Sep 23 - 24, 2014


Kristin Baja headshotKristin Baja

Climate and Resilience Planner, Baltimore City Department of Planning, Office of Sustainability

Kristin Baja is the Climate and Resilience Planner with the Office of Sustainability at Baltimore City. She is responsible for development and implementation of the City's Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3) which integrates climate adaptation with hazard mitigation efforts. She is also responsible for climate change communication and outreach, Community Rating System certification, resiliency planning, and STAR Communities certification. She is an active member of the Climate Communications Consortium of Maryland, American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and the Baltimore City Forestry Board. Before joining Baltimore City, Kristin worked for the City of Ann Arbor developing their Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Framework. She has been involved in climate and resilience planning with various cities throughout the United States. Kristin holds a Master of Urban Planning degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan. Kristin is an avid cyclist and loves to explore the city by bike. She is a certified master composter, gardener, and coaches youth soccer in Patterson Park. - See more at:


James Brainard headshotThe Honorable James Brainard

Mayor, City of Carmel, Indiana

Under Mayor Brainard’s leadership, Carmel has experienced tremendous growth and prosperity. Its population has increased from 25,000 to more than 80,000. Parkland, greenspace and trails have also increased. Mayor Brainard has gained recognition for constructing roundabouts in Carmel, reducing vehicle emissions and improves safety and traffic flow. He spearheaded the creation of the Carmel Arts & Design District and Carmel City Center, a new downtown for the city, featuring The Palladium concert hall. Carmel has been honored with many awards for its high quality of life and environmental initiatives. In August 2012, Carmel was named #1 Best Place to Live in America for cities with a population of 50,000 – 300,000 by Money Magazine.

Mayor Brainard’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Butler University and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Ohio Northern University.  He also received a diploma from the Oxford Institute on International and Comparative Law from the University of San Diego.  Mayor Brainard serves as co-chair of the Climate Protection Task Force and Advisory Board of Directors for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.


Jeff DeWitt headshotJeffrey S. DeWitt

Chief Financial Officer, Government of the District of Columbia

Jeffrey S. DeWitt is the independent Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the District of Columbia. As CFO, he is responsible for the District’s finances, including its’ approximately $10 billion in annual operating and capital funds with over 35,000 government employees.  He works closely with the Mayor, City Council, Congressional committees that oversee District affairs, and regularly interacts with the Wall Street financial community.  Previously, Jeff DeWitt served as CFO for the city of Phoenix, the 6th largest city in the United States.


Dwight Evans headshotThe Honorable Dwight Evans

Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

The Honorable Dwight Evans, Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans is the author of, "Making Ideas Matter: My Life as a Policy Entrepreneur." The biography describes how good politicians can compromise without abandoning moral principles. It is intended to shed insight on how to mobilize political power to achieve enlightened goals in a democracy, and as a primer for students of policy, political junkies, lovers of history, and anyone else whose still has faith that public service is a noble calling.

Evans believes that good public education is the foundation of a strong economy, thriving communities and successful citizens. Evans believes that investing in education is investing in people and our futures. He champions responsible education funding -- from the earliest learners in pre-school to those  pursuing advanced degrees or job training.

Evans is a battle-tested veteran fighting for responsible education funding. He's been at the vanguard of fierce Harrisburg budget battles as the Democratic Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a position entrusted to him from 1990 to 2010.


Adrian Garcia headshotThe Honorable Adrian Garcia

Sheriff, Harris County, Texas

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia heads the largest sheriff’s office in Texas and the third-largest in the United States. Sheriff Garcia is a native Houstonian; his five siblings were born in Mexico. He became an officer with the Houston Police Department in 1980. During his 23-year career with HPD, he patrolled neighborhoods, investigated violent crimes and developed community-policing initiatives. In 1994, Houston Mayor Bob Lanier appointed him as the Houston Police Department’s Liaison to the Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office. In 1999, Mayor Lee P. Brown promoted him to director of the agency. In 2003, Sheriff Garcia was elected to the Houston City Council and chaired its Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. In 2007, he was appointed to serve as the Mayor Pro-Tempore by Mayor Bill White. Sheriff Garcia was elected sheriff in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, continuing to serve the community based on the guiding principles of hard work, honesty and public service.

Bill Glasgall headshotWilliam Glasgall

Program and Editorial Director for State and Local Accountability and Improvement Programs, The Volcker Alliance

A four-decade veteran financial journalist, Bill brings to the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization a deep knowledge of state and local government finances and fiscal policies and leads the Truth in State Budgeting and Financial Reporting project that is building on recommendations made in 2013 by the State Budget Crisis Task Force headed by Volcker Alliance Chairman Paul Volcker and former New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch.

Bill came to the Alliance from Bloomberg News, where he directed U.S. local-government coverage as Managing Editor for States and Municipalities that received awards from the National Press Club Foundation and other organizations. He also served as co-host of Bloomberg’s Global Week Ahead Podcast as well as Editor-at-Large and Enterprise Editor.

Before joining Bloomberg, Bill spent almost 20 years at BusinessWeek Magazine as Senior Writer and Senior Editor, winning two Overseas Press Club prizes for international reporting and heading the magazine’s personal finance and lifestyle sections. He was also Editorial Director of the Investment Advisor Group, vice-president at Standard & Poor’s Corp. and a reporter and editor at the Associated Press and the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey.


Stephen Goldsmith headshotStephen Goldsmith

Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Director of the Innovations in Government Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Stephen Goldsmith, Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Director of the Innovations in Government Program, Harvard Kennedy School
Goldsmith is a nationally recognized expert on government management, reform, and innovation. Goldsmith currently directs Data-Smart City Solutions, a project working to catalyze the use of data at the local government level by serving as a central resource for cities interested in this emerging field.

He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization. Goldsmith has written The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship and The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America. His newest book is: The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance.


George Hawkins headshotGeorge S. Hawkins, Esq.

General Manager, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority

George Hawkins is General Manager of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). DC Water provides drinking water delivery and wastewater collection and treatment for the District of Columbia, and treats wastewater for millions in several Maryland and Virginia suburbs. The Authority operates the world's largest advanced wastewater treatment plant at Blue Plains.
Under Hawkins’ leadership, DC Water has launched a vast 10-year program to improve aging infrastructure and comply with ever more stringent regulatory requirements. DC Water is designing and implementing three massive environmental projects that total in excess of $4 billion.
Previously, Hawkins was the first director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). Prior, he was executive director of New Jersey Future, and served as executive director of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. He held senior positions with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and also served Vice President Gore on the National Performance Review.
Hawkins is a member of the Bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University and Cum Laude from Harvard Law School.


Tishaura Jones headshotTishaura O. Jones

Treasurer, City of St. Louis, Missouri

Building on a background as a public servant, financial services professional, and educator, Tishaura O. Jones was sworn in as Treasurer of the City of St. Louis on January 1, 2013.  She is the first woman to hold the office in the history of St. Louis.  

Treasurer Jones is the chief investment and cash management officer of the city.  Prior to becoming Treasurer, Tishaura established a track record of leadership in the Missouri House of Representatives.  She was a Missouri State Representative from 2008-2012 and was the first African American and First Female Assistant Minority Floor Leader.  During her tenure, she was a strong advocate for education, women’s reproductive rights, and healthcare, and economic development.    

Born in St. Louis, Ms. Jones has a Master’s degree in Health Administration from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University. 


Lawrence Kissner headshotLawrence Kissner

Commissioner of Medicaid, Commonwealth of Kentucky
Mr. Kissner manages a $8 billion budget that serves more than 1.1 million Kentuckians. Mr. Kissner brings to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services a wealth of managed care experience. He was the President and CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Kentucky and Magnolia Health Plan in Mississippi. Lawrence also worked for Independence Blue Cross as their Vice President of National Accounts, Large Groups, Health & Welfare, Federal Employees and Public Schools managing 500 customers and over $5 billion in premium and equivalents.


Deron Lovaas headshotDeron Lovaas

Director, Federal Transportation Policy, Energy & Transportation Program

Deron Lovaas is director of state/federal policy & practice for NRDC’s Urban Solutions Group. He is an expert on a variety of issues and has testified multiple times before Congress on topics including energy efficiency, transportation infrastructure and climate change. Prior to joining NRDC in 2001, Deron worked for the National Wildlife Federation, Maryland’s Department of Environment, Zero Population Growth and the Sierra Club, where he directed a national campaign to reduce suburban sprawl. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia. He blogs at and tweets from @LovNRDC.


Jerry Madden headshotThe Honorable Jerry Madden

former Texas State Representative

Jerry Madden and his wife Barbara, a retired nurse, have been married 49 years. They are the proud parents of three adult children - Jerry, Stephanie and Kristina - and have six grandchildren. Upon graduation from West Point with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Jerry spent six years in the Army, including one year in Vietnam and two years in Germany, before bringing his family to Richardson, Texas, in 1971.
Madden worked 11 years for Texas Instruments, 8 years for Teledyne Geotech, and in 2000 formed Jerry Madden Insurance to offer group health plan coverage options to small businesses out of his independent agency's Plano offices. In July of 2008, he sold his company and retired from the insurance business. He obtained a Master of Science in Management and Administration Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1979.


Shelley Metzenbaum headshotShelley H. Metzenbaum

Founding President, The Volcker Alliance

Shelley H. Metzenbaum is founding president of the Volcker Alliance, launched in May 2013 to rekindle intellectual, practical, and academic interest in the implementation of policy and to rebuild public trust in government. Previously she served as Associate Director for Performance and Personnel Management at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Her previous work includes serving as Associate Administrator for Regional Operations and State/Local Relations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Undersecretary of Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts, and Director of Capital Budgeting in Massachusetts. Metzenbaum is an internationally recognized leader in public sector performance and evidence-based management. She ran the Environmental Compliance Consortium, housed at the University of Maryland, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Session on Public Sector Performance Management. Dr. Metzenbaum holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the Kennedy School.


Kathleen Nolan headshotKathleen Nolan

Director of State Policy & Programs National Association of Medicaid Directors

Kathleen Nolan joined the staff of the National Association of Medicaid Directors within six months of that organization’s launch.  At NAMD, she manages a growing portfolio of state technical assistance on a range of policy and programmatic issues relevant to Medicaid directors.  Her key issue areas include implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid sustainability, system reform and program supports.
Prior to NAMD, she worked for seven years as Director of the Health Division in the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices.  As Division Director, Kathleen led all health policy analysis and state technical assistance projects on behalf of the nation’s governors. The division worked with governors’ offices and other state leaders to share and support implementation of best practices on health care issues facing states including health care reform, Medicaid, health IT, and public health programs.
Kathleen also held health policy positions with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Institute of Medicine. Before moving to Washington, she served as a Program Specialist in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  Kathleen received her M.P.H. from the George Washington University, and her B.A. in psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.


Matt Power headshotMatt Power

Director, StateStat, Office of the Governor, State of Maryland

Matthew Power was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley as the Director of StateStat in 2013. StateStat is a performance measurement and managerial process that makes state government more efficient and accountable. In this role, Mr. Power chairs weekly meetings with Cabinet Secretaries and agency leadership to analyze agency performance, track priority initiatives and question standard operating procedures.  Agency data is carefully analyzed by a team of StateStat analysts, performance trends are closely monitored, and strategies to achieve improved performance are developed through a series of meetings designed to ensure relentless follow-up and reassessment.
Mr. Power was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning in 2007 after serving as the Director of Policy Evaluation and Development and the Director of Operations. As Deputy Secretary, he managed a broad range of operational, management and program functions including enacting the Sustainable Communities Act in 2010.  He began his employment with the department in 1999. Mr. Power previously worked with the Department of Legislative Services providing legislative oversight to Maryland’s environmental agencies.


Claire Rubin headshotClaire B. Rubin

Contributing Writer, Emergency Management Magazine & President, Claire B. Rubin & Associates, LLC

Ms. Claire B. Rubin is the President of Claire B. Rubin & Associates, LLC a small business specializing in disaster research and consulting, located in Arlington, VA, and CEO of the online Disaster Bookstore. She has been affiliated with the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., since 1998. She was the cofounder of the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and served as Managing Editor for six years.

During her 35 years of experience in the emergency management field, she has been a researcher, consultant, and academic. She has written more than 90 publications and delivered numerous lectures and presentations on emergency management and homeland security. She is the editor of the textbook Emergency Management: The American Experience, 1900-2010 (2nd edition), published by Taylor and Francis, 2012. For the past 4 years, she has maintained the professional blog called Recovery Also, she is a Contributing Writer to Emergency Management Magazine.


Ivan Samstein headshotIvan Samstein

Chief Financial Officer, Cook County, Illinois

Ivan Samstein was confirmed as Cook County’s Chief Financial Officer in March 2013 after joining the organization in early 2012.  Prior to joining the county, Mr. Samstein was an investment banker in both New York and Chicago, focusing on municipal fixed income markets. During his investment banking career Mr. Samstein served as the lead banker on a wide range of municipal securities transactions in both the rated and un-rated market segments. Mr. Samstein previously worked as a public finance credit analyst at Moody's Investors Service where he was a member of the organization's national rating committee. Mr. Samstein is also a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve and served as an intelligence officer for an infantry battalion in eastern Afghanistan during 2008 and 2009, service for which he was awarded a number of military commendations. Mr. Samstein holds an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois and a B.A. from Hunter College.


Lois Scott headshotLois Scott

Chief Financial Officer, City of Chicago, Illinois

Lois Scott is currently serving as the first female Chief Financial Officer for the City of Chicago. With over 30 years of financial experience that includes a portfolio of client projects valued at over $60 billion, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has entrusted Lois and her team to help him dig Chicago out of its financial challenges and fix its pension crisis. With her experience, tenacity and success, it’s no wonder why he made the choice.
Having worked with non-profit organizations, private companies, investment banks and even the White House, Scott has been called one of the most creative and smart public finance people in the country. Before joining the city, she was co-founder and President of the firm, Scott Balice Strategies LLC that in just eight years became one of the largest financial advisory firms in the country with offices in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Anchorage, Houston and Chicago. President Bill Clinton recognized her leadership and named her a White House fellow tasking her with helping to craft the American response to the capital funding crisis in Southeast Asia in 1997.  She also chaired the Management Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Helping people is something that is in Lois Scott’s blood. In upstate New York, her father was a country doctor and her mother became involved in local politics to fight for rural communities. Throughout her career she has helped those in need and been very active in her community, such as serving on the board of several organizations, including Children’s Memorial Hospital, Leadership Greater Chicago, National Louis University, Better Government Association, among others.


Gavin Smith headshotGavin Smith

Associate Research Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning.  Executive Director, Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Smith’s research interests include hazard mitigation, planning for post-disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation. Translational activities include advising international, federal, state, and local governments on a number of issues including the linkage between sustainable development and risk reduction, pre- and post-disaster policymaking, and improving the nexus between disaster management initiatives and climate change adaptation measures.

Dr. Smith is the Executive Director of the Coastal Hazards Center.  The Coastal Hazards Center research focus areas include: hazard modeling, engineering, human behavior, and land use planning.  In 2011, Dr. Smith completed the text Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of the United States Disaster Assistance Framework (Island Press).  Dr. Smith is currently engaged in planning-related research within the center, focused on a national evaluation of local and state hazard mitigation plans as well as the study of disaster recovery plans and policies.  Dr. Smith has recently completed a co-authored text titled Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning with Dr.Bruce Glavovic.


John Supra headshotJohn Supra

Deputy Director for Information Management and Chief Information Officer,  South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS).

Mr. Supra is responsible for the Department's Eligibility Policy and Operations, Claims Operations and Provider Relations, Project Management, Human Resources and Information Technology. Since joining SCDHHS, he has been a driving force behind department-wide performance improvement initiatives and innovations including: use of Express Lane Eligibility options, redesign of the department's eligibility processes, implementation of Lean Six Sigma training, consolidation and standardization of claims processing and resolution activities and modernization of information technology.
Mr. Supra is active in state and national efforts to transform Medicaid to ensure the program delivers positive health outcomes for those most in need. He has been key in South Carolina’s efforts to coordinate with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the connections between the Federal Marketplace and the state's Medicaid program. Mr. Supra currently oversees the state's efforts to replace its Medicaid eligibility system and associated improvements and has been instrumental in the state’s pursuit of innovative financing through the Harvard-affiliated Social Impact Bond.


Dan Tangherlini headshotDan Tangherlini

Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

Dan Tangherlini was sworn in as Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) on July 5, 2013, following his 15 months of service as the Acting Administrator of GSA. Since joining the agency, he has served a vital role in President Barack Obama’s agenda to build a more sustainable, responsible and effective government for the American people. GSA is responsible for improving the government’s workplace by managing assets, delivering maximum value in acquisitions, preserving historic property, and implementing technology solutions.
Throughout his career, Mr. Tangherlini has been recognized for fiscal and management leadership. Before joining GSA, Tangherlini was confirmed by the United States Senate in 2009 to serve as Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Management, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Performance Officer. In these roles, Tangherlini served as the principal policy advisor on the development and execution of the budget and performance plans for Treasury and the internal management of the Treasury and its bureaus. Tangherlini also served as the agency’s Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.


Michael Thompson headshotMichael Thompson

Director, Justice Center Council of State Governments

Michael Thompson has worked on criminal justice policy issues for nearly 20 years. He started with the Council of State Governments (CSG) in 1997 as a policy analyst and the sole staff person assigned to the criminal justice program for CSG's Eastern Regional Conference. Under his leadership, that program launched major projects in the areas of victim rights, criminal justice/mental health collaboration, and prisoner reentry. Since transforming the regional criminal justice program into the national CSG Justice Center, Mike designed the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and conceptualized the organization's work in school discipline. The Justice Center's work has prompted major policy initiatives that have enjoyed broad bipartisan support in states across the country. A nationally recognized expert in criminal justice issues who is often quoted in major media outlets, Mike has authored numerous publications and testified before Congress on multiple occasions. Prior to joining CSG, Mike worked for three years for the Office of the Court Monitor in San Juan, Puerto Rico—an office established by a U.S. District Court Judge. Mike received his B.A. with Honors from Middlebury College.


Elaine Weiss headshotElaine Weiss

National Coordinator, Broader Bolder Approach to Education (BBA)

Elaine Weiss is the National Coordinator for the Broader Bolder Approach to Education (BBA), where she works with three co-chairs, a high-level Task Force, and multiple coalition partners to promote a comprehensive, evidence-based set of policies to allow all children to thrive.  Major publications for BBA include two 2013 reports: Market-Oriented Education Reforms’ Rhetoric Trumps Reality, and Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Educational Improvement. She has also authored over two dozen blogs for the Huffington Post, the Washington Post Answer Sheet, Bill Moyers, and the Nation, and been interviewed for numerous radio shows.

Elaine came to BBA from the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she was project manager for the Partnership for America’s Economic Success. In that capacity, she collaborated with respected scholars to assemble evidence of the economic benefits of early childhood investments. Ms. Weiss was a member of a Center for Disease Control task force on child abuse, and served as volunteer counsel for clients at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. She has a PhD. in public policy from the George Washington University Trachtenberg School, a JD from the Harvard Law School, and a BA and BS from the University of Maryland, College Park. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and two daughters, both students in Montgomery County public schools.


Brandon Williams headshotBrandon Williams

Director of Google Operations, Governor's Office of Information Technology, State of Colorado

Prior to joining OIT, Brandon served as the Information Officer for the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and with the Department of Public Health.  Brandon joined the State's Emergency Operations Center from Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue in Summit County, Colorado, where Brandon and his family settled following years of domestic and foreign service with the Federal Bureau of Industry and Security, Treaty Compliance Division.  In his pre-Colorado life, Brandon served as an Analyst and Advance Team Leader for international arms control and nonproliferation treaty implementation efforts and as a Diplomat assigned to the U.S. Embassy - The Hague, Netherlands, where he served as a representative on the U.S. Delegation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  Brandon, his wife, Shannon and daughters, Kate and Annika, now live in Denver.


Lisa Wong headshotThe Honorable Lisa A. Wong

Mayor, Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Lisa Wong is currently serving her third term as Mayor of the city of Fitchburg. She was first elected at the age of 28, and is the first minority mayor in Fitchburg and the first female Asian American mayor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
By managing more effectively in lean times, Mayor Wong has been able to lower crime, make significant capital improvements, and attract private investment. She is also a leader in conservation efforts, setting aside over 1,700 acres for permanent conservation and building parks and trails along the Nashua River, allowing for more tourism, as well as enjoyment by the citizens of Fitchburg.
Previously Mayor Wong served as the Executive Director for the Fitchburg Redevelopment Authority. As Director, she managed several urban renewal projects, such as the redevelopment of a former General Electric facility into a modern business complex.