ChairJoan Huffer has focused on ensuring lower-income Americans have access to economic opportunity in her career and her philanthropy. She worked in the U.S. Senate for twenty-seven years where she focused on education and income support programs. During that time, she worked for Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (SD) for 8 years, served two stints on the Senate Budget Committee, and worked on the personal staffs of Senator Kent Conrad (ND) and Senator Don Riegle (MI). After retiring from the Senate in 2007, she joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to run the Federal Budget Initiative, a program that provides technical assistance to state non-profit organizations on federal budget, tax, and low-income policies. Ms. Huffer is a partner and member of the board of the Democracy Alliance and founded Virginia Plus, a progressive donor collaborative focused on increasing civic and electoral engagement in Virginia. She also sits on the Boards of the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Anna AurilioAnna Aurilio is a long-time environmental advocate. For the past 10 years, she was the Director of the Washington DC office for Environment America, a federation of 29 state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Ms. Aurilio led a team of advocacy staff and was responsible for policy and strategy development for campaigns on clean water, clean air, energy, global warming and preservation issues. She has testified in Congress numerous times and has been named a top grassroots lobbyist by The Hill for the past 9 years. Before leading the federal office of Environment America, Ms. Aurilio served as federal legislative director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S.PIRG).Ms. Aurilio received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1986 and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources from MIT in 1992 where she published several papers on water pollution in Woburn Massachusetts. Prior to receiving her Master’s degree, Ms. Aurilio was a Staff Scientist with the National Environmental Law Center where she investigated major water polluters and provided technical expertise for Clean Water Act citizen suits.
Sam Jammal is an attorney who works with new technology and clean energy companies. He focuses on navigating regulatory environments for companies to enter new markets. Sam currently works in the electric transportation industry promoting the adoption of zero-emission buses and trucks for BYD North America after previously leading community relations programs and policy campaigns for SolarCity and Tesla. In these roles, Sam worked with elected officials and stakeholders to drive the adoption of clean energy products. Before entering the private sector, Sam held senior roles in government as a Chief of Staff in the United States House of Representatives, Legislative Counsel in the United States Senate and as a former Obama Administration official at the United States Department of Commerce, where he focused on technology exports. Sam began his career as a civil rights attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). During the 2018 primary election, Sam was a candidate for Congress in California’s 39th congressional district. He is licensed to practice law in the State of California and currently serves on the boards of the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and Voices for Progress. Sam received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School.
Joel KanterJoel Kanter has served as President of Windy City, Inc., a privately held investment firm, since July 1986. Mr. Kanter has served as the President, and subsequently as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Walnut Financial Services, Inc., a publicly traded company. Mr. Kanter started his career as Legislative Assistant to former Congressman Abner J. Mikva (IL); served as Special Assistant to the National Association of Attorneys General where he was involved in the legislative efforts to reenact the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and to enact the original Superfund Legislation; and served as the Staff Director of the House Rules Subcommittee on Legislative Process Chaired by former Congressman Gillis Long (LA). Mr. Kanter serves on the Board of Directors of two public companies; is a Trustee Emeritus and past President of the Board of Trustees of The Langley School in McLean, Virginia; is the current Board Chair of the Black Student Fund; is the Education Committee Chairman of the Kennedy Center’s National Committee on the Performing Arts; and serves as an appointee of the State Legislature to the Gubernatorial Virginia Israel Advisory Board.
Brian KettenringBrian Kettenring is the Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). Brian served as Executive Director of Leadership Center for the Common Good prior to its merger with CPD in late 2013. As the Director of Common Good, Brian and his team built an organization that worked with partner organizations in 18 states and 45 cities nationally. Common Good and its partners played essential roles in campaigns for economic justice, Wall Street accountability, education reform, environmental justice, and much more. During his 18-year organizing career, Brian has helped run four living wage campaigns, three campaigns against predatory lending, and a wide range of other campaigns, including: urban school reform, campaign finance reform, tenant legislative protections, adoption of a progressive federal budget, passage of a federal economic recovery package, and campaigns promoting smart growth and environmental justice. Brian received a BA in African and European Intellectual History from Carleton College.
Surina KhanSurina Khan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Foundation of California. A first generation immigrant, Surina came to the US with her parents and five older siblings in 1973, and she has been dedicated to gender, racial, and economic justice issues for most of her life. As CEO,Surina oversees the Foundation’s strategic direction, which is focused on building community-based power through investing in effective community-based organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. Earlier in her career, Surina served as Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (now OutRight Action International) where she worked to advance the human rights of LGBTQI people and people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Surina is currently co-chair of the Board of Directors of Funders for Reproductive Equity. She is also a member of the Board of Alliance for Justice, and La Cocina and a member of the Advisory Board of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a founding Advisor for the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, and a member of the Public Policy Committee for Southern California Grantmakers and Northern California Grantmakers. In 2015, Surinawas recognized with a Leaders in Action Award from Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and in 2017 the South Asian Network recognized Surina with a Community Solidarity Award. Her writing and research have been published widely in print and online publications including the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Philanthropy News Digest.
Dave Montez is the Vice President of Investment Services at the Democracy Alliance. Dave has been running the New American Majority fund at the DA for several years. Prior to joining the DA, he was the Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s only LGBTQ advocacy organization. Under his leadership, One Colorado saw phenomenal success from helping to bring the freedom to marry to Colorado to defeating anti-transgender bathroom bills and religious exemptions legislation. Prior to joining the One Colorado team, Dave served as the acting president of GLAAD. During his tenure there – where he also served as Chief of Staff – the organization made its final push to lift the Boy Scouts’ ban on openly gay youth. He also helped develop a coordinated strategy within the LGBTQ movement in support of immigration reform. He also worked for five years as a senior program officer at the Gill Foundation, one of the nation’s leading funders of LGBTQ equal rights work.
Zach PolettZach Polett is Senior Vice President and Campaigns Director at The Public Interest Network (which includes US PIRG and the State PIRGs, Environment America, and other public interest organizations), is the former Executive Director of Project Vote, and has been leading and directing grassroots community, anti-poverty, consumer, and worker organizing on the local and national level for over 40 years. In addition to his board service with Voices for Progress, he serves on the board of the Arkansas Broadcast Foundation.
Ted TrimpaTed Trimpa is the Principal and CEO of Trimpa Group LLC, a national political consulting and government relations firm that specializes in progressive public policy advocacy and political strategy. Called “Colorado’s answer to Karl Rove” by The Atlantic, Trimpa is a nationally recognized strategist and operative. Trimpa brings more than a decade of government relations and political consulting experience with a proven record of results. In 2010, he brought together environmentalists and natural gas companies to pass landmark legislation that established health-based emission standards for power plants—making Colorado the first state in the country to do so. In addition to his work in Colorado, Trimpa is a nationally recognized thought leader and a leading advisor to progressive donors and foundations. He has been recognized in national publications, including The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, National Review, and The Advocate, for his central role in designing cutting-edge public policy strategies.
Tonya Williams is the Vice President for policy, communications and knowledge analytics at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. A newly created position, the vice president for policy, communications and knowledge analytics provides pivotal support in setting the direction for the foundation’s policy, communication and advocacy investments worldwide. Williams most recently served as the special assistant to the vice president and director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C., where she served as the primary liaison between the Office of the Vice President and Congress. Prior to this, Williams served as the chief of staff and floor assistant for Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC) at the U.S. House of Representatives and director of Intellectual Property Policy for North and South America at GlaxoSmithKline. She also served as general counsel to longtime Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight at North Carolina General Assembly. Williams obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.