David Bonior is a former member of Congress and currently a Professor of Labor Studies at Wayne State University. In 1972, he was elected to the Michigan State Legislature where he served for four years. He then won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a career which lasted 26 years. He was elected by his Democratic Caucus as their Whip in 1991 and held this position for eleven years. Mr. Bonior is the author of three books: The Vietnam Veteran: A History of Neglect; Walking to Mackinac; and Eastside Kid: A Memoir of My Youth From Detroit to Congress. His fourth book, Whip, is awaiting publication. He graduated from the University of Iowa and earned an MA in history from Chapman College in California while serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1968-72. He and his wife Judy have a combined family of three children and eight grandchildren. They reside in Washington, D.C. and Port Republic, Maryland.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post editorial board, writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog and hosts the “Cape Up” podcast. He is also an MSNBC Contributor, who regularly serves as a substitute anchor, and has served as a guest host on “Midday on WNYC” on New York Public Radio.
Ron Christie is founder and President of Christie Strategies LLC—an independent media and political strategy firm providing government relations, communications, and diversity consulting for a wide range of companies and organizations. A former special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, he is the author of three books—Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur (St. Martin's Press), Black in the White House: Life Inside George W. Bush's West Wing (Nelson Current), and his most recent book Blackwards: How Black Leadership is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal (Thomas Dunne Books). As a frequent commentator on current political events, he has appeared as a political/legal analyst on Fox News and MSNBC, as a political contributor on National Public Radio, and is a featured blogger on the Politico "In The Arena" site. He previously served as a resident fellow of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, an adjunct professor of strategic advocacy at The George Washington University School of Political Management, and visiting assistant professor of Political Science at Haverford College. Christie received his B.A. from Haverford College and his J.D. from The George Washington University National Law Center, and prior to joining Vice President Cheney's staff, he briefly served as counsel to former U.S. Senator George Allen, and as senior advisor to former House Budget Committee Chairman and current Ohio Governor, John Kasich.
Betsy Davidson has a long history of leadership experience with non-profits mainly in the fields of legal reform, public policy and the arts, most recently with the Aspen Institute. Betsy has held senior positions the Public Theater, The Shakespeare Society, The New York Studio School of Painting and Drawing, and the Pickering Associates literary agency. Ms. Davidson clerked for the Honorable Gus Solomon, U.S. Judge for District Court, 9th Circuit and worked for legal reform at Common Good, a legal advocacy organization founded by Philip K. Howard. She is a trustee of the JM Kaplan Fund, which has programs in the environment, social justice, historic preservation and New York City. Ms. Davidson was raised in New York City, graduated cum laude from Barnard College, and with honors from Tulane School of Law. She is a member of the NY Bar.
Jacqueline Davis served as the Executive Director of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center from 2001-2019 where she had general supervisory responsibilities for the Music, Dance,Theatre and Recorded Sound Research Divisions, and the complementary Circulating Division as well as the Center's performances and exhibitions. Formerly, Ms. Davis was the Founding Director of the Lied Center of Kansas at the University of Kansas where she served a dual role of Artistic Producer and Executive Director. Prior to her activities in the artistic sector, Ms Davis served as a staff assistant in the Office of Senator Edward Kennedy. Ms. Davis serves on a number of Boards and has received numerous awards including being named a Chevalier for Les Arts et Lettres by the French government. Through her work with the Global Interdependence Movement, she was awarded the Global Interdependence Prize for her efforts to engender communication across cultures through the arts.
Mickey Edwards is Vice President of the Aspen Institute, where he directs a bipartisan fellowship for elected public officials. Mr. Edwards, who grew up in Oklahoma City, was a newspaper editor and reporter before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1976. He was a congressman for 16 years, serving on the House Budget and Appropriations Committees and as a chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. After leaving Congress, he taught law and policy at Harvard and Princeton, was a weekly political columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and broadcast a weekly commentary on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Mr. Edwards has written several books including Reclaiming Conservatism and The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans. Mr. Edwards is a frequent public speaker and has been a guest on many of the nation’s leading radio and television news and opinion broadcasts. Mr. Edwards holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a JD from Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Jennifer Poulakidas serves as associate vice chancellor for government & community relations at UCLA. In this role, she leads UCLA’s federal, state, and local advocacy and promotes civic engagement and active university-community partnerships throughout the Southland. Jennifer returned to her undergraduate alma mater to take on this role in 2019. Before returning to UCLA, Ms. Poulakidas spent over two decades in Washington, DC working as vice president for governmental and congressional affairs at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and prior to APLU, as legislative director for science at the University of California’s D.C. office. A San Francisco native, she served her hometown as an aide to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi in D.C. Ms. Poulakidas received her BA from UCLA and MPAff from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Sruti Ramadugu is an MBA candidate at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She previously held roles at the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Jhpiego, an international health NGO. She began her career working for New York University at the Washington, DC Global Academic Center. Ms. Ramadugu participated in the Brademas Center Internship Program during the summer of 2010, and interned for Congresswoman Betty Sutton (OH-13). She holds a BA in History and Politics from NYU’s College of Arts and Science.
Cheryl G. Sullivan, MSES, CAE, FAAN, the Chief Executive Officer Emerita of the American Academy of Nursing, has an extensive background in federal and state public policy development and implementation; state government, public university, and non-profit association administration; and public and private fundraising. Ms. Sullivan previously was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for U.S. Senate Evan Bayh, the Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the Cabinet Secretary for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and held the role of National Issues Director during Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. She served on the Executive Board of the American Public Welfare Association and the Executive Board of the National Council of Governors’ Policy Advisors. In addition to the Advisory Council of the John Brademas Center of New York University, Ms. Sullivan serves on the Marion County Convention and Recreational Facilities Authority. She received a BS from the University of Maryland and a MSES degree from Indiana University, and completed the State and Local Program for Senior Executives at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is a Certified Association Executive by the American Society of Association Executives and is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
Ellyn Toscano is Senior Director of Programing, Partnerships and Community Engagement for NYU in Brooklyn and former Executive Director of New York University Florence. She is the founder of La Pietra Dialogues and the founding producer of The Season, a summer arts festival in Florence, Italy. Before arriving at New York University Florence, Ms. Toscano served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Jose Serrano of New York, was his chief policy advisor on legislative, political and media concerns and directed his work on the Appropriations Committee. Ms. Toscano also served as counsel to the New York State Assembly Committee on Education for nine years. She is a member of the Board of the Harbor Conservancy, New York, Honorary Board of the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy; the Advisory Board of the John Brademas Center, New York; the Italian Advisory Council of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy; and the Comitato Promotore of the Festival degli Scrittori and the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, Santa Maddalena Foundation, Donnini, Italy. Previously, she served on the boards of The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (as the representative of the Brooklyn Borough President), and on the board of trustees of the International School of Florence, Italy. A lawyer by training, Ms. Toscano earned an LLM in International Law from New York University School of Law.