Cellist Lavena Johanson is a multifaceted musician who has performed throughout the United States and Canada. Her passion for chamber music has led to performances with esteemed artists such as Robert McDuffie, Mischa Dichter, Peter Wiley, Andres Diaz, Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Elizabeth Pridgen. Lavena is a member of the Atlas String Quartet, semifinalists in the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Over the past twenty years, Dr. Clancy has choreographed and performed throughout the world. She was the youngest choreographer to present at the Suzanne Dellal International World Dance Competition in Tel Aviv, and the sole student choreographer to represent the United States in the International College Dance Festival in Kobe, Japan, which toured to Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Clancy has taught and performed at the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia and toured her work alongside the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (LLDX). As a member of LLDX, Clancy taught modern dance techniques for the Dance and Community Partnerships Workshop at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Her choreography has been performed internationally in Colombia, England, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay and Poland.
Tech Policy Expert
Alec Ross is one of America’s leading experts on innovation. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Industries of the Future. Alec Ross recently served for four year as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a role created for him by Secretary Clinton to maximize the potential of technology and innovation in service of America’s diplomatic agenda.
Human Rights Activist
Amr Hamzawy is an Egyptian political scientist and human rights activist. He is a former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. He is also a former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. Hamzawy is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) and an associate professor of political science at Cairo University.
USAID Chief Innovation Officer
Ann Mei Chang is the Chief Innovation Officer and the Executive Director of the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID. The Lab is the newest bureau at USAID and aims to transform global development through science, technology, innovation, and partnerships. Prior to USAID, Ann Mei was the Chief Innovation Officer at Mercy Corps, an international NGO. She also served as the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State.
More generally, Anna’s a multimedia producer and science journalist with a deep curiosity, a passion for education, and expertise in all areas of production: Anna directs, shoots, edits, animates, narrates, and hosts. Anna is committed to fostering diversity in both science and media. Anna was awarded the American Institute of Physics’ 2012 Science Communication Award for New Media, and their 2015 award for Broadcast/New Media.
Futurist & Innovation Strategist
Applied futurist and innovation strategist Ari Wallach is CEO of New York City based Synthesis Corp. and is Fast Company’s expert on emergent macro-trends in business and culture. Combining a grasp of new technology and business models with a broader understanding of social, political, economic, and demographic transformations, Wallach helps leaders understand, and shape, the future — of their organizations, their industries, and the world.
Journalist + Author
Bob Woodward is regarded as one of America’s preeminent investigative reporters and non-fiction authors. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the Post. While a young reporter for The Washington Post in 1972, Woodward was teamed up with Carl Bernstein; the two did much, but not all, of the original news reporting on the Watergate scandal that led to numerous government investigations and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Opera Singer & Educator
Versatile mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov Canales has been acclaimed by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.” Ms. Canales is a passionate humanitarian who for the past 10 years has served as a U.S. Department of State Cultural Arts Envoy promoting American culture overseas, giving master classes and teaching music to orphans and poverty-stricken youth.
Health Tech Entrepreneur
Carolyn Yarina is the CEO and co-founder of Sisu Global Health, based in Baltimore, Maryland. Sisu Global Health is a medical device company for emerging markets where her role includes business operations, development and strategy. The company is currently launching Hemafuse, a surgical tool to recycle a person’s own blood from internal bleeding. Outside of Sisu, Carolyn is particularly involved in promoting an inclusive culture for women and minorities within the technology community through mentorship.
Defense Policy Expert
Ms. Fox currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications (BMSA) at the National Research Council, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
With nearly 6,000 staff at what is the nation’s largest University Affiliated Research Center, Johns Hopkins APL makes critical contributions to a wide variety of national and global technical and scientific challenges. As the Director of Policy and Analysis, Ms. Fox leads efforts to increase APL’s engagement on technical policy issues and directs research and analysis projects on behalf of the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal agencies.
Dan Bell’s narrative films and documentaries have screened at national and international film festivals. His critically acclaimed documentary web-shows, “Dead Mall Series” and “Dead Motel Series” have a large and devoted fan base worldwide.
Bell is currently producing a new show, “Another Dirty Room” which will premiere this Halloween on his Film It channel. His documentary feature, “Margie and Scott” is slated for release in spring of 2017.
Dave Fleischer runs the Leadership LAB at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. The LAB helps both LGBT and straight leaders improve their ability to reduce prejudice and change the hearts and minds of voters. After an independent evaluation of the LAB’s effectiveness was published in the April 8, 2016 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Science, media coverage for the LAB’s work included this New York Times Magazine story. In September 2016, the American Political Science Association’s Experimental Research Section gave Dave its public service award for his body of work.
Tech Policy Advisor
Dr. Knatokie Ford is a Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) where she oversees development of national initiatives to raise visibility and improve the image of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and careers. She previously served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at OSTP from 2012-2014 with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) where she managed concurrent projects on education technology and improving the Nation’s health care system.
Ed Mabaya is a scholar and a development practitioner with more than a decade of experience working on agricultural development and food security issues in Africa. He is a 2016 Fellow of the The Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship and current President of African Association of Agricultural Economists.
Museum Curator & Designer
Ellen's book Thinking with Type (2004) is used by students, designers, and educators worldwide. D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006), co-authored with her graduate students at MICA, explains design processes to a general audience. D.I.Y. Kids (October 2007), co-authored with Julia Lupton, is a design book for children illustrated with kids’ art. The Lupton twins’ latest book is Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things (St Martin’s Griffin, 2009).
Food Waste Fighter
Evan is a Conscious Capitalism entrepreneur from Baltimore, MD. From an early age, he’s been passionate about business, food justice, and the Baltimore Ravens. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014, and started on a food-waste fighting journey called Hungry Harvest at the age of 21. He was recognized in 2016 as one of Baltimore’s ’40 under 40,’ and was featured on the ABC show Shark Tank, where he made a deal with Robert Herjavec.
Transportation & City Planner
Gabe is the former Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington DC Departments of Transportation. In both cities he revamped technology platforms and government processes while focusing on putting people first vs. automobiles on city streets. This included launching two of the first and largest bikeshare systems in the U.S. and building protected bike lanes and better pedestrian infrastructure for vulnerable citizens citywide, as well as facilitating private services like carshare and rideshare that could help each cities mobility goals.
Haley Edwards is an author and correspondent at TIME. Her book, Shadow Courts: The Tribunals That Rule Global Trade came out in 2016. Previously, she was an editor at the Washington Monthly and a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and the former Soviety Union, where she reported for the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and other publications. She studied philosophy at Yale University and journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
Iris Krasnow is the author of Surrendering to Motherhood, the New York Times bestseller Surrendering to Marriage, Surrendering to Yourself (Miramax Books), and I Am My Mother’s Daughter (Basic Books). The Secret Lives of Wives, published in October 2011 by Penguin/Gotham Books, continues her journey as a journalist who chronicles the adult female growth cycle. Her latest book was published February 2014, Sex After…Women Share How Intimacy Changes As Life Changes.
Jay Newton-Small is Washington correspondent for TIME and the author of Broad Influence, a book about women in politics. She writes about everything from Washington politics to foreign policy and national trends. She has covered stories on five continents for TIME from conflicts in the Middle East to the earthquake in Haiti to the Scottish independence movement and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.
Chairman, National Geographic
Jean Case is an actively engaged philanthropist, investor and a pioneer in the world of interactive technologies. A passionate believer in all things digital and the amazing potential of technology to change the world for the better, Jean and her team focus the efforts of the Foundation around many of the same entrepreneurial approaches she and Steve cultivated throughout their business careers. In addition to her role as CEO of the Case Foundation, Jean is Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees.
Jeffrey Kahn is the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He is also Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy, and Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research interests include the ethics of research, ethics and public health, and ethics and emerging biomedical technologies.
Musician & Educator
Jessica Garand has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, United Nations, Alice Tully Hall, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, Le Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur, and the Museum of Fine Art in Montreal. Jessica holds a bachelor degree from McGill’s Schulich School of Music and is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School under the direction of Samuel Rhodes.
National Security Advisor
John Noonan is former national security advisor to Governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney. Noonan spent over half a decade working in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is the veteran of two presidential campaigns. He is a former Policy Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a Washington based think-tank committed to a strong American role in world affairs. A former Captain and U.S. Air Force nuclear launch officer, Noonan was assigned to the 90th Missile Operations Group as a weapon system instructor and missile combat crew commander.
John Aristotle Phillips is a serial entrepreneur and investor, and his company, Aristotle was the first to introduce specialized computer software to political campaigns, online contribution processing, voter targeted digital messaging and big data analytics to politics. In 2014 Aristotle launched www.PredictIt.org with Victoria University. This stock market for politics, authorized by the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission, allows individual investors to forecast, with real money, political outcomes.
Disability Rights Advocate
Judith Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She has been appointed Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State. She previously served as the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia, where she was responsible for the Developmental Disability Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
Science in Media Advocate
Julie Ann Crommett joined The Walt Disney Studios on February 6th as Vice President, Multicultural Strategies. She was most recently Google's Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief leading their efforts to shift and diversify on-screen perceptions of computer science through storytelling. Previously she worked at NBCUniversal managing behind-the-camera diversity programs including Writers on the Verge and the Directing Fellowship. Her journey is coming full-circle at Disney where she began her career as a Pixar Animation Studios' production intern working on the Wall-E DVD and Up promos. Most recently, she was named to The Hollywood Reporter's prestigious "Next Gen: 35 under 35" and serves on the boards of NALIP (Natl Association of Latino Independent Producers) and Women in Animation. Julie Ann is originally from Atlanta, Ga., via San Juan, Puerto Rico (Cuban too!).
Author of McMansionHell
Kate Wagner's personal research is in how socioeconomic changes in the last 36 years are reflected in architecture and design at the consumer level. Kate is currently a first-year master’s student in Acoustics, a joint venture between Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Conservatory.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Jamieson’s research areas include political communication, rhetorical theory and criticism, studies of various forms of campaign communication, and the discourse of the presidency. She is the author or co-author of 15 books.
Musician + Activist
As a member of the groundbreaking rock band Nirvana, Krist Novoselic and bandmates Kurt Cobain and David Grohl changed the course of music history with their much-acclaimed album Nevermind. Nirvana paved the way for a new generation of bands. Krist is one of rock’s most politically-minded musicians. He has committed himself to numerous community projects and has become an influential part of the Northwest political scene. Krist joined FairVote’s Board in 2005 and was elected chair in 2008. He is a strong advocate of fair voting systems to open up politics to the next generation of engaged voters.
White House Floral Designer
Laura is renowned for creating a new romantic style of flower arranging featuring free-flowing lines of vines and flowers emanating from a classical bouquet. This style is most evocative of nature and the garden, and balances a strong artistic vision with the wildness of nature. Under her leadership, Laura implemented floral artistry at the White House, designing bouquets of garden flowers in a style that is both modern and refined, yet casually elegant. She often presents her distinctive arrangements in hand-made organic containers composed of leaves, branches and berries that are woven into patterns and motifs, creating integrated, cohesive displays that conjure both nature and the garden.
Cellist Lavena Johanson is a multifaceted musician who has performed throughout the East and West Coasts as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist. Her passion for chamber music has led to performances with esteemed artists such as Robert McDuffie, Mischa Dichter, Peter Wiley, Andres Diaz, Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Elizabeth Pridgen. Lavena is a member of the Atlas String Quartet, founded in Baltimore in the fall of 2013. In 2014, the group participated in the Mannes Beethoven Institute, and they were semifinalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. They were awarded the Peabody Institute’s 2014 Yale Gordon Creative Access Chamber Fellowship, under the auspices of which the group is featured in regular concerts throughout the Baltimore community. As a soloist, she won the opportunity to perform Richard Strauss' Don Quixote with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in February 2013. Lavena also has a strong interest in new music.
Computer Industry Pioneer
Fresh out of graduate school, Leonard Tramiel joined his father and two brothers when his father bought Atari from Warner Communications in 1984. For the next 12 years, Tramiel was involved in the development of Atari’s products as vice president of software, managing an internal group of a dozen programmers while interacting worldwide with software developers and contract programmers. Since retiring from Atari at age 42, he has been concentrating on advocating science education.
An award winning scholar (in 2013, he received the W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award for his book, Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics) and teacher (in 2009, he received an Excellence in Teaching Award), he can regularly be heard on National Public Radio and the Marc Steiner Show.
Raised in Inkster, Spence holds both a BA and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He has lived in Baltimore since 2005 and is a father of five.
He has designed architectural projects across a variety of typologies ranging from the new Live Arts Center at Bard College to the twenty-two story “Aurum” residential tower in Manhattan. His work also includes experimental advanced technology projects that explore new forms of interactivity, virtual reality, robotics, 3d printing, and spatial social media for clients such as Intel Corporation, Lady Gaga, Google, Diesel, H&M, Samsung, and Vice Media. Mr. Gage also oversees, as the Product Design Director for Nicola Formichetti’s “Nicopanda” fashion line, a new series of high-tech accessories ranging from iPhone cases to USB jewelry. Mr. Gage has received recognition in the form of nominations or awards from various institutions including the Architectural League of New York, the American Institute of Architects, The Chernikhov Foundation, The Ordoz Prize Foundation, and the USA Artists Fellows Program, and was named an “Avant Guardian of Architecture” by Surface Magazine.
Martin O’Malley served as the Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. Prior to being elected as governor, he served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 and was a Baltimore City Councilor from 1991 to 1999. In City Hall, he implemented a program called CitiStat, a cutting-edge system that tracked how well Baltimore’s government was serving its citizens. The program won Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government Award, and TIME Magazine named O’Malley “one of America’s top five big city mayors.”
Chef & Author
After launching PornBurger to huge buzz and rave reviews, Ramsey began Bar R, a four-person dinner series featuring a secret, six-course tasting menu, with a waitlist of hundreds for its second season. He lives in Washington, DC.
Refugee Justice Fighter
Melanie also has served as HIAS’ Senior Director, Policy & Advocacy and, previously, as Migration Policy Counsel and Director of the Employment Visa Program, representing at-risk Jewish professionals and religious workers seeking to work in the U.S. during times of instability and crisis in their home countries.
National Drug Policy Director
As Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli leads the Obama Administration’s drug policy efforts. The Administration has advanced historic drug policy reforms and innovations in prevention, criminal justice, treatment, and recovery. Mr. Botticelli has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder for more than 26 years and has encouraged the millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard and confront the stigma associated with substance use disorders, which often keeps individuals from seeking and receiving treatment.
Public Health Expert
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, is a professor of urban policy and health at The New School, having moved there in 2016 after 26 years at New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. Trained at Bryn Mawr College and Columbia University, she has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities and is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. Her research examines the mental health effects of environmental processes such as violence, segregation, and urban renewal.
Race in Media Researcher
Naeemah also studies and teaches about economic, programming and diversity issues related in the media and entertainment industries. She has edited the book, “African Americans in the History of U.S. Media,” co-authored a textbook, “Diversity in U.S. Mass Media,” published work in Journalism History, American Behavioral Scientist and has presented numerous papers at various conferences.
Nina V. Fedoroff received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Rockefeller University and has served on the faculties of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Johns Hopkins University, the Pennsylvania State University, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Fedoroff has published three books and more than 160 scientific papers. She is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and a 2006 National Medal of Science laureate.
Criminal Justice Reformer
Professor Sullivan is a leading theorist in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, trial practice and techniques, legal ethics, and race theory. He is the faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute and the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop. Professor Sullivan also serves as Master of Winthrop House at Harvard College. He is the first African American ever appointed Master in Harvard’s history. He is a founding member and Senior Fellow of the Jamestown Project.
As director of The Weill Music Institute, Sarah Johnson is responsible for developing and overseeing all educational and community activities at Carnegie Hall. The Weill Music Institute annually serves over 350,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York City metropolitan area, across the United States, and around the world. During her time at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Johnson has led the first major strategic planning initiative for the Weill Music Institute, including the development of a digital strategy for the department, and has launched numerous programs including the award-winning Musical Connections, which serves people in acute need in healthcare settings, correctional facilities including juvenile justice centers, homeless shelters, and senior service organizations and the recently announced National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.
Renewable Energy Advocate
Sarah Shanley Hope has engaged millions through its marketing campaign, influenced and convened dozens of leaders from business, government, entertainment and the social sector to carry the 100% banner, and invested more than $1,000,000 in community organizations making 100% happen in target states. Sarah is also on the Board of People’s Grocery.
Economic Policy Advisor
Sebastian Johnson is a Senior Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC and a passionate believer in the role public policy can play in bettering lives. From 2014 to 2016 Mr. Johnson was the state policy fellow at the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy. He also served as a policy analyst for Governor Martin O’Malley and a number of local officials in Maryland. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Politics.
Sheryl Winarick is an immigration lawyer based in Washington, DC and Austin, TX. Her clients include organizations like Oxfam International and TED, small businesses and start-ups, as well as individuals and families from all over the world. She is an Aspen Institute Scholar (2014) and serves on the HIAS Public Policy Committee. Sheryl recently completed the TED Residency in NYC.
Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory at NYU (GovLab) where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology.
Strother is a speaker, trainer, and coach for creative entrepreneurs and those who want to become one. He works with lawyers who just wanna dance, programmers who wish they were potters, and undercover Yogi CFO’s to integrate their professional life with their authentic creative self. He is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a background in theatre, education, sales, management, leadership, and Segway tour-guiding.
Vocalist & Composer
Tariq’s awards include the 2006 Centerstage Young Playwrights Award for his musical, “Another Man’s Treasure”, the 2008 NIYC Gospelfest Awards, the Baltimore Choral Arts 2009 Student Composer Project Award with his piece, “With Open Wings”, the 2009 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, “Oh Say Can you Sing” competition and a 2011 National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts Young Arts Finalist in both Classical and Popular voice. He has been featured as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the D.C. Jazz Festival, Anacostia Jazz Festival, and Hilary Hahn’s Tsunami Relief Concert. Tariq has shared the stage with artists such as Kishna Davis, the Bel Canto Singers, Dejuana Small, Rance Allen, Sandy Patti, Andy Williams, and Maurette Brown Clark.