Civic Learning Week Opening Forum

Tuesday, Mar 7, 2023 | National Archives, Washington D.C.

Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m.

Registration and Refreshments

9:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

  • Debra Steidel Wall, Acting Archivist of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Louise Dubé, Executive Director, iCivics
9:55 a.m.

Civic Education For a Plural Yet Shared Nation

Moderated by Danielle Allen, Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University

  • Christina Grant, State Superintendent of Education, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Benjamin Klutsey, Director, Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange and Director, Academic Outreach, George Mason University Mercatus Center
  • Dan Vallone, Director, More in Common USA

How do we define a deeper civic learning and development of a civic identity that goes beyond ideologies that threaten ever-increasing polarization? This panel will discuss recent data on perceptions around civic language; the resulting challenges that arise for providing high-quality civic education for each and every student in this nation; and the value in fostering pluralism and civil exchange.

10:40 a.m.

What State Leaders Can Do to Prioritize Civic Learning

Moderated by Danielle Allen, Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University

  • Governor Christopher T. Sununu, Governor of New Hampshire
10:50 a.m.

What’s New in Research: Evidence and Impact of Civic Learning

Moderated by Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy, Co-Hosts, Civics 101 Podcast

  • Joseph Kahne, Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics; Co-Director, Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG), University of California, Riverside
  • Julia A. Kaufman, Senior Policy Researcher; Co-director, RAND American Educator Panels; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Hear from leading researchers about findings on the impact of civic learning across disciplines, how the political environment plays a role in schools, and what high-quality civic education looks like in practice. Panelists will also discuss what’s on the horizon for the field of civics, including additional infrastructure and research needs.

Reports:
11:20 a.m.

Break

11:55 a.m.

Democracy Starts Here: Civics for All of US at the National Archives

  • Lee Glazer, Director, Museum Programs Division, National Archives and Records Administration
12:05 p.m.

A Dialogue about Civic Education with Students, Parents, and Educators

Moderated by Andrea Foggy-Paxton, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Education Leaders of Color; Founder, Social Studies Accelerator

  • Tanisha Carpenter, Parent and Educator, Baltimore, MD
  • Amber Coleman-Mortley, Parent and Education Advocate, Washington, DC
  • Roman Messali, Student, Potomac, MD; Chair of Civics Unplugged Steering Committee
  • Garvey Mortley, Student, Montgomery Virtual Academy/Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda, MD
  • Sarah Rivera, Student, Fairfax County, VA; iCivics Equity in Civics Youth Fellow
  • Neil Wrona, Educator, Howard County Public Schools, MD

Polling data consistently tells us that people across the political spectrum see civic education as a key solution to current challenges we’re facing as a nation. But what does a high-quality civic education look like from the perspective of those most directly involved? Hear from students, parents, and teachers about the importance of civics in sustaining and strengthening our constitutional democracy.

12:50 p.m.

Preparing Students for Digital Democracy: the Frontier of Information Literacy in K-12 Civic Education

Moderated by Crystal Patterson, President, Washington Media Group

  • Yuval Levin, Founding and Current Editor, National Affairs; Director, Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
  • Miriam Vogel, President and CEO, EqualAI
  • Sam Wineburg, Margaret Jacks Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University

Many state laws now mandate the teaching of “media literacy” but exactly what skills students need for a digital democracy are often not clearly delineated. This panel will discuss how civic education can help students learn to identify mis- and dis-information and become responsible participants in a democratic society that involves continuous technological innovations, including artificial intelligence.

1:30 p.m.

Why Civics Matters

  • Brandon Short, Current Portfolio Manager; PGIM Real Estate, New York Giants (2000–2003, 2006) and Carolina Panthers (2004–2005), National Football League; All-American; Penn State University (1999)
1:40 p.m.

Call to Action: What do I do now?

  • Shawn Healy, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, iCivics
  • Rajiv Vinnakota, President, Institute for Citizens & Scholars
1:55 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Speaker Biographies

In order of appearance

Debra Steidel Wall

Debra Steidel Wall

Acting Archivist of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration

Debra Steidel Wall became Acting Archivist of the United States in May 2022 upon the retirement of 10th Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. She was appointed as Deputy Archivist of the United States in July 2011 and previously served as the agency’s Chief of Staff (2008–2011) and in a variety of management positions relating to bringing NARA’s archival holdings to the public online.

She joined the National Archives in 1991 as an archivist trainee with a specialty in film, and holds an undergraduate degree in history and government from Georgetown University, and a graduate degree in film from the American University.

Louise Dubé

Louise Dubé

Executive Director, iCivics

Louise Dubé serves as the Executive Director of iCivics which, as the largest civic education provider in the nation, both champions and re-imagines civic education for American democracy. iCivics is the winner of many awards including the 2018 National Civvys American Civic Collaboration Award from Bridge Alliance; Fast Company’s 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Education Companies; and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Previously, Louise served as Managing Director of Digital Learning at WGBH where she helped launch PBS Learning Media, a platform reaching more than 1.5 million educators. Before WGBH, Louise had a successful career in educational publishing and instructional technology for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, Louise served as a co-founder of CASES, a New York alternative-to-incarceration program where education helps reshape lives.

Louise is the winner of the 2017 People’s Voice award from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, and was also recognized as a 2019 Donaldson Fellow by the Yale School of Management. She began her career as an attorney in Montreal, Canada, and holds a law degree from McGill University, as well as an MBA from Yale University.

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen

Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University

Danielle Allen is James Bryant Conant University Professor and Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics. She is a professor of political philosophy, ethics, and public policy. She is also a seasoned nonprofit leader, democracy advocate, national voice on pandemic response, distinguished author, and mom.

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Danielle’s work to make the world better for young people has taken her from teaching college and leading a $60 million university division to driving change at the helm of a $6 billion foundation, writing as a national opinion columnist, advocating for cannabis legalization, democracy reform, and civic education, and most recently, to running for governor of Massachusetts. During the height of COVID in 2020, Danielle’s leadership in rallying coalitions and building solutions resulted in the country’s first-ever Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience; her policies were adopted in federal legislation and a presidential executive order. Danielle made history as the first Black woman ever to run for statewide office in Massachusetts. She was the 2020 winner of the Library of Congress’ Kluge Prize, which recognizes scholarly achievement in the disciplines not covered by the Nobel Prize. She received the Prize “for her internationally recognized scholarship in political theory and her commitment to improving democratic practice and civics education.”

A past chair of the Mellon Foundation and Pulitzer Prize Board, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Philosophical Society. As a scholar, she currently concentrates on the Democratic Knowledge Project and Justice, Health, and Democracy Impact Initiative, housed at the Safra Center, on the Democracy Renovation Project, housed at Harvard’s Ash Center, and on the Our Common Purpose Commission at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Learning from the natural sciences, she has built a lab to extend the impact of work in the humanities and social sciences.

Her many books include the widely acclaimed Our Declaration: a reading of the Declaration of Independence in defense of equality; Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.; Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus; and the forthcoming Justice by Means of Democracy. She writes a column on constitutional democracy for the Washington Post.

Outside the University, she serves as board chair for Partners In Democracy, where she continues to advocate for democracy reform to create greater voice and access in our democracy, and drive progress towards a new social contract that serves and includes us all. She also serves on the board of the Cambridge Health Alliance. Danielle’s personal website is available here.

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Dr. Christina Grant

Christina Grant

State Superintendent of Education, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Dr. Christina Grant is the State Superintendent of Education for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Dr. Grant has extensive experience overseeing the operations and finances of school systems.

Dr. Grant is a seasoned leader and manager with two decades of experience overseeing complex budgets, accountability systems, and policy and politics across several organizations. Dr. Grant’s leadership is grounded in the belief that diversity and inclusiveness is more than just a phrase but the cornerstone set of advancements needed to truly transform public education and our world.

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Dr. Grant served as the Chief of Charter Schools and Innovation for The School District of Philadelphia. In this capacity, Dr. Grant managed a complex organization, working closely with the Superintendent of Schools and the President of the Board of Education and the Mayor’s Chief Education Officer.

Dr. Grant’s career began as a public school teacher in Harlem; since then, she’s held numerous roles in education, including as Superintendent of the Great Oaks Foundation and Deputy Executive Director at the New York City Department of Education. Dr. Grant has a doctorate in education with a focus on organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania; two master’s degrees: one in organizational leadership from the Teachers College of Columbia University and one in teaching and adolescent reading from Fordham University; and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University.

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Benjamin Klutsey

Benjamin Klutsey

Director, Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange and Director, Academic Outreach, George Mason University Mercatus Center

Ben Klutsey is the Director of Academic Outreach and the Director of the Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He facilitates outreach to faculty leaders and university centers to foster collaborations and knowledge sharing about building academic programs. He was previously the Program Manager for the Financial Markets Working Group and the Program on Monetary Policy at Mercatus.

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Before returning to Mercatus, he worked with the Institute of International Finance, where he analyzed international financial regulations, particularly related to liquidity risk management and risk governance. He received his MA in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and his BA in Government and Philosophy from Lawrence University.

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Dan Vallone

Dan Vallone

Director, More in Common USA

Prior to joining More in Common, Dan worked on education policy and innovation at the state and national level. Previously, Dan served six years active duty as an Army infantry officer, with one tour in Afghanistan. Dan graduated from West Point and earned an MA in Contemporary China from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on a Fulbright Scholarship and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Dan lives in New York City.

Governor Christopher T. Sununu

Governor of New Hampshire

Governor Christopher T. Sununu is the 82nd Governor of the State of New Hampshire and is currently serving his fourth term.

Christopher T. Sununu is the 82nd Governor of the State of New Hampshire and is currently serving his fourth term, receiving in 2020 more votes ever than any candidate in state history.

With Governor Sununu’s leadership, New Hampshire is ranked the #1 state in the country for personal freedoms by Cato Institute.

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Named the nation’s most fiscally responsible governor by Cato Institute, Governor Sununu has delivered three balanced state budgets with no new taxes. In fact, his third budget:

  • Cuts and phases out the Interest & Dividends Tax for retirees,
  • Provides tax relief to employers and small businesses,
  • Reduces property taxes by $100 million,
  • Delivers voluntary paid family medical leave,
  • Spends more money per pupil for public education than ever before.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Sununu took unprecedented action to balance the health and safety of Granite Staters with keeping the state’s economy strong. New Hampshire always ranked among the safest states for Covid. Today, the Granite State is the fastest growing state in the Northeast, has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and the lowest child poverty rate of any state in America.

Early in his tenure Governor Sununu created The Doorway and the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative, both of which have become national models for prevention, treatment and recovery from substance use disorder and are consistently improving results for the citizens of New Hampshire. According to the CDC, New Hampshire in 2021 was one of just four states to reduce drug overdose deaths.

Chris grew up in Salem, NH. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) with a BS in Civil/Environmental Engineering. As an environmental engineer, Chris worked for ten years cleaning up hazardous waste sites across the country.
In 1998, Chris completed a five-month through-hike of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia.
Governor Sununu lives in Newfields with his wife, Valerie, and their three children.

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Nick Capodice

Co-Host, Civics 101 Podcast

Nick Capodice is the co-host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s Civics 101 podcast and co-author of A User’s Guide to Democracy: How America Works. He has worked with educators across the country to encourage the use of podcasts in the classroom. Before NHPR, Nick worked at the Tenement Museum in NYC, where he developed tours and trained educators in facilitated storytelling. He is a recent recipient of the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for helping to foster the American public’s understanding of law for his work on Civics 101’s Supreme Court series.

Hannah McCarthy

Co-Host, Civics 101 Podcast

Hannah McCarthy is the co-host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s Civics 101 podcast and co-author of A User’s Guide to Democracy: How America Works. She is the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award for her work on the radio documentary Powerline and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for fostering the American public’s understanding of law for her work on Civics 101’s Supreme Court series.

Joseph Kahne

Joseph Kahne

Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics; Co-Director, Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG), University of California, Riverside

Joseph Kahne is the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics and Co-Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at the University of California, Riverside. Professor Kahne’s research focuses on the influence of school practices and digital media on youth civic and political development. Currently, with funding from the Institute of Educational Sciences, and in partnership with scholars from Ohio State, Brown, and UCR, CERG has launched and is studying the impact of Connecting Classrooms to Congress (CCTC).

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CCTC is a social studies curricular unit that enables students to learn and deliberate about a controversial societal issue and then participate in an online downhill with their member of Congress. Additionally, Kahne and CERG are currently engaged in related studies of efforts to promote youth voice, lived civics, and a broad vision of social studies reform tied to the Educating for American Democracy roadmap. This work takes place through partnerships with reformers and school districts in CA, IL, NM, FL, and CO. In addition to studying the impact of these curricular experiences on young people’s civic development, Kahne is devoting particular attention to the politics of democratic education. He is also examining the ways the political contexts of school districts shape possibilities for educational reform and the varied ways educators respond.

Professor Kahne was Chair of the MacArthur Foundation’s Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network. Kahne was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship as well as the National Academy of Education’s Initiative on Civic Discourse and Reasoning. He can be reached at jkahne@ucr.edu and his work is available at https://www.civicsurvey.org.

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Julia A. Kaufman

Julia A. Kaufman

Senior Policy Researcher; Co-director, RAND American Educator Panels; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Julia Kaufman is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation where she codirects the American Educator Panels. Her research focuses on how states and school systems can support high-quality instruction and student learning, as well as methods for measuring educator perceptions and instruction.

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She has led studies on how to support students’ civics knowledge, skills, and dispositions; how state policies can encourage effective use of high-quality materials; implementation and student outcomes associated with the strategies of the Louisiana Department of Education; perceptions and implementation of state standards for kindergarten through twelfth-grade students; and implementation, outcomes, and costs associated with pipelines for preparing, hiring, and supporting high-quality school leaders and teachers. Kaufman has also led several projects to develop innovative measures of instructional practice, including measures of student-centered learning and teachers’ mathematics instruction. Prior to coming to RAND, Kaufman’s research focused on the main factors that support teachers’ use of inquiry-based mathematics curricula and the extent to which survey measures can accurately capture teachers’ instruction. She holds a Ph.D. in international education from New York University and an M.A. in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Lee Glazer

Lee Glazer, Director, Museum Programs Division, National Archives and Records Administration

Lee Glazer joined the National Archives and Records Administration in 2021 as the Director of the Museum Programs Division. Prior to that, she was the inaugural director of the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College and served as the curator of American art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery from 2007 to 2018. She received her PhD in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.

Andrea Foggy-Paxton

Andrea Foggy-Paxton

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Education Leaders of Color; Founder, Social Studies Accelerator

For over 25 years, she has designed and led new initiatives with government, philanthropy, nonprofits, and corporations. She currently serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) and Director at Frontline Solutions. She is the founder and CEO of Foggy-Paxton Consulting, LLC, a firm focused on supporting organizations to accelerate their impact through strategic advising, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and building organization capacity with an emphasis on increasing programmatic impact, diversifying revenue, and supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts.

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Andrea served as the Managing Director of Partner Strategy at The Broad Center, leading efforts to collaborate with urban school systems and strategic alliances to accelerate excellence and equity for all students. This included serving as the executive sponsor for the Diversity Council and leading supports to partners related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to joining The Broad Center, she was Executive Vice President at Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming math education in the United States. Andrea also served as a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Andrea was responsible for developing and launching a $25 million Innovative Professional Development portfolio and challenge to help districts provide a differentiated, data-driven, collaborative, and technology-enabled professional development system. She was also responsible for coordinating the Foundation’s response for the U.S. Department of Education I3 grant matching requirements, coordinating all K12 related investments in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. Prior to working in philanthropy, Andrea spent a decade leading start-up nonprofits and initiatives, serving as the co-director of LA Youth at Work, national field director of Rock the Vote, and executive director of the Tavis Smiley Foundation.

She serves on several boards including iCivics, Coro Southern California and LA Promise Fund. Andrea earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s in public administration from Baruch College, and is a graduate of the Coro Southern California Public Affairs Fellows and National Urban Fellows programs.

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Amber Coleman-Mortley

Parent and Education Advocate, Washington, DC

In her 9-5 role, Amber Coleman-Mortley supports the work to bring equality to the workplace by increasing the connectivity of women passionate about gender equality worldwide. She spent a little under a decade at iCivics, engaging a trusted consumer base on social media; expanding and diversifying the iCivics Educator Network; and establishing the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship, where she brought students together from rural, urban, and suburban environments, resulting in a listening tour of over 5,000 student responses on how to make civics equitable and relatable to kids.

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Civics, community, and connectivity are common themes across Amber’s career and social life. She spent much of her early career teaching and coaching middle and high school students and serving as a PTA board member at her children’s elementary school. Amber covers civics, K12 education, tech, and family wellness at Mom Of All Capes and her podcast (currently on pause) with her daughters, Let’s K12 Better. She has been featured in the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, and various other broadcast, podcast, and online media outlets.

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Roman Messali

Student, Potomac, MD; Chair, Civics Unplugged Steering Committee

Roman Messali is an incoming freshman at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and student activist from the Washington Metro Area. Previously, Roman served as Chairman of the Civics Unplugged Steering Committee, incubating youth-led civic innovation projects across the world and managing an international community of over 2,000 young leaders. Outside of Civics Unplugged, Roman leads his school’s Model United Nations travelling team and has organized legislative advocacy initiatives for civic education across multiple youth-led organizations.

Garvey Mortley

Student, Montgomery Virtual Academy/Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda, MD

Garvey Mortley is a high school student in Montgomery County, Maryland. She is passionate about racial justice, equitable sex education, and intersectional tech. Her advocacy and enthusiasm for gender equality and racial equity were featured in Smithsonian Magazine, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Garvey is an AMAZE Youth Ambassador and spent time on the #GlobalEdSsChat Leadership Team. She is also a straight-A student and lacrosse and field hockey athlete. When she’s not engaged in advocacy, other civic interests, or sports, she’s caring for her guinea pigs and hunting for Squishmallows.

Sarah Rivera

Student, Fairfax County, VA; iCivics Equity in Civics Youth Fellow

Sarah is a senior at South County High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a passionate advocate for the increase of equitable access to education and representation in the media and will be majoring in Government for her undergraduate studies. Sarah has worked with iCivics as a 2021-2022 Equity in Civics Youth Fellow, where she created a Public Service Announcement for civic educational equity in her school district. She has worked with organizations such as Citizen University, Diversity Talks, and Living Room Conversations to address the distinguished issues ranging from cultural competency, educational equity, and political polarization, and more.

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Sarah has interned in her local and national governments, in Supervisor Dan Storck and Congressman David Trone’s office. In her community, she is the Vice-President of her local Social Studies Honor Society, the Match-Up Coordinator in her school’s Stallion Ambassadors program, a former DECA Officer and Competitor, and a committed Girl Scout. Sarah is also on South County’s cross country and track teams and is the Co-Captain of the softball team. Sarah is a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute alumni, and continues to join organizations such as CHCI that represent and celebrate her Puerto Rican heritage. Sarah’s prominent goals are to seek out policymakers of her school district to increase the accessibility of educational resources and to serve as an advocate for underrepresented families in her community and beyond.

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Neil Wrona

Educator, Howard County Public Schools, MD

Neil is currently a Middle School Earth Science teacher, but he fell in love with civics education as a Government, US History, World History, Economics, & Middle School Social Studies for 6 years at alternative special ed schools in Baltimore County. Neil is looking forward to introducing and implementing science-based civics projects in the coming years.

Crystal Patterson

President & Managing Director, Washington Media Group

Crystal is a senior level communications and political professional with extensive experience in strategic communications, including earned and paid media, new media, social networking, rapid response and crisis communications. She has also led work focused on fundraising and development, polling, research and activist engagement. She spent 7.5 years on the public policy team at Facebook, in several roles that focused on digital strategy, elections, policy development, and lobbying.

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Prior to her years with Facebook, Crystal focused on Immigration and Diversity Policy at the Center for American Progress, was a Communications Director for the U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, managing director with Petel & Co., a political consulting firm, and a strategic communications specialist with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. On Hillary Clinton’s historic run for president in 2008, she led digital strategy and content creation for the campaign website and digital engagement with affinity groups. Prior to that, she launched Sen. Edward Kennedy’s first campaign website and digital program to drive message and raise money; in this role, she helped Sen. Kennedy build support around three Supreme Court nominations, the response to Hurricane Katrina, immigration reform and oversight of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also was part of the team that built out the first digital strategy program at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Originally from northeast Ohio, she currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area.

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Yuval Levin

Yuval Levin

Founding and Current Editor, National Affairs; Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy. The founder and editor of National Affairs, he is also a senior editor at The New Atlantis, a contributing editor at National Review, and a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times.

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At AEI, Dr. Levin and scholars in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies research division study the foundations of self-government and the future of law, regulation, and constitutionalism. They also explore the state of American social, political, and civic life, focusing on the preconditions necessary for family, community, and country to flourish.

Dr. Levin served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush. He was also executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics and a congressional staffer at the member, committee, and leadership levels.

In addition to being interviewed frequently on radio and television, Dr. Levin has published essays and articles in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Commentary. He is the author of several books on political theory and public policy, most recently “A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream” (Basic Books, 2020).

He holds an MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

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Miriam Vogel

Miriam Vogel

President and CEO, EqualAI

Miriam Vogel is the President and CEO of EqualAI, a non-profit created to reduce unconscious bias in artificial intelligence (AI) and promote responsible AI governance. Miriam cohosts a podcast, In AI we Trust, with the World Economic Forum and also serves as Chair to the recently launched National AI Advisory Committee (NAIAC), mandated by Congress to advise the President and White House on AI policy.

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Miriam teaches Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where she serves as chair of the alumni board, and serves on the board of the Responsible AI Institute (RAII). Miriam also serves a senior advisor to the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).

Previously, Miriam served in U.S. government leadership, including positions in the three branches of federal government. Most recently, she served as Associate Deputy Attorney General, where she advised the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) on a broad range of legal, policy and operational issues. Under the direction of DAG Sally Yates, Miriam led the creation and development of the Implicit Bias Training for Federal Law Enforcement. Miriam also spearheaded the Department’s Intellectual Property (IP) efforts to identify and dismantle IP theft domestically and internationally and worked with the DAG to manage Department divisions’ multibillion-dollar budgets, resolve high-level challenges, and represent the Department in briefings for White House, congressional and GAO staff on policy initiatives and oversight matters.

Miriam served in the White House in two Administrations, most recently as the Acting Director of Justice and Regulatory Affairs. She led the President’s Equal Pay Task Force to promote equality in the workplace. She also advised White House leadership on initiatives ranging from women, LGBT, economic, regulatory and food safety policy to criminal justice matters.

Prior to serving in the Obama administration, Miriam was Associate General Counsel at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and practiced entertainment/corporate transactional law at Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles. Miriam began her legal career as a federal clerk in Denver, Colorado after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center and is a third generation alumna from the University of Michigan.

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Sam Wineburg

Sam Wineburg

Margaret Jacks Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University

Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of History & American Studies, Emeritus, at Stanford University. Educated at Brown and Berkeley, he holds a doctorate in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford and an honorary doctorate from Sweden’s Umeå University. Wineburg founded the Stanford History Education Group (sheg.stanford.edu), whose curriculum and assessments have been downloaded nearly 14 million times, making it one of the largest providers of free curriculum in the world.

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His current work focuses on how people judge the credibility of digital content, research that has been reported in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Time Magazine, BBC, and Die Zeit, and translated into dozens of languages. Wineburg’s scholarship has appeared in outlets as diverse as Cognitive Science, Journal of American History, and the Journal of Educational Psychology, along with bylines in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate and the Smithsonian.

His 2002 book, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts won the Frederic W. Ness Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities for work that makes the most important contribution to the “improvement of Liberal Education and understanding the Liberal Arts.” In 2020, he was awarded UNESCO’s “Global Media and Information” prize. His latest book, Verified: How to Think Straight, Get Duped Less, and Make Better Choices About What to Believe Online (Chicago), with co-author Mike Caulfield, will appear this coming October.

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Brandon Short

Brandon Short

Current Portfolio Manager PGIM Real Estate, New York Giants (2000-2003, 2006) & Carolina Panthers (2004-2005), National Football League, and All-American at Penn State University (1999)

Mr. Short is Executive Director and Portfolio Manager, PGIM Real Estate, where he manages PGIM’s Private REIT Fund and directs the fund’s east coast investment and asset management activities. Short has over 13 years of experience in real estate investment banking and investment management. Before joining PGIM, he was M&A Director at Round Hill Capital. Before Round Hill, he was a member of the Cerberus European real estate investment team. Before joining Cerberus, he worked at Goldman Sachs as a real estate investment banker based both in New York and Dubai

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Before his career in finance, Brandon had a 7-year career in the National Football League, with the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University and received a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School.

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Shawn Healy

Shawn Healy, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, iCivics

Shawn Healy, PhD, Senior Director, State Policy and Advocacy, leads iCivics’ state policy and advocacy work through the CivXNow Coalition and oversees civic education campaigns in several key states. He plays an active role in recruiting supporters to fund policy, advocacy, and implementation efforts in the states to ensure impact.

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Healy chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education in 2014 and later led separate, successful legislative campaigns for a required civics course in Illinois in middle and high school, respectively. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force. Its recommendations were adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2015.

Healy makes regular appearances as a guest speaker and panelist at academic and professional development conferences across the country, is a frequent contributor to local and national media, and produces original scholarship in the area of political participation and civic education. Healy also serves as an adjunct professor in Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Serve Illinois Commissioner.

Before joining iCivics, Healy worked for fifteen years at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in various capacities, most recently serving as Democracy Program Director. He began his career as a social studies teacher at West Chicago Community High School (IL) and Sheboygan North High School (WI). A 2001 James Madison Fellow from the State of Wisconsin, he holds a MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in Political Science, History and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His dissertation is titled “Essential School Supports for Civic Learning.”

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Rajiv Vinnakota

Rajiv Vinnakota, President, The Institute for Citizens & Scholars

A pioneering social entrepreneur, Rajiv Vinnakota serves as President of the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, leading its mission to cultivate the talent, ideas, and networks that develop lifelong, effective citizens. To that end, he works tirelessly to build relationships with the partners and sponsors without whom Citizens & Scholars could not succeed, while at the same time fostering a strong organizational culture focused on American civic values.

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Raj has dedicated his life to initiatives that help American citizens from all walks of life to become productive and engaged members of society. Early in his career, Raj co-founded the SEED Foundation, the nation’s first network of public, college-preparatory boarding schools for underserved children. The SEED schools were featured in both television and film, and Raj won multiple awards for his work with SEED, including Harvard University’s Innovation in American Government Award, Fast Company/Monitor Group’s Social Capitalist Award, and Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life Award. Raj continues to serve on the Board of Directors for SEED.

Before joining the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, Raj served as Executive Vice-President of the Aspen Institute. In this role, he launched and led the new Youth & Engagement Programs division devoted to youth leadership development, civic engagement, and opportunity.

Raj currently co-chairs the Civics and Civic Engagement Taskforce for the United States Congress Semiquincentennial Commission celebrating the 250th anniversary of the country’s founding. Raj also co-chairs the Civic Learning Pillar of the Partnership for American Democracy, a coalition of American leaders directing resources and attention toward efforts to save U.S. democracy, and serves on the advisory committee for Citizen Data.

He is the author of From Civic Education to a Civic Learning Ecosystem and has spoken on civic engagement to the Fordham Institute, Results for America, and the ASU GSV Summit. He regularly appears on media outlets such as NBC, CBS, and The Bulwark.

Raj grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the child of Indian immigrants who instilled in him the faith that a good education could open doors to great things. He graduated from Princeton University and is a recipient of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the university’s highest honor for undergraduate alumni.

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