health policy "Bible," is a peer-reviewed journal published by Project HOPE that appears bimonthly in print, with additional online entries published weekly at www.healthaffairs.org. Prior to joining The NewsHour in 1998, Dentzer was chief economics correspondent and economics columnist for U.S. News & World Report, where she served from 1987 to 1997. Before joining U.S. News, Dentzer was at Newsweek, where she was a senior writer covering business news until 1987. Dentzer's work in television has included appearances as a regular analyst or commentator on CNN and The McLaughlin Group.
Angela Glover Blackwell is founder and CEO of PolicyLink, a national, nonprofit research and action institute that works collaboratively to develop and implement local, state, and federal policies to achieve economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure. Prior to founding PolicyLink in 1999, Blackwell served as senior vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s Domestic and Cultural divisions. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization. From 1977 to 1987, Blackwell was a partner at Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm. Blackwell is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future.
Kati Haycock is president of Education Trust, a Washington-based education organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college—with particular focus on closing the opportunity and achievement gaps between low-income and minority students and their peers.
Haycock is one of the nation’s leading child advocates in education. She previously served as executive vice president of the Children's Defense Fund, the nation's largest child-advocacy organization. Haycock also founded and served as president of the Achievement Council, a California statewide organization that helps teachers and principals in predominantly minority schools improve student achievement. Prior to that, she served as director of the outreach and student affirmative-action programs for the nine-campus University of California System. Haycock serves on the boards of the Hunt Institute for Education Leadership and Policy and the New Teacher Project, where she is also board chair, and she is a former board member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
David R. Williams is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His first six years as a faculty member were at Yale University, where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health. His next 14 years were at the University of Michigan, where he served as the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a senior research scientist at the Institute of Social Research, and a professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Williams is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health. His research has focused on trends and determinants of socioeconomic and racial disparities in health, the effects of racism on health, and the ways in which religious involvement can affect health. Williams is the author of more than 150 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections, and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health, and epidemiology.
Derek Yach is senior vice president of global health policy at PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies. Yach is an internationally recognized public health policy leader and is responsible for setting the company's global health and wellness policy, working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and inter-governmental organizations to establish productive relationships, such as PepsiCo's 2006 partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association to create a school policy offering healthier choices of beverages and foods/snacks in schools. Yach has held key leadership positions related to global health and the advancement of health, wellness, and chronic disease research, prevention, and control, including positions at the World Health Organization (WHO), where he was representative of the director general and the executive director of noncommunicable diseases and mental health; Yale University, where he was a professor of Public Health and division head of Global Health; and the Rockefeller Foundation, where he served as director of Global Health.
Andreas Schleicher is head of the Indicators and Analysis Division at the Directorate for Education in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As division head, Schleicher’s responsibilities include directing the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the OECD Indicators of Education Systems programme (INES) and steering the development of new projects, such as the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). At the OECD, he has also held the posts of deputy head of the Statistics and Indicators Division in the former Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs and project manager in the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). Before joining the OECD, Schleicher served as director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA) within the Institute for Educational Research in the Netherlands and international coordinator for the IEA Reading Literacy Study at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
Deepak Bhargava is executive director of the Center for Community Change, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop the power and capacity of low-income people to change the policies and institutions that affect their lives. During his tenure, Bhargava has sharpened the Center's focus on grassroots community organizing as the central strategy for social justice and on public policy change as the key lever to improve poor people's lives. He conceived and led the Center's work on immigration reform, spearheaded the creation of innovative new projects that target the next generation of community organizers and bring low-income voters into the electoral process, and has provided intellectual leadership on a variety of issues, including the future of the progressive movement in the United States, poverty, and racial and economic justice. Bhargava currently serves on the boards of the Discount Foundation, the League of Education Voters, The Nation editorial board, the National Advisory Board for the Open Society Institute, and Democracia Ahora.
Van Jones is founder of Green For All, a national nongovernmental organization (NGO), dedicated to "building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty." Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. He is also a co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change, an advocacy group for African Americans. Jones is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, “The Green-Collar Economy”, and served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. He is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress as well as a senior policy advisor at Green For All. In addition, Jones holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Avila Kilmurray is director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, an independent, charitable, grantmaking organization whose mission is to drive social change. Kilmurray has been working in Northern Ireland since 1975, through community work in Derry, a Community Education Project in Magee, a range of anti-poverty initiatives, and through establishing the Women’s Aid organization. She has previously worked with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action and as coordinator of the Rural Action Project. In 1990, she was appointed the first women’s officer for the Transport & General Workers’ Union (Ireland) and has served on the Northern Ireland Committee and on the Executive Councils of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Kilmurray is currently a board member of the Community Development Foundation (U.K), and she was also active in the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement, was a founding member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, and was a member of the Coalition’s negotiating team for the Belfast Agreement.
Kumaran (Kumi) Naidoo is executive director of Greenpeace International. An activist and a Rhodes Scholar, Naidoo was part of the successful struggle against apartheid in his native South Africa. For 10 years, he served as the general secretary of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. Today, Naidoo sits on the board of Greenpeace Africa and chairs the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA). He was also one of the founders of Global Call to Action Against Poverty, which has grown since 2005 into a coalition of anti-poverty campaigners from over 100 countries. Naidoo was founding executive director of the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), whose mandate is to ensure that the traditions of civil society continue to serve the people of South Africa. In addition, Naidoo held several leadership positions on a wide range of education, development, and social justice initiatives and remains a board member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development.
Katherine Fulton is president of the Monitor Institute and a partner of the Monitor Group, which is dedicated to helping innovative leaders develop and achieve sustainable solutions to significant social and environmental problems. Fulton has spent three decades chronicling and catalyzing social change as a leader, strategist, teacher, editor, writer, speaker, and advisor. She is passionately interested in how private resources can be used more effectively to create public good, and in recent years, her work has increasingly focused on how philanthropy and social investing can adapt to a rapidly evolving global context. Fulton has advised many leading philanthropists and foundations, given dozens of major speeches about the future of philanthropy, and co-authored several publications, including “Investing for Social and Environmental Impact: A Blueprint for Catalyzing an Emerging Industry,” “Looking Out for the Future: An Orientation for Twenty-First Century Philanthropists,” “ On the Brink of New Promise: The Future of U.S. Community Foundations,” and “What If? The Art of Scenario Thinking for Nonprofits.”
Andrew Hargadon is professor of technology management and Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis. Hargadon's research focuses on the effective management of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies. He has written extensively on knowledge and technology brokering and the role of learning and knowledge management in innovation. He has also published numerous articles and chapters in leading scholarly and applied publications. His research has been used to develop or guide new innovation programs in organizations as diverse as Hewlett-Packard, Clorox, and Silicon Valley start-ups. Hargadon teaches corporate executive programs and serves on the advisory boards for Physic Ventures and American River Ventures. As the founding director of two key centers at the University of California, Davis—the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Energy Efficiency Center—Hargadon is at the forefront of teaching, research, and practice in cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship.
Judith Rodin is president of the Rockefeller Foundation, where she has recalibrated its focus for the 21st century so that, today, the Foundation helps ensure that more people can tap into the benefits of globalization while developing stronger resilience to risks, affirming its mission, to “promote the well-being” of humanity. Rodin was previously president of the University of Pennsylvania, the first woman to lead an Ivy League institution, and provost of Yale University. At Penn, she presided over an unprecedented decade of growth and progress that transformed the institution, its campus, and community. Under her leadership, Penn doubled its research funding and tripled both its annual fundraising and the size of its endowment. At Yale University, she served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences before becoming provost. Rodin participates in the annual World Economic Forum and serves on several boards, including Brookings Institution, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Global Humanitarian Forum, and Clinton Global Initiative’s poverty alleviation track.
Charles P. Rose is general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, where he serves as the chief legal officer for the Department and as the legal adviser to the secretary of Education on all matters affecting the Department's programs and activities. Prior to his appointment in 2009, Rose was engaged in the private practice of law. He was a founding partner and corporate secretary of Franczek Radelet P.C., where he represented school districts, municipalities, and other public employers across Illinois with respect to labor relations and collective bargaining matters, general matters of employment law, and education law. While in private practice, Rose also advised Illinois' leading education and business organizations on matters of education reform and legislation. He was a founding member of the board of directors of Advance Illinois, a statewide, independent nonprofit organization whose vision is to help ensure that Illinois public schools prepare every child to compete in the global economy. In addition, Rose served on the Chicago advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves and was an inaugural member of the advisory board of the National College of Education at National-Louis University.
Governor Bob Wise, author of “Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation,” is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to develop a national consensus and policy agenda to transform American high schools. Under his leadership, the Alliance has become a leading authority on high school policy and reforms to improve America’s secondary education system. Wise frequently testifies before the U.S. Congress and regularly appears on national television and radio programs as an education reform expert and commentator. He was governor of West Virginia from 2001 to 2005 and previously served as a nine-term U.S. Congressman representing West Virginia’s 2nd District. As governor, Wise is credited with creating the PROMISE scholarship, which allows many West Virginia students to attend any public, state university free of charge, and he was also the first governor to propose full funding for the Higher Education Grant Program.