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Kristen Cambell


Executive Director

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement


Kristen Cambell is executive director of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) and leads its mission to inspire interest, understanding, and investment in civic engagement within philanthropy and to be a voice for philanthropy in larger conversations taking place in the fields of civic engagement, service and democratic practice. Previously, Cambell ran her own consulting practice focused on civic engagement, education and leadership. She served the National Conference on Citizenship as its chief program officer, and has held philanthropic roles at The Case Foundation and Points of Light.

Andrew Conte



Center for Media Innovation

Point Park University


Andrew Conte serves as the founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, a laboratory for the future of storytelling. Prior to entering academia, Conte worked as an investigative reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he received numerous national, state and local awards. He has written three nonfiction books, including “The Color of Sundays,” which explores the role of race in professional football. The Independent Book Publishers Association recognized the book with a Silver Ben Franklin Award. 

Mickey Edwards


Former U.S. Congressman & Professor


Former Congressman Mickey Edwards is a lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He also is a vice president of the Aspen Institute and director of the Institute’s Rodel leadership program for elected public officials. Edwards served as a member of Congress for 16 years, during which time he was a senior member of the House Republican leadership as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, a member of both the House Appropriations and Budget Committees, and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. He has been a regular columnist for a number of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, and Boston Globe, and broadcasts a weekly political commentary on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He is the author of two books, co-author of a third, and has contributed chapters to several more. His latest book is Reclaiming Conservatism. 

Vanessa German


Visual and Performance Artist


Vanessa German is a visual and performance artist based in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood. She is the founder of Love Front Porch and the ARThouse, a community arts initiative for the children of Homewood. Her work is in private and public collections that include, among others, Everson Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, and Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College. German’s fine art work has been exhibited widely, and her work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered and in The Huffington Post, O Magazine and Essence Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, the 2017 Jacob Lawrence Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 2018 United States Artist Grant.

David Greene


Senior Staff Attorney and Civil Liberties Director

Electronic Frontier Foundation


David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has written and lectured extensively on many areas of First Amendment law, including as a contributor to the International Encyclopedia of Censorship. Prior to joining EFF, Greene was the executive director and lead staff counsel for First Amendment Project. He also served as program director of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression. Greene has significant experience litigating First Amendment issues in state and federal trial and appellate courts and is one of the country’s leading advocates for and commentators on freedom of expression in the arts.



Executive Director

Knight First Amendment Institute

Columbia University


Jameel Jaffer is the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Prior to joining the Knight Institute, he was deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union and director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, where he oversaw the ACLU’s work relating to free speech, privacy, technology, national security and international human rights. He has argued civil liberties cases in multiple appeals courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and has testified many times before federal agencies and the U.S. Congress.

Maxwell King


President & CEO
The Pittsburgh Foundation 


Maxwell King's four-decade career includes the presidencies of two of the country’s largest philanthropies—The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments—and the editorship of The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the nation’s most influential daily newspapers. He also served as director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. King has served on boards and committees for many national and regional organizations, including the national Council on Foundations which he led as the first chair of its Ethics and Practices Committee and then as chair of the Council’s full board from 2006 to 2008.

Brian Knappenberger


Producer and Director 


Brian Knappenberger is a documentary producer and director. He has created multiple award-winning documentaries, including We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, about the online hacktivist non-group Anonymous; Life After War, about political tensions in post-war Afghanistan; and A Murder in Kyiv, about the death of a Ukrainian journalist reportedly at the hands of government officials. Knappenberger has created numerous other documentaries for PBS FRONTLINE, National Geographic, Bloomberg News, and the Discovery Channel. His film, The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won a WGA award for Outstanding Documentary Screenplay. His most recent film, Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press was released on Netflix in June 2017, after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival.



Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at the Poynter Institute and columnist for The Boston Globe 


Indira Lakshmanan is a columnist for The Boston Globe, writing about foreign policy and politics, and the Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at the Poynter Institute. She has covered presidential campaigns and interviewed leaders in the U.S. and around the world, reporting from 80 countries on six continents. She traveled regularly with Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for Bloomberg News, and interviewed Clinton more than a dozen times for Bloomberg TV, Radio and Businessweek. For two years, she wrote a "Letter from Washington" column for the International Herald Tribune, the overseas edition of The New York Times, and Bloomberg.

Matt Leighinger


Vice President, Public Engagement & 

Director of The Yankelovich Center for Public Judgment at Public Agenda


Matt Leighninger leads Public Agenda’s work in public engagement and democratic governance, and directs The Yankelovich Center for Public Judgment. Over the last 20 years, Leighninger has worked with public participation efforts in more than 100 communities, in 40 states and four Canadian provinces. Recently, he led a working group that produced a model ordinance on public participation; and developed a new tool, “Text, Talk, Act,” that combined online and face-to-face participation as part of President Obama’s National Dialogue on Mental Health. He also has assisted in the development of Participedia, the world’s largest online repository of information on public engagement.

Wasiullah Mohamed


Executive Director

Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and Emgage PA


Wasiullah "Wasi" Mohamed is the executive director of Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. In his position, he works to empower, educate, and unite the diverse community in Western PA through social services, outreach, and inreach programs. In 2016, he was appointed by Mayor Bill Peduto to the Commission on Human Relations and Welcoming Pittsburgh Steering Committee, he was elected chair of the latter. He also sits on the All for All Steering Committee and works with other partners toward immigrant and refugee inclusion in the region. In 2016, he was named the executive director of Emgage PA, a Muslim political education and empowerment organization. 

Jenni Monet




Jenni Monet is an award-winning journalist who writes about Indigenous rights and injustice. Her work has appeared in such media outlets as the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS NewsHour and Al Jazeera. She received top journalism honors for her months-long chronicling of the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance movement at Standing Rock. She currently is investigating the extreme rate at which Native American women, girls and transgender people experience violence, sexual assault and murder in the United States. Monet holds a master’s degree in international politics from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and is a tribal citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna.

Yascha Mounk


Executive Director, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change


Yascha Mounk is a writer, academic and public speaker known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy. Born in Germany to Polish parents, Mounk received his bachelor’s degree in history from Trinity College, Cambridge, and his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. He is now a lecturer on government at Harvard University, a senior fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America, and executive director at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Mounk is the author of three books, a columnist at Slate and the host of “The Good Fight” podcast.

Grant Oliphant


The Heinz Endowments


Grant Oliphant is president of The Heinz Endowments. He rejoined the foundation in 2014, after serving as president and chief executive officer of The Pittsburgh Foundation for six years. For nearly two decades, Oliphant held several senior management posts with The Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Foundation, including vice president for programs and planning at the Endowments, his position before taking over the helm at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2008. He served as press secretary to the late U.S. Sen. John Heinz from 1988 until the senator’s death in 1991. Oliphant was also founding editor of American Politics, a monthly political magazine.

Rob Rogers


Editorial Cartoonist


Rob Rogers is an award-winning editorial cartoonist who was on the staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 25 years. Syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, his work also has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and Newsweek, among many others. Rogers also has been the curator of three national cartoon exhibitions, Too Hot to Handle: Creating Controversy through Political Cartoons (2003) and Drawn To The Summit: A G-20 Exhibition Of Political Cartoons (2009), both at The Andy Warhol Museum, and Bush Leaguers: Cartoonists Take on the White House (2007) at the American University Museum. In 2015, Rogers curated Slinging Satire: Editorial Cartooning and the First Amendment at the ToonSeum. Rogers served as president of the ToonSeum, located in Pittsburgh, from 2007-2017. 

Robert Rosenthal


Board Member and Executive Producer

Center for Investigative Reporting


Robert J. Rosenthal is a board member and an executive producer at The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). An award-winning journalist, Rosenthal has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002, and joined CIR as executive director in 2008. He has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

April Ryan


Author and Political Analyst for CNN


For nearly 20 years, April Ryan has served as White House correspondent and Washington, D.C., bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, which reaches millions of African Americans through its 300 affiliated stations. As the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House, she has a unique understanding of the racial sensitivities, issues and political struggles of our nation’s recent presidents. Ryan was named journalist of the year in 2017 by the National Association of Black Journalists. She is also a political analyst for CNN and an author.

Mila Sanina


Executive Director



Mila Sanina is the executive director of PublicSource, a nonprofit newsroom which presents a bold vision for local journalism and drives social change in the Pittsburgh region through original reporting, powerful storytelling and public events. Previously, she was the deputy managing editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Prior to joining the Post-Gazette, Sanina worked at PBS NewsHour exactly at the time when the Arab Spring began, gathering information from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, and before that, at CNN International, where she was an assignment editor at the international desk.

Joel Simon


Executive Director

Committee to Protect Journalists


Joel Simon has been the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) since 2006. Simon has led the organization through a period of expansion, helping to launch the Global Campaign Against Impunity, establish a journalist assistance program and an emergencies department and spearhead CPJ's defense of press freedom in the digital space through the creation of a dedicated technology program. Simon has participated in CPJ missions around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. He has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including Slate, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun and The Times of India. He is a regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review.  He is the author of the three books, “Endangered Mexico” (Sierra Club Books, 1997); “The New Censorship” (Columbia University Press, 2015); and “We Want to Negotiate: Inside the Secret World of Kidnapping, Hostages, and Ransom” (Columbia Global Reports, forthcoming, January 2019).

Jonathan Sotsky


Director, Learning and Impact

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


Jonathan Sotsky is the director of Strategy & Assessment at the Knight Foundation, a private foundation supporting journalism, civic innovation and the arts. He had led research and evaluation projects focused on civic tech, public engagement, free expression and local journalism. Sotsky previously was a consultant at Mission Measurement where he advised Fortune 500 companies, national foundations and nonprofits on social impact strategy and measurement. Prior to that, Sotsky was a consultant with IBM’s media practice. He serves on the boards of Media Impact Funders and DataKind. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in applied economics.

Bobbie Stempfley


Director, CERT Division

Software Engineering Institute

Carnegie Mellon University


Roberta (Bobbie) G. Stempfley joined the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) as director of its CERT Division in June 2017. Stempfley previously served as director of cyber strategy implementation at MITRE Corp. and as acting assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary, Office of Cyber Security and Communications, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition to her work at DHS, Stempfley worked in the Department of Defense (DoD) as chief information officer of the Defense Information Systems Agency and as chief of the DoD Computer Emergency Response Team, which she established.

Trevor Timm


Co-founder and Executive Director

Freedom of the Press Foundation


Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a journalist, activist and lawyer whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, USA Today, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review and Politico. He also writes a column on press freedom for Columbia Journalism Review. Timm formerly worked as an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and helped the longtime general counsel of The New York Times, James Goodale, write a book on the Pentagon Papers and the First Amendment. In 2013, Timm received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism.

Stephanie Whited


Communications Director

The Tor Project


Stephanie A. Whited is communications director of the Tor Project, developers of free and open source software for privacy and freedom online that protects people from tracking, surveillance and censorship. Whited has more than seven years of experience working with nonprofits in education, human rights and data and technology.

Jasiri X


Hip-hop Artist and Activist


Jasiri X combines his musical talent and activism to affect social change. He is the first independent hip-hop artist to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate, which he received from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2016.  His artistic expression and activism have been shared on songs like “Justice for Trayvon” and “Strange Fruit (Class of 2013.”  He co-founded two Pittsburgh-based organization – the anti-violence group One Hood and the New Media Academy focused on teaching African-American boys how to analyze and create media for themselves. His work has moved into the global arena. In 2016, he was commissioned by The Open Society Foundation to travel to Columbia to create a film (War on Us with Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Rhymefest) that highlights the international effects of US drug policy in South America. 

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