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We are building a dynamic calendar of events and programs open to the general public, starting with a speaker series featuring leaders who are uniquely positioned to ignite conversations on a broad range of topics, from civil dialogue to civic tech. Check back soon for information about more upcoming events throughout 2021 and 2022.

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Tiana Epps-Johnson: Founder & Executive Director, Center for Tech and Civic Life
Watch the video here from October 7, 2021

Tiana Epps-Johnson is Founder and Executive Director with the Center for Tech and Civic Life. She is leading a team that is doing groundbreaking work to make US elections more inclusive and secure. Prior to CTCL, she was the New Organizing Institute’s Election Administration Director from 2012 to 2015. She previously worked on the Voting Rights Project for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.


Tiana is a recipient of the 2020 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and was selected to join the inaugural cohorts of Obama Foundation Fellows (2018) and Harvard Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellows (2015). Tiana earned a MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University.


Simon Isaacs is CEO of TaskForce. Simon has spent his career scaling businesses at the intersection of marketing and social impact with multiple successful acquisitions. As the CEO of TaskForce, Simon has grown the Company 6x since 2018 and led its digital efforts including The Into Action Lab, the political content machine and memetic warfare operation with over 110 billion organic views in 2020-2021.


Prior to TaskForce, Simon founded and led Fatherly, a digital parenting media site (acquired 2019). Through Fatherly, Simon was recognized by Oprah as one of the top 100 most inspiring leaders. Simon also won multiple Webby Awards, Digiday Awards and was nominated for a Peabody for his podcast, Finding Fred.


Prior to founding Fatherly, Simon dedicated the past 15+ years spearheading cause-related marketing efforts for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, the Clinton Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, and more. Simon has launched more than a dozen national and international campaigns and raised more than $250 million toward philanthropic causes.  Simon was recognized by the Obama White House as a Next Generation Lead for his work in social impact.

Simon is a former professional marathon runner. In 2007, Simon ran on foot around the world as part of the Blue Planet Run. Simon lives in Brooklyn, New York with his 2 children.


Ellen Patterson: COO, EVERFI
November 19, 2021 @ 10 AM 

Ellen Patterson has spent her career at the intersection of education, technology, and social impact. With a penchant for operational excellence and relationship building, she spent the past nine years in various executive leadership positions architecting the underpinnings of growth, scale, and
transformation through EVERFI’s most critical moments. Prior to her current role as Chief Operating Officer, Ellen established and oversaw a world-class revenue team spanning sales, customer success, partner
marketing, and revenue operations as Chief Revenue and Partnership Officer. Under her leadership EVERFI experienced triple-digit revenue growth, attracting thousands of new customers, including major brands like Airbnb, Google, Truist, and UBS among others who leverage EVERFI’s technology-driven social impact programs in K12 schools and with customers and employees globally.


A former educator, Ellen brings more than two decades of business development and operations experience in consumer technology. She began her career teaching and mentoring at-risk youth in K12 schools across the Gulf Coast, Boston, and San Francisco. She later spent four years in Silicon Valley at
both a digital media startup and AOL (now part of Verizon) where she ran several business lines and incubated consumer products as they took their online form – photos, video, retail, and app stores – shaping how we socialize, share, shop and engage today.


Ellen is an active member in Fortune's Most Powerful Women and Chief communities and serves on the Community Advisory Board for Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. She formally served as Board President and Strategic Planning Chair of Holy Trinity School in Washington, D.C. and was a board member of CYO/Catholic Charities of San Francisco. She received a BA in Psychology from Georgetown University and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, where she served as graduate
assistant to Pulitzer Prize winning author and Harvard child psychology scholar, Dr. Robert Coles. Ellen also earned an MA in Teaching as a pioneering graduate from the University of Notre Dame’s ACE program and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer during her program.


Ellen lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three daughters.

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Katie Eder: Co-Founder & Executive Director, The Future Coalition
Janurary 10, 2022 @ 7 PM

Katie Eder is the Co-founder and Climate Strategy Coordinator at Future Coalition. Built by youth activists for youth activists, Future Coalition is a network of youth-led organizations and youth organizers across the United States that fosters community and collaboration while providing young people with the tools, resources, and support to power their ideas and amplify their impact.


Since launching in fall of 2018, Future Coalition has been organizing young people around a variety of issues including climate change, voting, and gun violence prevention. Under Katie’s leadership, the coalition has grown to support thousands of youth leaders across the country.


As a major force in the youth climate movement, Future Coalition coordinated the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition in 2019 and 2020. Currently, Future Coalition coordinates the Youth Climate Finance Alliance whose campaign, Fossil Free Future, is demanding JP Morgan Chase and other finance institutions stop funding fossil fuels.  


Katie is the youngest person on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Law and Policy list. Katie is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a sophomore at Stanford University. Katie devoted two gap years to establishing Future Coalition before beginning college. When she’s not organizing, Katie loves writing, roller skating, and playing with her dog, Llama.


Alec Karakatsanis: Founder & Executive Director, Civil Rights Corps
January 26, 2022 @ 12 PM

Alec is the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps. Before founding Civil Rights Corps, Alec was a civil rights lawyer and public defender with the Special Litigation Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; a federal public defender in Alabama, representing impoverished people accused of federal crimes; and co-founder of the non-profit organization Equal Justice Under Law. Alec was awarded the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice for his role in designing and bringing constitutional civil rights cases to challenge various aspects of the punishment bureaucracy across the United States and the 2016 Stephen B. Bright Award for contributions to indigent defense in the South by Gideon’s Promise. Alec’s work at Civil Rights Corps challenging the money bail system in California was honored with the 2018 Champion of Public Defense Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. You can read a profile about Alec's work with Civil Rights Corps challenging modern debtors’ prisons in Harvard Magazine.


Alec graduated from Yale College in 2005 with a degree in Ethics, Politics, & Economics and Harvard Law School in 2008, where he was a Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review.


Alec is interested in ending human caging, surveillance, police, the death penalty, immigration laws, war, and inequality. He also likes playing the piano and soccer, collecting rocks, singing, growing flowers, and making weird paintings on large pieces of wood and metal.


Most recently, he is the author of the book Usual Cruelty.


Kate Goodall: Co-Founder & CEO, Halcyon & Myron Long
February 10, 2022 @ 7 PM

Kate Goodall (she/her) is the Co-Founder and CEO of Halcyon, a non-profit dedicated to solving 21st century problems by providing space, community and access to emerging leaders in social entrepreneurship from around the world. Goodall continues to grow Halcyon’s offerings every year through strategic partnerships, and since launching Halcyon’s residential incubator model in 2014, has added a fund, an angel investing network, microloan fund, various intensive programs, and By The People, an international arts and innovation festival and online platform.

In 2016, Goodall helped establish WE Capital, a consortium of leading businesswomen investing in and supporting women and women-led companies. Goodall has served as juror at national and international social entrepreneurship competitions, like the Creator Awards, Pitch@Palace, and MIT Tech Review Innovator Europe & Latin America. She was listed as DC Inno’s 2020 Fire Blazer, one of the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100, 40 Under 40, and Washington’s New Guard in 2018, Washingtonian’s 2017 Tech Titans, and Techweek 100 DC’s Talent Cultivators. She was a founding Board Member for Black Girl Ventures.

Kate holds an MA in Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology from East Carolina University and a BA from North Carolina State University, and prior to establishing Halcyon worked in the museum field. She has 2 sons who keep her on her toes.

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Negar Tayyar: Co-Founder & Director, Global Whole Being Fund
& Josie Naughton: Co-Founder & CEO, Choose Love 

February 17, 2022 @ 12 PM

Negar is a passionate refugee-rights advocate and has been working as a financial activist supporting the global grassroots refugee response. The funding covered humanitarian and long-term needs, including advocacy and strategic litigation of more than 1,5 million people across key migration routes.

From 2009 to 2015, Negar worked on 20 international development projects in nine countries with UN agencies, governments, bilateral donors, and NGOs.

She is currently the co-founder and Director of the Global Whole Being Fund (GWBF), an international fund supporting the humanitarian and long-term needs of people on the move (forcibly displaced people). The GWBF focuses on grassroots ecosystems along migration routes applying a holistic approach. The support covers life-saving services such as sea rescue, tent, food, legal, employment, educational services, and housing. Grassroots organizations receive, on average less than 0.4% of humanitarian funding.

The GWBF identifies emerging and innovative grassroots organizations and leaders, namely from the local and refugee communities, and invests in these through grants and capacity development.

Negar is a passionate Empowerment and Self Defense Level 2 instructor working with women on the frontlines. She also runs her coaching practice ‘Resonance Coaching,’ working with individuals and teams worldwide. She supports individuals and groups in their process of finding meaning and purpose, making career shifts, re-defining their values compass, and living out their potential.

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Josie Naughton: Co-Founder & CEO, Choose Love 

Josie Naughton is the Co-Founder & CEO of Choose Love, a humanitarian
organisation born in 2015. Today the organisation supports over 150 partners in
17 countries and has raised over £48 million for displaced people. Josie is a
leading advocate for refugee rights, and seen as a thought leader across the
sector, she’s been named as one of Bill and Melinda Gates’ ‘Global Goalkeepers’
and one of the Evening Standard's Progress 1000 “Changemakers”.

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Hahrie Han: Inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute
March 15, 2022 @ 12 PM

Hahrie Han is the Inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Political Science, and Faculty Director of the P3 Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in the study of organizing, movements, civic engagement, and democracy.


Her newest book will be published by the University of Chicago Press in July 2021, entitled Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America. She has previously published three books: How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st CenturyGroundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America; and, Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics.


Her award-winning work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and numerous other outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a fifth book, to be published with Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House), about faith and race in America, with a particular focus on evangelical megachurches.

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Julie Amaon: Medical Director, Just The Pill
April 7, 2022 @ 12 PM

Dr. Julie Amaon is a family medicine physician who is a passionate advocate for sexual and reproductive healthcare. After graduating from residency at The University of Minnesota Medical Center in July 2020, she joined Just The Pill as Medical Director. Just the Pill is a non-profit, telemedicine healthcare start up exanding access to medication abortion and contraception to underserved communities in rural Minnesota, Montana, and beyond. In the future, Just The Pill hopes to expand services to provide pregnancy support, long acting conraception, and procedural abortion services in a mobile clinic.



A late bloomer, she went back to medical school at 35. Prior to medical school, Julie was a personal trainer, founded her own women's wellness business, played in and was CMO of the player owned and run Texas Rollergirls, and counseled at and then managed a clinic at Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX. 



When not at work, Julie enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible, practicing yoga, sous chef for her husband's amazing cooking, and catching up on all the books she didn't have a chance to read while in medical school and residency.

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 Dr. Debra Duardo: Superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE),
facilitated by Sarah Rosen Wartell, Executive Director of Urban Institute

April 13, 2022 @ 7 PM

Dr. Debra Duardo, in conversation with Sarah Rosen Wartell. Debra Duardo, Superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), joins a conversation with Sarah Rosen Wartell, Executive Director of Urban Institute and GDS Board member, to talk about how technology, the pandemic, and political shifts have impacted equity, excellence, and community engagement in LACOE schools, as well as implications for the future of education. LACOE oversees the Los Angeles Unified School District in addition to 80 other districts to make up the country’s largest education system of over 2 millions students.

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