Rebuilding American Democracy
Founder, Inequality Media, Professor, UC Berkeley, Former Secretary of Labor
Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senator, Ohio
U.S. Congressman, South Carolina
Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Director of the Homeland Security Project
Hon. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley
Former U.S. Ambassador to Malta
Associate Director of the Sierra Club's Lands, Water, Wildlife Campaign
University of Oregon, School of Law
U.S. Ambassador, ret.
Jessica Tuchman Mathews
Distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Robert Reich, Founder, Inequality Media, Professor, UC Berkeley, Former Secretary of Labor
Robert Reich’s latest book is “THE SYSTEM: Who Rigged It, How To Fix It.” He is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 17 other books, including the best sellers “Aftershock,””The Work of Nations,” “Beyond Outrage,” and “The Common Good.” He is a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, founder of Inequality Media, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentaries “Inequality For All,” streamng on YouTube, and “Saving Capitalism,” now streaming on Netflix.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator, Ohio
lifelong Ohioan, Senator Sherrod Brown has spent his career fighting for the Dignity of Work – the idea that hard work should pay off for everyone, no matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of work you do. He has held nearly 500 roundtables across Ohio, because he believes the best ideas don’t come out of Washington – they come from conversations with Ohioans across our state.
Building on his successful work to make the Earned Income Tax Credit permanent, Senator Brown has a plan to overhaul our tax code to put people first, and to make hard work pay off for more Americans. That includes putting more money back in the pockets of workers and families, giving workers more power in the workplace, making it easier to save for retirement, and encouraging companies to invest in their greatest asset: the American worker. Senator Brown also believes we need to broaden our definition of work – caring for children or an aging parent is work, and so is getting an education.
Sherrod has fought for Ohio jobs and Ohio companies, he’s fought against trade and tax policies that sell out workers, and he has taken on Wall Street greed. Sherrod pushed this country to save the American auto industry in 2009, and is fighting for Ohio’s auto supply chain with legislation to get rid of tax incentives for auto companies to ship jobs overseas.
Sherrod serves as the Ranking Member on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where he played an instrumental role in passing the historic Wall Street reform law that established new consumer protections, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and reined in big banks. He’s fighting to end the corporate business model that puts short-term profits ahead of long-term investment in workers and communities, and to make it easier for everyone to find and afford a home.
One of Sherrod’s first votes in Congress was against the original NAFTA, and he has led the bipartisan fight for a trade policy that puts American workers and American businesses first. He led opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and he was a leader in the fight that helped kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In 2015, President Obama signed Senator Brown’s bipartisan Leveling the Playfield Act, the most significant improvement to our trade enforcement laws in more than a decade that led directly to key wins for the Ohio steel industry – including wins in cases filed by companies with plants in Ohio, like Nucor, U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal, and AK Steel, which employ more than 8,200 Ohioans. In 2020, he voted for a trade deal for the first time in his career, after working to improve President Trump’s first draft of a new NAFTA – he secured groundbreaking worker protections, including his Brown-Wyden provision that amounts to the strongest labor enforcement in American history in a U.S. trade deal.
Sherrod believes that quality, affordable health care is a right for all Americans, and he refused for years to accept Congressional health insurance until Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, which ensures Ohioans will never be denied care because of a preexisting condition. The senator now gets his health insurance through the same exchange system available to all Americans. Senator Brown has a plan to bring down the cost of prescription drugs that one news organization said, “combines every idea drug lobbyists hate.” He is also working to tackle the addiction crisis. The president signed Sherrod’s bipartisan legislation to give Customs and Border Protections agents high-tech tools to screen for illegal opioids at the border, and he is working with Senator Portman to get Ohio law enforcement the same tools. Senator Brown also fought to protect Ohio’s Medicaid expansion – our state’s number one tool to get people into treatment.
Inspired by his faith, Sherrod is committed to social and economic justice. He joined Civil Rights legend Congressman John Lewis as co-chair of the Congressional delegation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights in Selma in 2015, and made the pilgrimage to Selma for the fifth time in 2019. Sherrod is fighting back against politicians and judges who erect more and more barriers to voting. As a former Ohio Secretary of State, Sherrod has long championed voting rights, and the Washington Post called his voter registration efforts, “probably the most intensive and wide-ranging in the nation.”
James Clyburn, U.S. Congressman, South Carolina
James E. Clyburn is the Majority Whip, the third-ranking Democrat in the United States House of Representatives, and currently serves as the Chairman of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. He is also the Chairman of the Rural Broadband Task Force and Democratic Faith Working Group.
When he came to Congress in 1993 to represent South Carolina’s sixth congressional district, Congressman Clyburn was elected co-president of his freshman class and quickly rose through leadership ranks. He was subsequently elected Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Vice Chairman, and later Chairman, of the House Democratic Caucus. He previously served as Majority Whip from 2007 to 2011 and served as Assistant Democratic Leader from 2011 to 2019.
As a national leader, he has championed rural and economic development and many of his initiatives have become law. His 10-20-30 federal funding formula was included in four sections of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Congressman Clyburn is also a passionate supporter of historic preservation and restoration programs. His efforts have restored scores of historic buildings and sites on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities. His legislation created the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, elevated the Congaree National Monument to a National Park, and established the Reconstruction Era National Monument in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
Congressman Clyburn’s humble beginnings in Sumter, South Carolina as the eldest son of an activist, fundamentalist minister and an independent, civic-minded beautician grounded him securely in family, faith and public service. His memoir, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, was published in 2015, and has been described as a primer that should be read by every student interested in pursuing a career in public service.
Congressman Clyburn and his late wife, Emily England Clyburn, met as students at South Carolina State and were married for 58 years. They are the parents of three daughters; Mignon Clyburn, Jennifer Reed, and Angela Hannibal and four grandchildren.
Juliette Kayyem, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Director of the Homeland Security Project
Juliette Kayyem has spent over 15 years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. A national leader in homeland security, resiliency and safety, she is currently the Senior Belfer Lecturer in International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she is faculty chair of the Homeland Security and Security and Global Health Projects. Kayyem is the author of Security Mom, a memoir that explores the intersection, and commonalities, of her life in homeland security and her life as a mother. She is also the founder of Kayyem Solutions, LLC, providing strategic advice in resiliency planning, risk management, mega-event security, infrastructure protection and cybersecurity. Kayyem appears frequently on CNN as their on-air national security analyst.
Most recently, she was President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. There she played a pivotal role in major operations including handling of the H1N1 pandemic and the BP Oil Spill response; she also organized major policy efforts in critical infrastructure protections and community resiliency. Before that, she was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s homeland security advisor guiding regional planning and the state’s first interoperability plan, climate change policies, and overseeing the National Guard.
She has served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, a legal advisor to US Attorney General Janet Reno, and a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. She is the recipient of many government honors, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Coast Guard’s highest medal awarded to a civilian. In 2013, she was named the Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial columns in the Boston Globe focused on ending the Pentagon’s combat exclusion rule against women, a policy that was changed that year.
Juliette is a board member of Mass Inc. and the Red Cross of MA. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Global Cyber Alliance, and the Trilateral Commission. As a private advisor, she co-authored, for the Department of Homeland Security, its strategic assessment of critical infrastructure and cyber security vulnerabilities.
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and the mother of three children, she is married to First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron.
Hon. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Former U.S. Ambassador to Malta
Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a 30-year diplomat, was the longest-serving U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta. Through a series of senior positions that included advising the Commander of U.S. cyber forces on our foreign policy priorities, expanding our counterterrorism partners and programs as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and coordinating the the largest evacuation of American citizens from a war zone since WW ll, her professional life has played out almost daily in international media.
Chris Hill, Associate Director of the Sierra Club's Lands, Water, Wildlife Campaign
My name is Chris and I’ve been an avid adventurer since I was young, having fun backpacking, climbing and snowboarding all around the world. My passion for fly fishing started a number of years ago while on a backpacking trip in Alaska. I currently split my time between the nation’s capital and Haines, Alaska, where my boyfriend currently resides.
My passion for fly fishing started with my first lesson on the Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. First cast, first fish and the rest is history! (to be honest, out of the 2.5 hours of fishing we did that afternoon, I only caught that first fish, but I was hooked!) When I got back home from that trip, I searched the internet for a women’s fly fishing group in my area and found Chesapeake Women Anglers. This wonderful community of women anglers was really how I blossomed into the angler I am today. I learned so much about the art of fly fishing from this group and developed lifelong friendships along the way. Since that first lesson, the passion has grown significantly and has taken me all over to fish, from the remote rivers of Alaska to the tropical waters of Belize to the small streams in the Shenandoah National Park.
I have been entrenched in the environmental space since graduating from Vermont Law School in 2009. For the last 10 years, I have been an environmental lobbyist on the state and federal level, advocating for strong policies regarding clean energy, clean air and clean water. Currently, I am Sierra Club’s Associate Campaign Director for the Lands, Water, Wildlife Campaign. This campaign works to advance a more just, equitable and healthy world for all – one in which all people have access to clean air, clean water, and shared green spaces and nature.
Mary Wood, University of Oregon, School of Law
Mary Christina Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. She teaches property law, natural resources law, public trust law, and federal Indian law; she has also taught public lands law, wildlife law, and hazardous waste law.
She is the Founding Director of the school’s nationally acclaimed Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center and is Faculty Leader of the Program’s Conservation Trust Project, Global Environmental Democracy Project, Native Environmental Sovereignty Project, and Food Resilience Project.
After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1987, she served as a judicial clerk on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She then practiced in the environmental/natural resources department of Perkins Coie, a Pacific Northwest law firm. In 1994 she received the University’s Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 2002 she received the Orlando Hollis Faculty Teaching Award. Professor Wood is a co-author of a leading textbook on natural resources law (West, 2006), and a co-author of a textbook on public trust law (Carolina Press, 2013). Her new book, Nature’s Trust, was released in October, 2013 (by Cambridge University Press).
Professor Wood has published extensively on climate crisis, natural resources, and native law issues. She originated the approach called Atmospheric Trust Litigation to hold governments worldwide accountable for reducing carbon pollution within their jurisdictions, and her research is being used in cases and petitions brought on behalf of children and youth throughout the United States and in other countries. She is a frequent speaker on global warming issues and has received national and international attention for her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy.
Thomas Pickering, U.S. Ambassador, ret.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering served more than four decades as a U.S. diplomat. He last served as under secretary of state for political affairs, the third highest post in the U.S. State Department. Pickering also served as ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan, and holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador.
Ambassador Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1997-2000) and as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. He also was the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he led the U.S. effort to build a coalition in the UN Security Council during and after the first Gulf War. After retiring from the State Department in 2000, Ambassador Pickering joined The Boeing Company as Senior Vice President of International Relations and member of the Executive Council. He currently is a Vice Chair of Hills and Company. He holds degrees from Bowdoin College, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Melbourne and speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili fluently in addition to Arabic, Hebrew and Russian.
Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years. Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy.
She was director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington program and a senior fellow from 1994 to 1997. While there she published her seminal 1997 Foreign Affairs article, “Power Shift,” chosen by the editors as one of the most influential in the journal’s seventy-five years.
From 1982 to 1993, she was founding vice president and director of research of the World Resources Institute, an internationally known center for policy research on environmental and natural resource management issues.
She served on the Editorial Board of the Washington Post from 1980 to 1982, covering arms control, energy, environment, science, and technology. Later, Mathews wrote a popular weekly column for the Washington Post that appeared nationwide and in the International Herald Tribune.
From 1977 to 1979, she was director of the Office of Global Issues at the National Security Council, covering nuclear proliferation, conventional arms sales, and human rights. In 1993, she returned to government as deputy to the undersecretary of state for global affairs. Earlier, she served on the staff of the Committee on Energy and the Environment of the Interior Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mathews is a member of the Harvard Corporation, the senior governing board of Harvard University. She has served as a trustee of leading national and international nonprofits, including the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Radcliffe College, the Inter-American Dialogue (co-vice chair), four foundations (the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Century Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation), and the Brookings Institution. She co-founded the Surface Transportation Policy Project, has served on study groups at the National Academy of Sciences, and is an elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Since 2001 she has served as a director of SomaLogic, a leading biotech firm in the breakthrough field of proteomics. She is also a director of HanesBrands Inc. and a member of the governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Mathews has published widely in newspapers and in foreign policy and scientific journals, and has co-authored and co-edited three books. She holds a PhD in molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College.