Extended Panelist and Keynote Biographies


THERESA MOORETheresa Moore is President and Founder of T-Time Productions. T-Time develops and produces unique programming and content for various media platforms including television, film, online/broadband, mobile and tablets and also provides media consulting services. T-Time recently produced “Third and Long” (www.thirdandlong.tv), a groundbreaking documentary that examines the history of African Americans in pro football and premiered on CBS in December 2011. “Third and Long” is currently airing on the NFL Network. In development is “Images in Black and White: South Africa,” a programming initiative for use in South African schools; “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet” which explores the history of Black presidential chefs; a baseball documentary about minority youth in Boston; creation of a film financing fund for minority and female-focused sports documentaries; and two mobile/tablet applications. T-Time is also currently providing ad sales strategy services to Viacom’s media and entertainment networks. T-Time’s past projects include “License to Thrive,” a multi-media educational project that celebrated the 35th anniversary of Title IX and premiered on the ESPN networks in March 2008. Moore’s work has been featured on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” the NFL Network’s “Total Access,” MSG’s “Training Skills” and CBS affiliate WWLTV in New Orleans as well as in The New York Post.

Prior to T-Time, Moore was an executive at ESPN with responsibilities that included television advertising sales and business affairs for the company’s new media platforms including business development and content acquisition. While at ESPN, Moore also created programming for the network including “The Block Party” which was hosted by Mos Def in its inaugural season and aired for three seasons and “Images in Black and White,” a documentary that aired on ESPN in February 2005 as a component of the network’s Black History Month schedule.

Moore previously worked at The Coca-Cola Company where she developed and executed strategic marketing, operational and promotional plans for some of the world’s premiere sports properties including the Olympic Games, the NBA, NASCAR and the FIFA World Cup and also worked at Chubb Insurance as an underwriting manager with responsibilities for financial/liability analysis and risk management.

Moore graduated cum laude from Harvard University and received her Masters of Business Administration from Emory University. She is a graduate of the NAMIC Executive Leadership and Development Program at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. She serves as Vice President of the board of directors of The Harvard Varsity Club and is a member of the Visiting Committee for Athletics to the Harvard Board of Overseers. In 2002, she was inducted into the International Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame and was a recipient of the 2005 Harlem YMCA Salute to Black Achievers in Industry award. She was featured on the “Ivy at 50” website which highlighted the accomplishments of a select group of Ivy League student-athletes over the past 50 years. Moore was also inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Athlete Hall of Fame in May 2007 and was a PowerPlay honoree in September 2012. PowerPlay promotes sports and educational opportunities for girls in New York City.


beachWalter Beach III currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Amer-I-Can of New York, Inc., a life management skills training program and educational consulting firm that works closely with the Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change, Inc.  Representative clients include the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Wayne County Correctional Department, Jersey City Board of Education, Pleasantville School District, New York City Board of Education, New York State After School Violence Prevention Program, The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, Goodwill Industries, the Boys and Girls Club of New York, and The Charles Hayden Foundation.  Mr. Beach has extensive experience training in the areas of cultural diversity, conflict resolution, gang intervention and other topics. A Pontiac, Michigan native, Mr. Beach attended Central Michigan University and Yale Law School.  He spent four years stationed in Germany in the United States Air Force as a cryptographer.  He served as Special Assistant to the Cleveland, Ohio’s Mayor, Carl B. Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a major United States city. For six years, Walter was a defensive cornerback with the Cleveland Browns professional football team, winning the World Championship in 1964. He has written a treatise entitled, “The Grateful Slave”, and is currently working on his autobiography.  Walter can be seen in the documentary on the life of Jim Brown, directed by Spike Lee. He was also featured in the ESPN documentary “Images in Black and White.”


Crime and Urban Development in Cities
Moderator: Prof. Charles Ogletree

Charles OgletreeCharles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law.  Professor Ogletree opened the offices of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice (http://www.charleshamiltonhouston.org) in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyer and mentor and teacher of such great civil rights lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill.  The Institute has engaged in a wide range of important educational, legal, and policy issues over the past 6 years.

Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice.  His most recent publication is a book co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College entitled Life without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty? (NYU Press, 2012). Other publications include The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).  In November 2009, NYU Press published Professor Ogletree’s book, co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat, The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States.  Also edited with Austin Sarat, When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice and From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America were published by NYU Press in January of 2009 and May of 2006 respectively.  His historical memoir, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, was published by W.W. Norton & Company in April 2004. Professor Ogletree also co-authored Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (Northeastern University Press 1995).

Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools.  Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.  He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law In 2009 Professor Ogletree was awarded the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his many contributions to the legal profession.  In 2008, the National Law Journal named Professor Ogletree one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America. Every year since 2006, Professor Ogletree has been named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans.  He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Black Law Students Association, where he served as National President from 1977-1978.  Professor Ogletree also received the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition, and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize.  He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and colleges including Cambridge College, Wilberforce University, the University of Miami, the New England School of Law, Lincoln College, Tougaloo College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst

Professor Ogletree has been married to his fellow Stanford graduate, Pamela Barnes, since 1975.  They are the proud parents of two children, Charles Ogletree III and Rashida Ogletree, and grandparents to three granddaughters, Marquelle, Nia Mae, and Jamila Ogletree.  The Ogletrees live in Cambridge and are members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.


David BarronDavid Barron is the S. William Green Professor of Public Law at Harvard Law School.  He recently returned to teaching after serving as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the United States Department of Justice for the first eighteen months of the Obama Administration.   In that capacity, he provided advice on a wide range of national security and domestic legal issues and issued a number of published opinions.  For his service, he received the Office of Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service and the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  Prior to joining the Obama Administration, he served as a member of the Justice Department agency review team for the Obama-Biden Transition.

While teaching, he served as an advisor on Supreme Court confirmation hearings to Senator Charles Schumer and Edward M. Kennedy, and he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on war powers.  His teaching and scholarship focus on war powers, presidential power, the separation of powers, administrative law, constitutional law, federalism, and local government law.  His articles on these topics have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and the Supreme Court Review.  He is the co-author of a leading casebook on local government law and of City Bound: How States Stifle Urban Innovation (Cornell 2008).

Before entering law teaching, Professor Barron served as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel from 1996-1999, and as a law clerk to Associate Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  In 2012, Prof. Barron was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.  He is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Juliette Kayyem, and their three children, Cecilia, Leo and Jeremiah.


Susan EatonSusan Eaton is Research Director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School where she also co-directs the documentation and strategic organizing project, One Nation Indivisible (onenationindivisible.org). Susan has lectured about, studied and written about schooling, inequality, race and culture in urban and suburban environments for nearly three decades as a journalist, scholar and activist. She is author, most recently, of The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), a narrative book that interweaves the stories of a landmark contemporary civil rights case and a classroom in Hartford, Connecticut. She is also author of The Other Boston Busing Story: What’s Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), which explores the adult lives of African-Americans who’d participated in a voluntary, urban to suburban school desegregation program as children. With Gary Orfield, she is co-author of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education (New Press, 1996). Her writing has appeared in numerous popular and scholarly publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Nation, New American Media, The Huffington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Law and Policy Review and Education Week. Susan has a doctorate in education from Harvard where she also worked as a researcher at the Project on School Desegregation and as an editor at the Harvard Education Letter. Previously, Susan was a staff reporter at daily newspapers in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where she won several awards for her writing about urban public schools.


Kurt SchmokeKurt L. Schmoke was appointed Vice President and General Counsel of Howard University in July, 2012.  Mr. Schmoke earned his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University.  While at Yale he co-founded a child care center that has been in continuous operation as the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kindergarten since 1970.  He pursued graduate studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.  Mr. Schmoke served as the mayor of Baltimore City for 12 years from 1987 to 1999, and was the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City from 1982 to 1987.

During his tenure as mayor, Mr. Schmoke initiated a number of programs in the areas of housing, education, public health and economic development. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush awarded him the National Literacy Award for his efforts to promote adult literacy, and in 1994 President Bill Clinton praised his programs to improve public housing and enhance community economic development. The Clinton Administration named Baltimore one of six cities to receive Empowerment Zone designation in 1994.

Mr. Schmoke’s other public service includes his appointment as Assistant Director, White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Jimmy Carter, and service as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of

After completing three terms as Mayor of Baltimore, Mr. Schmoke returned to the practice of law.  He was a partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering.  He became actively involved in the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association, serving a term as Chair of the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice of the ABA.  He has provided countless hours of pro bono legal services to charitable organizations, such as the Children’s Health Forum, a non-profit group established to combat lead poising among our nations youth.  Mr. Schmoke was appointed Dean of Howard University School of Law in January, 2003 and served in that capacity until July, 2012.  During his tenure as Dean of Howard Law School, Mr. Schmoke focused much of his attention on increasing bar passage rates, and expanding the clinical law program to emphasize matters of environmental justice, fair housing and civil

Mr. Schmoke is married to Dr. Patricia Schmoke, an ophthalmologist.  They have two adult children, Gregory and Katherine.


Tubbs_PicMichael Tubbs was elected in 2012 as the youngest City Councilmember in Stockton’s history and one of the youngest elected officials in the nation.  He represents the 6th District of the City of Stockton, the district he grew up in.

Michael graduated from Stanford University where he interned at Google and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House and with his bachelor’s degree with honors and his master’s degree in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies. Michael is a Truman Scholar and a recipient of the Dinkelspiel, the highest award given to undergraduate students at Stanford.


Cathy HamptonCathy D. Hampton is the Chief Legal Officer for the City of Atlanta, where she leads an 80-member Department of Law. Cathy previously served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at publicly-traded RARE Hospitality International, Inc. She also served as the Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for EarthLink, Inc. and General Counsel and Secretary for EarthLink’s PeoplePC subsidiary. Cathy began her legal career as a corporate associate at the New York law firm of Shearman and Sterling. Next, she practiced marketing, advertising and general corporate law at the National Basketball Association before moving to Atlanta to serve as Counsel for Turner Entertainment Group, Inc.  Cathy serves her community in leadership roles with the State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Spelman LEADS, Atlanta Black/Jewish Coalition, Leadership Atlanta, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, VOX Youth Communications, the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.  Cathy is a graduate of Spelman College and Harvard Law School. She also studied at Oxford University and the University of the West Indies.  Cathy is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Cascade United Methodist Church.  A native of Magnolia, Mississippi, Cathy resides in East Atlanta.


Political Action and Power Panel
Moderated by: Professor Randall L. Kennedy

Randall KennedyRandall Kennedy is the Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina. For his education, he attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law, Mr. Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications. A member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, Mr. Kennedy is also a Charter Trustee of Princeton University.


Joi Olivia Chaney is a law and public policy professional in Washington, DC.  Currently, she is a political appointee in the Obama Administration, serving as Special Assistant to the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).   In that role, she specializes in agency-wide strategic planning, political and external affairs, and recruitment and hiring discrimination.  Before joining the EEOC, she served as Director of Government Relations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Policy Director and Counsel of the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee.  Joi previously served as Associate Director for Student Chapters at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy and as an associate at Baach Robinson & Lewis, LLP in Washington, D.C.  She began her career at the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 election cycle.  She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Howard University.


buttsCassandra Q. Butts is the senior advisor to the chief executive officer at the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As the senior advisor, she advises the CEO on a range of strategic and policy‐related issues, chairs MCC’s Investment Management Committee, the agency’s senior‐most body for determining grants to partner countries, and leads the agency’s efforts to prioritize gender equality. Ms. Butts was formerly the deputy White House counsel where she focused on judicial nominations. She was the general counsel to the Obama‐Biden Transition Project. She also served as senior vice president for domestic policy at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining CAP, she was a senior advisor to House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D‐MO) where she worked on immigration, refugee and asylum issues and served as the policy director on his 2004 presidential campaign. Ms. Butts also served as director of Senator Obama’s Senate transition. Previously, she was an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and served as legislative counsel to Senator Harris L. Wofford (D‐PA). Ms. Butts was an international election observer to the Zimbabwean parliamentary elections in 2000. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJanis F. Kearney, book publisher and author; former publisher of the Arkansas State Press Newspaper, and former Personal Diarist to President William J. Clinton, is one of 19 children born to Arkansas Delta Sharecroppers, and cotton farmers. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.A. in Journalism, and 30 graduate level hours toward degrees in Public Administration, and Journalism.

In 2003, Kearney founded Writing our World Press, a micropublishing company. The Company’s current slate of books include: the award-winning Cotton Field of Dreams: A Memoir;  Quiet Guys Do Great Things, Too – as told by Frank Ross; and Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton…from Hope to Harlem, an oral biography centered around the Clinton presidency and political legacy; Once Upon a Time there was a Girl: a Murder at Mobile Bay; Kearney’s first fiction, and Something to Write Home About: Memories from a Presidential Diarist, her second memoir, nominated for the Small Independent Booksellers Award (SIBA) for 2009. In 2009, WOW Press published Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia, by Elaine Mack. In 2013, WOW! Press debuts Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a biographical memoir chronicling the life of civil rights leader Daisy Lee Bates.

Kearney completed a two-year W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for African and African American Studies, in 2003, and was also appointed that year, as Chancellor’s Lecturer at Chicago City Colleges, which included lecturing at Chicago’s seven city colleges.  In 2004, she began a two-year Humanities Fellowship at Chicago’s DePaul University Center for the Humanities.  She was appointed, in 2007, to one-year Visiting Humanities and Political Science Professorship at Arkansas State University (ASU), teaching Memoir Writing, Writing Arkansas Culture, The Clinton Presidency, and the American Presidency: Inside the White House.

Kearney served as Personal Diarist to President William Jefferson Clinton from 1995-2001. She was the country’s first personal diarist to a U.S. President, serving as the White House liaison to the U.S. National Archive’s presidential records office. In her role as diarist, she attended numerous levels of meetings throughout the day led by the President, as well as official events at the white house. She also participated in White House management meetings, and worked closely with the White House Information and Records Management office – an extension of the National Archives – to help collect and maintain Presidential records for future presidential library.  She continued in role as personal diarist to the President in the six-month Presidential Transition Office, January – June 2001.

Kearney was appointed by President Clinton, in 1993, as Director of Public Communications, for the Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, serving for two and one-half years. As Public Affairs Manager, she was responsible for the agency’s national media coordination, including new product rollouts, briefing and preparing SBA Administrator for all media interviews, coordinating press conferences, and all other media events. She also supervised, trained and evaluated all regional information directors.

She took the role of Managing Editor of the Arkansas State Press Newspaper, founded by Arkansas civil rights legends, Daisy and L.C. Bates in 1987.  She became Publisher and Owner of the Arkansas State Press in 1988 with overall responsibility for the operation of the company, which included hiring and supervision of all full time and part-time staff, development and building creating new image for the newspaper, and expanding into new market niches.  In 1991, Kearney was elected by publisher colleagues to the board of directors for the National Newspaper Publishers Association; as well as the outreach committee for the Arkansas Press Association.

Currently, she serves on a number of volunteer boards and committees, including Director of the Arkansas Writers Conference; and President of Arkansas’ Pioneer Chapter of the National League of Pen Women. Awards and Recognitions include: Arkansas’ Small Business Administration’s Minority Business Award, 1992; the PUSH for Excellence Award for outstanding communications; induction into the History Makers Archives of Outstanding African American leaders; University of Arkansas Outstanding Alumni Award, and the University of Arkansas’ distinguished Journalism Lemke Award.


Justin FairfaxJustin Fairfax, a 2013 candidate for Virginia Attorney General, is a former Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and a former associate at the Washington, D.C. office of WilmerHale LLP. His legal practice at the firm focused primarily on white-collar crime and complex commercial litigation. As a federal prosecutor, Justin worked in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit and was appointed Deputy of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. He received accolades for his commitment, skill and energy in protecting Virginia’s citizens and businesses. Prior to joining the firm, Justin worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald B. Lee at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Alexandria Division.

Justin, the youngest of four children, was raised by his mother, Charlene Fairfax, and his maternal grandparents in Northeast Washington, D.C. during a troubled and violent time in the city’s history. Charlene, a senior official in the D.C. Department of Healthcare Finance, worked tirelessly to teach her children the value of education and ensure them great opportunity. Justin’s family instilled in him faith, courage, a love of people, a passion for public service, and the deeply held belief that everyone deserves a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed in life. Justin went on to graduate from Duke University and Columbia Law School, where he was selected to be a member of the Columbia Law Review. He served as a Trustee on the Duke University Board of Trustees for three years following his graduation and has been a member of the Board of Visitors of the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy since 2008. Justin and his wife, Dr. Cerina W. Fairfax, have also endowed an opportunity scholarship at their alma mater.

Justin is running for Virginia Attorney General to help protect families and businesses, to keep our communities safe, and to ensure that all Virginians have more security, opportunity, and access to the American Dream. His political supporters include former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, former American Bar Association President Robert Grey, Jr. and prominent Virginia Businessman and Campaign Treasurer for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Warren Thompson. His brother, Roger, and sister-in-law, Lisa Fairfax, both Harvard and Harvard Law School alumni, have also shown him unmeasured support.

In 2007, Justin and Cerina purchased a dental practice in Fairfax, VA. The Fairfax family, which includes children, Cameron and Carys, resides in Northern Virginia.


Emmanuel Cleaver IIEmanuel Cleaver, II is now serving his fifth term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman.

Having served for twelve years on the city council of Missouri’s largest municipality, Kansas City, Cleaver was elected as the city’s first African American Mayor in 1991.

During his eight year stint in the Office of the Mayor, Cleaver distinguished himself as an economic development activist and an unapologetic redevelopment craftsman. He and the City Council brought a number of major corporations to the city, including TransAmerica, Harley Davidson, and Citi Corp. Cleaver also led the effort, after a forty year delay, to build the South Midtown Roadway. Upon completion of this major thoroughfare, he proposed a new name: The Bruce R. Watkins Roadway. Additionally, his municipal stewardship includes the 18th and Vine Redevelopment, a new American Royal, the establishment of a Family Division of the Municipal Court, and the reconstruction and beautification of Brush Creek.

Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees augmented by a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a Master’s from St. Paul Theology of Kansas City.

In 2009, Cleaver, with a multitude of accomplishments both locally and Congressionally, introduced the most ambitious project of his political career—the creation of a Green Impact Zone. This zone, consisting of 150 blocks of declining urban core, has received approximately $125 million dollars in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds. The Green Impact Zone is aimed at making this high crime area the environmentally greenest piece of urban geography in the world. This project includes rebuilding Troost Avenue, rehabbing bridges, curbs and sidewalks, home weatherization, smart grid technology in hundreds of homes, and most importantly, hundreds of badly needed jobs for Green Zone residents. During the 112th Congress, Cleaver was unanimously elected the 20th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Cleaver, a native of Texas, is married to the former Dianne Donaldson. They have made Kansas City home for themselves and their four children.

Education: From Brown to Fisher Panel
Moderator: Dean Martha Minow

Martha MinowMartha Minow, the Dean of Harvard Law School and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses have included civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop. An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities, she also writes and teaches about privatization, military justice, and ethnic and religious conflict.

Besides her many scholarly articles published in journals of law, history, and philosophy, her books include In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Constitutional Landmark (2010); Government by Contract (co-edited, 2009); Just Schools: Pursuing Equality in Societies of Difference (co-edited, 2008); Breaking the Cycles of Hatred: Memory, Law and Repair (edited by Nancy Rosenblum with commentary by other authors, 2003); Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good (2002); Engaging Cultural Differences: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracies (co-edited 2002); Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence (1998); Not Only for Myself: Identity, Politics and Law (1997); Law Stories (co-edited 1996); Narrative, Violence and the Law: The Essays of Robert M. Cover (co-edited 1992); and Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (1990). She is the co-editor of two law school casebooks, Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice and Context (3rd. edition 2008) and Women and the Law (4th edition 2007), and a reader, Family Matters: Readings in Family Lives and the Law (1993).

She served on the Independent International Commission Kosovo and helped to launch Imagine Co-existence, a program of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, to promote peaceful development in post-conflict societies. Her five-year partnership with the federal Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology worked to increase access to the curriculum for students with disabilities and resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard opening access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities. She has worked on the Divided Cities initiative which is building an alliance of global cities dealing with ethnic, religious, or political divisions.

Her honors include: the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse, awarded by the College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin, in recognition of efforts to promote discourse and intellectualism on a world stage; the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, awarded by the Harvard Law School graduating class of 2005; the Holocaust Center Award, 2006; and Honorary Doctorates from Northwestern University (Law), the Jewish Theological Seminary (Law), Dominican University (Humane Letters), Hebrew College (Humane Letters), McGill University (Law), the University of Toronto (Law), and Wheelock College (Education).

In August 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Dean Minow to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, a bi-partisan, government-sponsored organization that provides civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment on March 19, 2010 and she now serves as Vice-Chair and co-chair of its Pro Bono Task Force. She previously chaired the board of directors for the Revson Foundation (New York) and now serves on the boards of the MacArthur Foundation, the Covenant Foundation, and other nonprofit organizations. She is a former member of the board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center, and former chair of the Scholar’s Board of Facing History and Ourselves. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1992, Minow has also been a senior fellow of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, a member of Harvard University Press Board of Syndics, a senior fellow and twice acting director of what is now Harvard’s Safra Foundation Center on Ethics, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. She has delivered more than 70 named or endowed lectures and keynote addresses.

Minow co-chaired the Law School’s curricular reform committee from 2003 to 2006, an effort that led to significant innovation in the first-year curriculum as well as new programs of study for second- and third-year J.D. students.

After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Minow received a master’s degree in education from Harvard and her law degree from Yale. She clerked for Judge David Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. She joined the Harvard Law faculty as an assistant professor in 1981, was promoted to professor in 1986, was named the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Law in 2003, and became the Jeremiah Smith Jr., Professor of Law in 2005. She is also a lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She enjoys watching and talking about movies and keeping in touch with current and former students.


Vincent RougeauVincent D. Rougeau became dean of the Boston College Law School on July 1, 2011.  He previously served as a professor at Notre Dame Law School and was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1999-2002.  He received his A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as articles editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

An expert on Catholic social thought, Dean Rougeau’s most recent book, Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order, was released in 2008 by Oxford University Press.  His current research and writing consider the relationship between religious pluralism and changing understandings of citizenship in a mobile global order, and he is the leader of a research group on global migration and cosmopolitanism as part of the Contending Modernities project sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

He is Senior Fellow at the Contextual Theology Centre in London, where he researches the role of faith-based community organizing in law reform and the creation of engaged citizens in diverse communities.  He continues to speak and write on Catholic social teaching, and on how changing demography in North America and Europe is altering the role of religion in public life.

Dean Rougeau writes frequently on the challenges and opportunities facing the legal profession and legal education.  His articles have appeared in a number of national publications, including the Atlantic and U.S. News.

His teaching interests include contract and real estate law, as well as law and religion.  Most recently, he has taught contracts, real estate transactions, and seminars in Catholic social thought and immigration and multiculturalism.  He is a member of the American Law Institute, and admitted to the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia.  Before entering the academy, he practiced law at the Washington, DC office of Morrison & Foerster.


Charles WillieProfessor Charles V. Willie is one of the nation’s leading black sociologists. His expertise is in the area of school desegregation. Accordingly, Willie served as a court-appointed master, expert witness, and consultant in many school desegregation cases. In 1975, Willie served as a court appointed master in the Boston school desegregation case and later was retained to develop a controlled choice student assignment plan for Boston and several school districts. He was recognized in 1983 with the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ Lee-Founders Award for effectively combining social research and social activism. Willie is an applied sociologist concerned with solving social problems. Willie is the author or editor of more than 25 books and articles covering topics such as: race relations, urban education, public health, community development, family life, and women’s rights. His books include A New Look at Black Families (1976), The Education of African-Americans (1991), Theories of Human Social Action (1994), and Mental Health, Racism and Sexism (1995).

Willie has served as Vice President of the American Sociological Association and as President of the Eastern Sociological Society. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council; the technical advisory board of the Maurice Falk Medical Fund; and, by the appointment of President Carter, the President’s Commission on Mental Health. Willie recently retired from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and was awarded emeritus status by the faculty.


James O'NealJames B. O’Neal is the Executive Director of Legal Outreach, Inc., a law-related, college prep and pipeline diversity organization. Mr. O’Neal co-founded the organization in 1983 upon graduating from Harvard Law School as the first recipient of the Harvard Fellowship in Public Interest Law.  Through Legal Outreach, Mr. O’Neal has devoted his entire professional life to serving the civic and educational needs of urban youth by creating law-based programs that inspire and prepare young people to pursue higher education and professional careers.

Mr. O’Neal has developed four law-related curricula, each of which provides young people with substantive legal information enabling them to avoid, address, and confront recurring social problems and issues within their own communities.  The curricula are entitled “Criminal Justice:  Theory and Practice;” “Law and Social Problems;” “Law, the Legal System, and Dispute Resolution;” and “Urban Law Man: The Search for Law, Morals, and Values.”  Over 40 different topics are explored including child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, landlord-tenant disputes, crime in the community, search and seizure, police use of force, etc.

In seeking to reach the largest audience of students, Legal Outreach has worked through the NYC Department of Education to train teachers to use the materials.  Over 500 teachers from several school districts across the five boroughs have infused one or more of the law curricula into their programs at the elementary, junior high, or high school levels.

In addition to the above, Legal Outreach is a direct services provider.  Each year, it organizes summer law programs for 120 eighth graders who reside in underserved neighborhoods and profess a desire to learn more about the law and the legal profession.  Those students participate in one of six Summer Law Institutes held at Fordham, Columbia, Brooklyn, St. John’s, New York and NYU Law Schools.  Over the course of five weeks, the students learn about the criminal justice process, interact daily with lawyers serving as guest speakers, and participate in mock-trial competitions, assuming the roles of attorneys and witnesses.  Upon completing this rigorous academic program, the Summer Law Institute participants are invited to apply for admission to Legal Outreach’s four-year, college preparatory program known as “College Bound.”

Through College Bound, Legal Outreach helps the selected students develop skills and disciplines which will enable them to succeed academically in high school, college and beyond.   An after-school study and tutorial program provides students with a solid academic foundation; a four-hour Saturday program enhances writing skills; and a three-year constitutional law debate program sharpens oral, analytical, and critical-thinking skills.  In addition, students are provided with mentors from the legal profession, internships at corporate law firms, assistance in preparing for the SAT, and individualized guidance in the college application process.

As a result of this comprehensive approach, over 99.3% of the students completing the College Bound program have matriculated at colleges across the U.S., including some of our nation’s finest: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Columbia, Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, the University of Pennsylvania, Wellesley, Brown, Duke, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, Emory, Vanderbilt, the University of California at Berkeley, Bryn Mawr, NYU, Barnard, Brandeis, Tufts, Middlebury, Wesleyan, Hamilton, Colgate, Carnegie Mellon, and a host of others.  Over 80% have graduated from college in four years.

For its outstanding work with urban youth, Legal Outreach was featured on NBC News with Tom Brokaw as an example of “What Works;” received a “Heroes” Award from the Robin Hood Foundation; was chosen in 2010 as the nation’s outstanding pipeline diversity program by the ABA’s Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity; and was selected by Root Cause in 2011 as one of New York City’s best college access and success programs.  In addition, Mr. O’Neal received an honorary degree from CUNY Law School in 2003 and was chosen as a Diversity and Inclusion Champion by the NYC Bar Association in 2008.


Laura McNealDr. Laura McNeal holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from Washington University, St. Louis and a Ph.D. in Education Administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at Harvard Law School where she helps advance the Institute’s K-12 education initiatives. Her scholarly interests examine issues of access and equity in employment and education law, with a particular emphasis on issues of access and equity for individuals from traditionally marginalized populations.

She has received numerous fellowships, honors, and awards, including the Washington University Employment Law Achievement Award and a two-year Stafford Faculty Fellowship for the National Institute on Leadership, Disability and Students Placed at Risk. She has also contributed to the national debate on law and education policy through public lectures, op-eds and media appearances.


Doing Good While Doing Well Panel
Moderator: Willie Epps, Jr.

Willie Epps 4Willie J. Epps, Jr. ‘95 is a trial lawyer who represents corporations and individuals in white-collar criminal matters and complex civil cases alleging personal injury or wrongful death. He has tried more than 30 cases as lead counsel in federal and state courts across the country during his 17 years of practicing law. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and has been selected annually to Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers since 2009. He has an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale Hubbell® which is the highest rating given.

Prior to private practice, Mr. Epps served as an Air Force JAG, special assistant U.S. attorney, and assistant special counsel for The Waco Investigation. Mr. Epps’ professional experiences include serving as the Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer at a Fortune 500 company, where four former senior officers were under federal indictment when Mr. Epps was hired by the company’s president and CEO.

Mr. Epps was born in Mississippi and raised in Missouri. He is a graduate of St. Louis Country Day School, Amherst College, and HLS. As an HLS student, Mr. Epps served as a research assistant to Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Student Body President, and co-chair of BLSA’s Eleventh Annual Spring Conference.


Joe Clark defends clients in white-collar criminal matters, complex business litigations, and regulatory and enforcement proceedings. Joe has handled substantial litigation matters involving securities fraud, health care fraud, antitrust, contract disputes, construction litigation, and consumer credit. In addition, Joe has significant experience in alleged violations of international trafficking in arms regulations, the Arms Export Control Act, export administration regulations, and transportation security regulations. Joe has defended clients against allegations of bribery, providing an illegal gratuity, insider trading, and illegal kickbacks. Further, Joe has conducted internal investigations and has advised clients on issues of corporate governance and compliance.

Currently, Joe is defending National City Bank, now owned by PNC, in a putative class action alleging conspiracy to fix interchange fees. Joe is also defending Experian Information Solutions in both individual cases and class actions alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Recently, Joe began representing a major airline in its ongoing negotiations with the Federal Aviation Administration. As a former assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia, Joe is an accomplished trial attorney.

Joe plays an active role in the Firm’s pro bono program and recently traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to teach trial advocacy to Kenyan attorneys. He represents indigent defendants in Montgomery County, Maryland Circuit Court and is currently suing the Baltimore City Police Department in a section 1983 action. Joe regularly recruits law students and lateral attorneys and served as chair of the Summer Associates Committee for the Washington Office in 2007.


Samaia MuhammadSamaia Muhammad joined Advancement Project as Major Gifts Officer in May of 2012. In this role she focuses on building relationships as well as engaging current and prospective supporters. This work supports and promotes the vital efforts of Advancement Project programs. Her experience in non-profit fundraising includes time with the William J. Clinton Foundation and Women’s Campaign Fund. She has also served as a corporate conference planner for large entities such as Verizon Wireless and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Samaia further displays her commitment to racial and social justice through service as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc – See more at: http://www.advancementproject.org/people/entry/samaia-muhammad#sthash.k2ds7LRV.dpuf


Jennifer GachiriJennifer L. Gachiri is an associate in the Litigation Department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. While a student at Harvard Law School, she served as a teaching assistant for Professor Charles Ogletree and a research assistant for Professor Lani Guinier. She graduated in 2009.

Jennifer then completed clerkships with the Honorable Richard W. Roberts of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 2008, she worked in Washington, D.C. as a Law Clerk in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service, and as a summer associate at Covington & Burling LLP. Jennifer received her B.A., cum laude, in American History from the University of Pennsylvania.


Donald DengDonald Deng is a counsel in the firm’s Litigation/Controversy and Securities Departments, and a member of the Business Trial Group. He joined the firm in 2003. Mr. Deng is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee for the Boston office. Mr. Deng’s practice focuses on securities litigation and enforcement, as well as general commercial litigation. He represents public companies in proceedings and investigations brought by the NASD, SEC, state securities commissions and other enforcement agencies. He also represents companies in complex commercial litigation matters, including contract, intellectual property and commercial real estate disputes. Prior to joining WilmerHale, Mr. Deng was an associate at Patton Boggs, LLP.


Katrina CopneyKatrina J. Copney is an associate in the New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group. Ms. Copney’s practice focuses on federal and state court litigation of complex commercial matters involving securities and corporate law and financial restructuring.

Ms. Copney earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as an executive editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Spelman College.


Black Images in the Media
Moderator: Professor Ronald Sullivan

Ronald SullivanRonald S. Sullivan Jr. is the Edward R. Johnson Lecturer on Law and the Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School. Professor Sullivan joined Harvard Law’s faculty in July 2007. His areas of interest include criminal law, criminal procedure, legal ethics, and race theory. Prior to teaching at Harvard, Professor Sullivan served on the faculty of the Yale Law School, where, after his first year teaching, he won the law school’s award for outstanding teaching. Professor Sullivan is the faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute. He also is a founding fellow of The Jamestown Project. Professor Sullivan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College, and the Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Black Law Students Association and as a general editor of the Harvard Black Letter Law Review. After graduating Harvard, Professor Sullivan spent a year in Nairobi, Kenya as a Visiting Attorney for the Law Society of Kenya. In that capacity, he sat on a committee charged with drafting a new constitution for Kenya. He also worked with the Kenya Human Rights Commission, documenting human rights violations throughout Kenya.

Professor Sullivan returned to the United States where he was employed as a staff attorney for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). He represented hundreds of clients in thousands of matters, ranging from juvenile delinquency cases to first-degree murder cases. After leaving PDS, Professor Sullivan went into private practice where he specialized in complex civil and white-collar criminal litigation. He worked with the D.C. law firms of Baach Robinson & Lewis, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. In 2000, Professor Sullivan returned to PDS as its General Counsel where he served until his appointment as Director in June 2002. As Director of PDS, Professor Sullivan served as its chief executive officer, employed over 200 people, and managed a federal appropriation of approximately $30 million. In that capacity, Professor Sullivan testified before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the Council of the District of Columbia on a range of criminal law issues. Most recently, Professor Sullivan testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Samuel A. Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court with respect to Judge Alito’s Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

Professor Sullivan has provided legal commentary for CNN, FoxNews, and PBS on topics ranging from the Impeachment of President Clinton to the Kobe Bryant criminal proceedings. (Gary, IN; B.A., Morehouse College; J.D., Harvard University)


Issa RaeIssa Rae the multitalented CEO and Owner of Issa Rae Productions, is a pioneer in the fight against the narrow, mainstream portrayal of people of color in the media. With a dedicated and passionate team, and supportive fan base, Issa Rae Productions lends a voice to a demographic that largely goes unheard. The wide-spread success of Issa Rae’s webseries, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, has unanimously placed Issa Rae at the forefront of the digital web revolution.

She received her B.A. from Stanford University, where she produced and directed four theatrical productions, including two stage adaptations of Spike Lee films. Because film was her true passion, she took time off from Stanford to attend the New York Film Academy where she honed her filmmaking skills. Upon graduating, Issa Rae continued to follow her passion, working on various music videos, shorts and a range of successful webseries, Issa Rae Productions pulls from the everyday struggles of the twenty-something year old, and incorporates a sense of humor that makes each original plot and character, relatable and appealing. The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, often referred to as ABG, is Issa Rae’s third web series.

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae has garnered over 8.8 million views between her 3 webseries, and just short of 70,000 faithful subscribers on YouTube – with no plans of slowing down. Issa Rae Productions continues to be a growing, digital media phenomenon, catching the attention of major media outlets such as The New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Associated Press, BET, Vulture, Jezebel, Crushable, The Washington Post, Sundance Channel, NBC, Vibe Magazine, Essence, The Huffington Post, CNN, Clutch Magazine, and naturally, widely across the digital blogosphere.

As a Root 100 Most Influential Person and winner of the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show for ABG, Issa Rae has built up a following of eager and loyal fans that helped her Kickstarter.com campaign become a huge success. In July 2011 Issa Rae and her production teamnearly doubled their goal of $30,000 in just 30 days. To date, Issa Rae and the ABG team have completed a Fall 2011/Winter 2012 College tour, including stops at UCLA, American University, Princeton, Yale, San Francisco State, University of North Texas, and many more.

After only one season, in early 2012, Issa Rae and ABG caught the attention of renowned artist and tastemaker, Pharrell Williams. Pharrell, who immediately saw eye-to-eye with Issa’s distinctive vision, invited the highly anticipated ABG Season 2 to air on his new Google Channel, “i am OTHER” in Summer 2012. Rae is signed with UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment and is currently working with Shonda Rhimes and ABC to produce a half-hour comedy series called I Hate L.A. Dudes. Rae has several award winning web series on her YouTube channel, most notably Fly Guys present The ‘F’ Word, a vlog series entitled Ratchetpiece Theatre and a recent collaboration with Black&SexyTV Roomieloverfriends. Rae has no plans to release future webseries in 2013.

For Press Inquiries Contact: AJ Williams, pr@issarae.com 424.244.1192


Debra Martin ChaseDebra Martin Chase is an Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning television and motion picture producer whose company, Martin Chase Productions, has been affiliated with the Walt Disney Company since 2001. Much of her work has focused upon women, tweens, dance and music.

Her filmography includes three beloved franchises: THE PRINCESS DIARIES, THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS and THE CHEETAH GIRLS. THE PRINCESS DIARIES and its hit sequel jointly grossed over $300 million in worldwide box office receipts and launched the movie career of actress Anne Hathaway. According to Variety, the first SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELNG PANTS was one of the best reviewed movies of 2005 and began the career of another young actress, Blake Lively. The soundtrack for THE CHEETAH GIRLS, which Ms. Chase also executive produced, went double platinum. Its first sequel was the most watched movie debut in the history of the Disney Channel and the singing group had one of the most successful U.S. concert tours of the 2006-2007 season. Her other motion picture producing credits include SPARKLE, a dramatic musical starring Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston; JUST WRIGHT starring Queen Latifah, which won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for Best Screenplay; COURAGE UNDER FIRE starring Denzel Washington; and the perennial holiday favorite, THE PREACHER’S WIFE starring Washington and Houston. Her television credits include the Emmy winning RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA with Brandy and Houston; the Lifetime TV series MISSING, which had the most watched series debut in the network’s history; the Disney Channel’s original musical LEMONADE MOUTH, which featured a number one Billboard soundtrack that Ms. Chase executive produced; and the Oscar and Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning documentary HANK AARON: CHASING THE DREAM. She has also just completed the second movie in her partnership with the American Girl Company to relaunch its movie franchise. In 2012 she entered into a new deal with the ABC television network to focus more intently upon the development and production of series.

Ms. Chase graduated from Mount Holyoke College and the Harvard Law School. In 2007, she received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Mount Holyoke and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She also serves on the boards of the New York City Ballet, the United Friends of Children, the Women at NBC/Universal Advisory Board, and the Producing Mentor Board of USC’s Peter Stark Program. Ms. Chase is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Ebony Magazine named her one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in America. In December 2012, Black Enterprise Magazine named her one of the Ten Most Bankable African American Movie Producers in Hollywood based upon worldwide box office, the only woman on the list.


Raye MitchellRaye Mitchell is a thirty-year veteran in business, marketing, and branding in the entertainment industry and the legal profession. In 2007, she used that experience to become a social entrepreneur to help women and girls and founded The New Reality Foundation/The G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program. Recently, Ms. Mitchell expanded her community service efforts by initiating a collaboration project with actor and NY Times bestseller author Hill Harper and media and entertainment executive Lisa Jones Johnson. The M.B.A. Series™ (Motivated Brilliant Achievers), a multi-platform series that provides youth, aged eight to eighteen+, with leading-edge, inspirational and motivational advice and counsel bolstered with the development of specific hard skills and technical skills in leadership and life.

In addition to her award-winning work as a humanitarian and a social entrepreneur, Raye Mitchell is an innovation expert, a published author, and a public speaker in the fields of entertainment/pop culture, leadership, and innovation and change leadership. Currently, she is the CEO of The New Reality B-Corp, a California benefit corporation; which focuses on innovation and the entertainment industry.

Ms. Mitchell’s professional experience includes working at such prestigious corporations as General Mills, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company, and the Colgate Palmolive Company prior to her leaving to attend Harvard Law School.

Ms. Raye Mitchell is a native of Los Angeles, California, and attended school at Los Angeles High School before being selected by the University of Southern California to enter the Resident Honors Program for early admission to USC. She then earned a BS in public policy from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, and a JD from Harvard Law School. Ms. Mitchell has earned critical acclaim for service to her community and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including The Charles Hamilton Houston Bar Association Benjamin Travis Community Service Award, KQED/Wells Fargo Bank Public Media Women’s History Month Local Hero in 2012, the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment’s 2011 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, and the 2011 Jefferson Award for Public Service (the Nobel Prize for Public Service. She is the author of The Evolution of Brilliance: Voices Celebrating the Importance of Women (2011) and her forthcoming book entitled, The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to make breakthrough impacts that take you forward (spring 2013).


VerrettRory Verrett is Vice President and head of talent management at the NFL. In this role, he is responsible for executive recruiting, leadership development, and succession planning at the NFL. Prior to this role, Rory was an executive recruiter at two global executive search firms, where his clients included the NFL, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Harvard University, and the Obama Administration. He was formerly CEO of Diversiplex, a diversity and public affairs consulting firm.   Rory began his career as legislative counsel to a Member of Congress and later served as senior counsel for governmental affairs for Entergy Corporation.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as class marshal, and Howard University, where he was the undergraduate student member of the Board of Trustees and a Truman Scholar. A native of New Orleans, Rory is married to Tamara and has a five year old daughter, Jordan.



Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

  • Founder of Brazile and Associates, LLC
  • Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation atbthe Democratic National Committee
  • “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, D.C” (Washingtonian)
  • “50 Most Powerful Women in America” (Essence)

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute. Last, but never least, she is a native of New Orleans.

Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New Orleans, Ms. Brazile’s passion is encouraging young people to vote, to work within the system to strengthen it, and to run for public office.

A New Orleans native, Ms. Brazile began her political career at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing sets was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Four decades and innumerable state and local campaigns later, Ms. Brazile has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore, becoming the first African-American woman to manage a presidential campaign.

Author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, Ms. Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for United Media, a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and an on-air contributor to CNN, NPR, and ABC, where she regularly appears on ABC’s This Week.

In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement. A former member of the board of directors of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, responsible for leading the state’s rebuilding process in the aftermath of two catastrophic hurricanes, Ms. Brazile is the proud recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University and Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.

Ms. Brazile is founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.


Jeh Johnson

johnson__jeh_webJeh Johnson’s career has been a mixture of successful private law practice and distinguished public service. In private practice, Mr. Johnson is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, having personally tried some of the highest stakes commercial cases of recent years. At age 47, he was elected a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. In public service, Mr. Johnson was appointed by President Obama to serve as the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (2009-2012), by President Clinton to serve as General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force (1998-2001), and he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York (1989-1991).

As General Counsel of the Defense Department in President Obama’s first term, Mr. Johnson was the senior lawyer for the largest government agency in the world, responsible for the legal work of more than  10,000 military and civilian lawyers.  With the nation at war, Mr. Johnson was responsible for the prior legal review and approval of every military operation approved by the President and Secretary of Defense. Mr. Johnson is credited with being one of the legal architects of President Obama’s counterterrorism policy, spear-heading reforms to the military commissions system at Guantanamo Bay adopted by the Congress in 2009,  and co-authoring the 250-page report that paved the way for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The report was hailed by the Washington Post editorial page as a remarkable document for its “honest, thorough and respectful handling of a delicate subject.”  Mr. Johnson’s November 2012 address at the Oxford Union in England, “The Conflict Against al-Qaeda and Its Affiliates: How Will It End?,” received national and international press attention and wide editorial acclaim.

In private practice in 1984-1988, 1992-1998, 2001-2008 and now, Mr. Johnson has been a Paul Weiss litigator and civil and criminal trial lawyer.  His career as a trial lawyer began when he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney.  In three years as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Johnson tried 12 jury cases and argued 11 appeals before the Second Circuit. Building on that experience, Mr. Johnson has continued to try significant civil and criminal cases in private practice.

Mr. Johnson has been active in professional and community activities. From 2001-04, he was Chair of the Judiciary Committee of the New York City Bar Association, which rates and approves all the federal, state and local judges in New York City, and he served on the Executive Committee of the City Bar.  Mr. Johnson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has held the position of director, trustee or governor at a number of prominent organizations, including Adelphi University, the Federal Bar Council, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, the National Institute of Military Justice, the Fund for Modern Courts, the New York Community Trust, the Legal Aid Society, the Delta Sigma Theta Research and Education Fund, the Vera Institute, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the New York Hall of Science, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the New York City Bar Fund, Inc. In 1995-97, he was an adjunct lecturer in trial practice at Columbia Law School.