Peter A. Georgescu

Peter A Georgescu is Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam Inc., a network of preeminent commercial communications companies dedicated to helping clients build their businesses through the power of brands.  He served as the company’s Chairman and CEO from 1994 until January 2000.

Mr. Georgescu immigrated to the United States from Romania in 1954.  He was educated at Exeter Academy, received his B.A. with cum laude honors from Princeton and an MBA from the Stanford Business School.

The University of Alabama and Cornell College in Iowa have awarded Mr. Georgescu honorary doctorate degrees.  Mr. Georgescu is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Mr. Georgescu continues to serve as a board member of a publicly registered company, Geeknet. Previously, he has served on the Boards of Levis Strauss, Toys R Us, EMI Recorded Music, International Flavors & Fragrances and Briggs & Stratton.   He is currently Vice Chairman of New York Presbyterian Hospital, a Trustee of the Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellowship Program and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 2006 Mr. Georgescu published his first book, The Source of Success, --- asserting that personal values and creativity are the leading drivers of business success in the 21st Century.  His second book, The Constant Choice – an Everyday Journey from Evil Toward Good, was published in January 2013. His newest book is Capitalists Arise! It will be given to all participants at the conference and will be the subject of his talk.

Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC, which now has more than 18,000 worker members, 200 employer partners, and several thousand consumer members in a dozen states nationwide. The story of Saru and her co-founder’s work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section in 2005, named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008, was 1010 Wins’ “Newsmaker of the Year” and New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. She was listed in CNN’s “Top10 Visionary Women” and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, and a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015. Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, and has appeared on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Melissa Harris Perry and UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the Today Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  Her most recent book is Forked: A New Standard for American Dining (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Max Neufeind

Dr. Max Neufeind is a policy advisor at the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. His work focuses on the future of work in the digital age. He was co-responsible for the Ministry’s widely received dialogue process: “Work 4.0”. Dr. Neufeind holds a M.Sc. from the London School of Economic and Political Science and a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

William A. (“Sandy”) Darity, Jr., Duke University

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

Dr. Darity has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Previously he served as director of the Institute of African American Research, director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, director of the Undergraduate Honors Program in economics, and director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina.

He was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation ((2015-2016), fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2011-2012) at Stanford, a fellow at the National Humanities Center (1989-1990), and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors (1984). He received the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award in 2012 from the National Economic Association, the organization's highest honor. He is a past president of the National Economic Association and the Southern Economic Association. He also has taught at Grinnell College, the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Texas at Austin, Simmons College, and Claremont-McKenna College. 

Dr. Darity has served as Editor-in-Chief of the latest edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, (Macmillan Reference, 2008) and as an Associate Editor of the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2013). His most recent books are Economics, Economists, and Expectations: Microfoundations to Macroapplications (2004) (co-authored with Warren Young and Robert Leeson) and a volume co-edited with Ashwini Deshpande titled Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity (2003) both published by Routledge. He has published or edited 12 books and published more than 210 articles in professional journals.

Dee Davis

Dee Davis is the founder and president of the Center for Rural Strategies. Mr. Davis has helped design
and lead national public information campaigns on topics as diverse as commercial television
programming and federal banking policy.

Mr. Davis began his media career in 1973 as a trainee at Appalshop, an arts and cultural center devoted
to exploring Appalachian life and social issues in Whitesburg, Kentucky. As Appalshop's executive
producer, the organization created more than 50 public TV documentaries, established a media training
program for Appalachian youth, and launched initiatives that use media as a strategic tool in
organization and development. Mr. Davis is the chair of the National Rural Assembly steering committee; he is a member of the Rural Advisory Committee of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Fund for Innovative Television, and
Feral Arts of Brisbane, Australia. He is also a member of the Institute for Rural Journalism’s national
advisory board as well as the advisory board of the Rural Policy Research Institute. Mr. Davis is also the
former Chair of the board of directors of Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

Charles Adler, Co-Founder of Kickstarter, and Founder of Lost Arts

Charles Adler is a social entrepreneur, Co-founder and former Head of Design at Kickstarter, and Founder of Lost Arts.

Kickstarter, the ground-breaking crowdfunding platform, revolutionized how creative projects are funding globally.

Lost Arts, a new experiment in the future of creative work, aims to drive innovation through open support of creativity.

As a leading entrepreneur and designer, his work ranges from systems design to interaction and community design, interface design to information architecture. In 2013, he was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 12 Most Disruptive Figures in Business.

Charles co-founded Kickstarter in 2009 shaping it into the world’s largest platform funding independent creative endeavors. Since its inception, Kickstarter has raised over $2B from over 6.4M people for over 75,000 successful projects ranging from computer games to music albums, technology, fashion, educational projects and full-length feature films.

Charles previously co-founded the online art publication Subsystence, and founded Source ID, where he operated as Principal Creative Director from 2003 to 2009.

Experts, Plenary Chairs and Group Facilitators

Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic Policy

Dr. Eileen Appelbaum is Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Policy and Research and Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester, UK. Prior to this she was Professor in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University and Director of the Center for Women and Work, Research Director at the Economic Policy Institute, and Professor of Economics at Temple University. Her research focuses on public policies and company practices that affect organizational effectiveness and employee outcomes. Dr. Appelbaum has published widely on outcomes for firms and workers of work-family policy, organizational restructuring, and financialization and private equity ownership of companies. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has appeared in; The Academy of Management Journal; Work and Occupations; Work, Employment and Society; Industrial and Labor Relations Review; British Journal of Industrial Relations; Human Resource Management Journal; and Industrial Relations, among others. She is co-author of the award winning book Private Equity at Work: How Wall Street Manages Main Street (Russell Sage, 2014); co-author of Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy (Cornell University Press 2013); co-editor of Low-Wage America: How Employers are Transforming Opportunity in the Workplace (Russell Sage 2003); co-author of Manufacturing Advantage: Why High-Performance Work Systems Pay Off (Cornell University Press 2000); and co-author of The New American Workplace: Transforming Work Systems in the United States (Cornell University Press 1994).

Allert Brown-Gort

Allert Brown-Gort is the Executive Director of the Casa de la Universidad de California en México, representing and promoting academic exchanges at all levels between Mexico and the 10 campuses, five medical schools and three national laboratories that comprise the University of California system. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Work and the Economy, an independent think tank based in Chicago, and a Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM).

Susanne M. Bruyère, Cornell University

Susanne M. Bruyère, Ph.D., CRC, is currently Professor of Disability Studies and the Director of the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at the Cornell University ILR (Industrial and Labor Relations) School, Ithaca, N.Y.  Dr. Bruyère has served as the director or co-director of numerous federally-sponsored research, dissemination, and technical assistance efforts focused on employment and disability policy and effective workplace practices for people with disabilities, and served as the Director of Cornell University’s Faculty- Staff Health Program.  She is a past president of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology (22) of the American Psychological Association, the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, and the National Council on Rehabilitation Education.  She holds a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and a past-chair of GLADNET (the Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network on Employment and Training), and a past-chair and current Board Member of CARF (rehabilitation facility accreditation organization).  She has two recent books focused on employment, work, and employer practices -- Disability and Employer Practices Across the Disciplines (editor, Cornell University Press, 2017) and Employment and Work (co-author, Sage Publications, 2012).

Gregory Cajete, University of New Mexico

Gregory Cajete is a Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has lectured at colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, England, France and Germany.  He worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 21 years. While at the Institute, he served as Dean of the Center for Research and Cultural Exchange, Chair of Native American Studies and Professor of ethno- science. Currently, he is Director of Native American Studies and a Professor in the Division of Language, Literacy and Socio-cultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Cajete has authored 7 books : Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education (Kivaki Press, 1994); Ignite the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Curriculum Model, (Kivaki Press, 1999); Spirit of the Game: Indigenous Wellsprings (2004);  A People’s Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living; Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence (Clearlight Publishers, 1999 and 2000); Critical Neurophilosophy and Indigenous Wisdom (Don Jacobs (Four Arrows), Gregory Cajete and Jongmin Lee; Sense Publishers, 2010);  Indigenous Community: Rekindling Teachings of the Seventh Fire, Living Justice Press, 2015.  Dr. Cajete also has chapters in 25 other books. 

Oscar A. Chacón, Alianza Americas

Oscar A. Chacón is a co‐founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, a Chicago-based national network of Latin American immigrant‐led and immigrant serving organizations in the US. Mr. Chacón is an immigrant from El Salvador. He has been an organizer and a leader on community justice issues at the local, national and international levels for over 30 years. He has occupied leadership positions in multiple organizations including Oxfam America, Centro Presente, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. Mr. Chacón is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and the recently founded Latino-Jewish Leadership Council. He is a frequent spokesperson on economic, social, political and cultural issues, particularly as they relate to Latin American communities in the US. Alianza Americas’ mission is to improve the quality of life of Latin American immigrant communities in the US, as well as of peoples throughout the Americas.

Thomas Croft, Steel Valley Authority

Thomas Croft is the Managing Director of Heartland Capital Strategies (HCS) and Executive Director of the Steel Valley Authority (SVA).  He is co-author of: Responsible Investor Handbook: Mobilizing Workers for a Sustainable World (Greenleaf Publishing and commissioned by the AFL-CIO). His previous works include Up from Wall Street: The Responsible Alternative, forward by Richard Trumka (Cosimo Books, 2009; “Targeted Responsible Investments,” a chapter in The Next Generation of Responsible Investing, edited by Tessa Hebb. (2011, Springer Publishing); Helping Workers’ Capital Work Harder: A Report on Global Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs), a report commissioned by the Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) (2009); “Collaboration Between Labor, Academics and Community Activists to Advance Labor/Capital Strategies,”  a chapter in Money on the Line: Workers’ Capital in Canada,  edited by Isla Carmichael and Jack Quarter (2003, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives). Heartland previously commissioned: Working Capital: The Power of Labor’s Capital, edited by Tessa Hebb, et al.; forward by Leo Gerard (2001, Cornell University).  And Croft has authored many articles.

Paul A. Dillon, Veterans Advocate

Paul A. Dillon is the president and CEO of Dillon Consulting Services LLC, a U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ certified Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, based in Chicago, IL and Durham, NC. He created and co-taught the course “Law and Veterans' Issues: Policy Challenges and Best Practices” at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Paul's client engagements include a research assignment for Crain’s Chicago Business, for the highly acclaimed “Veterans in the Workplace” Focus section that was published in November 2011.

Mr. Dillon serves as the national veteran advocate for the Kennedy Forum, which is a national nonprofit organization that was created by former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy in 2013 to set a new standard for the future of healthcare in the United States.

Paul is also the creator of the concept for a successful and widely adopted veteran’s startup incubator in Chicago, called Bunker Labs, and for a veteran entrepreneur support organization in North Carolina, called VetStart, which has been recently rebranded as Bunker RDU.

His articles and quotes on veterans' issues have appeared in Forbes, Crain's Chicago Business, We Are The Mighty, the National Federation of Independent Businesses newsletter, eLearners.com, USAA Magazine, and The Science of Story, The Magazine for Inspired Thinkers. He is a sought-after commentator on national veteran matters on many radio programs and podcasts.

A U.S. Army Reserve veteran, he served in Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant, and was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals.

Allison Gerber

Allison Gerber oversees the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s investments in workforce development. Her work focuses on promoting collaborative approaches to improving employment opportunities for low-income families. Prior to joining the Foundation, Gerber was the executive director of the District of Columbia’s Workforce Investment Council and a senior associate with the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative. Gerber earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and public administration from Sweet Briar College and a law degree from Tulane University.

Bau Graves

Bau Graves is Executive Director of the Old Town School of Folk Music, in Chicago, Illinois, the largest community school of the arts in the United States, and among the most active concert presenters in the Midwest. During his tenure, the School has continued its remarkable expansion, opening a new, $17 million, technologically-advanced, acoustically-engineered, LEED gold-certified arts education facility in 2012. Bau Graves is the past Director of the Jefferson Center Foundation, in Roanoke, Virginia, and co-founder of the Center for Cultural Exchange in Maine, where he facilitated the creation of an extended series of programs in close collaboration with ethnic community groups and artists. Bau’s work as a field researcher, arts presenter, community organizer, festival director, tour manager, recording and radio producer has been prolific, winning numerous awards. He has performed and recorded with several jazz and traditional music ensembles, and toured extensively, both in the US and abroad. He holds a Masters degree in ethnomusicology from Tufts University, has published essays concerning cultural issues in both the academic and popular press, and has appeared on and/or produced numerous recordings. Bau Graves’ book about the arts and community, Cultural Democracy, was published in 2005 by the University of Illinois Press. His essay “Why Public Culture Fails at Diversity” appears in the Handbook of Community Music, forthcoming in 2018 from Oxford University Press.

Darrick Hamilton, The New School

Darrick Hamilton is the director of the doctoral program in public and urban policy, and jointly appointed as an associate professor of economics and urban policy at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics, The New School for Social Research at The New School in New York.  He is a faculty research fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, co-associate director of the Cook Center on Social Equity, and the immediate past-president of the National Economic Association (NEA).

Professor Hamilton is a stratification economist, whose work fuses scientific methods to examine the causes, consequences and remedies of racial and ethnic inequality in economic and health outcomes, which includes an examination of the intersection of identity, racism, colorism, and socioeconomic outcomes.  His scholarly contributions are evidenced by numerous peer reviewed publications, book chapters in edited volumes; opinion-editorial and popular press articles, funded research, public lectures, presentations and symposiums, service to professional organizations, and regular appearance in print and broadcast media.

Stephen Herzenberg, Keystone Research Center

Stephen Herzenberg holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and has been Executive Director since December 1995 of the Keystone Research Center (KRC), a think tank the mission of which is to promote a more prosperous and equitable Pennsylvania. Before KRC, Steve worked at the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). At USDOL, Steve served as assistant to the chief negotiator of the labor side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Steve’s research since the 1980s has sought to flesh out different aspects of “a New Deal for a New Economy”—a practical, attainable U.S. socio-economic system that could deliver equity and superior economic outcomes. This was done most comprehensively in New Rules for a New Economy: Employment and Opportunity in Postindustrial America, Cornell/ILR press, 1998, which highlighted the importance of sectoral wage regulation, training and career institutions, and unions (“new unions”) spanning geographical areas in non-mobile services. When it can, KRC supports broad-based organizing or bargaining efforts by Pennsylvania unions, including by SEIU at the UPMC health care network in western Pennsylvania, within home care, at nursing homes, and among janitors and security guards.

Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Lamia Kamal-Chaoui is the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism (CFE) at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This includes the Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme, the Regional Development Policy Committee and its Working Parties on urban policy, rural policy, and territorial indicators, the Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers and the Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative, the Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, and the Tourism Committee. She previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General, supporting the OECD’s strategic agenda, notably related to inequalities and climate change. Her responsibilities also included the coordination of the OECD Inclusive Growth initiative, the Knowledge-Sharing Alliance programme, the implementation of the OECD Strategy on Development and relationships with philanthropic foundations. Prior to working in the Cabinet, she was Head of the Urban Programme for more than ten years, advising national and local governments on issues related to governance, social inclusion, climate change and green growth and initiated the OECD Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers on urban development. She has also held other positions at the OECD in the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, the Trade Directorate and the Financial and Enterprises Affairs Directorate. Ms. Kamal-Chaoui is a member of several International Committees and Advisory Boards and teaches “Governing Large Cities” at Sciences Po, Paris. She has a Master in Macro Economics from the University of Paris Dauphine and a Master in Foreign Languages in Paris Diderot University.

Martin Kenney, University of California, Davis

Martin Kenney is a Distinguished Professor of Community and Regional Development at the University of California, Davis; a Senior Project Director at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy; and Senior Fellow at the Research Institute for the Finnish Economy.  He has been a visiting scholar at the Copenhagen Business School, Cambridge, Hitotsubashi, Kobe, Stanford, Tokyo Universities, and UC San Diego. His scholarly interests are in entrepreneurial high-technology regions, technology transfer, the venture capital industry, and the impacts of online platforms on corporate strategy, industrial structures and labor relations. He co-authored or edited seven books and 150 scholarly articles. His first book Biotechnology: The University-Industrial Complex was published by Yale University Press. His most recent edited books Public Universities and Regional Growth, Understanding Silicon Valley, and Locating Global Advantage were published by Stanford University Press where he edits the book series Innovation and Technological Change in the Global Economy.  His co-edited book Building Innovation Capacity in China was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 and has been translated into Chinese. He is a receiving editor at the world’s premier innovation research journal, Research Policy and edits a Stanford University book series.  In 2015, he was awarded University of California Office of the President’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership in Presidential Initiatives.  His research has been funded by the NSF, the Kauffman, Sloan, and Matsushita Foundations, among others.  He has given over 500 talks at universities, government agencies, and corporations in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

William Lazonick, University of Massachusetts Lowell

William Lazonick holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto (1968), M.Sc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics (1969), and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University (1975). Prior to taking up his professorial position at UMass Lowell in 1993 to help build a graduate program in regional development, Lazonick was assistant and associate professor of economics at Harvard University (1975-1984), professor of economics at Barnard College of Columbia University (1985-1993), and visiting scholar and then distinguished research professor at INSEAD (1996-2007). Professor Lazonick is the author or editor of 15 books and about 130 academic articles. In his analysis of the contemporary American economy, Lazonick holds the financialized corporation, manifested by massive stock buybacks incentivized by stock-based executive pay, is largely responsible for the extreme concentration of income among the richest households and the disappearance of stable and remunerative employment opportunities in the United States. His book Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States (Upjohn Institute 2009) won the 2010 Schumpeter Prize. His article, “Innovative Business Models and Varieties of Capitalism," received the Henrietta Larson Award from Harvard Business School for best article in Business History Review in 2010 (Lazonick had previously won the prize for best article in this journal in 1983). His article “Profits Without Prosperity: Stock Buybacks Manipulate the Market and Leave Most Americans Worse Off,” earned the HBR McKinsey Award for outstanding article in Harvard Business Review in 2014.

In February 2016 Oxford University Press published Dr. Lazonick’s co-edited book China as an Innovation Nation. He is currently completing a book, The Theory of Innovative Enterprise, to be published by Oxford University Press. His most recent papers include “Stock Buybacks: From Retain-and-Reinvest to Downsize-and-Distribute,” published by the Brookings Institution; “Innovative Enterprise or Sweatshop Economics? In Search of Foundations of Economic Analysis,” in Challenge; “U.S. Pharma’s Business Model: Why It Is Broken and How It Can Be Fixed”; and a series of ground-breaking reports published as working papers by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, including “Labor in the Twenty-First Century: The Top 0.1% and the Disappearing Middle Class”; “Who Invests in the High-Tech Knowledge Base?”; “Skill Development and Sustainable Prosperity: Collective and Cumulative Careers versus Skill-Biased Technical Change”; and “The Mismeasure of Mammon: The Uses and Abuses of Executive Pay Data.” His recent research has been funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ford Foundation, and European Commission.  

Christopher Mackin, Ownership Associates, Inc.

Christopher Mackin is a partner at American Working Capital, LLC, an investment banking firm based in Chicago and New York that specializes in broad based employee ownership transactions. Those transactions typically serve as a succession strategy for founders of healthy privately held firms.  He is also the Founder and President of Ownership Associates, Inc. of Cambridge, MA providing “after the transaction” assessment, training and corporate governance services to companies broadly owned by their employees through Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP’s) and cooperative ownership. In addition to consulting, Chris serves a Lecturer at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations where he teaches an undergraduate survey course called Employee Ownership and Group Incentives.  Chris held the Sidney Harman Fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University from 1978-80. He earned a Doctorate in Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1984 with a thesis called The Social Psychology of Ownership: A Case Study of a Democratically Owned Firm. His latest paper is called Defining Employee Ownership: Four Meanings and Two Models.

Patrick L. Mason, Florida State University

Patrick L. Mason is Professor of Economics & Director, African American Studies Program, Florida State University. His primary areas of interest include labor, political economy, development, education, social identity, and crime. He is particularly interested in racial inequality, educational achievement, income distribution, unemployment, economics of identity (race and religion), family environment and socioeconomic wellbeing, and transitions in family structure and public policy, racial profiling, and innovation and development in Caribbean economies. He has authored about 90 journal articles, book chapters, books, and other professional publications.

In addition to membership in the America Economic Association and the National Economic Association, Professor Mason is also Chair, Board of Directors, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI); Member, Board of Directors, Fair Foods Standards Council (FFSC); and, Vice-President, Smith-Williams Service Center Foundation (SWSCF). He was born in Tallahassee, Florida but raised in Sebring, Florida. He is married to Winifred G. Mason, is a father of three, and is Deacon at St. John Missionary Baptist Church (Tallahassee).

Michelle Miller, Coworker.org

Michelle Miller is the co-founder of Coworker.org, a digital platform for worker voice. Since its founding in 2013, Coworker.org has catalyzed the growth of global, independent employee networks advancing wins like paid parental leave benefits at Netflix, scheduling reform at Starbucks and wage increases for REI employees, among many others. Michelle’s early work developing Coworker.org was supported by a 2012 Practitioner Fellowship at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. She is also a 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellow, a 2015 JM Kaplan Innovation Fellow and a 2017 Future for Good fellow with Institute for the Future. In 2015, Michelle was proud to join President Barack Obama as co-moderator of the first ever digital Town Hall on Worker Voice, bringing the voices and concerns of workers directly to the White House.

Natasha T. Miller, Poet, Author, Activist and Film Producer

Natasha T Miller is a Detroit, MI native, performance poet, LGBTQ activist, film producer, and founder of the “Artists Inn Detroit”. Natasha has been a member of four national slam teams, starred in a national sprite commercial, aShinola CNN ad, and she is a Women of the World Poetry Slam 3-time- top five finalist. She has awed audiences across the world at more than a hundred universities, and venues, performing in stadiums for as many as thirty thousand people. She has been featured in magazines such as vogue, entrepreneur mag, and many more. Natasha currently tours the world using her words to enlighten, create equality, and most importantly spread truth, and forgiveness in the tradition of so many great leaders before her.

Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota

Phyllis Moen is a life course scholar interested in the mismatch between 20th century clocks and calendars shaping work, careers, and the life course and 21st century risks and realities.  rofessor Moen is the director of the Life Course Center, has a McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair, and is professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, following 25 years at Cornell University. She served as president of both the interdisciplinary and international Work and Family Research Network and the Eastern Sociological Society. As part of the NIH-funded Work, Family and Health Network, Dr. Moen has investigated ways to promote work redesign around employees’ work-time control as a means to enhance individual and family health and life quality.  former Fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, he studies and writes about occupational careers, retirement, health, gender, policies and families, as they intersect and play out over time.

Dr. Moen has written Working Parents: Transformations in Gender Roles and Public Policies in Sweden (1989), Women's Two Roles: A Contemporary Dilemma (1992), and coauthored The State of Americans: This Generation and the Next (with Urie Bronfenbrenner and others, 1996) as well as Examining Lives in Context: Perspectives on the Ecology of Human Development (with Glen Elder and Kurt Lüscher, 1995). he coedited (with Karl Pillemer, Elaine Wethington, and Nina Glasgow, Social Integration in the Second Half of Life (2000) and A Nation Divided: Diversity, Inequality, and Community in American Society (coedited with Donna Dempster-McClain and Henry Walker, 1999).  Moen’s most recent books are It’s About Time: Couples and Careers (2003), the award-winning Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream (2005, with Pat Roehling), and Encore Adulthood: Boomers on the Edge of Risk, Renewal, and Purpose (2016). Her latest project, the University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative (UMAC) launching this fall, aims to foster public universities as catalysts promoting civic engagement encores.

Stephen M. Mitchell

Stephen M. Mitchell, PhD is the Associate Vice President for Planning, Human Resources and Facilities at Sullivan County Community College. He is responsible for: (1) facilitating the institutional strategic planning and regional accreditation processes; (2) providing leadership to continuing education and professional development programming; (3) guiding and managing the overall provision of Human Resources services, policies, and programs for the college; and (4) overseeing the Buildings and Grounds, Institutional Computing, Purchasing and Facilities Support Services units. Dr. Mitchell started at SUNY Sullivan as the Dean of Workforce Development, Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning. In that position, he worked with regional partners to design educational opportunities and learning experiences that enhance career prospects, contribute to business success, and promote personal enrichment.

Prior to SUNY Sullivan, Dr. Mitchell served as Director of Workforce Quality at the Center for Governmental Research in Albany. He also held both regional and national policy positions, serving as Senior Vice-President for Workforce Quality at the Allegheny Conference for Community Development, a business-led regional economic development group in Pittsburgh, and Senior Director for Workforce Development at the National Alliance of Business in Washington, D.C. Dr. Mitchell was managing partner of a research and consulting firm and has served on the faculty at SUNY Binghamton, Cornell University, and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Dr. Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.

Rob Paral, Demographer

Rob Paral is a demographic and public policy consultant. His specialties include immigrant, Latino and Asian populations, community needs for health and human service programs, and Midwestern demographic change. As Principal of Rob Paral and Associates, Rob has assisted more than 100 different human service, advocacy and philanthropic organizations in understanding the communities they are trying to serve. He works with large-scale data and geographic information systems technology to develop both national and highly localized portraits of human needs and contributions
among low-income and immigrant populations.

Rob Paral is a nonresident fellow in the Global Cities program of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He was the Senior Research Associate of the Washington, DC office of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and was Research Director of the Latino Institute of Chicago. He has been a fellow or adjunct of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame University, DePaul University Sociology Department, and the American Immigration Council in Washington, DC. He blogs on Chicago demography at ChicagoDataGuy.com.

Peter Pogačar

Peter Pogačar was born on 13 November 1973 in Ljubljana. He holds a university degree in law and has passed the state bar examination. Peter began his professional career at the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs (MDDSZ) and continued it at the Ljubljana Higher Court. From 2001 to 2004, he worked as an adviser to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia at MDDSZ, where his responsibilities included the development of supplementary pension insurance. 

In 2004 he took up the job of advisor to the management of Pension and Disability Fund Management, and later became the manager of the Pension Insurance Department. From 2009 to 2015, Peter was Director-General of the Directorate for Employment Relationships and Rights Deriving from Employment at the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. During this period, he was leader of the project of two major reforms - the pension and labor market reforms that were implemented in 2013. 

He regularly lectures or participates in round tables at numerous international and national conferences focusing on the pension system and labor market, and has co-authored several books and articles about pension and labor market legislation.  

State secretary Peter Pogačar is married and has two children, and lives with his family in Ljubljana. On 20 February 2015, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed Peter Pogačar a state secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

Diana Polson

Diana Polson is a Policy Analyst at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, where she completed her dissertation on care work and the low-wage economy. Diana previously worked at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, the National Employment Law Project and the Keystone Research Center.

She has more than a decade of experience partnering on research initiatives on a range of economic justice issues, including wage theft, cross-national family leave policies, workforce development and labor-community alliances.

Diana is also a Senior Policy Fellow at the Institute for Work and the Economy.

E.J. Reedy

E.J. Reedy oversees strategic initiatives at the Polsky Center focused on serving students/alumni globaly and expanding Polsky’s support of emerging FinTech, RegTech, and InsurTech companies. Additionally, E.J. oversees the Polsky Accelerator, research initiatives at Polsky, and tracks outcomes for the Center. E.J. is a global thought leader in entrepreneurship, having spent a decade leading research and policy for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest philanthropy devoted to promoting entrepreneurship. E.J. is an expert in small business finance, having served as a principal investigator for the Americas Alternative Finance Industry Survey, the Kauffman Firm Survey, and the American Survey of Entrepreneurs.

Diana Robinson

Diana Robinson is Director of Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies (CGS). In addition to managing CGS and its more than 30 professional staff, Diana is directly involved in a variety of applied research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and strategic planning projects in education, workforce development, and local government. 

Prior to coming to CGS, Diana was Deputy Superintendent for Workforce and Community Partnerships at the Illinois State Board of Education. While there she directed vocational and adult education for the state.

Diana also served as Vice President for the Midwest Regional Office of the National Alliance of Business (NAB), a national business-led organization focused on workforce development and education reform issues. Before NAB, Diana managed National Academy Foundation model youth apprenticeship programs in the City Colleges of Chicago. She also worked in various research and management positions for the City of Chicago during Mayor Harold Washington’s administration in employment and training and economic development.  

Diana holds a master's degree in social services administration from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. 

Laine Romero-Alston

Laine Romero-Alston is a program officer with the Ford Foundation’s Inclusive Economies team focused on the Quality Work and Economic Security. Before joining the foundation in 2011, she was the Economic Justice program officer at the Solidago Foundation and See Forward Fund, and she managed the Media Justice and Strategic Communications program at the Frances Fund. Prior to entering philanthropy, Romero-Alston founded and directed the Research and Policy department of the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center in New York and was a community organizer in Mexico City with a particular focus on youth leadership and women’s rights.

Anthony Sarmiento

Tony Sarmiento chairs the board of the Institute for Work & the Economy. Earlier this year, he retired after 17 years as Executive Director of Senior Service America Inc., a Senior Community Service Employment Program national grantee. He currently serves as President of Silver Spring Village and board chair of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs and the American Youth Policy Forum. He is a Fellow of The Gerontological Society of America and elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Past board service includes the American Society on Aging, SeniorNet, Center for Applied Linguistics, Poverty and Race Research Action Council, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (AFL-CIO), National Institute for Literacy (appointed by President Clinton), Literacy Volunteers of America, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. He previously held senior positions at the national AFL-CIO and the D.C. Department of Labor. A lifelong resident of the Washington, D.C., area, he holds a B.A. in American Studies from American University.

Juliet Schor, Boston College

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Schor is also a member of the MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network. Schor’s research focuses on consumption, time use, environmental sustainability, and the new economy. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women's Studies. In 2014 Schor received the American Sociological Association’s award for Public Understanding of Sociology. Schor’s books include: The Overworked American; The Overspent American; Sustainable Lifestyles and the Quest for Plenitude; and True Wealth. Her scholarly articles have appeared in: the Economic Journal; The Review of Economics and Statistics; World Development; Industrial Relations; Ecological Economics; The Journal of Industrial Ecology; The Journal of Consumer Research; The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences­; The Journal of Consumer Culture; and Poetics, among others.

Dr. Schor is a former Guggenheim Fellow and was the Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University in 2014-15. She is also a former Brookings Institution fellow. She is the recipient of the 2011 Herman Daly Award from the US Society for Ecological Economics. In 2006, she received the Leontief Prize from the Global Development and Economics Institute at Tufts University for expanding the frontiers of economic thought. She has also received the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language from the National Council of Teachers of English. She has served as a consultant to the United Nations, at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, and to the United Nations Development Program. In 2012 Schor organized the first Summer Institute in New Economics, a week-long program for PhD students in the social sciences, and repeated the program in 2013. Schor also is a co-founder of the South End Press, the Center for Popular Economics, and the Center for a New American Dream. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Better Future Project, an organization working to end fossil fuel use.

Damon A. Silvers

Damon A. Silvers is the Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO. He joined the AFL-CIO as Associate General Counsel in 1997. 

Mr. Silvers serves on a pro bono basis as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of New York and is a Senior Fellow for the Roosevelt Institute.

He is a member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Investor Advisory Group. Mr. Silvers is also a member of The Century Foundation’s Board of Trustees and is a member of the board of the investor coalition CERES. 

From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Silvers served as the Deputy Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP. Mr. Silvers has also served on the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, as the Chair of the Competition Subcommittee of the United States Treasury Department Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession and as a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. 

Chris Warhurst, University of Warwick

Chris Warhurst is Professor and Director of the Warwick Institute for Employment Research. He is also a Trustee of the Tavistock Institute in London, an Associate Research Fellow of SKOPE at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His current research focuses on: the relationship between innovation and job quality; skills strategies, including skill utilisation; the outcomes of vocational education and training; and aesthetic labour. He has published 16 books including the Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training (2017), Job Quality in Australia: Perspectives, Problems and Proposals (2015), Are Bad Jobs Inevitable?: Trends, Determinants and Responses to Job Quality in the Twenty-First Century (2012), and Workplaces of the Future (1998). He was formerly the co-editor of the journal Work, Employment and Society and is currently the chair of the editorial management committee of the journal Human Relations. He has been an expert advisor to the UK, Scottish and Australian Governments as well as the OECD and Oxfam.

Elizabeth White

Elizabeth White is a best-selling author and aging solutions advocate for older adults facing uncertain work and financial insecurity.  When she could not find a book that met her needs during her own bout of long-term unemployment, she wrote it herself. She wrote it as a 62-year-old woman who has lived the stories she describes, and as a Harvard MBA, and former C-suite executive who never expected to land here. Ms. White’s book Fifty-five, Unemployed, and Faking Normal is about the millions of older Americans who, despite a history of career choice and decent incomes, are facing the prospect of downward mobility in old age. Based on expert research and interviews with older adults, Fifty-five looks at the tools and strategies boomers can utilize to make sense of changed circumstances, better manage financial hardship, and achieve a more satisfying life.

Mary V. L. Wright, Jobs for the Future

Mary V.L. Wright is Jobs for the Future’s Director, Employer Alliances. Providing education and training that includes the skills preferred by employers contributes to the learner’s long-term success. Specifically, her role is to help JFF better link employer demands to the outcomes of training initiatives by creating partnerships with employers who recognize the value of contributing to workforce development. Ms. Wright has focused her work on increasing the prominence of employability skills – particularly given the future of work, using labor market data to better identify job market demand, and the key role of work-based learning as a way to engage all learners. She leads several JFF projects including one with the with the Job Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center, to help VR agencies be more job driven and with Walmart Foundation to determine how WBL strategies can be used in the retail setting. 

Ms. Wright has many years of experience connecting the public and private sectors in municipal finance, government affairs, and workforce development. Prior to joining JFF, she served as director at The Conference Board in New York City, driving its work in workforce readiness, business, and education partnerships, as well as improving the employment outcomes for people with disabilities through research and convenings. Ms. Wright co-authored or acted as project director on several key reports on workforce readiness skills including Are They Really Read to Work and The Ill-Prepared Workforce. Her non-profit board experience includes organizations that support educational opportunities for underrepresented youth, housing options for low-income families, and the arts. Ms. Wright has an MBA in public/nonprofit management from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in urban affairs from Connecticut College.

John Zysman, University of California, Berkeley

John Zysman is Professor Emeritus an UC Berkeley and co-director of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy.  Recent Publications include: The Rise of the Platform Economy; The Next Phase in the Digital Revolution (with Martin Kenney); Abundant Computing, Platforms, Growth, and Employment (With Martin Kenney); What Is the Future of Work? Understanding the Platform Economy and Computation-Intensive Automation (With Martin Kenney); The Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Countries Stay Rich? (with Dan Breznitz)