2014 Participants

Christopher Chatmon

Executive Director
Office of African American Male Achievement, Oakland Unified School District

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Chris Chatmon serves as the Executive Director for Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)’s Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA). In this role, he is leading a campaign to ensure the best education possible by improving the educational outcomes for African American male students from preschool through 12th grade. Chatmon’s groundbreaking work with AAMA has gained notoriety on both a local and national level. Under his leadership, AAMA earned the attention of the White House as a blue print for the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative in action. He participates in several national networks focused on education of black males and regularly contributes to the national conversations about a Full Service Community Schools approach, collective impact Cradle to Career, Racial Equity and Restorative Justice in School Discipline, and social and emotional learning through OUSD’s partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). The work of AAMA has been covered in national newspapers and featured on national and local public television.

Raj Chetty

Bloomberg Professor of Economics
Harvard University

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Raj Chetty is the Bloomberg Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Chetty’s research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on tax policy, unemployment insurance, and education has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony. His current research focuses on equality of opportunity: how can we give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding? Chetty was recently awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2003 at the age of 23 and is one of the youngest tenured professors in the university’s history.

President Bill Clinton

Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative; 42nd President of the United States

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Elected president of the United States in 1992 and 1996, President Bill Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in its history. His administration resulted in moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in history. He also increased investment in education, expanded access to technology, encouraged investment in underserved communities, protected the environment, and countered the threat of terrorism while promoting peace and strengthening democracy around the world. After leaving the White House, President Clinton founded the Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the U.S. and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from New York

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Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the 67th U.S. secretary of state from 2009 until 2013, after nearly four decades in public service. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century. Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world, reasserting the United States as a Pacific power, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea, responding to the Arab Awakening, and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. Earlier, as first lady and senator from New York, she traveled to more than 80 countries as a champion of human rights, democracy, and opportunities for women and girls. Clinton also worked to provide health care to millions of children, create jobs and opportunity, and support first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero. In her historic campaign for president, Clinton won 18 million votes.

Chelsea Clinton

Vice Chair
Clinton Foundation

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Chelsea Clinton works with her parents, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to drive the vision and work of the Clinton Foundation. She is also a special correspondent for NBC News and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Oxford. Clinton previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital. She serves on the boards of the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the School of American Ballet, Common Sense Media, and the Weill Cornell Medical College. She is also co-chair of the board of directors for the Of Many Institute at New York University. Clinton holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford, a Master of Philosophy from Oxford, and a Master of Public Health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She and her husband, Marc, currently live in New York City.

Rashid Ferrod Davis

Founding Principal, Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)
New York City Department of Education

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Rashid Ferrod Davis—the Founding Principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)—has more than 18 years of experience working in the New York City Department of Education. P-TECH is a new grades 9-14 model that combines high school, two years of college, and industry experience. The collaborators are the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York, the New York City College of Technology, and IBM. Davis is a graduate of Morehouse College with advanced degrees from Pace University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and Fordham University.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock

City and County of Denver

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Michael Hancock became Denver’s 45th mayor in July 2011 and immediately began to transform Denver into a globally competitive and connected city. The Mayor has developed strategic short- and long-term business plans to support and grow Denver’s diverse, intelligent, and forward-leaning businesses in emerging industries such as clean energy, bio-technology, telecommunications, aerospace, and healthcare. Through this work, Denver’s economy is at the forefront of American cities, offering one of the strongest job and housing markets in the U.S. The Mayor also believes there is nothing more important than helping every young person in every neighborhood compete and succeed in the 21st Century economy. He is aligning all City departments with nonprofits, businesses, and educational organizations to better prepare all children for every stage of life. Mayor Hancock has also brought meaningful reform to the Denver Police Department by establishing new leadership that has reorganized the department to get highly trained officers out of the office and back onto the streets. These steps together strengthen Denver’s unparalleled quality of life.

John Hickenlooper

Governor of the State of Colorado

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John Hickenlooper calls himself a recovering geologist who once owned a brewpub and was goaded into running for Mayor of Denver in 2003. He spent nearly eight years at City Hall before he became Governor of Colorado in 2011. Hickenlooper and his team at the Colorado State Capitol are working hard to restore faith in good government and leading Colorado out of the nationwide recession.

Sara Horowitz

Founder and Executive Director
Freelancers Union

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Sara Horowitz is the Founder and Executive Director of Freelancers Union—and CEO of the social-purpose Freelancers Insurance Company (FIC)—and has been helping workers solve their problems for nearly two decades. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius” fellow, Horowitz has long been a leading voice for the emerging economy, early on recognizing the vital role independent workers would play in our networked, interconnected world. Today, 42 million Americans are “independent workers”—about one-third of the entire workforce. With a membership of more than 170,000 nationwide, Freelancers Union is building a new form of unionism through creative, cooperative, market-based solutions to pressing social problems.

Tony Hsieh

Chief Executive Officer
Zappos.com, Inc.

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In 1999, at age 24, Tony Hsieh sold LinkExchange—the company he co-founded—to Microsoft for $265 million. He joined Zappos in 1999 as an investor, and became CEO in 2000. Zappos grew from almost no sales to over $1 Billion in annual gross merchandise. In 2009, Amazon acquired Zappos for an estimated $1.2 billion. Hsieh’s book, “Delivering Happiness,” released in 2010, shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success and happiness. He is also leading the “Downtown Project,” a group committed to transforming downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world.

Bill Ritter Jr.

Director, Center for the New Energy Economy
Former Governor, State of Colorado

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Bill Ritter, Jr. is the Founder and Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University, which launched on February 1, 2011. The Center employs an assistant director, three senior policy advisors, an executive assistant, and a team of student researchers. The Center works directly with governors, legislators, regulators, planners, policymakers, and other decision-makers. It provides technical assistance to help officials create the policies and practices that will facilitate America’s transition to a clean-energy economy. Ritter was elected as Colorado’s 41st Governor in 2006, and built consensus to tackle some of the state’s biggest challenges. During his four-year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy by building a new energy economy. He signed 57 new energy bills into law, including a 30 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard and a Clean Air Clean Jobs Act that replaced nearly a gigawatt of coal-fired generation with natural gas. In total, the Colorado new energy economy created thousands of new jobs. Ritter is a member of the board of the directors of the Energy Foundation and a Senior Fellow and member of the board of directors of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. Ritter earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981). With his wife Jeannie, he operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia. He then served as Denver’s District Attorney from 1993 to January 2005. The Ritters have four children: August, Abe, Sam, and Tally.

Tiffany Lewin

Systems and Hardware Analyst
New York Presbyterian Hospital

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Tiffany Lewin is a certified computer technician and currently works at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Working with computers started as a hobby for Lewin, until she realized that she should turn her hobby into a career. After some extensive online research, she found Per Scholas Institute for Technology and became a student. Lewin received her CompTIA A+ certification in November of 2011, and is currently studying for her CompTIA Net+. She hopes that more programs like Per Scholas will become readily available for everyone, everywhere.

David Miller

President and CEO
The Denver Foundation

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David Miller has been the President and CEO of The Denver Foundation since 1996. The Denver Foundation is the oldest and largest community foundation in the Rocky Mountain region. Under Miller’s leadership, the assets of The Denver Foundation have grown from $50 million to more than $680 million. Miller is a native of Denver and a fifth generation Denverite. He is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School. Since then, he has worked in all three sectors: public, private, and nonprofit. He spent ten years in Colorado state and local government, serving as Executive Director of the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting and as Chief of Staff for Denver Mayor Federico Peña. After that and before coming to The Denver Foundation, he was a principal in Greenberg, Baron, Simon & Miller—a strategic communications consulting firm.

Eduardo J. Padron

Miami Dade College

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Eduardo Padrón, Ph.D. is the President of Miami Dade College, a national model of student achievement and the largest institution of higher education in America. In 2009, Time magazine included him among the “10 Best College Presidents” in the United States; in 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year;" and in 2011, The Washington Post recognized him as one of the eight most influential college presidents nationwide. He is the recipient of the Carnegie Corporation’s Centennial Academic Leadership Award, the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service, and the Hesburgh Award—the highest honor in U.S. higher education. He is also an Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Six American presidents have selected him to serve on posts of national prominence. He serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business-Higher Education Forum, the League for Innovation, the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, the White House Fellows Selection Panel, and the International Association of University Presidents. He is a past chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Rip Rapson

President and CEO
The Kresge Foundation

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Rip Rapson—attorney and expert in urban policy—is President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, a $3 billion national, private foundation based in metropolitan Detroit. Rapson came to Kresge in 2006 and led the philanthropy in a multiyear transition to expand and recalibrate its grantmaking. Strategically focused programs emerged: arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit—Kresge’s hometown. Each seeks to expand opportunities in America’s cities so that vulnerable people can lead self-determined lives and join the economic mainstream. Rapson put into practice the use of multiple funding methods, including operating support, project support, and program-related investments. Program-related investments, such as loans and loan guarantees, allow Kresge to use its capital in ways that extend beyond traditional grantmaking. In 2013, the Board of Trustees approved 316 awards totaling $122 million; $144 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, Kresge’s Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $16 million in 2013.

Karen Ross

California Department of Food and Agriculture

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Karen Ross was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on January 12, 2011 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Secretary Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Secretary Ross was Chief of Staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Before her time at the United States Department of Agriculture, Secretary Ross served more than thirteen years as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), based in Sacramento. During that same period she served as the Executive Director of Winegrape Growers of America, a coalition of state winegrower organizations, and as Executive Director of the California Wine Grape Growers Foundation, which sponsors scholarships for the children of vineyard employees. Among Secretary Ross’ many achievements at CAWG was the creation of the nationally-recognized Sustainable Winegrowing Program, which assists wine grape growers in maintaining the long-term viability of agricultural lands and encourages them to provide leadership in protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and enhancing their local communities.

Cynthia Board Schmeiser

Chief, Assessment
College Board

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Cynthia Board Schmeiser is Chief of Assessment at the College Board. In this role she is responsible for the design and development of College Board’s assessment programs. She is also responsible for the implementation of these programs and the empirical research that undergirds College Board’s solution. Before joining the College Board, Dr. Schmeiser served as an education consultant to a number of educational organizations, focusing on such issues as educational standards; assessment system design, implementation, and impact; ethics in testing; and educational policy. In 2011 after 37 years at ACT, she retired as President and COO of ACT’s Education Division. In this role, she was responsible for leading and coordinating the research, development, marketing, sales, and client support of all assessment instruments associated with ACT’s educational programs. Dr. Schmeiser has served as President of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) and, among other roles in that organization, served as chair of the NCME committee that developed the NCME Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement. She has served on the editorial boards for numerous publications and has published on such topics as: standard setting, ethics in testing, educational policy, test development, classroom assessment, and large-scale assessment. She holds master’s and doctorate degrees in Educational Measurement and Statistics from the University of Iowa and received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement in 2013 from that institution.

Eric Spiegel

President and CEO
Siemens Corporation

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Eric Spiegel is the President and CEO of Siemens USA and is responsible for growing the U.S. business into the company’s largest market. With $19.2 billion in revenue, $6 billion in exports, and approximately 53,000 employees in the U.S., Siemens provides solutions for more affordable and efficient healthcare, the growing demands of cities and the nation’s infrastructure needs, cleaner sources of energy production, and industrial productivity. Siemens has over 130 manufacturing sites across the U.S. and is represented in all 50 states. Spiegel, 56, joined Siemens in January 2010 after 25 years of global consulting experience with complex organizations in the oil and gas, power, chemicals, water, industrial, and automotive fields. Prior to joining Siemens, Spiegel was at Booz Allen Hamilton. A graduate of Harvard University and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Spiegel is the Chairman of Ford’s Theatre Society Board in Washington, D.C. and a member of The Board of Overseers at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. He is also Vice Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee at the Business Roundtable, a member of the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the President’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee.

Yifan Zhang

Co-founder and CEO
Pact, Inc.

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She has been featured on Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, and Kiplinger’s, and was previously named “Boston’s Most Impressive New CEO” by The Boston Globe. Zhang graduated magna cum laude in economics from Harvard University, and was part of the Techstars class of 2012.

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