The New America Annual Conference is a day-long conference bringing together New America’s network of fellows, thinkers, writers, researchers, technologists, and community activists who believe deeply in the possibility of American renewal.
We’re incubating and cultivating big ideas and talents from our program directors to our fellows who are questioning, challenging, and solving some of tomorrow’s biggest problems. From media literacy to racial justice to the future of work we’re addressing major social, economic, and political challenges in an era of profound, exhilarating, but often threatening change.
A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.
President and Co-Founder of Opportunity@Work
Byron Auguste is president and co-founder of Opportunity@Work, a civic enterprise which aims to re-wire the U.S. labor market in ways that enable more Americans to achieve upward mobility in the job market and workplace, to facilitate collective investment by employers to develop the talent they need to succeed and grow, and to scale up promising innovations which unlock more fully the potential of all people for higher-value, meaningful work as a source of economic opportunity and national competitive advantage. From 2015-2016, Opportunity@Work was based at New America.
Prior to co-founding Opportunity@Work, Auguste served for two years in the White House as deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council, where his policy portfolio included job creation and labor markets, skills and workforce policies, innovation, investment, infrastructure, transportation, and goods movement.
Until 2013, Auguste was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company in Washington, D.C. and in Los Angeles, where he was elected principal in 1999 and director in 2005. Over 20 years at McKinsey, he worked primarily in the fields of technology and communications, information and media, services-based businesses, education, economic development, and innovation, leading McKinsey’s High Tech Services sector from 2002 to 2006, and its global Social sector from 2007 to 2012. He was also co-author of several McKinsey Global Institute reports, including Changing the Fortunes of America’s Workforce (2009), Growth and Renewal in the United States: Retooling America’s Economic Engine (2011), An Economy That Works: Job Creation and America’s Future (2011), and Help Wanted: the Future of Work in Advanced Economies (2012). His professional experience prior to McKinsey was as an economist at LMC International, Oxford University, and the African Development Bank. He is the author of The Economics of International Payments Unions and Clearinghouses (MacMillan Press, 1995).
Until his appointment at the White House, Auguste was active in a number of not-for-profit organizations, serving as board chairman of Hope Street Group, and as a member of the boards of trustees of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Yale University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Auguste earned a BA summa cum laude in economics and political science from Yale University, where he was awarded a Truman Scholarship and the James Gordon Bennet Prize, and a M.Phil. and D.Phil. in economics from Oxford University, as a Marshall Scholar.
Deputy Director, Resilient Communities, New America
Teresa Basilio Gaztambide is the deputy director of New America’s Resilient Communities program. Basilio Gaztambide received her B.A. in philosophy from Boston College and her M.A. in transnational and international education from Teachers College Columbia University. Prior to joining New America, Basilio Gaztambide was the co-executive director of Global Action Project (G.A.P.) a social justice youth media organization that works with youth most impacted by injustice to build the knowledge, tools, and relationships needed to create media for community power, cultural expression, and political change. Basilio Gaztambide played a key leadership role in G.A.P's renewed focus to foster the next generation of social justice media leaders dedicated to building communities and movements for social justice. Some of her accomplishments included: co-writing and publishing G.A.P.’s core curriculum; directing the Media In Action initiative, a new model of sustained national partnerships with grassroots organizing groups; and the research and publication of Media in Action: Field Scan of Media and Youth Organizing in the U.S., a three-year research project that uplifts the transformational media organizing work being led by young people throughout the country. Basilio Gaztambide is also a multidisciplinary artist and organizer and has received numerous grants and residencies for her art and activism work. Her latest production Voces de Fillmore is a short documentary on the experiences of Puerto Rican families who live in one block in the neighborhood of Los Sures in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the impact of the gentrification and displacement of their community. She believes in the beauty and power of cultural practices as integral to struggles for self-determination and resistance to injustice.
Executive Director, Faith in Texas
Bean writes and consults on religion in public life, grassroots organizing, civic leadership development, and the Rising American Electorate. Her research has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Social Science Quarterly, and Sociology of Religion. As a strategic consultant, she has helped movements and foundations engage faith communities more effectively on a variety of issues, including immigration, criminal justice reform, and climate change. As a professor at Baylor University, she previously taught courses on inequality, race, religion, and social theory. Bean completed a Ph.D in sociology at Harvard University and a bachelors at Austin College.
Bean brings over a decade of regional experience in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi since co-founding Friends of Justice in 1999. She is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and the Leading Change Network. Bean is married to Norman Lee, a public artist and co-principal of RE:site Studio.
Technology Projects Director, Open Technology Institute
Georgia Bullen is the technology projects director for New America's Open Technology Institute. She previously served as OTI's senior data analyst. Based in the Washington, D.C. office, Bullen provides data visualization, human-centered design, planning, and geospatial analytical support to the OTI team and its community partnerships. She currently manages the Data Visualization Project, works on Broadband Adoption Analysis, and Measurement Lab. She has also supported the Civic Innovation project, the Red Hook WiFi project, a Commotion Wireless Deployment and Digital Stewards program in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY.
In her previous work, Bullen worked on data visualization projects in the areas of social media, transportation logistics, economic geography, urban flows, and other large-scale urban issues. Her work focuses on the intersection of human-centered design, urban space, and technology – specifically, how applied technologies can improve and facilitate the urban planning process, access to information, and the systems that people use to interact with the places in which they live.
Bullen holds a Master of Science in urban planning from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and a Bachelor of Science in psychology and human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon.
Senior Advisor, International Security Program and Resource Security Program, New America
The Honorable Sharon E. Burke is a senior advisor to New America, where she focuses on international security and a new program, Resource Security, which examines the intersection of security, prosperity, and natural resources.
Before joining New America, Burke served in the Obama Administration as the assistant secretary of defense for operational energy, a new office that worked to improve the energy security of U.S. military operations. Prior to her service at DoD, Burke held a number of senior U.S. government positions, including at the Department of State in the George W. Bush Administration, and was a vice president and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She attended Williams College and Columbia University, where she was a Zuckerman and International fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs. She serves as an advisor to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Decarbonizing Energy, and the Pew Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate.
Director, Resilient Communities, New America
As director of the Resilient Communities program at New America, Greta Byrum reimagines the way we design, build, and manage local systems to support local residents as leaders, organizers, and preparedness experts. Her collaborative projects build from the urban planning, design, emergency preparedness, tech, policy, organizing, and media fields to create and support flexible, resilient communications infrastructure.
Byrum currently leads Resilient Networks for RISE : NYC, a project funded by New York City's Economic Development Corporation. Resilient Networks provides training, tools, and equipment to community organizations in six Sandy-impacted New York City neighborhoods so they can build storm-hardened local WiFi. The project is based on Byrum's earlier field research in New York, the Gulf Coast, and the Silicon Valley region showing that in disaster and emergency situations, local residents and community media organizations are often the most critical first responders.
Previously, Byrum provided leadership for the field team at New America’s Open Technology Institute, co-developing and co-piloting the “Digital Stewardship” approach to community technology with partners in Detroit and Brooklyn. While at OTI, Byrum also produced a suite of recommendations for community-led broadband planning, developed an impact evaluation plan for the nationwide public-private partnership EveryoneOn, and contributed to evaluations of other broadband programs including Federal stimulus projects in Detroit and Philadelphia.
Byrum's public speaking includes a keynote for the 2013 American Planning Association annual conference and talks at Moogfest 2016, the Meeting of the Minds Detroit 2014, SXSW 2015 and 2016, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, World Town Planning, Columbia University, the Personal Democracy Forum, and the long-running online urban planning course “Technicity.” Her writing on resilience and community technology has been featured in The Atlantic, Slate, and Real Clear Policy.
Byrum’s other activities include micro-radio broadcasting, poetry, and art. As co-creator of the curatorial team dBfoundation, she has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, and around the world. She holds an MS in urban planning from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Greta is also a 2017 Loeb fellow with the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she will focus on democratizing communication systems for communities negatively affected by climate change and systemic inequity.
Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow, New America
Marcia Chatelain is an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at New America. She will spend her fellowship year on a book that explores visions of economic and racial justice after 1968 and the fast food industry. An associate professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University, she is the author of the book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015). Chatelain has received funding from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and the Ford Foundations, as well as several teaching awards. She received degrees in journalism and religious studies from the University of Missouri and holds an A.M. and Ph.D. in American civilization from Brown University.
President & Executive Director Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), leads one of the country’s most important national civil rights organizations in the pursuit of equal justice for all. The Lawyers’ Committee’s seeks to promote fair housing and community development, equal employment opportunity, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, judicial diversity and more.
Throughout her career, Clarke has focused on work that seeks to strengthen our democracy by combating discrimination faced by African Americans and other marginalized communities. Clarke formerly served as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, where she led broad civil rights enforcement on matters including criminal justice issues, education and housing discrimination, fair lending, barriers to reentry, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, gender inequality, disability rights, reproductive access, and LGBT issues. Under her leadership, the Bureau secured landmark agreements with banks to address unlawful redlining, employers to address barriers to reentry for people with criminal backgrounds, police departments on reforms to policies and practices, major retailers on racial profiling of consumers, and one of the country’s largest school districts concerning issues relating to the school-to-prison pipeline.
Clarke spent several years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) where she helped lead the organization’s work in the areas of voting rights and election law across the country. Clarke worked on cases defending the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act and also testified before Congress and state legislatures. Prior to joining LDF, she worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division. While at the Justice Department, she served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Section of the Division, handling police misconduct, police brutality, hate crimes, and human trafficking cases. She also worked on voting rights and redistricting cases through the Division’s Voting Section.
Clarke speaks and writes regularly on issues concerning race, law, and justice. She has written numerous articles and books including Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership (co-edited with Dr. Manning Marable). In 2015, she served as a lecturer in law at Columbia University School of Law. She received her A.B. from Harvard University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is also an active alumnae of Prep for Prep.
Her honors and awards include being recognized as of the New York Law Journal’s 2015 Rising Stars, the 2012 Best Brief Award for the 2012 Supreme Court term from the National Association of Attorneys General, the 2012 Network Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, the 2011 National Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40, and the 2010 Paul Robeson Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia Law School.
Director, Ariadne Labs
Atul Gawande MD, MPH, is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is professor in both the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is executive director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and also chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit making surgery safer globally. Dr. Gawande has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and has written four New York Times bestsellers: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and most recently, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.
Deputy Director, Education Policy Program, New America
Lisa Guernsey is deputy director of the Education Policy program and
director of the Learning Technologies project at New America. She leads
teams of writers and analysts to tell stories, translate research,
examine policies, and generate ideas for new approaches to help
disadvantaged students succeed. Prior to her work at New America,
Guernsey worked as a staff writer at The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education and has contributed to several other national publications, including The Atlantic, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, Slate, and USA TODAY. She is co-author with Michael H. Levine of Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens (Jossey-Bass, 2015) and author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos to Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child
(Basic Books, 2012). She won a 2012 gold Eddie magazine award for a
School Library Journal article on e-books and has served on several
national advisory committees on early education, including the Institute
of Medicine's Committee on the Science of Children Birth To Age 8.
Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and Director of Milano Doctoral Program, The New School
Darrick Hamilton is the director of the doctoral program in public and urban policy, and jointly appointed as an associate professor of economics and urban policy at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics, The New School for Social Research at The New School in New York.
He is a faculty research fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, the president-elect of the National Economic Association (NEA), an associate director of the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics Program, serving on the Board of Overseers for the General Social Survey (GSS), the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Social Observatories Coordinating Network (SOCN), the National Academies of Sciences standing committee on Future of Major NSF-Funded Social Science Surveys, senior research associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and co-principal investigator of the National Asset Scorecard in Communities of Color Project (NASCC).
Hamilton is a stratification economist, whose work focuses on the causes, consequences and remedies of racial and ethnic inequality in economic and health outcomes, which includes an examination of the intersection of identity, racism, colorism, and socioeconomic outcomes. He has authored numerous scholarly articles on socioeconomic stratification in education, marriage, wealth, homeownership, health (including mental health), and labor market outcomes.
He has written many articles/opinion-editorials, which include the translation of his research findings from academic journals to popular press publication, examples include the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The American Prospect, the Christian Science Monitor, Dissent Magazine, the New York Times, Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He has been cited, quoted, and has made many media appearances to debate social topics, discuss his research and offer insights on social policy in print and broadcast media outlets. Finally, he has provided consultation to numerous government and not-for-profit organizations including AFL-CIO, American Human Development Project, Center for American Progress, Black Equity Alliance, CFED, Center for Social Development, Congressional Black Caucus, Council of Economic Advisors-The White House, Demos, Economic Policy Institute, Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Food Bank of New York City, Insight: Center for Community and Economic Development, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, National Urban League, PolicyLink, SEIU, and U.S. Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Emerson Fellow, New America
Nikole Hannah-Jones is an Emerson fellow at New America. She will write a book about school segregation in the United States, to be published by One World/Random House. Hannah-Jones is a reporter at the New York Times Magazine. Prior to that, she was a reporter at the investigative reporting firm ProPublica and at newspapers in Oregon and North Carolina. Hannah-Jones's reporting earned the 2015 Peabody and Polk awards, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for public service, the Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, among others, and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned her master's from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism.
CEO & Co-Founder, POPVOX, New America California Fellow, 2016
Marci Harris is the founder and CEO of POPVOX, a civic startup building the infrastructure for 21st Century democracy.
Harris says that her “first startup was a town,” as she led Jackson, TN’s rebuilding efforts following a devastating tornado in 2004. From that first taste of government service at the local level, she went on to work in Congress from 2007-2010, covering tax, trade, and health for a senior Ways and Means member.
She received a B.A. in international relations from Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland and attended law school at the University of Memphis (J.D.) and the American University Washington College of Law (LL.M). Harris was an inaugural Technology and Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Ash Center in 2016 and a 2016 New America California fellow.
Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow, New America
Theodore Johnson is an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at New America. He will write a book about black voting behavior in the post-Obama political landscape. He is currently a national security research manager and an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. Previously, Johnson was a commander in the United States Navy where he served in a variety of positions including as a White House fellow and speechwriter for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has also written extensively on race, politics, and society for publications such as, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, National Review, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Hampton University and Harvard University, and holds a doctorate of law and policy from Northeastern University.
Executive Director of The OpenGov Foundation
Seamus Kraft is a communicator and civic activist building new means for successful democracy in the digital age. Since February 2013, he has built The OpenGov Foundation into a dedicated six-person team producing cutting-edge civic software used by elected officials and citizens in governments across the United States. Kraft is also a co-creator of the Free Law Founders, a coalition of leaders from New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. working to open the processes and information of government to access and innovation for all. He is a 2014-2016 Shuttleworth Foundation fellow and a 2015-2016 Technology and Democracy fellow in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Prior to creating The OpenGov Foundation, Kraft served as digital director and press secretary for The U.S. House Oversight Committee, where he built one the most successful digital communications operations in government from the ground up. Kraft’s work both in and outside of government has been viewed by millions of people worldwide; in 2016 the American Library Association honored Kraft with their James Madison award and in 2012 TechCrunch named him among its list of the “20 Most Innovative People of 2012.” A native of Marblehead, MA, he received his undergraduate degree in classical political philosophy from Georgetown University in 2007.
Founder, US Executive Director, Bayes Impact and New America California Fellow, 2016
Eric Liu is the U.S. executive director of Bayes Impact, a nonprofit that uses data to address pressing public interest problems. Bayes Impact’s funders include Y Combinator, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At Bayes Impact, Liu leads open source software and data science initiatives in criminal justice, education, health, and employment. He was named to Forbes' “30 under 30” in social entrepreneurship in 2016.
Previously, Liu was a venture capitalist at Thomvest Ventures where he invested in data science companies in the financial and advertising technology sectors. At Thomvest, he also led research on the regulatory, ethical, and economic implications of machine learning in online payday lending and other web-based alternative credit services. Liu graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in business administration.
Director, Center on Education and Skills, New America
McCarthy also has extensive international experience and she has explored how other countries are tackling the skills challenge. While at the Department of Education, she served as the liaison to a team of OECD researchers conducting a review of postsecondary education and training in the United States. At New America, she has continued her work with the OECD and is currently leading a similar review of Peru’s postsecondary education system, which will be published in the spring of 2016 as part of “Skills Beyond School” series of country studies. She also participates in the International Pathways Colloquium, an annual gathering of researchers and policy advocates from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to share learning in the area of career and technical education and workforce development. She has a PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Maryland State’s Attorney, City of Baltimore
Marilyn Mosby is Baltimore City’s newly elected State’s Attorney. She is the youngest chief prosecutor of any major city in America.
After graduating from Boston College Law School, Mosby joined the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. After five months of service as an Assistant State’s Attorney, she was promoted to Supervisor of the Early Resolution Court where she managed and trained newly sworn prosecutors and support staff on courtroom decorum and docket management. By 2011, Mosby had advanced from District Court to the General Trial Division, where she prosecuted some of the most heinous felonies in the state.
Driven by her love for courtroom litigation and the desire to diversify her legal experience, Mosby left the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and began working as Field Counsel for a major Insurance Company. In just three months’ time, Mosby was promoted to the Special Investigation Unit of the company, where she investigated and defended against fraudulent insurance claims throughout the state of Maryland.
Mosby, an inner-city Boston native, is a first-generation college graduate. She graduated, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Tuskegee University. That same year, she was awarded the Council On Legal Educational Opportunity (CLEO) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship.
Mosby has been an avid public servant her entire life. She clerked at several highly-esteemed governmental agencies, including the United States Attorneys Office in both Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. She also clerked in the Homicide Unit of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston.
Since the 2014 legislative session, Mosby has lobbied local and state lawmakers to introduce language that brings Maryland sexual assault law into line with federal law. The legislation would allow prosecutors in sexual assault cases to introduce the prior sex crimes of the accused into evidence for juries to consider.
As an active member in her profession and community, Marilyn has served in a number of leadership positions on several committees and boards including the Peer Review Committee of the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission (2012), the Judicial Nomination Committee for the Monumental Bar Association, and the NAACP (Baltimore Branch) Criminal Justice Committee.
She was named twice, in 2013 and 2014, as one of the Baltimore Sun’s 50 Women to Watch; Baltimore Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2014; and the Daily Record’s 2013 Leading Women.
Mosby lives in West Baltimore and is the proud mother of two daughters. She is married to Nick J. Mosby, 7th District Baltimore City Councilman.
Fellow, New America and The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Lecturer, Harvard University
Yascha Mounk is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program. He is working on a book about the crisis of liberal democracy, arguing that a recent rise in technocratic governance is already leading to a dangerous populist backlash in both North America and Western Europe. Mounk is with the German Marshall Fund. He is the author of Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and forthcoming in German translation this fall, and has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, Slate, CNN and Die Zeit.
Vice President, Policy and Technology and Director, New America National Network
Cecilia Muñoz is vice president of policy and technology and director of the National Network at New America. Prior to joining New America in 2017, she served on President Obama’s senior staff, first as director of Intergovernmental Affairs for three years, followed by five years as director of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC). Prior to her work in government, she served for 20 years at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic policy and advocacy organization, where she was Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000 for her work on immigration and civil rights, and has served on the boards of the National Immigration Forum, the Open Society Institute, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Muñoz, a Detroit native and the daughter of immigrants from Bolivia, is also a wife and mother of two grown daughters. She lives with her husband in Maryland.
Founder and Executive Director, Code for America and New America California Advisory Council Member
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a national non-profit that believes that government can work for the people, by the people, if we all help. She recently served as the U.S. deputy chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she architected and helped start the United States Digital Service. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and the recipient of several awards, including MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award, the Oxford Internet Institute’s Internet and Society Award, and the National Democratic Institute’s Democracy Award. She spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Independent Games Festival. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, Calif. with her daughter, husband, and six chickens.
Fellow, New America
Janell Ross is writing a book about the racial wealth gap and the truths about its real origins laid bare by the Great Recession. The book will be published by Beacon Press. Janell is a political reporter for the Washington Post. Previously, she has covered a range of social issues including race, politics, and immigration for the National Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Huffington Post, The Tennessean, The News & Observer, and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She is a graduate of Vassar College and earned a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Fellow, New America and Assistant Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School
K. Sabeel Rahman is a fellow at New America and author of Democracy Against Domination, a book about how democratic participation and civic power is vital to addressing long-term economic inequalities—from finance and corporate power, to urban inequality and community development, to economic insecurity and the gig economy. An assistant professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, Rahman was a special advisor on economic development strategy in New York City from 2014-15, and currently serves on the New York City Rent Guidelines Board. Rahman is the research and design director and part of the founding leadership team for the Gettysburg Project, a first-of-its-kind design and innovation lab that draws together leading community organizers and academics to foster new strategies aimed at rebuilding American democracy in the face of long-term challenges of economic, ecological, and social justice. Rahman is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied economic development and law as a Rhodes Scholar, and Harvard University, where he earned his A.B., J.D., and Ph.D. in political theory. His writings have appeared in venues like the Boston Review, The Nation, and Salon. His first book, Democracy against Domination (Oxford University Press, 2016), examines how Progressive Era political thought can inform contemporary democratic theory and debates in post-financial crisis administrative law and economic regulation.
Co-founder and president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity
Avik Roy is the co-founder and president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. He is also a former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is also the opinion editor at Forbes, and has advised Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on policy.
In 2015, Roy was a senior advisor to former Texas governor Rick Perry; in 2012, he served as a health care policy advisor to Mitt Romney. He is the founder of Roy Healthcare Research, an investment research firm, and previously was an analyst and portfolio manager at Bain Capital and J.P. Morgan. Roy is the principal author of The Apothecary (the Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform), as well as author of Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near-Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency (2014) and How Medicaid Fails the Poor (2013). His research interests include the Affordable Care Act, universal coverage, entitlement reform, international health systems, veterans’ health care, and FDA policy.
Fellow, New America
Hollie Russon Gilman is an Open Technology Institute and Political Reform program fellow at New America.
She most recently served in the White House as the Open Government and Innovation advisor working on a second term Open Government agenda—including participatory budgeting as part of U.S. Open Government commitments. Gilman is a founding researcher and organizer for the Open Society Foundation's Transparency and Accountability Initiative and Harvard's Gettysburg Project to revitalize 21st century civic engagement. She has worked as an advisor, researcher, and consultant to numerous non-profits and foundations including the World Bank, Case Foundation, and Center for Global Development.
She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the department of government at Harvard University and A.B. from the University of Chicago with highest honors in political science. Gilman’s dissertation is the first academic study of participatory budgeting in the United States. She has published in numerous academic and popular audience publications including the International Studies Review and Journal of Public Deliberation. Gilman is a recipient of numerous awards, including: AAAS Big Data and Analytics Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship, Center for the American Presidency and Congress Presidential Fellowship. She is a fellow at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and innovation advisor to the Kennedy School’s Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement.
Executive Director, SHIFT: The Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology, New America
Kristin Sharp is the executive director of New America and Bloomberg's joint initiative, SHIFT: The Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology.
Prior to launching SHIFT, she had an extensive career in technology, innovation, and national security policy in the U.S. Senate, most recently serving as deputy chief of staff to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), and the architect of his initiative examining the impact of the on-demand economy and contingent workforce on capitalism.
the Senate, Sharp also held positions as legislative director for Sens.
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). In addition, she held a
variety of senior staff roles on the Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee and was an advisor to Sen. Richard Lugar
(R-Ind.) on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Futurist comedian, writer, cultural critic
Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde is a highly sought-after public speaker, television personality, and thought leader who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, The Onion, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York.
Founder and CEO, Define American
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and media entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Define American, the nation's leading non-profit media and culture organization that uses storytelling to shift and humanize the conversation around immigration, citizenship, and identity in a changing America.
In June 2011, the New York Times Magazine published a groundbreaking essay he wrote in which he revealed and chronicled his life in America as an undocumented immigrant. A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up cover story he wrote. He went on to produce and direct Documented, a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience, and White People, an Emmy-nominated MTV special on what it means to be young and white in contemporary America.
Director, Repurpose for Results, Results for America
Clarence Wardell III is the Director of Repurpose for Results underneath the What Works Cities Initiative. In that role, he works with mid-size cities across the country to help them use data and evidence to guide their programming and investment decisions. He was most recently a member of the U.S. Digital Service at the Obama White House, where he led strategy and product management across several of the team’s projects. In that role he also co-led the White House Police Data Initiative, an effort aimed at using open data as a means to increase trust and engagement between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Prior to joining the U.S. Digital Service, Wardell served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow from 2014-2015.
Wardell, who was previously an affiliate with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, is currently a Council on Foreign Relations term member and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in 2017. He holds a B.S.E. in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
Dorian T. Warren is president of the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA) and vice-president of the Center for Community Change (CCC). He is also a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.
A progressive scholar, organizer, and media personality, Warren has worked to advance racial, economic, and social justice for over two decades. He previously taught for over a decade at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, where he was co-director of the Columbia University Program on Labor Law and Policy. Warren also worked at MSNBC where he was a contributor and host and executive producer of Nerding Out on MSNBC’s digital platform.
He currently serves on several boards including Working Partnerships USA, the Workers Lab, the National Employment Law Project, and The Nation Magazine Editorial Board. As a commentator on public affairs, Warren has appeared regularly on television and radio including NBC Nightly News, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, BET, BBC, NPR, Bloomberg, and NY1, among other outlets. He has also written for The Nation, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Salon, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Medium, Ebony.com, and the Boston Review.
In 2013, he was included on the list of NBC’s theGrio’s 100 people making history today. After growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Warren received his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.
Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center
Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes widely on political, cultural, religious, and national-security issues. He has written for numerous publications—including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Financial Times, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, National Affairs, Christianity Today, and Time magazine. In 2015 he was named a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN television and appears frequently on national talk radio programs. In 2011 Forbes magazine featured Wehner on a short list of conservatism’s leading “educators and practitioners of first principles.” He was described this way: “Author, commentator, problem solver, prolific, daily provider of concise, reasoned, artful analysis and argument; gentle giant of a thinker at the intersection of politics and policy.” He has been named by several magazines as one of the handful of most influential reform-minded conservatives.
Wehner served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations prior to becoming deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush. In 2002, he was asked to head the Office of Strategic Initiatives, where he generated policy ideas, reached out to public intellectuals, published op-eds and essays, and provided counsel on a range of domestic and international issues. He was also a senior adviser to the Romney-Ryan 2012 presidential campaign.
Mr. Wehner is author of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (co-authored with Michael J. Gerson) and Wealth and Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism (co-authored with Arthur C. Brooks).
Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
Vanessa Williamson is a fellow in governance studies at Brookings. She studies the politics of redistribution, with a focus on attitudes about taxation. She is the author of the new book Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes, and also the co-author, with Harvard professor Theda Skocpol, of The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.
Williamson previously served as the policy director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She received her Ph.D. in government and social policy from Harvard University.
Harlan Yu is a principal at Upturn, which provides Internet expertise for policymakers on a wide range of social issues. Recently, Yu has been working together with major civil rights organizations to examine how new technologies may erode core social justice protections, in areas such as criminal justice, economic fairness, and voting.
Yu holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton University and has extensive hands-on experience working on technology policy issues. He has worked at Google in both engineering and public policy roles, at the Electronic Frontier Foundation as a technologist, and at the U.S. Department of Labor, where he helped develop and implement the Department’s open government plan. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from UC Berkeley.
Instead of the “us versus them” populism of left and right that has been on the rise, we should focus on a different kind of populism: “us” populism, where citizens work together, from local to national levels of government, to define and solve problems. To renew America, how can we engage people at the community-level, ensure that there are mechanisms for people to participate in meaningful ways, find common ground, and rebuild their trust in democracy?
To renew America, we need new ideas to bring citizens into their democracy. Change only happens when ordinary people get involved. Now, more than ever, governments need technologists to help them better serve the American people. And technologists have developed new ways for constituents to hold public leaders and institutions accountable. Speaker Baratunde Thurston will guide you in conversation on civic engagement, the future of technology and government, and how harnessing both can be used for implementing good.
*Workshops are invitation only
Political gridlock getting you down? Worried about America Divided? Think local, act local! Join us for a conversation with James and Deborah Fallows on how cities across the country are dealing with Digital Age challenges. After the conversation, New America’s Sharon Burke will host a workshop to identify top investments in city resilience to two challenges, in particular: climate change and terrorism.
Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor, International Security Program and Resource Security Program, New America
By now, the phrase “fake news” has been co-opted enough to become virtually meaningless. Yet the intersection of online publishing, social media, civic engagement, and media literacy continues to be red hot. In this session, we will tackle the standoff between “fact” and “fiction” by examining our education system. Is it structured to help students develop the critical thinking and new literacy skills they need? Are they learning how to question what they read and watch? Should teachers be collaborating more robustly with librarians and vice versa? And how young should media literacy education start? Join us for a dive into big questions and new approaches, including how we might build out corps of “media mentors” by upskilling and connecting educators in critical literacy, information science, and family engagement. Using rotations of 10-minute meetups, we’ll tap into new ideas and connections across the room—and across the country—to help students and their families gain critical literacy skills.
Lisa Guernsey, Deputy Director, Education Policy, New America
The importance of relevant, in-demand skills to one's economic opportunity is driving unprecedented interest and experimentation with education, apprenticeship, skills-matching, and other training strategies that directly link high-quality education with applied experience on the job. However, as policymakers, educators and industry contemplate how to prepare the next generation for work and careers, simultaneously, important efforts are underway to examine scenarios that present an uncertain future in terms of how, when, and where we work. New America’s Center for Education and Skills in partnership with the Shift Commission will bring these separate, but important conversations about the future of education and the future of work together. The session will explore ideas about how to begin to design education and experiences and infrastructure that develop relevant skills and promote opportunity even as basic assumptions about work and careers continue to shift and evolve.
Mary Alice McCarthy, Director, Center on Education and Skills, New America
Kristin Sharp, Executive Director, SHIFT: The Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology, New America
How can you change what you can't see? As the media have made crystal clear in the months since the 2016 presidential election, powerful networks of political and economic elites often only fuel major public concern over our country's leadership. Our project maps out these networks in order to analyze them—and to hold key players to account.
Journalists, government agencies, NGOs, and members of civil society grappling with anti-corruption work need a fast, intuitive, and cost-effective way to understand the dizzying range of data available on the world's crucial decision-makers and the equally nebulous ways in which they can interact. Yet big data tools are expensive, available only to deep-pocketed intelligence and financial firms. This is where commonK comes in. A big-data platform for network analysis, commonK pulls together a diverse team that includes entrepreneurs, network scientists, a former banker, and an anti-corruption activist to push a clear mission: to harness the power of the crowd and bring the best tools within reach of those acting in the public interest.
To further commonK's public mission, this workshop has been assembled to gather important input from a range of voices so that commonK's open-source elements are as beneficial as possible to the wider public—including to users like you. This structured workshop will capture your key insights, as well as bring the relevant insights of others to you.
Zia Haider Rahman, Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow
To renew America, we need new ideas on how we can restore freedom and justice to all Americans. Join us for four conversations where the discussion of economic, race, and social justice are or aren’t happening in these settings.
To renew America, we need new ideas about what it means to be American. Shifting demographics and new technologies will rewrite the code of society as we know it, from the ways we communicate to how the workforce is organized.
The year is 2060. A clear white majority might have disappeared more than 15 years ago. More than a third of the country will most likely be first- or second-generation immigrants and the question of how we define ourselves as "American" will be in flux. When today's categorizations of race are made obsolete and there are as many people over 85 as children under 5, how we look at immigration, identity, citizenship, and the voice we give to the new mainstream will need to change.
This is the future of us.
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Pavilion Room
Washington, D.C. 20004
The conference is being held in the Pavilion Room of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. We strongly recommend entering the building through the 13th Street Entrance off of Pennsylvania Avenue. We will have directional signs located throughout the building and staff wayfinders at the main entrances during registration.
Mason & Rook - A Kimpton Hotel
1430 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
*Please note that Mason & Rook is now SOLD OUT*
Hotel Phone: 866-508-0658
Group Id: Please advise the reservation agent you are attending the New America Annual Conference
Rate & Deadline
New America Rate: $319 for regular rooms plus applicable state and local taxes.A limited number of discounted rooms have been arranged. The discounted rate will be available while group rooms remain until April 25, 2017. Once the discounted rooms are sold out or after April 25 (whichever comes first), the hotel may continue to accept reservations at the discounted rate on a space-available basis; however, they could be at a higher prevailing room rate.
For more detailed directions to the conference venue from the metro, please click here. Enter the Moynihan Plaza at the corner of 13th and Pennsylvania Avenue
For more detailed directions to the conference venue from the metro, please click here.