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2015 Speaker & Performer Biographies


Learn more about each of our 2015 speakers and performers: 

Elizabeth Birch has had an extensive career that spans the corporate, legal, public policy, communications and nonprofit worlds.  She is an author, public speaker and a passionate advocate for authentic diversity and inclusion, with a special emphasis on LGBT equality. She has advised the Clinton and Obama Administrations, Members of Congress, the Pentagon, many corporations and NGOs on issues of concern to LGBT people and their families.


She is the President of Elizabeth Birch Company, LLC, a business solutions firm, and Global Out, a firm focused on the advancement of equality for LGBT people around the Globe.  Birch is also CEO of Peris Birch, a commercial interiors construction firm, focused on the Greater Washington area.


Elizabeth began her legal career at Bingham, McCutchen where she was a commercial litigator.  In 1989, she was recruited to Apple Computer, Inc. where she served as Chief Litigation and Human Resources Counsel, worldwide, for the company. She also served as General Counsel for Claris Corporation, Apple’s software subsidiary.


In 1995, Elizabeth moved to Washington, DC to head the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization. For almost a decade Birch led a team at HRC that helped drive a deeper understanding of LGBT people, helping to move the conversation from the streets to the livingrooms of America.   Under Birch’s leadership the Human Rights Campaign saw expansive membership and programmatic growth.  Elizabeth has become a well-known advocate on Capital Hill, the White House and among civil rights leaders.  


An innovative educator and communications strategy leader, Elizabeth achieved high visibility for her organization, making appearances on Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Good Morning America, the Today Show, 20/20, This Week, Face the Nation, Nightline, Crossfire, the Larry King Show, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and profiles in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer.


Elizabeth is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia and California. 


She lives in Washington, DC, with her 16-year-old twins, Anna and Jacob

Elizabeth Birch
Human Rights Campaign, Former President 
Elizabeth Birch

The son of postal worker and school teacher, Mick Cornett was born and raised in Oklahoma City. From an early age, his parents taught him the value of public service and encouraged him to keep the faith, work hard and dream big.


Today, Mayor Mick Cornett, the first four-term mayor in Oklahoma City history, is leading a thriving community that reflects the same principles.


He has been honored by various organizations and publications as the top Mayor in the state and nation – and an international panel selected Mayor Cornett as the second-best mayor in the world. Newsweek magazine called him one of the “five most innovative Mayors in the United States.”


Recently elected to a leadership position in the US Conference of Mayors, he is in line to be President of that organization in 2016.


He famously put the entire city on a diet to raise awareness on the national issue of obesity. His leadership helped bring the NBA to OKC. During his time in office, Oklahoma City has invested nearly $2 billion in schools and quality-of-life infrastructure through the innovative MAPS program. That investment generated nearly $6 billion in private sector investment. Today, Oklahoma City’s economy is one of the nation’s most robust.


Mayor Cornett is a popular national speaker on the topics of health and wellness, urban design, placemaking and walkable cities. His TED TALK on those topics has been viewed by more than 1 million people worldwide.


He earned a degree in journalism at the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from New York University.


He is married to Terri (Walker) Cornett and has three sons. 

Mick Cornett
Mayor of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mick Cornett

A respected clinician and public sector leader, Patrick McCarthy joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1994 to manage its Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children, a five-year, $20 million effort to provide high-quality community-based mental health services for children in four high-poverty communities. With a career serving in multiple capacities in the mental health and human services fields, McCarthy brought to Casey a broad perspective on what children, families and systems need to prosper. Throughout his tenure, he has led efforts to improve human services practices and policies to boost positive results for the nation’s most vulnerable kids and families. He held positions of increasing responsibility before being appointed the president of the Foundation, replacing Doug Nelson in 2010.


Before joining the Foundation, McCarthy held positions ranging from psychiatric social worker and head of a school for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges to university professor and division director at the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. He holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.

“My career has always focused on strengthening and helping to support families, especially those living in concentrated poverty, in order to help their children succeed,” McCarthy says. 


Growing up in a low-income family in a close-knit community, McCarthy understands “the importance of a strong and supportive family, no matter what the income challenges are.”


Another key influence on his career was the time he spent leading a state juvenile corrections system, where he witnessed “the limits of the system and in some cases the harm” it did to young people.


The father of four says he has come to value the “my family” test: “If I think something would be bad for my own kids, why would I want it for somebody else’s?”


As a leader, McCarthy takes seriously his responsibility “to support, motivate and make room for everybody’s talents in support of the Foundation’s mission.” From that perspective, he doesn’t regard his accomplishments in terms of individual achievements. “The Foundation’s success depends on teams of people working together to advance our mission and to position the organization to do more good for more kids and families,” he says. “We have to work in partnership with lots of other folks within and outside the Foundation.”


McCarthy credits his Casey colleagues with teaching him a whole new level of “coalition-building” skills.


“Whether in workforce development, child welfare, juvenile justice, community change, grade-level reading or data and policy advocacy, Casey folks have demonstrated what can be achieved when you partner with diverse organizations,” he says. 


McCarthy believes an essential challenge for everyone at the Foundation is to “keep the culture vibrant, strong and focused on creating results through our work.”

An avid runner, McCarthy says he applies an important lesson from long-distance races to the challenges of responding to some of the most critical social issues of our time.


“When I’m running a marathon, I’ve learned to stay focused on the present, without getting distracted by thinking about the miles I’ve already run or overwhelmed by thinking about the miles yet to come or how difficult the road ahead might be,” he says. “I try to remind myself all the time to run the mile I’m in.”

Annie E. Casey Foundation,
President & CEO 
Patrick McCarthy
Annie E. Casey Foundation, 
President & CEO 
Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy

Dr. Rajiv Shah has been a tireless and dedicated leader, committed to advancing the missions of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Department of Agriculture. Serving alongside some of the most innovative leaders in the world, navigating major natural disasters and man-made crises, Dr. Shah has successfully delivered results and lived up to USAID’s goal of partnering to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity. From developing infrastructure to igniting power in Africa, to empowering people around the world with skills and opportunities, Dr. Shah has reshaped and re-envisioned a government agency to tackle even the most intractable challenges. 


From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Rajiv Shah led the efforts of nearly 10,000 staff in more than 70 countries around the world as administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Under his leadership, Dr. Shah elevated the importance of partnering with and financing the private sector, advocating for infrastructure development, incubating technology solutions and science, and restructuring how USAID delivered its assistance to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges. From extending mobile networks in West Africa to improve real-time data collection for the Ebola response, to creating the Tropical Forest Alliance with Unilever, P&G and other major consumer product firms, to accelerating the use of mobile banking in emerging markets, Dr. Shah demonstrated his leadership, passion and remarkable skills garnering support from both sides of the aisle in Congress. Having been at the forefront of worldwide emergency and crisis management, Dr. Shah understands what is required to take risks, act decisively, make sacrifices and confront injustice, while uniting constituencies to recognize the importance of his agency’s success for American global leadership.


Previously, Dr. Shah served as under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics and was chief scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture. He also spent 8 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at its inception, where he led efforts in global health, agriculture and financial services. Drawing from vast experiences, he shares captivating stories, insider perspectives and personal anecdotes with every audience. Attendees will better understand leadership in crisis situations, the hot-button issues impacting the global risks and opportunities of emerging markets, financial services and health care, and receive practical insights on disaster response, the future of technology innovation and leadership in business transformation.

Rajiv Shah
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Former Administrator
Rajiv Shah

Eshauna Smith is a social entrepreneur who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Alliance.  She works to promote the healthy development of low-income women, women of color, youth, and their families through creating and leading nonprofits, forging alliances, reforming policies, research and messaging, and responsible philanthropy.


In March of 2013 Eshauna joined Urban Alliance (UA) as its President, where she worked closely with the CEO and Board of Directors to lead and sustain the expansion of the UA youth employment model into new markets, and to ensure its successful transition from a local to a national organization.  In June of 2014, UA’s CEO of 12 years transitioned out of the organization, and Eshauna was selected by the Board to become the new CEO.  As CEO, Eshauna leads all facets of UA’s work as it continues to transition into a national organization.  She focuses most intently on building a national profile for UA and providing strategic oversight of corporate partnerships, institutional funder development, communications and advocacy. 


Prior to Urban Alliance, in April 2010, Eshauna joined DC government to re-establish a citywide disconnected youth initiative.  As the Director of the Disconnected Youth Initiative in the Department of Employment Services (DOES), she worked with city agencies, community partners, and national partners to galvanize cross-sector support and build a citywide agenda outlining key strategies needed to support DC’s disconnected youth population.  As a result of this work, Eshauna was asked by the Deputy Mayor for Education to expand this effort and work with him and the Mayor to build out a disconnected youth portfolio in the capacity of Senior Policy Advisor. 


As a result, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education established a goal of reconnecting 3,000 disconnected youth between the ages of 16-24 by 2014 and focused on a wide swath of policy efforts and strategic initiatives to move this goal.  Some of these efforts include improving the District’s career and technical education system, increasing alternative education options, and truancy reduction and prevention.


In addition, Eshauna led the creation of the District’s citywide collective impact initiative, Raise DC, responsible for bringing together corporate, community, and city leaders to establish common data points and benchmarks to measure the city’s progress in supporting youth success from cradle to career.  Eshauna established and managed the 36 member Leadership Council and four citywide Change Networks and oversaw the release of the partnership’s first data report card.


Prior to her work with city government, Ms. Smith was the founding Executive Director of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, a coalition of DC focused youth-serving organizations, where she built the organizational infrastructure and established the founding member-led policy agenda.  While at DCAYA, she instituted and advanced a foundational policy focus on disconnected youth, developing the concept and raising the funds for the Brookings Institute report on disconnected youth, Strengthening Educational and Career Pathways for D.C. Youth, the only data report of its kind focused solely on District youth. While at DCAYA, she also co-authored with the Urban Institute, On The Road to Adulthood; A Databook About Teens and Young Adults in DC. 


In 2010, Eshauna received the Humanitarian Leader Spirit Award from the National Center for Children and Families for her advocacy work with DCAYA. 


Ms. Smith has also worked in the field of reproductive health and justice with the Pro-Choice Public Education Project and was honored by the National Women’s Health Network in 2005 for her work to bring the reproductive health struggles of young African-American women and Latinas to light. 


Eshauna began her career in 2001 with the Moriah Fund as a Program Associate for the Reducing Poverty and Women’s Rights Programs. 

Urban Alliance, CEO
Eshauna Smith
Eshauna Smith
Tom Kalil
Tom Kalil
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,
Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation

Dan Cardinali is president of Communities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization serving nearly 1.5 million students in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Under his leadership, the organization has been recognized for developing a highly effective model for decreasing dropouts and increasing graduation rates.   


As a thought leader in the field of public education, Cardinali has positioned CIS as the leading, evidence-based provider in a burgeoning field of Integrated Student Supports.  Credited with fostering the growing national trend toward community involvement in schools through partnerships with parents, businesses, policymakers and local nonprofit groups, CIS is uniquely focused on two things: 1) the integration of existing community resources to meet student needs on both an individual and community level and 2) ongoing evaluation and incorporating what works into the network-wide model.  


Communities In Schools is acutely aware of the 11 million students that remain in need of this effective model. This awareness has fueled CIS’ innovative notions of non-linear scale, a challenging strategy for the financially constrained nonprofit sector. Cardinali’s singular focus on providing opportunity to all students has been fueled by his experience working with impoverished communities in the South Bronx, Appalachia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Mexico. Cardinali is a respected voice in the national debate over education reform, frequently informs the news media, and routinely partners with think tanks, strategic funders, universities and policy forums.


Cardinali is a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow and leads the K-12 subcommittee of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanics. He also serves on the boards of America’s Promise, Independent Sector, Peace First and Child Trends. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.

Dan Cardinali
Communities in Schools, President 
Dan Cardinali

Tom Kalil is the Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation for the National Economic Council. In this role, Tom serves as a senior White House staffer charged with coordinating the government’s technology and innovation agenda. Prior to serving in the Obama Administration, Tom was Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Science and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2007 and 2008, Tom was Chair of the Global Health Working Group for the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously, Tom served for 8 years in the Clinton White House, ultimately as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology and Economic Policy, and the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. Tom received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and completed graduate work at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.

Amy Finkelstein is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America, a research center at MIT designed to encourage and facilitate randomized evaluations of important domestic policy issues. She is also the co-Director of the Public Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Econometric Society.


She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the John Bates Clark Medal (2012), given annually to the economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. Other awards include the American Society of Health Economists’ ASHEcon Medal (2014), awarded biennially to the economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2009), the American Economic Association’s Elaine Bennett Research Prize (2008) and a Sloan Research Fellowship (2007). She has also received awards for graduate student teaching (2012) and graduate student advising (2010) at MIT.


She is one of two Principal Investigators currently leading the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a randomized evaluation of the impact of extending Medicaid coverage to low income, uninsured adults.

Amy Finkelstein
Amy Finkelstein
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ford Professor of Economics
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America,Co-Scientific Director

OCEARCH Founding Chairman Chris Fischer is an ocean explorer who's led 21 global expeditions researching great white sharks, tiger sharks and other apex predators to advance conservation, education and public safety. Through a socially innovative partnership with Caterpillar, Costa Sunglasses and Shell, OCEARCH travels the world enabling teams of regional and international scientists by providing them with 15 minutes of unprecedented hands-on access to mature sharks to conduct approximately 12 studies on each animal.


In 2013 Fischer launched the Global Shark Tracker website and mobile app, used by millions worldwide, as part of his vision for ultimate inclusion and open source sharing of data. In 2014 he announced a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum based on the Tracker, developed in partnership with Landry’s.  More than 5,600 lesson plans have been downloaded to date.


He’s appeared in 210 TV episodes on the National Geographic Channel, HISTORY, ESPN and others.  His work has generated 8 billion media impressions worldwide, furthering his mission of bringing the ocean into everyone’s lives.


Fischer is a recipient of The Explorers Club 2014 Lowell Thomas Medal for Imagination in Exploration, joining the ranks of the world’s greatest explorers.  He is the Founding Chairman of OCEARCH, winner of the 2014 Nominet Trust 100 Award, recognizing the world’s 100 most inspiring examples of social innovation.


Working aboard the 126 ft. M/V OCEARCH vessel, over 70 scientists from 40 institutions are generating unprecedented research data, filling critical knowledge gaps to save sharks and human lives. More than 50 scientific papers are in process as a result.


This year he and his team are conducting two Australian tiger shark expeditions through the support of partners Caterpillar, Costa, Shell, Xavient, Contender, Yamaha, SAFE Boats and Telstra.  Scientists from the University of Queensland, James Cook University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Tasmania, as well as from Tokyo, Argentina and the US, will participate.

Chris Fischer
Chris Fischer
OCEARCH, Founding Chairman & Expedition Leader

Committed to growing jobs and creating a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, accessibility, and transparency, Greg Fischer was elected Louisville’s 50th mayor in 2010 and was sworn in for a second four-year term on January 5, 2015.


Since taking office, Mayor Fischer has pursued three top goals: making Louisville a city of lifelong learning, a much healthier city and an even more compassionate community

Mayor Fischer’s accomplishments include:

  • Regaining the 42,000 jobs lost to the long recession, including creating 12,400 new jobs in 2013 alone.

  • Launching full-speed-ahead construction of the two Ohio River bridges while opening the pedestrian and bicycle friendly Big Four Bridge

  • Bringing innovation and efficiency to city government by using data to increase performance through LouieStat, championing the Louisville Water/MSD consolidation, and reaching a deal to bring $27 million in efficiencies to city facilities with no upfront costs.

  • Earning “International Model City of Compassion” recognition for Louisville in part by creating the Give A Day week of community service, which drew more than 144,000 volunteers and acts of compassion in April, 2014.

Mayor Fischer was named a 2013 “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine, the only U.S. mayor to earn the distinction. He is a trustee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is past chair of the Conference's Metro Economies Committee which addresses economic problems facing the nation’s cities and their citizens.

Greg is an entrepreneur who started several businesses including SerVend International and Iceberg Ventures, a private investment firm.


Greg graduated from Trinity High School and Vanderbilt University. He and his wife Alex have four children.

Greg Fischer
Greg Fischer
City of Louisville, Mayor

Rachel was appointed by President Obama to manage the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009.  The President’s Committee is a high-profile federal organization tasked with elevating the role of the arts and humanities across the country and advising the White House on cultural policy. Under her management, the Committee has facilitated significant private investments in the arts and humanities, expanded two of its signature programs in education and cultural diplomacy, and launched three new national initiatives, including the National Student Poets Program and Turnaround Arts, the first federally-led public/private partnership to bring arts education to a group of the country’s lowest-performing elementary schools. Prior to her appointment, Rachel founded a documentary production company, directing two independent feature documentaries and working on productions for PBS, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, and History. She also served as the Director of the Independent Digital Distribution Lab, a joint PBS/ITVS project. Before working in the arts, Rachel was an international copyright attorney with Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and the U.S. Copyright Office. Rachel received her B.A. in English Literature and her J.D. from UCLA's School of Law. She is a member of the 2012 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute.

Rachel Goslins
Rachel Goslins
President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities, Executive Director
Maria Hinojosa
Maria Hinojosa
NPR's Latino USA, Executive Producer & Host

Sounding somewhere between Bob Schneider, The Tallest Man on Earth, G. Love, Old Crow Medicine Show, and David Gray, Justin Trawick has been performing in the Washington DC Area and the East Coast since 2006 both solo and with his band “Justin Trawick and the Common Good.” Trawick has opened for over 30 national acts including Suzanne Vega, Brett Dennen, Blues Traveler, Bob Schneider, Edwin McCain and shared bills with Dr. Dogg and The Avett Brothers.  Founder of “The 9 Songwriter Series” and co-founder of “The Circus Life Podcast," Trawick has built a brand that extends beyond just being a musician local to DC.  In February of 2014, Trawick won “Song of the Year” at the Washington Area Music Awards for his song “All the Places That I’ve Been," which can be downloaded on iTunes as a single along with his five other records and EPs.  For more information go to,, and 

Justin Trawick & the Common Good
Justin Trawick & the Common Good
Musical Performance

Robert E. Rubin served as our nation's 70th Secretary of the Treasury from January 10, 1995 until July 2, 1999.  He joined the Clinton Administration in 1993, serving in the White House as the first Director of the National Economic Council.

In June 2007, Mr. Rubin was named Co-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He is Chairman of the Board of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation's leading community development support organization and serves as a member of the Boards of Trustees at the Mount Sinai Health System.  He recently completed a 12-year term as a member of the Harvard Corporation.


He began his career in finance at Goldman, Sachs & Company in 1966, serving as Co-Senior Partner and Co-Chairman from 1990 to 1992.  From 1999 to 2009, he served as a member of the Board of Directors at Citigroup and as a senior advisor to the company.  In 2010, Mr. Rubin joined Centerview Partners as senior counselor of the firm.  

Mr. Rubin is one of the founders of The Hamilton Project, an economic policy project housed at the Brookings Institution that offers a strategic vision and innovative policy proposals on how to create a growing economy that benefits more Americans.  Mr. Rubin is the author of In An Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington, which was a New York Times bestseller as well as being named one of Business Week's ten best business books of the year.


Mr. Rubin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1960 with an A.B. in economics.  He received a L.L.B. from Yale Law School in 1964 and attended the London School of Economics.  He has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia and other universities.

Robert E. Rubin
Council on Foreign Relations, Co-Chair; Former U.S. Treasury Secretary


Robert E. Rubin

Detective Kim Bogucki is the co-founder of The IF Project, an innovative partnership between law enforcement, currently and previously incarcerated adults, and community leaders to build commonality, reduce misperceptions and serve as a deterrent to recidivism and future incarceration.


A 27-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, Kim has developed nationally replicated programs that create dialogue around issues of social justice between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve.


The IF Project engages current and former inmates of the Washington Department of Corrections to share intimate accounts of their experiences through writing and video diaries. This work creates a knowledge base that can educate communities and reduce the cycle of crime. 


In 2007 Kim co-created the West Side Story Project to bring together young people and law enforcement around the performing arts to address the plight of gang violence. She also developed the Donut Dialogues, a series of programs that engaged young people and law enforcement to enhance connectedness and dispel misperceptions about police officers.


Kim recently launched Tithe One On, a non-profit focused on creating communities of kindness.


Kim has received numerous awards for her work, including The Red Cross Heroes Award, the Seattle Storm’s (WNBA) Women that Inspire Award, the Center for Children’s Youth and Justice President’s Award, the Seattle Police Foundation Excellence Award, the Department of Corrections Volunteer of the Year at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW), the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Community Leader Award, and Washington State Mentors Association Unsung Heroes Award.


Kim is a part of a gender-responsive initiative with the Washington State Department of Corrections. She serves as officer liaison to the LGBTQ Advisory Council and East African Community. She is an active member of the board of directors of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) and Correctional Industries.

Detective Kim Bogucki
The IF Project, Co-Founder, Seattle Police Department
Kim Bogucki

Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) is the only former CEO of a publicly traded company in the House of Representatives. Congressman Delaney founded and led two NYSE-listed financial services companies before the age of forty and is a past winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2010, Delaney’s company, CapitalSource, received the Bank Enterprise Award from the Treasury Department for lending to disadvantaged communities. Delaney serves on the Financial Services and Joint Economic Committee. Delaney was first elected in 2012 and is a member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University and the National Symphony Orchestra.  Maryland’s Sixth District includes the Washington D.C. suburbs and Western Maryland.

John Delaney
U.S. Representative (MD-6)
John Delaney

The Rock Creek Singers is a 32-voice, dynamic, chamber ensemble of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC that performs a repertoire of classical and contemporary music, ranging from spirituals, to jazz, to Broadway, to pop. The Rock Creek Singers not only performs locally at over 20 events each season, they have also performed throughout the United States, and in Europe. The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC delights audiences and champions gay equality with robust artistry, fun, and surprise. The Rock Creek Singer’s Artistic Director is also the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s Artistic Director/Conductor, Dr. Thea Kano.

Rock Creek Singers
The Rock Creek Singers
of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington D.C. 

Michael J. Gerson joined ONE in August 2010 as Senior Advisor.  He is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post and in nearly 100 other newspapers.  Mr. Gerson is the author of Heroic Conservatism (HarperOne, 2007) and co-author of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (Moody, 2010). He serves on the Initiative for Global Development Leadership Council, and the boards of the U.S. Center for Global Leadership, The News Literacy Project and the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics. He is the 2015 Pamela and Jack Egan Visiting Professor at Duke University. He appears regularly on the PBS NewsHour, Face the Nation and other programs.  


Until 2006, Mr. Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning. He was a key administration advocate for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the fight against global sex trafficking, and funding for women’s justice and empowerment issues. Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Speechwriting and Assistant to the President for Speechwriting and Policy Advisor. Mr. Gerson joined Bush’s presidential campaign in early 1999 as chief speechwriter and a senior policy adviser.


He was previously a Senior Editor covering politics at U.S. News and World Report. Mr. Gerson was a speechwriter and policy adviser for Jack Kemp and a speechwriter for Bob Dole during the 1996 presidential campaign. He has also served Senator Dan Coats of Indiana as Policy Director. Mr. Gerson is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois. He grew up in the St. Louis area and now lives with his wife and sons in northern Virginia.

Michael Gerson
Washington Post, Opinion Writer; G.W. Bush Administration, Former Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning; ONE, Senior Advisor
Michael Gerson

Lashon works at YouthBuild USA as the Program Associate of Education and Youth Leadership and represents YouthBuild on the National Council of Young Leaders- Opportunity Youth United. In both roles, he serves as a local and national student leader, participating in speaking engagements across the country and connecting more opportunity youth to college and career pathways. He also serves on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for the Governor’s office of Massachusetts.


Lashon achieved these accomplishment despite facing tremendous obstacles in his life, meeting racism, and getting involved with the criminal justice system. These adversities caused him to become apathetic about education and ultimately led him to drop out of high school. He enrolled in YouthBuild, where the staff there empowered him to want more for himself and consider post-secondary education, leading eventually to enrollment and honors received at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is now expected to graduate this May with his Bachelors in Criminal Justice and has plans to enroll in Northeastern University’s graduate program for Non Profit Management.

Lashon Amado
YouthBuild USA 
Lashon Amado

Shelby Coffey III is currently Vice Chairman of the Newseum. He was Editor and Executive Vice President of the Los Angeles Times from 1989 to 1997 and was named Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation in 1995. He was President of CNN Business News and CNNfn, the financial network, from 1999 to 2001. Previously he was Executive Vice President of ABC News. Coffey began his journalism career at The Washington Post as a sports reporter and held a variety of editorial positions there over the next 17 years. Prior to joining the Times, Coffey was Editor of U.S. News & World Report and the Dallas Times Herald.  He is a member of Council on Foreign Relations and on the Board of Directors of Oxford Analytica, the international consulting firm

Shelby Coffey III
Newseum, Vice Chairman
Los Angeles Times, Former Editor
Shelby Coffey III

Born and bred out of love and music, CaSh and Earle are a vocal duo that revive old-school cliches about romance, marriage and "making it". CaSh, a universal vocalist and composer trained in jazz style, has spent a few years performing along the east coast as a solo artist by the name of CaSh Jane. Earle, a natural talent of dance, voice and percussion, is a consummate entertainer that has shared his talents around the globe. Upon meeting each other, they fell in love instantly and vowed to never work with each other in fear of dimming the bright spark of love that they had found. And as fate would have it, they stumbled their way into a beautiful & musical bond that utilizes basic musical traditions with the modern edge of beat-box. The result is a spacious yet heavily percussive sound created by Earle that melds seamlessly with the way CaSh fashions her lyrics and voice.

CaSh & Earle
Vocal Duo
@CaShandraJ & @EarleIII
CaSh & Earle

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California's 46th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange and Garden Grove in Orange County.


Rep. Sanchez began her congressional career in January of 1997 and is currently serving her tenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds senior positions on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. She is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and serves as the co-chair of the Immigration Task Force. As the second highest ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), Rep. Sanchez is a recognized leader on military and national security issues. She is also a member of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.


A product of public schools and Head Start, Sanchez is a graduate of Chapman University and American University's MBA program. Prior to serving in Congress, Sanchez worked in the financial markets, with firms including Booz Allen Hamilton and Fieldman Rolapp.

Loretta Sanchez
U.S. Representative (CA-46)
Loretta Sanchez

David Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, founded in 1987. 


Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and of Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, and President of the Economic Club of Washington.


Rubenstein is on the Board of Directors of the University of Chicago.  He is a member of the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors and Advisory Board of School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University (Chairman).

David M. Rubenstein
Philanthropist and Co-CEO and Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group


David Rubinstein

Born and raised in the community of Janesville, Paul Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native. Currently serving his ninth term as a member of Congress, Paul works on many important issues affecting Wisconsin residents and is an effective advocate for the First Congressional District.


He is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, where he focuses on many issues across the federal government, such as fixing our broken tax code, holding the IRS accountable, strengthening Medicare and Social Security, repairing the safety net, promoting job-creating trade agreements, and developing patient-centered solutions to make health care more affordable.


During the 112th & 113th Congresses, he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he put forward specific plans to tackle our looming fiscal crisis, driven by the dramatic rise in entitlement spending. These plans, titled “The Path to Prosperity,” would help spur job creation, stop spending money the government doesn't have, and lift the crushing burden of debt, putting the federal budget on the path to balance.


Paul is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.


Paul and his wife Janna live in Janesville with their children, daughter Liza and sons Charlie and Sam. The youngest of four children, Paul is the son of Paul Sr. (deceased) and Betty Ryan.

Paul Ryan

U.S. Representative (WI-1); House Ways and Means Committee Chairman; Former Republican Vice Presidential Nominee


Paul Ryan

For 25 years, Maria Hinojosa has helped tell America’s untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. In April 2010, Hinojosa launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that respects and celebrates the cultural richness of the American Experience. She is the first Latina to anchor a Frontline report. “Lost in Detention” about deportation and immigration detention aired in October 2011 and sparked public engagement and conversation from Capitol Hill to mainstream media to the Spanish language media. Hinojosa interviewed dozens of notable Latinos for Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ “The Latino List” which premiered on HBO in October 2011.


As the anchor and executive producer of her own long-running weekly NPR show, Latino USA, and anchor of the Emmy Award winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/ La Plaza, Hinojosa has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing group in our country. Previously, a Senior Correspondent for NOW on PBS, a Correspondent on CNN, and currently, a rotating anchor for Need to Know, Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories—from the immigrant work camps in NOLA after Katrina, to teen girl victims of sexual harassment on the job, to Emmy award winning stories of the poor in Alabama. Her investigative journalism presses the powerful for the truth while giving voice to lives and stories that illuminate the world we live in. Hinojosa has won top honors in American journalism including 4 Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking Child Brides: Stolen Lives.


Hinojosa is author of two books including a motherhood memoir, Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son. She was born in Mexico City, raised in Chicago, and received her BA from Barnard College. She is married to the artist German Perez. They live with their son and daughter in Harlem, New York City.

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