General Colin L. Powell Opening General Session February 25 Speaker Bios

Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
General Colin L. Powell
Founding Chair, America’s Promise Alliance
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret) served as the 65th U.S. Secretary of State from January 2001, to January 2005.
General Powell served 35 years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Four-Star General and served as Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. He also served as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan.
General Powell is the Founder of the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, the City
College of New York. He is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to
forging a strong and effective partnership alliance committed to seeing that children have the fundamental
resources they need to succeed. His autobiography, My American Journey, was a best seller and has been published
in more than a dozen different languages. His second book, It Worked for Me (May, 2012) was an instant New York
Times best seller and reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career.
Alma J. Powell
Chair, America’s Promise Alliance
Alma J. Powell serves as board chair of America’s Promise Alliance, which is committed to seeing that children
experience the Five Promises – the fundamental resources they need to succeed. With more than 400 national
partners, America’s Promise is currently leading a ten-year campaign, Grad Nation, mobilizing America to end the
dropout crisis. Mrs. Powell was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 to be a member of the President’s
Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She resigned from her position at the end of 2012.
Mrs. Powell sits on the boards of several educational, cultural, charitable and civic organizations, including serving as
chair of the advisory board for Civic Change, Inc. and member of the YouthBuild USA Advisory Board. Mrs. Powell
serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors’ Committee of Community & Friends for the Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Emerson College, an Honorary
Doctor of Humanities from Shenandoah University and the Civic Change Award from the Pew Partnership for Civic
Change. She has been honored as Washingtonian of the Year by Washington magazine and has received the
Leadership Award from the Women’s Center in Virginia. She is also a successful author of two children’s books. Mrs.
Powell has been married to Gen. Colin Powell since 1962.
Laysha Ward
President of Community Relations, Target; President, Target Foundation
Laysha Ward is president of Community Relations for Target. Ward oversees the corporation’s domestic and
international grant making, community sponsorships, cause marketing initiatives, volunteerism and other civic
activities. Ward began her career with Target in 1991 in store sales and management with Marshall Field’s in
Chicago, where she later served as community relations manager. In 1998, she was named director of community
relations for the corporation in Minneapolis. She was promoted to vice president of community relations in 2003
and to her current position in 2008. Ward serves on the board of directors of the Corporation for National and
Community Service, the nation’s largest grant maker for volunteering and service; the Executive Leadership Council,
a national membership organization for African American executives; and Denny’s Corporation. She is also a
member of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The Links, an
international woman’s service organization. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana
University and a master’s degree in social services administration from the University of Chicago.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Charlene Lake
AT&T Sr. Vice President Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Charlene Lake, Sr. Vice President Public Affairs, and Chief Sustainability Officer, is responsible for leading AT&T’s
philanthropic and volunteerism endeavors, third-party advocacy program and public affairs functional support as
well as coordinating signature initiatives that connect social needs with business objectives. Lake began her career at
Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1986 in Topeka, Kansas, and served in management roles in financial
communications, media relations and employee communications in Kansas, Missouri and Texas. She assumed
leadership over SBC’s corporate advertising and sports marketing department during the mid-1990s, and managed
the organizations through the mergers of Pacific Bell, Southern New England Telephone and Ameritech. In 2003,
Lake began developing a public affairs discipline within the SBC External Affairs department, and in 2007 launched
the development of AT&T's centralized corporate citizenship and sustainability function. A mass communication
graduate of Kansas State University, she also serves on the Advisory Council at KSU’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism
and Mass Communications. Lake began her professional life as a journalist, working on daily newspapers in Kansas.
Lake serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Public Affairs Council, a leading international association designed to advance the field of public affairs, and on the Board of Directors of America’s
Promise Alliance, an organization committed to preparing young people for college, work and life. She sits on the
Corporate Advisory Board of Women Impacting Public Policy, a national bipartisan group of 500,000 women
business owners who actively engage in the political process. She also serves on the Council of Advisors of the
Institute for Economic Empowerment for Women, which among other projects, partnered with the U.S. Department
of State to teach women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda about free enterprise and market power. Lake
also serves on Collin College Foundation Board of Directors in Dallas, Texas and the Marketing Committee of the
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
John Bridgeland
CEO & President, Civic Enterprises
John Bridgeland is President & CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy firm in Washington, D.C. He is the also the
Chair of the Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute, a new initiative to make the case for scaling a voluntary civilian
national service counterpart to military service in the United States, and author of a forthcoming book, Heart of the
Nation: Volunteering and Americaʼs Civic Spirit. Bridgeland was recently appointed by President Obama to the White
House Council for Community Solutions. Formerly, Bridgeland served as Director of the White House Domestic
Policy Council in the first term of President George W. Bush, where he coordinated policy on more than 100 issues,
and then as Assistant to the President of the United States and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps, where he
coordinated policy on international, national, community and faith-based service in the aftermath of 9/11.
Bridgeland co-led the Policy Transition for President Bush in 2000-2001.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Dr. Robert Balfanz
Principal Research Scientist, Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University
Robert Balfanz is a principal research scientist at the Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins
University. He is the co-director of the Talent Development Secondary Project, which is currently working with over
100 high poverty secondary schools to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive school transformation and
turnaround. His work focuses on translating research findings into effective reforms for high poverty secondary
schools. He has published widely on secondary school reform, high school dropouts, middle grade on-track
indicators, chronic absenteeism and instructional interventions in high poverty middle and high schools. Recent
works include Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenges in Ending the Dropout Crisis. He is the Director of the
Everyone Graduates Center launched in February 2009 which engages in analytic, tool and model development, and
capacity building efforts aimed at ending the nation’s graduation rate crisis. Balfanz is also the Co-Operator of the
Baltimore Talent Development High School, a Baltimore City Public School System Innovation High School and
Director of the Talent Development/Diplomas Now US Department of Education Investing in Innovations (I3)
validation grant project. Balfanz is the first recipient of the Alliance For Excellent Education’s Everyone a Graduate
Stacey Stewart
U.S President, United Way Worldwide
Stacey D. Stewart is President of United Way U.S.A., where she is responsible for leading the U.S. network of nearly
1,200 local and state United Ways to create opportunities for a better life for all. Stewart leads multiple teams
responsible for network engagement, business model transformation, knowledge management, technical assistance
for the network, and diversity and inclusion. Her profile includes strengthening strategic partnerships with
corporations, foundations and thought-leaders in education, financial stability and health, and creating and
implementing United Way’s U.S. policy agenda and advocacy platform. Stewart has a master of business
administration degree in finance from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of arts in economics from
Georgetown University. She also holds honorary degrees from Trinity University, Morgan State University, Texas
Southern University and Alabama A&M University. She serves on multiple national Advisory Councils and Boards,
including the Alumni Board of Governors for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan,
the Boardof Directors for the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital and the Board of Trustees for PennyMac Mortgage
Investment Trust. Stewart is married to Jarvis C. Stewart, the Chairman and Managing Partner of Ian Reid, LLC a
strategic advisory firm based in Washington, DC. The Stewarts have two children, Madeleine and Savannah.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Wendy Spencer
CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service
Wendy Spencer serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal
agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through national service and
volunteering. She took office on April 9, 2012, following her nomination by President Barack Obama and unanimous
confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Spencer understands firsthand the needs of local communities and has a proven
track record of three decades in volunteer management and administration. Throughout her career, she has held
management positions in the private sector, state government, and in major nonprofit organizations. These include
serving as campaign director of United Way of Big Bend, Director of the Florida Park Service, and Chief Executive
Officer of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, commonly known as
Volunteer Florida, under Governors Bush, Crist, and Scott. Prior to her appointment, Spencer was nationally
recognized as a leader in the volunteer sector. She was elected chair of the Association of State Service
Commissions, which is comprised of 54 state service commissions linked to governors’ offices. In 2006, President
George W. Bush appointed Spencer to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation where she served
with 24 other leading volunteer advocates as an “Ambassador of Service” promoting a culture of citizenship and
volunteer service nationwide. A native of Georgia and a graduate of Valdosta State University, Spencer started
volunteering at a young age in her hometown of Thomasville, first with civic and student club organizations in grade
school, later serving as a volunteer manager overseeing large events in Macon, GA. For the past decade, Spencer
and her husband have lived in Tallahassee, FL. They have four sons, two daughters-in-law, and one granddaughter.
Patricia de Stacy Harrison
President and CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
The Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison is the president and chief executive officer of the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting (CPB), the leading funder of public radio and public television programming for the American people.
Under her leadership, Harrison has strengthened public service media through the strategic focus of CPB in three
important areas: Digital: CPB investments in innovation and technology; Dialogue: CPB investments in local
community engagement, partnerships and service; and Diversity: CPB investments in and commitment to diversity
of content, talent and service. To formalize this commitment, Harrison established the first Diversity and Innovation
Fund for public media — radio, television, online and mobile. In 2011, Harrison created American Graduate: Let’s
Make It Happen, a nationwide public media initiative to help communities across the country identify and
implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. To date, nearly 70 public media stations in 30 states and
Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico are working with more than 800 partners to encourage students to stay on track
to graduation. Harrison received her B.A. from American University, Washington D.C., and an honorary doctorate
from the American University of Rome in 2002. She is a former Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise guest lecturer
at Youngstown State University in Ohio and was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Public Service of the Annenberg
Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, in 2002, and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard
University, in 1992.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Governor Bob Wise
President, Alliance for Excellent Education
Bob Wise is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. He currently
cochairs the Digital Learning Council with Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida. Governor Wise also chairs the
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In addition to being a sought-after speaker and advisor on
education issues, Wise has advised the U.S. Department of Education, White House Transition Team, and frequently
testifies before the U.S. Congress. In 2011, Governor Wise was named to The NonProfit Times "Power & Influence
Top 50," an annual listing of the fifty most influential executives in the nonprofit sector. As governor of West Virginia
from 2001 to 2005, he fought for and signed legislation to fund the PROMISE Scholarship program. Wise also
established a character education curriculum in all state schools and created the Governor’s Helpline for Safer
Schools. During his administration, West Virginia saw a significant increase in the number of students completing
high school and entering college. Wise serves on several boards, committees, and commissions including the Public
Education Network’s board of directors, the Springboard Project Commission, the board of trustees of America’s
Promise, and the steering committee for the Coalition for Student Achievement. He is an advisory committee
member for a number of organizations, including the Campaign for Educational Equity, Editorial Projects in
Education, the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, and the National High School Center, which is funded by the
U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and Office of Special Education
Programs and housed at the American Institutes for Research. He also serves on the board of advisors for the
Moffitt Cancer Center and the board of directors of C-Change, which works to eliminate cancer as a major public
health risk at the earliest possible time. Wise earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a JD from Tulane
University School of Law. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He and wife, Sandy, live in Washington, DC with their
two children.
Rehema Ellis
Chief Education Correspondent, NBC News
Rehema Ellis joined NBC NEWS in 1994 as a general assignment correspondent. In 2010, she was named Chief
Education Correspondent and over the last few years has played an integral part of NBC News’ “Education Nation”
initiative. Her reports appear on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, and MSNBC. She is also a digital
journalist. Ellis shoots, blogs, writes for NBC on-line and she tweets. Ellis was part of the NBC Emmy award-winning
coverage of the plane crash in the Hudson River called, Miracle on the Hudson. She also won an Emmy for her
reporting on the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama and his historic inauguration. Ellis has been part of
other headliner stories including the attacks on the World Trade Center. She was the first person to identify the
attack on the air as “Nine-Eleven”. She’s reported on Hurricane Katrina, the death of Michael of Jackson and the
Haiti earthquake. As a correspondent for NBC, Ellis traveled to Zaire to report on the mass killings that left an
estimated one million people dead in Rwanda. A few years later she spent a month in Greece covering the summer
Olympics. Ellis began her broadcast career at KDKA Radio and TV in Pittsburgh. Later, she worked in Boston at
WHDH-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor. She has distinguished herself as a lead correspondent and received
numerous awards including local and national Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards, Associated Press awards and
awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. She's also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in
Journalism. Born in North Carolina, and raised in Boston, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston and
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Ellis currently lives in New York City with her young son.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Mary Crego
Senior Vice President, State Farm Insurance
Mary joined State Farm in 1979 as a claim representative in Illinois. After a series of positions in claims,
underwriting, human resources and the customer response center, she was named vice president operations in
Charlottesville, Virginia in 1999. In 2001, she moved to Tempe, Arizona as operations vice president and, in 2003,
was named senior vice president of the Great Lakes Zone. Crego assumed her current role in 2009. Crego received a
bachelor’s degree in English from Illinois Wesleyan University, and later earned the Chartered Life Underwriter
(CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations.
Currently, she serves on the Boards of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Wesleyan University, the
International Advisory Board of Executive Education, Said Business School, University of Oxford and the National
Council of La Raza Corporate Board of Advisors. Crego and her husband, Paul, have two grown children.
Beth Shiroishi
Vice President, Sustainability & Philanthropy, AT&T
Beth Shiroishi is vice president, sustainability and philanthropy with AT&T and serves as the president of the AT&T
Foundation. In her role, she has responsibility for integrating charitable giving and sustainability into a cohesive
strategy that creates shared value: long term value both for the company and the communities in which AT&T
operates. Shiroishi is also responsible for integrating sustainable business practices throughout the company’s
operations; contributing to initiative development and execution; developing and communicating AT&T’s positions;
coordinating community engagement and communications; and managing stakeholder relationships. Shiroishi was
appointed to this position in August 2011 to further align AT&T’s sustainability focus with its philanthropic efforts.
Current priorities include energy efficiency, supply chain engagement, privacy and security, and overseeing AT&T’s
corporate charitable giving programs, including the AT&T Foundation’s signature program, AT&T Aspire. Under
AT&T Aspire, over $100 million has been invested in programs that help underserved youth succeed in high school
and go on to post-secondary education or meaningful employment.
Andre Johnson
Executive Vice President, Magic Johnson Enterprises
Andre Johnson is the Executive Vice President of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), where he is responsible for
generating revenue through building new initiatives and enhancing existing partnerships. The eldest son of
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Johnson worked with MJE partner Canyon Capital
Realty Advisors LLC for the past two years as an Asset Management Analyst where he focused on Canyon’s
hospitality portfolio nationwide. For over five years, prior to joining Canyon, Johnson served as Vice President of
Business Development for MJE where he was responsible for identifying future business opportunities by assessing
and understanding the marketplace and prioritizing market segments for development. Additionally, Johnson was
responsible for analyzing their feasibility and facilitating the successful execution of business development
initiatives—including SodexoMAGIC, MAGIC32, and various film related projects (e.g. Obsessed, Brown Sugar, etc.).
Before joining MJE, Johnson served as an Artist and Repertoire (A&R) Representative for Elektra Records. He worked
with some of the music industry’s hottest artists including Jay Z, Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott. Johnson is a
graduate of Santa Monica College (A.A. Business Management) and also serves as the Vice Chair of the Los Angeles
Minority Business Opportunity Center.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Gregory W. Cappelli
Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Group
Greg Cappelli is Chief Executive Officer of Apollo Group and Chairman of Apollo Global. He has served as Co-Chief
Executive Officer of Apollo Group since April 2009, as Chairman of Apollo Global since its inception in October 2007,
and as a member of the Board of Directors of Apollo Group since June 2007. Previously, Cappelli served as Executive
Vice President of Global Strategy and Assistant to the Executive Chairman. Before joining Apollo Group, Cappelli
spent 10 years as a research analyst for Credit Suisse, where he most recently served as Managing Director and
Senior Research Analyst, and founded the Credit Suisse Global Services Team. Prior to Credit Suisse, Cappelli was
Vice President and Senior Research Analyst at ABN AMRO. Cappelli received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from
Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from the Brennan School of Business at Dominican
University. Cappelli serves on the board of trustees of Dominican University and the national board of directors of
the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He is a past board member of Everybody Wins! NY.
John Gomperts
CEO America’s Promise Alliance
John Gomperts became President and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance in May 2012. Gomperts has a track record
of success in both government and the nonprofit sectors where his accomplishments include design and
implementation of strategic initiatives, developing innovative policies and programs, and forging partnerships and
coalitions. Most recently, he served as Director of AmeriCorps, starting in June 2010, with a responsibility for
implementing the bipartisan Kennedy Serve America Act. His work at AmeriCorps focused on demonstrating and
increasing community impact and strengthening the AmeriCorps member experience. From 2006-2010, Gomperts
served as President of Civic Ventures, an organization devoted to promoting the engagement of millions of
experienced baby boomers in encore careers. Gomperts was CEO of Experience Corps for five years beginning in
2003, leading a national service program that engages people over 55 to be tutors and mentors in urban public
schools. He led Experience Corps through dramatic growth and expansion, as well as a highly successful independent
evaluation of Experience Corps’ impact. Prior to joining Civic Ventures and Experience Corps, Gomperts served in a
variety of positions including COO at Public Education Network; Chief of Staff for the Corporation for National and
Community Service; Legislative Director for Senator Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania; and Deputy Director of the
Senate Democratic Leadership Committee, working for Senators Tom Daschle of South Dakota and John Kerry of
Massachusetts. Earlier in his career, Gomperts practiced law and clerked for a federal judge. Gomperts has also
served on numerous boards and advisory groups, including Points of Light Institute / Hands On Network,
VolunteerMatch, The News Literacy Project and Politics & Prose Bookstore. Gomperts earned his J.D. from
Georgetown University Law Center and graduated magna cum laude from University of California, Berkeley with an
A.B. in History. Gomperts is married to Katherine J. Klein, a Professor of Management at The Wharton School, and
they have two daughters, Nora and Lily.
Opening General Session
February 25
Speaker Bios
Dr. Angela Duckworth
Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, author of True Grit
Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Duckworth
studies non-IQ competencies, including self-control and grit, that predict success both academically and
professionally. Her research populations have included West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee finalists, novice
teachers, salespeople, and students. Duckworth received a BA in Neurobiology from Harvard in 1992 and, as a
Marshall Scholar, a Masters in Neuroscience from Oxford. She completed her Ph.D. in psychology at the University
of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Duckworth founded a nonprofit summer school for low-income children which won
the Better Government Award for the state of Massachusetts and was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case
study. Duckworth has also been a McKinsey management consultant a math teacher in the public schools of San
Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York City.
Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.
Director, Amachi Program
W. Wilson Goode, Sr. is the President of Amachi, Inc. a national acclaimed model faith-based program for mentoring
children of incarcerated parents, and Distinguished Senior Resident Fellow, Program for Research on Religion and
Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS), University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, he received the Civic Ventures $100,000 Purpose
Prize, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Citizen of the Year. He is an ordained Baptist Minister with 57 years of service
at the First Baptist Church of Paschall in southwest Philadelphia. Goode has served as an officer in the U. S. Army. He
was the first African American member, and later became Chairman, of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
He served as Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia and later as city’s first African-American Mayor for two
terms. He then spent seven years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education in the Clinton Administration. He is
Chairman of the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation, and Self, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to homeless men and
women. He is a Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast PA, and has served as its Chairman; of
America’s Promise Alliance; Leadership Foundation; Eastern University; Palmer Theological Seminary, the former
chair of the Free Library of Philadelphia, former chair of Cornerstone Christian Academy, Southwest Leadership
Academy Charter School, Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc., and serves as Chair of Partners for Sacred
Places. He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities. Goode has earned degrees from Morgan
State University (BA), the University of Pennsylvania (MA), Eastern Baptist (Palmer), Theological Seminary (D. Min.),
and 14 honorary doctorates. Goode and his wife of 52 years have one son, two daughters and two granddaughters.
Timoth P. Shriver, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics
Timothy Shriver is a social leader, educator, activist, film producer, and business entrepreneur As Chairman & CEO of
Special Olympics, he serves nearly 4 million Special Olympics athletes in 170 countries. Before joining Special
Olympics in 1995, Shriver co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional
Learning (CASEL). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a non-executive director of Neogenix
Oncology. Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master's degree from Catholic
University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. Shriver lives in Washington, DC with his
wife Linda and their 5 children.