Young Women Run Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Mary_Bono_Mack.jpgMary Bono, a former United States Congresswoman from California, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998-2013. Since leaving Congress, Mary has developed a robust practice advising businesses and other entities nationwide on legislative, regulatory and policy matters. 

In Congress, Mary was known for her skill and passion for building bipartisan consensus and developing win-win solutions that benefitted all parties. As a result, legislation she authored was signed into law by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. At Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, Mary utilizes the same results-focused approach to help organizations achieve their policy objectives. She has particular expertise in the telecommunications, energy, health care, land management and water policy sectors.

During Mary's 15-year congressional career, she served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Small Business Committee. Mary was the first woman to serve as the Republican chairman of the subcommittees on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She was awarded the gavel to chair the prestigious Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, with jurisdiction over the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) and other high-profile agencies.




Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Susan W. Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight urban, suburban and rural counties in Central Indiana, including the north side of Indianapolis. She uses her background as a Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis, a U.S. Attorney and a community college administrator to improve education, jobs, health and homeland security. She currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the Communications and Technology, the Health, and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees. Through her membership on the Energy and Commerce Committee, she is working on mental health, substance abuse, biodefense and Medicaid reform issues. As Chairwoman of the House Committee on Ethics, she works with her colleagues to restore confidence in Congress.

Her strong background in both the public and private sectors includes experience as a proven difference maker in areas such as public safety, homeland security, counter-terrorism and economic development. Susan previously served on the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. In the 113th Congress, she was a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Homeland Security Committee where she served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications.  

LeaderNancyPelosi.jpgNancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 115th Congress.  From 2007 to 2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history.  As the Democratic Leader, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle class families.  In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.     

For 29 years, Leader Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California's 12th District, in Congress.  She has led House Democrats for more than 12 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip.

Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as "one of the most productive Congresses in history" by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi “an extraordinary leader for the American people," and the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “…make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics and the most powerful House Speaker since Sam Rayburn a half century ago.” 



image1_(6).jpgChristine Pelosi is an Attorney, author, and activist, and has worked with thousands of activists and candidates through leadership trainings based on her books Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders and Campaign Boot Camp 2.0. 

With a JD from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a BSFS From Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, she  began her legal career as a public interest attorney in the City of San Francisco before serving as HUD Special Counsel in the Clinton-Gore administration, a Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill, a Democratic National Committee member elected 6 times from California, and a volunteer board member for the National AIDS Memorial Grove, the Young Democrats of America, and the New Leaders Council. Currently she chairs the California Democratic Party Women's Caucus, serves on the DNC Executive Committee, and is a vice chair of the DNC Veterans and Military Families Council.

An avid baseball fan, she serves on the San Francisco Giants Community Fund board of directors. She is married to Emmy-nominated filmmaker Peter Kaufman. Their daughter Bella, 8, has traveled with mom advancing Democrats and democracy in over 30 states and 3 foreign countries.



Rosie_Rios.jpgRosie Rios was the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and is a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is most recently known for initiating and leading the efforts to place a portrait of a woman on the front of U.S. currency for the first time in the nation’s history. Treasurer Rios was the longest serving Senate-confirmed Treasury official beginning with her time on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team in November 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

In her role as Treasurer of the United States, Treasurer Rios was the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, including Fort Knox. Her day-to-day responsibilities included overseeing all currency and coin production activities with almost 4,000-employees in eight facilities nationwide and an annual budget of approximately $5 billion. In the first five years of her tenure, she saved over $1 billion by implementing efficiencies and innovative concepts while meeting increased production demand and increasing employee morale at record levels. Her signature currently appears on a record $1.2 trillion out of the $1.4 trillion in circulation worldwide.

Prior to her presidential appointment in Treasury, Treasurer Rios was Managing Director of Investments for MacFarlane Partners, a $22 billion investment management firm based in San Francisco. Her career has focused on real estate finance, economic development and urban revitalization in both the public and private sectors. She is a graduate of Harvard University and was selected as the first Latina in Harvard’s 380-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor. The portrait will be publicly unveiled in 2017. Treasurer Rios continues advocating for women and girls and has launched EMPOWERMENT 2020 at Harvard. Its first project, Teachers Righting History,, began as a pilot program on August 26, Equality Day, to recognize historic American women in classrooms across the country. She currently lectures about her tenure in Treasury and building leadership and civic engagement. 


Ileana_Ros-Lehtinen.jpg Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represents Florida's 27th Congressional District, a diverse area which includes Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Little Havana, Miami, Miami Beach, Pinecrest, South Miami, and Westchester. Ros-Lehtinen was born in Havana, Cuba in July, 1952. At the age of eight, she and her family were forced to flee from the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro. They settled in Miami and put down permanent roots in the community. 

She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College in 1972, Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Florida International University in 1975 and 1985 respectively, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Miami in 2004. Ros-Lehtinen considers education a lifelong journey.

In 1982, Ros-Lehtinen was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives and the Florida Senate in 1986, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in either body. In the state legislature, she sponsored the legislation for the Florida Pre Paid College Program, which is now the largest pre-paid college tuition program in the nation. More than one million Florida families have used this program to send their children to college.

Ros-Lehtinen was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989-- the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress--following a special election to fill the seat held by the late Claude Pepper. Today, she is Chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. Ros-Lehtinen also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to help ensure our nation has the best intelligence gathering capabilities and processes to determine actionable threats.


Jess_Weiner.p.jpgJess Weiner is changing cultural messages one brand at a time. From Barbie’s latest body evolution to Dove’s memorable Real Women campaign, the results of her strategic work behind the scenes with brands has made significant waves in how we approach women, girls and inclusivity. Recognizing the need to partner with those in control of creating the message, she formed Talk to Jess, a consulting and strategy firm. Talk to Jess helps create the content and message for large-scale campaigns, innovative product launches, and strategic PR movement. Her work is holistic and focuses on engaging both internal and external stakeholders to socialize research and data while creating bottom line results.

Clients include: ABC, Mattel, Dove, Disney, Warner Brothers, The Sundance Institute, Bentonville Film Festival, and many more.

Jess is an acclaimed author, speaker, and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience as a thought leader. She remains a driving force behind cultural change, serving as Dove’s Global SelfEsteem Ambassador for the past decade. Jess has written two best-selling books, A Very Hungry Girl and Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds from Now. Her TEDx Talk, “The Confidence Myth,” explores the messy, simple, and often overlooked truth about cultivating confidence in today’s media saturated society. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism where she teaches personal branding and entrepreneurship, and  serves as an advising faculty member for USC’s “Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative”.

Distinguished in her field, Jess received the National Association of Women Business Owners “Innovator of the Year Award.” She’s been recognized by FORBES magazine as one of the “14 Power Women to Follow” on Twitter. Recently named by INC. Magazine as one of their “21 Thought Leaders Every Entrepreneur Should Follow,” Jess continues to strive to be a changemaker in the social, cultural, and branding worlds.  

Plenary: Young and Running


Katie_Cristol.jpgKatie Cristol is an Arlington County Board Member and a community advocate and public policy professional. She was elected to the Board in November 2015. Ms. Cristol serves on the Joint Subcommittee on Facilities of the Arlington School and County Boards, and is the Co-Chair of Arlington’s Project PEACE, an interagency collaboration to address domestic and sexual violence in our community.

Regionally, Ms. Cristol represents Arlington on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, where she chairs the Legislative Committee, as well as on the Operations Board of The Virginia Railway Express, where she serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Capital Committee.

Ms. Cristol has been an advocate for women’s issues, including reproductive health, political representation and support for survivors of sexual assault, for over a decade. She was appointed to the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women by the County Board in 2012, and supported the Commission’s efforts to garner attention for critical issues such as women’s professional advancement and childcare affordability, and to recognize the achievements of women in the community.

She is a volunteer member of the Randolph Elementary School community. A reading buddy since 2011, she was appointed by the School Board and the Randolph PTA to serve as the school’s liaison to the Arlington Public Schools Advisory Council on Instruction.

Ms. Cristol is an education policy advisor, partnering with district, states and nonprofits across the U.S. on strategic planning, resource allocation and community engagement.  She holds a public policy master’s degree from Princeton University, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and is a 2012 graduate of Arlington Neighborhood College. She and her husband, Steve, live off Columbia Pike, one of the most diverse corridors both in the County and the metropolitan region.


Charniele_Herring.pngCharniele Herring: Born into a military family, Charniele moved often before landing in Northern Virginia. When she was a teenager her family ended up homeless. This experience shaped Charniele’s character and taught her the values of hard work, resilience, and looking out for people society often overlooks.

Charniele’s first job out of college was as a VISTA volunteer providing low-income housing for at-risk families before attending law school. After law school, Charniele worked at the oldest African-American owned firm in Washington before opening her own firm in Northern Virginia.

Charniele was elected to the General Assembly in 2009 in a special election where she became the first African American woman from Northern Virginia ever elected to the Virginia legislature.

She founded the Virginia Legislative Reproductive Health Caucus to educate legislators about women’s healthcare. When Governor Bob McDonnell tried to require women seeking an abortion to undergo a forced ultrasound, Charniele convinced the leadership of her own party to fight back and take an official stand opposing McDonnell.

She has worked on many issue areas including restoring funding for homeless services in Virginia's budget, fighting for small businesses, and her work on criminal justice reform. Her environmental stewardship was recognized by the VA-LCV with the Legislative Hero Award, and she was recognized by the VEA for her commitment to public education with the “Solid as a Rock” Award.

A past chair of the Virginia’s Democratic Party, helping sweep statewide offices in 2013, Herring was elected Chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2015. 



Representative Avery Bourne was sworn into office in February 2015 to represent the 95th District. Bourne grew up in rural Montgomery County where her family has farmed for generations.

Prior to serving in the legislature, Bourne worked for three members of Congress at various levels and volunteered/worked on various campaigns for local, state and federal offices. She also had the opportunity to participate in a fellowship with Running Start, a nonpartisan organization that encourages young women to run for office.

Since taking office, Bourne has focused on issues in agriculture, education and political reform. Representative Bourne currently serves on the following committees: Aging; Agriculture & Conservation; Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education; Elections & Campaign Finance; and Judiciary-Civil. She also serves on the House Education Funding Task Force and the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission to work on a bipartisan statewide solution to funding disparities in our public education system.

Bourne resides in Raymond, where she has worked to rehab a small 1930’s home. She enjoys baking, quilting and antiquing. Bourne graduated from Columbia College with a BA in American Studies with minors in History, Political Science and Legal Studies. She is currently on a leave of absence from Washington University School of Law. 


Plenary: Supporting Your Political Journey Through Life


Kimberly_Peeler-Allen.jpgKimberly Peeler-Allen has been working at the intersection of race, gender and politics for almost 20 years. Kimberly is the Co-founder of Higher Heights, a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office. A highly skilled political fundraiser and event planner, Kimberly was the principal of Peeler-Allen Consulting, LLC from 2003 to 2014, the only African American full-time fundraising consulting firm in New York State.

After completing the 2002 gubernatorial campaign of H. Carl McCall where she served as the deputy finance director, Kimberly founded her New York City-based consulting firm to help develop capital for clients, organizations, and issues affecting people of color that have historically been kept outside of the mainstream.

Kimberly served as finance director for Letitia James’ successful bid to become Public Advocate of the City of New York and the first African American woman elected citywide in New York’s history.

In 2010, Kimberly was named to the Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 list as well as named one of The Feminist Press’ 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism.




Cynthia_Terrell.jpgCynthia Richie Terrell is a co-founder of FairVote and the director of Representation2020 where she is focused on winning gender parity for women in elected office through reforms to the recruitment process and voting system. Previously, Terrell worked extensively on political campaigns, working as campaign manager and field director for campaigns for the U.S. President, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, for governor and for state and city-wide initiative efforts, including a state equal rights amendment and a city campaign for fair representation voting.

Terrell has been published in the Washington Post, The American Prospect, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, and The Christian Science Monitor and has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. Terrell serves as a board member of several charitable organizations and Quaker institutions including the American Friends Service Committee and Sandy Spring Friends School. She has three children and is active in the Quaker community. She graduated with a B.A. in political science from Swarthmore College in 1986.




Mindy Finn is a 15-year veteran of digital politics having lead technology programs for the RNC, Mitt Romney, and George W. Bush. During the 2012 election, she directed strategic political partnerships for Twitter and has also advised Google, Medium, and

In 2008, Mindy founded Engage, one of the first digital agencies for political advocacy working to usher the industry into the Internet era. Mindy has been named to Washingtonian’s 100 “Tech Titans,” POLITICO’s 50 Politicos to Watch, and AdAge’s 40 Under 40 leading innovation in media.

Having encouraged others to run for office, the developments of the 2016 election led Mindy to walk the walk herself when Independent candidate Evan McMullin asked her to be his vice presidential running mate. The ticket received 21.5% of the vote in Utah, the best state result for a third-party candidacy and broke the presidential write-in record nationwide.

Following the election, Evan and Mindy founded Stand Up Republic to help Americans stand up in defense of the fundamental principles that have made this country the true home of liberty and a source of hope for many around the world.

Mindy is also the founder of Empowered Women, which promotes young women into civic life.



Erin Loos Cutraro is Co-Founder & CEO of She Should Run, an organization dedicated to building the pipeline of women running for office. Prior to founding She Should Run, Erin advised candidates at the national, state, and local level on a gendered lens approach to running for elected leadership. Erin got her professional career started in the fields of education and organizational learning. And, it's her two young daughters who motivate her to spur the systematic and cultural change needed to see gender equity for women and girls in our lifetime. Born and raised in Missouri, Erin now resides just outside of New York City in Maplewood, NJ.






Erin Vilardi is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VRL as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including the Yahoo! Business and Human Rights division and Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she developed the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis. She has worked with a diverse range of clients including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi serves on the Advisory Boards of Girl Meets World, the New American Leaders Project, and and is on the Leadership Teams of Vision2020 and Political Parity. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor. She has appeared on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership. 

Larissa_Martinez.jpgLarissa Martinez is a seasoned political professional who has worked on the Hill, for campaigns (specifically for female candidates), and, in addition to running an organization focused on engaging more women in politics (RightNOW), works at the public policy firm Invariant.  







Reta Jo Lewis is Director of Congressional Affairs and Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Since the beginning of her tenure, GMF has been very active in engaging Congress through its Transatlantic Congressional Staff Salon Series, briefings on Capitol Hill, study tours, testimony from GMF experts, and engagement with European parliamentarians. Lewis has also worked to develop the Transatlantic Subnational Diplomacy Initiative (TSDI) to enhance diplomacy at the state and local levels. Previously, she served as the State Department’s first-ever special representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, under secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry from 2010-13. In her post, she served as the State Department’s lead interlocutor in negotiating and executing the first historic agreements to solidify subnational cooperation and engagement efforts with BRICS countries and with targeted countries in the European Union. She was the principal architect that led the global engagement of U.S. state and local government leaders’ integration into and strategy regarding sustainability and climate change to RIO+20, COP-16, COP-17 and COP-18. In 2013, she was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award. Prior to the State Department, Lewis served in senior positions in the public and private sectors, including political appointments in the Clinton administration. She was the director for business outreach for the Obama-Biden Transition Team. She served as the vice president and counselor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and director of the Chamber’s effort focused on small business and outreach to women and minority-owned businesses. Lewis was the special assistant to the president for political affairs in the Clinton White House from 1993-95 and the director of the Northeast and Southern Regions. She was of counsel at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP prior to joining the Obama Administration, and a 2014 mayoral candidate in Washington, DC. Lewis holds a bachelor’s in political science from University of Georgia, a master’s from American University, and a JD from Emory University School of Law.



Mónica Ramírez is the daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers hailing from a rural community in Ohio. She has been a women’s, labor, farmworker, Latino, and immigrant rights activist for more than two decades. Mónica is a civil rights attorney, a skilled public speaker, and an author. She is also a nationally recognized subject matter expert on gender equity, including ending gender based violence in the workplace against farmworker and immigrant women. As a part of her work on gender equality, Mónica has a long history promoting women’s leadership and political power.

She is the founder of several major initiatives and projects, including Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Bandana Project. She has received numerous awards for her work and has been featured in national and international newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio interviews. Mónica holds a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She leads the LatinasRepresent Initiative for the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.


Workshop Facilitators 


Nikila_Kakarla_(1).jpgNikila Kakarla is a legal policy enforcement consultant at LinkedIn working in areas of risk, IP, and privacy protection.  She is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University and is focused on the intersection of tech and policy.  Nikila has worked on the political campaigns for Obama for America and Reshma Saujani (founder of Girls Who Code) as well as interned for Google and the US Department of Education.








Sarah Chamberlain serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Republican Main Street Partnership. Prior to serving as CEO, Chamberlain was COO, CFO, Executive Director, and President of Main Street. Chamberlain began her career in the personal office of Hon. Amory Houghton, Jr. in Corning, New York. In 1998 she moved to Washington DC to become the first Executive Director of the John Quincy Adams Society and to help found the Main Street Partnership.

Chamberlain is a graduate of the University of Delaware and received master’s degrees in Business Administration and Education from Elmira College in New York. She resides with her daughter in Virginia.



Catherine Baxter is an activist, community builder, news junkie, Wolverine (go blue!)-- and someone who hopes to make other people smile each day. As Partnerships Manager at The OpEd Project, she works on coordinating programs that transform the way people view and access their power in the world. Prior to her work at The OpEd Project, Catherine worked at organizations that helped young women realize their knowledge and power in different ways, through STEM while at Techbridge Girls, and through the outdoors at YMCA Camp Arbutus Hayo-went-ha. She has goals of amplifying the power of and strength of her community by running for office one day. 






Chuck Rocha is from Texas and began his career as a union worker. He became the youngest officer ever to be elected of Local 746 and was later was appointed as the National Political Director.

In 2009, Chuck founded Solidarity Strategies, a political consulting firm that specializes in campaign services including mail, phones, media, and general consulting. Solidarity Strategies is a 100% minority owned and operated small business. Clients vary from VoteVets, the National Council of La Raza, to Bernie Sanders for President.

He is a regular contributor to FOX News as a Latino vote expert and Democratic strategist and author of op-eds for the Hill and Huffington Post.

Chuck currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the Hispanic Lobbyists Association and Demos. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Trade Union program and an elected member of the District of Columbia Democratic State Committee. 



Vanessa Moyonero was raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland to parents who immigrated from Peru. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. She received a B.A. in Political Science and double minor in Psychology and Education from American University. She has previous experience working with U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, District of Columbia Public Schools, and the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs while still in undergraduate studies.

Vanessa began as an associate with Solidarity Strategies in 2015 and later became Vice President of the firm. She serves as a public representative for the firm and builds lasting relationships with key stakeholders and clients. Vanessa’s work at the firm includes management of the team, clients, and projects. During her time at Solidarity she has provided phone, translations, event planning, and general consulting services to our array of clients and meets their needs.

Vanessa can also be seen representing the firm and looking to grow our client base by traveling nationwide to conferences targeted towards the Latino community and progressives. She was most recently recognized as a Rising Star by the Campaigns & Elections magazine in the Class of 2016 and was the only Democratic Latina. 

Brittany_Griffin_Headshot.pngBrittany Griffin: Through her work at Google, Brittany helps Democratic campaigns and progressive advocacy groups leverage the power of online advertising to raise money and further their cause.








Emily Lenzner, SVP, Global Communications, Atlantic Media: Emily oversees communications for all divisions of Atlantic Media, including The Atlantic, City Lab, National Journal Group, Quartz, Government Executive Media Group, and Defense One. 

Prior to joining Atlantic Media in 2013, Emily was a managing director for public affairs and political consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, where she strategized and managed a variety of national media campaigns for various corporations and non-profit organizations, including HBO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Michelle Rhee's organization, StudentsFirst. She spent six years as the executive director of communications for ABC News in Washington, managing PR for programs This Week with George Stephanopoulos and Nightline and the network’s political coverage. Emily serves on the boards of directors for Running Start, City Dance, and Stone Soup Films.  



Maura Keaney manages the Bank’s engagement with Non-Profit clients, including financial service and treasury management offerings, lending and investment. She also works deeply with progressive organizations around the country to develop strategic partnerships for the Bank and provide access to capital to individuals and organizations working for social justice.

Her extensive work in New York City government includes serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to the City Council and leading public engagement for the NYC Department of Education. She was NYS Political Director for the garment workers union and had organized and lead many issue-based and candidate campaigns across the State and City.

For nearly a century, Amalgamated Bank has been the most trusted financial institution for progressive people and organizations. By helping those who do good do better, we work to help make the world more just compassionate and sustainable. Our extensive experience, financial resources and community of like-minded customers offer labor unions, philanthropies, political campaigns, socially and environmentally responsible corporations, as well as individuals, a unique set of financial services enabling them to lead the charge to improve our communities and our country.



Henri Makembe is a seasoned public affairs professional with experience as a campaign strategist. As a partner at Beekeeper Group, Henri uses his expertise to help a wide array of clients on their online communications strategies, focusing on websites, social media and mobile technology. Equipped with a big picture thought process, Henri knows how to translate business requirements into successful solutions. Henri also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.

Henri graduated from University of Maryland College Park and obtained his MBA from University of Maryland University College. He serves as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in DC and when he is not in front of a computer, Henri is playing soccer and is an avid Terps fan. 




Crystal_Patterson_Headshot.jpgCrystal Patterson is an Outreach Manager for Facebook. She has more than 15 years of experience in digital strategy and communications. With a background working on Capitol Hill, campaigns and in both the private and non-profit sectors, Crystal now works with public policy, advocacy and business partners to optimize their Facebook strategy and results. A graduate of Northwestern University, Crystal is originally from northeast Ohio and currently resides in Washington, DC.







Anna_Bross_Headshot.jpgAnna Bross is senior director of communications for The Atlantic. She manages publicity across The Atlantic's editorial and business divisions, promoting the magazine, and CityLab, its events division AtlanticLIVE, The Atlantic's sales and marketing work, and Atlantic Media Strategies. Before joining The Atlantic in early 2014, Anna spent seven years at NPR where she led media relations.




Garance Franke-Ruta has been a political reporter and editor in Washington, D.C., for 20 years, work that's taken her through four presidential campaigns, countless congressional races, and across the map of America. Currently senior political editor at Yahoo News, she previously worked at The Atlantic and the Washington Post, and been a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She has been ranked as one of the most influential political tweeters in the country by both Time magazine and Politico.




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