2020 Leading the Way Speakers

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What the 2020 Election Means for Immigrants and Immigration

Juan Williams
Political Analyst, Fox News
Moderator

Juan Williams currently serves as a co-host of FOX News Channel’s The Five and also appears as a political analyst. Williams joined the network as a contributor in 1997.

In addition to his more than 10-year career with NPR, where he served as a senior national correspondent and news analyst, Williams spent 23 years at The Washington Post. During his tenure there, Williams covered every major political campaign from 1980 to 2000 as a national correspondent and a political columnist.

He has won an Emmy Award for television documentary writing and has received widespread critical acclaim for numerous projects such as: “Politics: The New Black Power” and “A. Phillip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom.” Additionally, he is the author of six books, including the non-fiction bestseller, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965” and “Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary.” Williams has also written numerous articles and has contributed to many national magazines, including: TIME, Fortune, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Ebony and GQ.

Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College.

Lorella Praeli
President, Community Change
Speaker

Lorella Praeli is the President of Community Change Action, which seeks to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that impact their lives. Lorella is passionate about building collective power to win transformative policy change at all levels of government so that people can thrive. She has brought this passion and vision to all her roles, including as ACLU’s Deputy National Political Director, Hillary Clinton’s National Latino Vote Director, and United We Dream’s Director of Advocacy and Policy. Lorella is a freedom fighter, movement builder, and adaptive athlete.

Stuart Stevens
Author and Political Strategist
Speaker
Stuart Stevens was a founding partner in Strategic Partners & Media and stepped down from the company in April 2019. He is currently an advisor to the Lincoln Project and is working on his next novel.

He attended Colorado College; Pembroke College, Oxford; Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English; UCLA Graduate Film School, and the American Film Institute, where he received a diploma signed by Charlton Heston.

“It Was All A Lie: How The Republican Party Became Donald Trump” is his eighth book. His earlier books are: “The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear, last Season: A Father, a Son and a Lifetime of College Football”, “Night Train to Turkistan, Malaria Dreams, Feeding Frenzy: Around the World In Search of The Perfect Meal” and the novel “Scorched Earth: A Political Love Story”. He’s written extensively for dramatic television series, starting with “Northern Exposure” and including “I’ll Fly Away”, “K. Street”, “Commander in Chief” and others. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Outside, The Washington Post, Food & Wine and many others.

State of American Attitudes on Immigration

Linda Chavez
Senior Fellow, National Immigration Forum
Moderator

Linda Chavez is a senior fellow at the National Immigration Forum. Chavez authored “Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation”, which the Denver Post described as a book that “should explode the stereotypes about Hispanics that have clouded the minds of patronizing liberals and xenophobic conservatives alike.” National Review described Chavez’s memoir, “An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal”, as a “brilliant, provocative, and moving book.”  In 2000, Chavez was honored by the Library of Congress as a “Living Legend” for her contributions to America’s cultural and historical legacy.  In January 2001, Chavez was President George W. Bush’s nominee for Secretary of Labor until she withdrew her name from consideration.

Chavez has held a number of appointed positions, among them Chairman, National Commission on Migrant Education (1988-1992); White House Director of Public Liaison (1985); Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1983-1985); and she was a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (1984-1986).  Chavez was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland in 1986.  In 1992, she was elected by the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission to serve a four-year term as U.S. Expert to the U.N. Sub-commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

Robert P. Jones
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Public Religion Research Institute
Speaker

Robert P. Jones is the CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the author of “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”. Jones writes regularly on politics, culture, and religion for The Atlantic online, NBC Think, and other outlets. He is frequently featured in major national media, such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others. He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University and a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of “The End of White Christian America”, which won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

Tim Miller
Writer-At-Large, The Bulwark
Speaker

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and a communications consultant. He previously served as senior advisor to the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC, communications director for Jeb Bush, and spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

 


History: What Historical Movements for Immigration Reform Can Tell Us About the Next 100 Years

Michelle Hackman
Immigration Policy Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Moderator

Michelle Hackman is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Washington, where she writes about immigration and the Department of Homeland Security. Michelle joined the Journal in 2016, where before immigration, she covered health and education policy. She is a 2015 Yale University graduate and the 2018 co-winner of the Everett Mckinley Dirksen award for distinguished reporting on Congress.

Michael A. Clemens
Senior Fellow & Program Director, Center for Global Development
Speaker

Michael Clemens is director of migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he studies the economic effects and causes of migration around the world. He has published on migration, development, economic history, and impact evaluation, in peer-reviewed academic journals including the American Economic Review, and his research has been awarded the Royal Economic Society Prize. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, and has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Population Economics and World Development. He has lived and worked in Colombia, Brazil, and Turkey. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, specializing in economic development, public finance, and economic history.

Jia Lynn Yang
Deputy National Editor, New York Times
Speaker

Jia Lynn Yang is a deputy national editor at The New York Times and author of the book “One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965.”

 

 

 

Global Migration in the Age of COVID-19

Mindy Belz
Senior Editor, World Magazine
Moderator

Mindy Belz is a senior editor at World News Group and the author of They Say We Are Infidels (Tyndale, 2016). She has covered war in the Balkans, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Her reporting has been published overseas, as well as in The Wall Street Journal and other publications. Mindy worked on Capitol Hill, attended George Washington University, and now lives in Asheville, NC.

Ambassador Martha Bárcena
Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Speaker

Ambassador Bárcena was appointed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and ratified by the Mexican Senate on December 2018, becoming the first female Ambassador to hold this position.

Ambassador Bárcena joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1979. Prior to arriving in Washington, D.C., she was posted as Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rome-based Agencies. She has also served as Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, non-resident to Georgia and the Republics of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan; Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark, non-resident to the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Iceland, and as Consul in Barcelona.

David Miliband
Chief Executive Officer, International Rescue Committee
Speaker

David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. He oversees the agency’s relief and development operations in over 30 countries, its refugee resettlement and assistance programs throughout the United States and the IRC’s advocacy efforts in Washington and other capitals on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people.

David has had a distinguished political career in the United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the youngest Foreign Secretary in three decades, driving advancements in human rights and representing the United Kingdom throughout the world. His accomplishments have earned him a reputation, in former President Bill Clinton’s words, as “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.” In 2016 David was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine and in 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. David has had a distinguished political career in the United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the youngest Foreign Secretary in three decades, driving advancements in human rights and representing the United Kingdom throughout the world. His accomplishments have earned him a reputation, in former President Bill Clinton’s words, as “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.” In 2016 David was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine and in 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A Civil Discourse: Revisited

Michael Wear
Chief Strategist, The AND Campaign
Moderator

As one of President Obama’s “ambassadors to America’s believers” (Buzzfeed), Michael Wear directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.

Today, Michael serves as Chief Strategist and member of the executive team for the AND Campaign. Michael is also the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, a firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape.

Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America and the co-author of a major report on “Christianity, Pluralism and Public Life in the United States” that was supported by Democracy Fund.

Cherie Harder
President, the Trinity Forum
Speaker

Cherie Harder serves as President of The Trinity Forum. Previously, she worked in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady Laura Bush. She has also worked as the Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Policy Director for Senator Sam Brownback, and the Deputy Policy Director at Empower America.

She has contributed articles to publications including Policy Review, Human Events, and the Harvard Political Review, and ghost-written articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, and elsewhere. She also serves on the board of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and Faith and Law, and on the advisory boards of The Democracy Fund, The National Civic Art Society, and the National Museum of American Religion.

Dr. Russell Moore
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Speaker

Dr. Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. The ERLC is the moral and public policy entity of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

The Wall Street Journal has called Moore “vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate.” He was named in 2017 to Politico Magazine’s list of top fifty influence-makers in Washington and has been profiled by such publications as the Washington Post and the New Yorker.

Prior to his election in 2013, Moore served as provost and dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he also taught theology and ethics. He currently serves as visiting professor of ethics at Southern, Southeastern, and New Orleans Baptist seminaries.

Dr. Moore is the author of several books, including “Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel” and “The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home”.

A native Mississippian, Moore and his wife Maria are the parents of five sons.

Repairing the Fabric: Shared Identity as a Counter to Polarization

Catherine Rampell
Opinion Columnist, The Washington Post
Moderator

Catherine Rampell is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post. She frequently covers economics, public policy, immigration and politics, with a special emphasis on data-driven journalism. She is also an economic and political commentator for CNN, a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and a contributor to Marketplace. Before joining The Post, she wrote about economics and theater for the New York Times. Rampell has received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism and is a Gerald Loeb Award finalist. She grew up in Florida and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University.

Stephen Hawkins
Director of Research, More in Common
Speaker

Stephen leads More in Common’s studies to understand and address polarization in the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. His reports with More in Common have been referenced in over 700 media articles, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, CNN, Fox News, and The Atlantic. Stephen has appeared on NPR, The Ben Shapiro Show, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and has spoken at the United Nations General Assembly. Prior to More in Common, Stephen advised on public opinion strategies for Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft and Ford, and public sector organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN Refugee Agency. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is curious about how beliefs define people’s experiences of the world. Stephen lives in Denver with his fiancée. He enjoys snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains and performing impersonations of American political figures.

Amanda Ripley
Contributing Writer, The Atlantic 
Speaker

Amanda Ripley writes nonfiction books as well as articles for the Atlantic and the Washington Post. She is the author of “The Smartest Kids in the World–and How They Got That Way”, a New York Times bestseller, and “The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes–and Why”. She spent ten years as a senior writer for Time Magazine, based in New York, Paris and Washington, DC. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, Politico, the Guardian and the Times of London. Her stories helped Time win two National Magazine Awards. She is currently finishing a new book titled High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2021.

From Invisible to Essential: Immigrants in the U.S.

Stef Kight
Reporter, Axios
Moderator

Stef Kight is a reporter at Axios on the politics team. Her reporting focuses on immigration and demographic trends. She previously worked on the breaking news desk and social media team at Axios. Prior to that, she covered the 2016 election as the lead writer for the We the People Snapchat Discover Channel. Stef grew up in Virginia Beach and graduated from Old Dominion University with majors in journalism and Spanish.

John R. Tyson
Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods, Inc.
Speaker

John R. Tyson joined the Tyson Foods team in 2019 and serves as Chief Sustainability Officer, leading the company’s efforts to support a more sustainable protein system. This includes driving improvement by implementing the company’s sustainability strategy as well as managing the sustainability, animal welfare, environmental and social responsibility teams.

John has a Bachelors’ Degree in Economics from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He previously worked in investment banking for J.P. Morgan and as a private equity and venture capital investor. He is also a lecturer at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

John is a fourth-generation member of the Tyson family.

Jay Timmons
President & Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Manufacturers
Speaker

Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and chairman of the board of The Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s workforce and education partner. The NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector, and Jay is a leading advocate for the nearly 13 million men and women who make things in America.

Prior to his appointment as NAM president and CEO in January 2011, Jay’s roles at the organization included service as executive vice president and senior vice president of policy and government relations. His previous experience includes serving as chief of staff to Congressman, Gov. and Sen. George Allen (R-VA) from 1991 to 2002 and as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2004 election cycle. When he first came to Washington in the 1980s, he served as press secretary to Congressman Jim Martin (R-NC) and later to Congressman Alex McMillan (R-NC). Jay attended The Ohio State University.

Jay and and his husband reside in Virginia with their three children and an assortment of rescue dogs and other critters.

Mayors and Migration

Lomi Kriel
ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative
Moderator

Lomi Kriel is a reporter with the ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative. Previously she was a reporter at the Houston Chronicle covering immigration, often focused on the Texas border. Six months before the Trump administration announced its family separation policy, Kriel uncovered how the government was secretly using the prosecution of illegal entry to detain parents until deportation and send children to federal shelters. Her stories resulted in the release of one mother and helped spur a pivotal American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit largely ending the practice. She received the 2019 George Polk Award for national reporting, in part for her continued work on family separations.

Kriel, who was born and raised in South Africa, immigrated to the United States in 1998. She has also worked as a Central American correspondent for Thomson Reuters and a criminal justice reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University and speaks Afrikaans and Spanish.

Mayor Dee Margo
City of El Paso, TX
Speaker

El Paso has been Dee Margo’s home for 40 years, and in June 2017, he was elected as the 51st Mayor of El Paso, Texas.

He served as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, participated in the founding of the Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) – now the Borderplex Alliance, became the Chairman of the El Paso Chamber, and gave his time to several non-profits, including Operation Noel. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010, in 2013, he was appointed President of the EPISD Board of Managers, and most recently, he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee.  He is also a part of the Texas Municipal League Executive Committee.

Mayor Margo currently serves as Vice Chair for Border Security on the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee, as well as Co-Chair of USCM’s COVID-19 Response and Health Equity Working Group.

Mayor Marvin Rees
City of Bristol, UK
Speaker

Mayor Marvin Rees was elected in May 2016. On that day Bristol became the first major European city to have elected a mayor of black African heritage. He describes becoming mayor as another expression of a deeper commitment to building a fairer, more inclusive world.

He is a Yale World Fellow and graduate of Operation Black Vote who has worked and studied in the UK and the US. He is a former BBC journalist, Public Health Worker, voluntary sector manager, co-founder of the City Leadership Programme and has developed the One City Plan for Bristol.

The Higher Education Pipeline

Ted Mitchell
President, American Council on Education
Moderator

Ted Mitchell

Former college president and top federal policymaker Ted Mitchell became president of the American Council on Education (ACE) on September 1, 2017.

Mitchell was president of Occidental College from 1999–2005. He served as U.S. under secretary of education from 2014 until January 2017, reporting to the secretary of education and overseeing postsecondary education policies and programs.

He has also served as vice chancellor and dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College. He has been a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

Prior to becoming under secretary of education, Mitchell was chief executive officer of the NewSchools Venture Fund from 2005–14, which provides seed capital and counsel to leading education entrepreneurs at the K–12 level, and served as the president of the California State Board of Education.

Mitchell received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees from Stanford University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Christine, and their two children.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Dr. Dan L. Boone
President, Trevecca Nazarene University
Speaker

Dr. Dan L. Boone serves as president of Trevecca Nazarene University. He earned MDiv and DMin degrees from Nazarene Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary. A well-respected speaker and lecturer, Boone is also a prolific writer. He is the author of more than a dozen books on a wide range of theological topics, from worship and unity to hard questions and hot-button issues. Dan has pastored churches in Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. He lives in Nashville with his wife Denise.

Dr. Michael Crow
President, Arizona State University
Speaker

Dr. Michael M. Crow is an educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar and higher education leader. He became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and has spearheaded ASU’s rapid and groundbreaking transformative evolution into one of the world’s best public metropolitan research universities. As a model “New American University,” ASU simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact.

Lauded as the ”#1 most innovative” school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2020), ASU is a student-centric, technology-enabled university focused on complex global challenges related to sustainability, economic competitiveness, social embeddedness, entrepreneurship and global engagement. Under Dr, Crow’s leadership, ASU has established twenty-five new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and launched trailblazing multidisciplinary initiatives including the Biodesign Institute, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

The Future of Legal Immigration

Jacinta Ma
Vice President of Policy & Advocacy, National Immigration Forum
Moderator

Jacinta S. Ma brings more than 20 years of experience in law, policy and civil rights to her role as vice president of policy and advocacy at the National Immigration Forum. Jacinta spearheads the development of Forum policy priorities and ensures their implementation.

Before joining the Forum in 2014, she held several leadership positions including deputy director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Washington, D.C., senior advisor to Commissioner Stuart J. Ishimaru of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and legal policy associate at The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, among others.

Originally from Southern California, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Doris Meissner
Senior Fellow & Director, US Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute
Speaker

Doris Meissner, former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), is a Senior Fellow at MPI, where she directs the Institute’s U.S. immigration policy work.

Her work and expertise include immigration and politics, immigration enforcement, border control, cooperation with other countries, and immigration and national security. She served as Director of MPI’s Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future, a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders.

From 1993-2000, she served in the Clinton administration as Commissioner of the INS, then a bureau in the U.S. Department of Justice. She first joined the Justice Department in 1973 as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Attorney General and in 1981 became Acting Commissioner of the INS and then Executive Associate Commissioner, the third-ranking post in the agency. In 1986, she joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a Senior Associate. Ms. Meissner created the Endowment’s Immigration Policy Project, which evolved into the Migration Policy Institute in 2001.

Alex Nowrasteh
Director of Immigration Studies, CATO Institute
Speaker

Alex Nowrasteh is the director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and most other major publications in the United States. His peer-reviewed academic publications have appeared in The World Bank Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Public Choice, and elsewhere. Alex regularly appears on Fox News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, and numerous television and radio stations across the United States. He is the co-author (with Benjamin Powell) of the forthcoming book “Wretched Refuse? The Political Economy of Immigrants and Institutions”, published by Cambridge University Press.

Courage to Lead

Ali Noorani
President & Chief Executive Officer, National Immigration Forum
Moderator

Ali Noorani is President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Immigration Forum, a nonpartisan advocacy organization working with faith, law enforcement and business leaders to promote the value of immigrants and immigration. Growing up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants, Ali quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that has served him extraordinarily well as one of the nation’s most innovative coalition builders.

Ali is an Emerson Dial Fellow, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, holds a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Ali lives in Washington, D.C., and is the author of “There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration,” and host of the “Only in America” podcast.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
U.S. Representative, 19th District of California
Honoree

Zoe Lofgren has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1995. She represents the 19th District of California, based in the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” San Jose, and the Santa Clara Valley.

In 1994 Zoe was elected to the House of Representatives. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, and a former immigration attorney and immigration law professor, Zoe is recognized as an established champion of top-to-bottom immigration reform and a national leader in immigration policy. During the 113th Congress, she played a key role in negotiating a comprehensive reform bill in the House Representatives as part of an eight-person bipartisan working group.

In 2010, in part due to her work on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented Zoe with the gavel used to preside over the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives.

Congressman Michael Simpson
U.S. Representative, 2nd District of Idaho 
Honoree

Michael K. Simpson is serving his eleventh term in the House of Representatives for Idaho’s Second Congressional District.

Simpson serves on the House Appropriations Committee. He is the Ranking Member for the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He also serves on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

His political career began in 1980, when he was elected to the Blackfoot City Council. In 1984, he was elected to the Idaho Legislature where he served until 1998, the last six years serving as Speaker.  Simpson was born in Burley, Idaho and raised in Blackfoot. He graduated from Utah State University and earned his DMD from Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduation, he joined his father and uncle at the Simpson Family Dental Practice in Blackfoot.

Working for a Better Future: Racial Justice and Immigration

Kimberly Atkins
Senior Opinion Writer, The Boston Globe
Moderator

Kimberly Atkins is a senior opinion writer at The Boston Globe. She is also an MSNBC contributor. Previously, Kimberly was the first Washington, DC-based news correspondent for WBUR. She has also served as the Boston Herald’s Washington bureau chief, guest host of C-SPAN’s morning call-in show “Washington Journal”, and a Supreme Court reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and its sister publications. She began her journalism career as an intern at The Boston Globe. She has appeared as a political commentator on a host of national and international television and radio networks, including CNN, Fox News, NBC News, PBS, NPR, Sky News (UK), and CBC News (Canada). Before launching her journalism career, she was a trial and appellate litigation attorney in Boston. Kimberly is a native of Michigan, and a graduate of Wayne State University, Boston University School of Law and Boston University College of Communication, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Ben Hasan
Senior Vice President & Chief Global Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Walmart
Speaker

Ben Hasan joined Walmart’s Global People team as Senior Vice President and Chief Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer in July 2015. In this role, Ben and his team are responsible for the activation and strategic evolution of Walmart’s culture; the development of behaviors that embrace diversity and inclusion at all levels; and the promotion of the company’s external reputation as a great place to work.

He joined Walmart in 2008, and previously served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Services, in Walmart Technology. In this role, Ben and his team were responsible for ISD (Information Systems Division) strategy, communication, innovation, vendor management, project management, business analysis, GTS – India & Mexico, and quality assurance.

Ben is a board member for several national and local organizations, including the Walmart Foundation; Catalyst Board of Advisors; Ron Clark Academy (Atlanta); United Negro College Fund; and Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rev. Dr. Walter Kim
President, National Association of Evangelicals
Speaker

Walter Kim is president of the National Association of Evangelicals and also serves as Pastor for Leadership at Trinity Church in Charlottesville, VA. He has spent nearly three decades preaching, writing, and engaging in collaborative leadership to connect the Bible to the significant intellectual, cultural, and social issues of the day. Walter has previously served at the historic Park Street Church in Boston and as a chaplain at Yale University. He is currently on the Board of Christianity Today and the Advisory Council of Gordon College. Walter has a B.A. from Northwestern University in history and philosophy. After receiving his M.Div. from Regent College (Vancouver), he earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. He and his wife Toni are also actively involved in disabilities advocacy and have two delightful teenage children.

Perspective from the Ground

Heather Sells
Senior National Affairs Correspondent, The Christian
Broadcasting Network
Moderator

Heather Sells is Senior National Affairs Correspondent for CBN News in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She regularly anchors “Newswatch” for the CBN News Channel and contributes enterprise stories on a variety of issues including religious liberty, human trafficking, the #churchtoo movement, education & immigration. She joined CBN News in 2005 after reporting for television news stations in Iowa, California, Illinois & Texas. She holds a Master’s in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and is a graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She’s currently co-writing a book for InterVarsity Press on church and culture collaboration to address mental health.

Senator Moises Denis
State Senator, 2nd District of Nevada
Speaker

Mo has been working in his community for over three decades, serving in capacities such as chairing the PTA, sitting on Clark County Library Board, serving as an elected Assemblyman, current State Senator representing District 2, and Nevada Senate President Pro Tempore where he is fighting and advocating for Nevada families.

As State Senator, Mo has taken up education, consumer rights and economic development as his key priorities, passing legislation and chairing committees to address these issues.

Senator John McCollister
State Senator, 20th District of Nebraska
Speaker

John McCollister grew up in Omaha and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Business Administration.

In 2014 Senator McCollister was elected to the Nebraska Legislature. He is currently a member of the Legislature’s Executive Board, and the Revenue, Banking and Insurance Committees. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee. During his tenure in the Legislature, McCollister has promoted criminal justice reform, accessibility of public benefits, climate change, and renewable energy legislation.

 

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