The Short Takes speakers for 2015 will feature:
Harry Boyte leads the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College. Boyte has been an architect of a public work approach to civic engagement and democracy promotion, a conceptual framework on citizenship that has gained world-wide recognition for its theoretical innovations and its practical effectiveness.
Hahrie Han teaches political science at Wellesley College. Her two most recent books are How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century and Groundbreakers: How Obamas 2.1 Million Activists Transformed Field Campaigns in America (co-authored with Elizabeth McKenna)
Diana E. Hess is Senior Vice President of the Spencer Foundation and Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her most recent book, with Paula McAvoy, is The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education.
Caroline W. Lee teaches sociology at Lafayette College. Her most recent books include Do-it-Yourself Democracy, based on her ethnography of the public engagement industry, and Democratizing Inequalities, an edited volume with Ed Walker and Mike McQuarrie about the dramatic expansion of democratic practices in an era of stark economic inequalities.
Denise Merrill is Connecticuts 73rd Secretary of the State. In that capacity, she has focused on modernizing Connecticuts election process and making voting easier. She also co-chairs the States Civic Health Advisory Group, which is responsible for implementing action strategies identified in Connecticuts 2012 Civic Health Report. She has a longstanding commitment to civic education and expanding democratic participation.
Tina Nabatchi (PhD, Indiana University-Bloomington, 2007) is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, where she also co-directs the Collaborative Governance Initiative for the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC). Her research focuses on citizen participation, collaborative governance, and conflict resolution. She is the lead editor of Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Civic Engagement (Oxford University Press, 2012), co-author of Collaborative Governance Regimes (with Kirk Emerson, Georgetown University Press), and co-author of Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy (with Matt Leighninger, Wiley/Blackwell)
Abhi Nemani is currently the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles. Formerly, he helped build, launch, and run the national non-profit, Code for America.
Tiago Peixoto (PhD) is a Team Lead at the World Banks Digital Engagement Unit. Featured in TechCrunch as one of the 20 Most Innovative People in Democracy, Tiagos work focuses on the intersection of technology, citizen engagement and governance. At the World Bank he works with governments to leverage technology-enabled solutions for better public policies and services. As the lead of the Banks Digital Engagement Evaluation Team (DEET), he coordinates evaluation and research activities that apply cutting-edge methodologies to examine the effects of technology on participation, transparency, accountability and government responsiveness. Prior to joining the World Bank, Tiago managed projects and worked as an advisor and consultant for various organizations, such as the European Commission, OECD, United Nations, and the Brazilian and UK governments. A Research Director of the Electronic Democracy Centre at the University of Zurich and faculty member of NYUs Governance Lab, Tiago holds a PhD and a Masters in Political Science from the European University Institute, as well as a Masters in Organized Collective Action from Sciences-Po Paris. He blogs at DemocracySpot.net and tweets at @participatory .
Ambassador Alan D. Solomont, dean of Tisch College
Alan D. Solomont is a former U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra and a lifelong social and political activist, serves as the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts. Prior to his posting to Madrid, Solomont chaired the bipartisan board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees such domestic service programs as AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, VISTA and Senior Corps. He was first appointed to the board by President Clinton in 2000, reappointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 and elected chair in 2009. He began has career as a community organizer in Lowell, MA.
Ajume Wingo teaches philosophy at the University of Colorado Boulder. His last book is entitled Veil Politics in Liberal Democratic States, and he is collaborating with Michael Kruse on The Citizen, a book about how Africans can move beyond where their history has put them and begin to make their own future and secure their own political freedom.
Brenda Wright is Vice President of Legal Strategies at Demos. She has led many progressive legal and policy initiatives on voting rights, campaign finance reform, redistricting, election administration and other democracy and electoral reform issues and is a nationally known expert in these areas.
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