SPEAKER BIOS

Monday, December 4th

A Conversation with New, Millennial Mayors

  • The Honorable Aja Brown
    The Honorable Aja Brown Mayor
    City of Compton

    Compton Mayor Aja Brown made history as the City’s youngest elected Mayor at the age of 31. A national trailblazer, Mayor Brown’s ‘New Vision for Compton’ is a revitalization strategy centered on 12 key principles that focus on family values, quality of life, economic development and infrastructural growth. Mayor Brown is focused on improving outcomes through policy reform, innovation and strategic partnerships. She proudly serves the Citizens of Compton by developing and implementing public policies that facilitate guided growth through the protection of community assets.

  • The Honorable Richard C. Irvin
    The Honorable Richard C. Irvin Mayor
    City of Aurora, IL

    A proud Veteran of the U.S. Army, Mayor Irvin served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He has taught at Robert Morris College, Northern Illinois University and as a substitute teacher at East Aurora School District 131. Mayor Irvin previously served as Alderman At-Large from 2007-2017.

  • The Honorable Chokwe Antar Lumumba
    The Honorable Chokwe Antar Lumumba Mayor
    City of Jackson, MS

    The Honorable Chokwe Antar Lumumba was elected on June 6, 2017 as mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. Lumumba earned his juris doctorate and a certificate in sports & entertainment law from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in 2008. After law school, he immediately returned to Jackson, Mississippi and began his work as a junior associate at Lumumba, Freelon, & Associates. As a founding member of the Mississippi Human Rights Collective, he co-organized the “Stand Up to Take It Down” rally at the State capitol to support the removal of the confederate insignia from the Mississippi State flag. He currently serves as the media representative of the Coalition for Economic Justice and is an active member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

  • The Honorable Levar Stoney
    The Honorable Levar Stoney Mayor
    City of Richmond

    Levar M. Stoney was sworn in as Richmond’s 80th Mayor on Dec. 31, 2016. He is the youngest mayor ever elected to serve the city. A product of Virginia public schools, he grew up on free and reduced lunch and was the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. He went on to graduate from James Madison University. Mayor Stoney served as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia during a transformative time for the state, leading to President Obama’s historic Virginia victory in 2008.

  • Lester Spence
    Lester Spence Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies, Co-Director of the Center for Africana Studies
    Johns Hopkins University

    Lester Spence is an associate professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University. He specializes in the study of black, racial, and urban politics in the wake of the neoliberal turn. 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.

Tuesday, December 5th

Welcome and Introductions

  • Ron Daniels President
    Johns Hopkins University

    Since taking office in March 2009, President Daniels has focused his leadership on enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration, individual excellence and community engagement. These three overarching themes are the foundation to the Ten by Twenty, the university’s strategic vision through 2020, and underscore the priorities of Rising to the Challenge, Johns Hopkins’ largest-ever fundraising campaign, a $4.5 billion effort.

  • The Honorable Catherine Pugh
    The Honorable Catherine Pugh Mayor
    City of Baltimore

    Catherine E. Pugh is the 50th and current mayor of Baltimore City, Maryland. Mayor Pugh has been a public servant for more than 15 years. She was elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1999 to represent the 4th District. In 2005 she was appointed to the House of Delegates of the Maryland General Assembly to represent the 40th District. She served for one year before running for her Senate seat in 2006.

  • Kathryn Edin Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
    Johns Hopkins University

    Dr. Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Edin also serves as the Academic Director for the 21st Century Cities Initiative. Her book, $2.00 A Day, Living on Almost Nothing in America, has received much acclaim as a “revelatory account of poverty in America.”

  • Ben Seigel Executive Director
    21st Century Cities Initiative

    Ben Seigel joined Johns Hopkins in February 2016 as the first Executive Director of the 21st Century Cities Initiative. He spent six years in the Obama Administration as a senior advisor to the Secretary of Labor, among other roles, and helped lead a number of federal interagency, place-based initiatives working in local communities.

Economic Segregation in 21st Century American Cities

  • Barbara A. Mikulski
    Barbara A. Mikulski Homewood Professor, Department of Political Science
    Johns Hopkins University

    Barbara Mikulski, Maryland’s longest-tenured United States senator, joined Johns Hopkins University in January 2017 as a professor of public policy and advisor to President Ronald J. Daniels. Mikulski retired from the Senate after completing her fifth six-year term. As a senator, Mikulski focused on issues including civil rights, national security, space exploration, education, jobs, research and innovation, women’s health, cybersecurity, senior citizens, and veterans. She was the primary sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, addressing salary discrimination against women. Obama later awarded Mikulski the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  • The Honorable Ras Baraka
    The Honorable Ras Baraka Mayor
    City of Newark

    Ras J. Baraka is the 40th Mayor of the City of Newark. He was elected in May of 2014 and sworn in on July 1, 2014. His progressive approach to governing has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House. He was listed in The Nation’s 2015 “Most Valuable Progressives” as “Most Valuable Mayor”, Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” and on the front cover of the New York Times for “defying expectations” during his first year-and-half in office.  President Barack Obama announced his sweeping plan for criminal justice reform with Mayor Baraka while visiting a Newark reentry center.

  • Erik Solivan
    Erik Solivan Executive Director, Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere
    City of Denver

    Erik Soliván is the first Executive Director of the new Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE). As Executive Director, Soliván will help craft a coordinated and comprehensive strategic roadmap for the city’s policies, programs and projects along the full homeless-to-homeownership spectrum and other opportunities, including services and workforce development, to build stronger communities throughout Denver.

  • Michael McAfee
    Michael McAfee President
    PolicyLink

    Michael McAfee oversees strategy development, the alignment of PolicyLink assets, and the achievement of policy wins that ensure all people in America have economic security, live in healthy communities of opportunity, and benefit from a just society. He came to PolicyLink in 2011 as the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Under his leadership, PolicyLink emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems that ensure children and youth in our nation’s most distressed communities have a pathway into the middle class. Because of the focus on results, Promise Neighborhoods became a permanent federal program through the 2015 authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

  • Paul A. Jargowksy
    Paul A. Jargowksy Professor of Public Policy
    Rutgers University

    Paul A. Jargowksy is a Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University and 2016-2017 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University. His principal research interests are inequality, the geographic concentration of poverty, and residential segregation by race and class. His book, Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City, is a comprehensive examination of poverty at the neighborhood level in U.S. metropolitan areas between 1970 and 1990.

  • Marisol Bello
    Marisol Bello Director of Content Strategy and Development
    Center for Community Change

    Marisol Bello is the senior political writer for the Center for Community Change. Prior to her joining the Center, she was a journalist for 23 years, working in newsrooms from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to Detroit and Washington, D.C. She was most recently a national reporter for USA TODAY, where she spent eight years covering high-profile events such as the recession of the late 2000s and its impact on American families; the death of Nelson Mandela and the future of South Africa without him and the deadly earthquake in Haiti that left an already poverty-stricken nation even further devastated. Her stories focused on the lives of Americans like her immigrant family, who worked hard and still struggled to make ends meet. Her passion to tell those stories continues at the Center.

The Role of Local Nonprofit Organizations in Confronting Violence and Crime

  • The Honorable Buddy Dyer
    The Honorable Buddy Dyer Mayor
    City of Orlando

    Buddy Dyer has been Mayor of Orlando since first being elected to the position in 2003. Under Mayor Dyer’s leadership and through strategic investments, Orlando is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities and is the most visited destination in the country, hosting more than 65 million visitors each year. Mayor Dyer has defined Orlando as America’s new home for inclusiveness, opportunity and quality of life, with a strong focus on innovation, transportation, sustainability and government efficiency.

  • The Honorable Brandon Scott
    The Honorable Brandon Scott Councilman
    City of Baltimore

    Brandon M. Scott was sworn in as City Councilman for the 2nd District on December 8, 2011. Elected at the age of 27 Brandon is the youngest person ever elected to the new single member district City Council. Brandon was born and raised Baltimore growing up in Park Heights. As a proud Baltimorean, Brandon Scott is a graduate of MERVO High School and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

  • Shirley Franklin
    Shirley Franklin Executive Board Chair
    Purpose Built Communities

    Shirley Franklin was elected the first African American woman mayor of a major southern city in 2002 and served two-terms until 2009. The mayor is term limited in Atlanta. Currently she serves as Executive Chairman of Purpose Built Communities, a non-profit consulting firm that works side-by-side with local leaders to plan and implement a holistic neighborhood revitalization effort. She currently serves as President of Clarke-Franklin and Associates, Inc.  She co- chairs the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Regional Commission on Homelessness, serves as the Chair of the National Center of Civil and Human Rights and serves on the board of the Volcker Alliance.

  • Patrick Sharkey
    Patrick Sharkey Professor of Sociology
    New York University

    Patrick Sharkey is a Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology Department at NYU. His research focuses on various issues related to inequality in urban neighborhoods. Sharkey has published research examining how aspects of the neighborhood environment influence the choices that adolescents make as they navigate potentially violent streets, and his current work focuses on the relationship between long-term neighborhood disadvantage and individual cognitive development, violent behavior, and victimization.

  • Dan Rodricks
    Dan Rodricks Columnist
    The Baltimore Sun

    Dan Rodricks is an award-winning columnist for The Baltimore Sun, writing commentary on local, regional and national news three days a week since January 1979. He is also the host of a podcast, called Roughly Speaking. He is the former host of Midday, a daily talk show on WYPR, the NPR affiliate in Baltimore.

Lunch and Conversation on State Preemption of Local Policy-Making

  • The Honorable Paul R. Soglin
    The Honorable Paul R. Soglin Mayor
    City of Madison, WI

    Mayor Paul Soglin is serving in his 20th year as Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. Mayor Soglin’s priorities include measuring city projects against the finest standards for livability, equity, and sustainability, and ensuring that all basic needs are within walking distance of every neighborhood. He believes that a healthy city with a strong inclusive economy is based on creating a sense of place, walkability, and social cohesion.

  • The Honorable Jillian Johnson
    The Honorable Jillian Johnson City Council Member
    City of Durham

    Jillian Johnson is a long-time community organizer and activist, mother of two, and member of the Durham City Council. She was elected in 2015 on a platform of racial, economic, and environmental justice, police accountability, equitable development, broadening democracy, and centering the voices of those who are most impacted by the issues facing Durham.

  • Anne Morgan
    Anne Morgan City Attorney
    City of Austin

    Anne Morgan started with the City of Austin Law Department in 2004 as the chief of litigation. Anne has a background in complex civil litigation and previously served as Deputy General Counsel, for the National Federation of Federal Employees

  • Jon Vernick
    Jon Vernick Professor
    Johns Hopkins University

    Jon Vernick is a professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also an affiliate of the Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public’s Health.  His research has focused the use of law and legal interventions to further public health and injury prevention goals. He has concentrated on the ways in which science, law, regulation, and litigation can work together to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries, particularly those caused by firearms, motor vehicles, and other consumer products.

  • Mike Alfano
    Mike Alfano Campaign Manager
    Campaign to Defend Local Solutions

    Mike Alfano is the Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, a coalition of elected officials and organizations in 43 states working to counteract preemption by state governments at the local level, advocating for local innovation, and raising awareness around the issue of preemption.

Afternoon Workshops

Track 1:  Data Driven Decision Making in the 21st Century

  • Eric Reese
    Eric Reese Associate Director of Training & Education
    Center for Government Excellence

    Originally from Indiana, Eric has spent his career working and partnering with organizations around the world to improve public sector performance. Before coming to GovEx, Eric worked on public education initiatives as a Fulbright Grantee in South Korea and at the DC Public Education Fund in Washington, DC, where he managed grant programs to drive improved performance in the DC Public Schools. Most recently, Eric worked with local governments across North Carolina on strategic planning, economic development, and local government performance.

  • Matt Pazoles
    Matt Pazoles Chief Data Scientist
    Center for Government Excellence

    An experienced data analyst, Matt has sought to lower the barriers to having robust data and performance management programs for large membership organizations, national political parties, and non-profits. Prior to joining GovEx, Matt worked with local leaders and elected officials at all levels of government to both inculcate a culture of evidence-based decision making and create the technical tools necessary to reach new levels of constituent engagement.

Track 2: The Color of Wealth: The National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color

  • William A “Sandy” Darity Jr.
    William A “Sandy” Darity Jr. Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy
    Duke University

    Sandy Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.

  • Darrick Hamilton
    Darrick Hamilton Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy
    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. Professor 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.

  • Karilyn Crockett
    Karilyn Crockett Director of Small Business Development and Economic Policy and Research
    City of Boston

    Dr. Karilyn Crockett is the Director of the Small Business Development department & Director of Economic Policy and Research for the City of Boston. Her portfolio guides implementation of Mayor Walsh’s strategic priorities for citywide economic development. Karilyn’s academic research focuses on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of structural poverty. She is a research affiliate in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at MIT.

  • Tomi Hiers
    Tomi Hiers Director, Baltimore Civic Site
    Annie E Casey Foundation

    As director of the Baltimore Civic Site, Thomasina “Tomi” Hiers leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure children and families across the city are healthy and thriving, with access to strong community-based services, good jobs, affordable homes and high-quality schools. Prior to joining Casey, Hiers was the executive director of Baltimore’s Promise, a public-private collaborative working to support children’s health and education from cradle to career. She has more than 18 years of experience in state and local government. She previously served as deputy secretary for programs at the Maryland Department of Human Resources, managing the Family Investment, Social Services and Child Support Enforcement administrations; deputy chief of staff to former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, advising on policies, programs and services affecting youth, the formerly incarcerated and individuals experiencing homelessness; and assistant secretary and chief of staff at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, overseeing operations, programs and reentry services.

  • Laurie Feinberg
    Laurie Feinberg Assistant Director of Planning Department
    City of Baltimore

    Laurie has over 30 years experience in Urban Design and Planning.  Most recently she was the project manager for the Zoning Code rewrite.  Currently she oversees the development review side of the department including Historic Preservation and the Land Use and Urban Design divisions.  She has a B. Architecture degree from Cornell University.

Track 3: City-University Neighborhood Revitalization Partnerships

  • Kristen Kerecman
    Kristen Kerecman Communications and Public Engagement Editor
    Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

    Kristen Kerecman is part of the University of Michigan’s central communications team, housed in the Office of the Vice President for Communications, and works closely with the Poverty Solutions director and leadership team to drive communications strategy and outreach for U-M’s poverty work. She also works with leadership to help guide the initiative’s public engagement strategy with external stakeholders, such as policymakers.

  • Joshua Rivera
    Joshua Rivera Project Manager
    Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

    Joshua Rivera is a Project Manager at Poverty Solutions. In this role, he collaborates with the leadership team on project management, data analysis, and research dissemination while building relationships with research partners and businesses. Prior to working at Poverty Solutions, Mr. Rivera was a dually appointed fellow at the Mayor’s Office, City of Chicago and Education Pioneers where he worked with senior government officials on evaluating and improving workforce development and education initiatives.

  • Ashley McLeod
    Ashley McLeod Strategic Affairs Manager, Office of the Mayor
    City of Detroit
  • David Williams
    David Williams Senior Adviser, Office of the Mayor
    City of Detroit
  • Tamás Budavári
    Tamás Budavári Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics & Statistics
    Johns Hopkins University

    Tamás Budavári is an assistant professor of Applied Mathematics & Statistics at Johns Hopkins University. Budavári’s work includes a project studying vacant housing dynamics in Baltimore. Working with City officials, the project’s goal is to better understand the dynamics of vacant housing in Baltimore City, measure the impact of current interventions, and help to hone decision and policy making using statistical analyses of available data.

  • Michael Braverman
    Michael Braverman Commissioner
    Baltimore Housing

    In his 30+ years of experience with Baltimore City—as a prosecutor, as Director of Code Enforcement’s legal team, as Deputy Commissioner of Permits and Code Enforcement, and now as Acting Housing Commissioner—Michael has played a key role in innovating new approaches to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. He was a key architect of the Vacants to Value program, leading its innovative receivership and strategic demolition programs; and an essential collaborator on Project CORE, which is providing unprecedented funding for blight removal and community greening in Baltimore.

  • Phil Garboden
    Phil Garboden Doctoral Candidate
    Johns Hopkins University
  • Albert “Snapper” Poche
    Albert “Snapper” Poche Deputy Director for Strategy and Effectiveness, Code Enforcement and Hearings Bureau
    City of New Orleans
  • Melissa Sieben Assistant County Administrator
    Kansas City, KS

    As an Assistant County Administrator, Melissa Sieben is responsible for providing direct oversight of County and City departments such as Public Works, Community Development, Transportation, Purchasing, Clerk’s Office and Planning.

Track 4: Place-Based Strategies for Strengthening Neighborhood Health and Education Outcomes

  • Larry Morrissey
    Larry Morrissey Vice President, Government Sales and Relations
    Marathon Health

    In May 2017, after 12 years as Mayor of the City of Rockford, Lawrence J. Morrissey joined Marathon Health as Vice President of Government Sales & Relations. During Morrissey’s time in office, the City of Rockford applied population health approaches to operations like ending Veterans Homelessness and reducing violent crime and the City turned around a multi-million employee health fund deficit into a surplus. He now applies his experience at Marathon Health helping to lead a grassroots, employer-driven healthcare revolution. Through their work with local governments and private employers, Marathon Health clinics serve over 300,000 members at over 140 sites in over 40 States where they pursue the Healthcare Triple Aim of better patient experience, better health outcomes, and lower cost.

  • Sasha Loffredo
    Sasha Loffredo Vice President of Medical Services
    Marathon Health

    Alexandra “Sasha” Loffredo is a family physician and Vice President of Medical Services at Marathon Health. She received her medical degree from the University of Vermont and completed her residency training in Family Medicine at the Hunterdon Medical Center in New Jersey. Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Loffredo earned her Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Michelle Rosowsky
    Michelle Rosowsky Vice President of Business Strategy
    Marathon Health

    Michelle Rosowsky is the Vice President for Business Performance and Strategy at Marathon Health, a national provider of worksite healthcare.  She’s responsible for identifying internal and external opportunities to improve Marathon Health’s business performance and to maximize value for its customers. Prior to coming to Marathon Health, Michelle worked as a consultant on outcomes assessment for colleges and universities, and has also worked in sports marketing, corporate fitness, market research, and as a writer and editor.  She has an MBA, MA in Rhetoric, BS in Exercise Science, and a certificate in Healthcare Administration. She lives in South Burlington, Vermont with her family.

  • Von Washington
    Von Washington Executive Director of Community Relations
    Kalamazoo Promise

    Von Washington Jr. serves as the spokesperson for the Kalamazoo Promise, where he promotes a system of communication and information around a common vision of becoming an education community. Von previously served as principal of Kalamazoo Central High School, which was selected by President Obama in 2010 as the site of the first ever presidential commencement speech at a high school for its winning entry in the Race to the Top Commencement Competition.

  • Dawn DeLuca
    Dawn DeLuca Coordinator, Health Equity and Community Affairs
    Western Michigan University Homer Stryker, M.D. School of Medicine

    Dawn is the Coordinator of Health Equity and Community Affairs at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music Education. As a former urban, public school arts educator, Dawn is passionate about the important role the arts play in enriching the lives of all people. She currently serves on the Kalamazoo Literary Council as well as the Civic Board.

  • Sylvia Thompson
    Sylvia Thompson Director
    El Dorado Promise

    Sylvia Thompson is the director of the El Dorado Promise, a unique scholarship program established and funded by Murphy Oil Corporation. The Promise provides graduates of El Dorado High School with a scholarship covering tuition and mandatory fees that can be used at any accredited two- or four-year, public or private educational institution in the US.

  • Bridgette Timmeney
    Bridgette Timmeney Special Projects Coordinator
    W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

    Ms. Timmeney assists with business and community alignment related to workforce development and the Kalamazoo Promise. She also conducts research related to workplace literacy programs and developing community benchmark indicators, and she recently developed a baseline indicator system to measure the social and economic impacts of a rural casino. Her responsibilities have included contract management, program monitoring, and program evaluation of federal and state workforce development programs.