Alex Wagner is co-host of Showtime's The Circus and a contributor to CBS News and The Atlantic. She was formerly the host of MSNBC's Emmy-nominated Now with Alex Wagner. She is also the author of FutureFace: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging.
Sylvia Acevedo is an award-winning entrepreneur who has earned worldwide recognition for her work in addressing one of society's most vexing challenges--universal access to education. She currently serves as CEO for the Girl Scouts of the United States. Ms. Acevedo started her career at the Jet Propulsion Labs, where she worked on the Voyager mission's fly-by of Jupiter and its moons, and the Solar Polar/Probe missions. She holds a Master's degree in Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where she was one of the first Hispanics, male or female. to have earned a graduate engineering degree. She currently serves as a commissioner on the White House Intiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and is a national expert in mobilizing communities to increase family engagement in education. She established distribution programs that provided over 250,000 books to families, many of which were the first books in their home. Seeing children struggling to achieve academically due to dental or untreated vision issues, Ms. Acevedo led a community collaboration that distributed over 25,000 toothbrushes and thousands of pairs of glasses over a three-year period to children who needed their vision corrected.
Justice Adrienne Nelson was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court on January 2, 2018, making her the first African American to sit on the state's highest court and on any appellate state court. She previously served as a trial judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Oregon. Prior to her judicial appointments, she worked as a public defender and then in private practice. Judge Nelson is a frequent speaker on a number of topics including diversity, inclusion, equity, leadership, and professional development. She also serves as a mentor to many people. She current sits on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education.
Linguistic anthropologist Sandhya Narayanan grew up living between Boston and Toronto, in a multilingual home and in multilingual communities. This experience helped draw her to study how language use and linguistic differences have shaped and continue to influence social and cultural changes in human populations. She studies indigenous language contact (how languages influence each other over time), multilingualism, and language and culture change along the Lake Titicaca basin on the Peru-Bolivia border. Ms. Narayanan is a 2014 National Geographic Young Explorer grantee and is part of the 2017 Young Explorer Leadership and Development Program.
Lillygol Sedaghat is a multi-media environmental journalist and speaker focusing on the intersection between science, systems, and people. Previously, she was a Fulbright–National Geographic Digital Storyteller documenting Taiwan’s waste management system, plastics recycling and circular economy initiatives. She is an active contributor to National Geographic's Planet or Plastic? global campaign and creates music videos, info-graphics, and maps to transform people's perceptions of trash from something disposable to something valuable. Lillygol has spoken at UN World Environment Day, Influence Nation Summit DC, and National Geographic on her research. She completed a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and was named 5 Under 25: Leaders in U.S.-China Relations.
Robert Katzmann is chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was appointed to the Court in 1999 by President Clinton, and become chief judge in 2013. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and served as Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He also served as special counsel for the confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the first judge of the federal courts with a doctorate in government and has said a long interest in judicial-legislative relations. Most recently, that interest led him to write Judging Statutes, which offers a succinct critique of a purely textualist apprach to the interpretation of legislation. He is the author of several books and teaches an administrative law class New York University School of Law.
Diane P. Wood is the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. She was appointed to the Seventh Circuit in 1995 by President Clinton, and became Chief Judge on October 1, 2013. She previously served as deputy assistant general in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice with responsibility for the Division's International, Appellate, and Legal Policy matters in 1993 to 1995, and was Associate Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center from 1989 through 1992. She also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Judge Wood's research interests include antitrust (both international and general, federal civil procedure, and international trade and business. She has taught in all three fields.
Jan L. Tucker Memorial Speaker
Dr. Fred Mednick began his career in Los Angeles as a teacher and school principal. In 2000, he founded Teachers Without Borders (TWB) to connect teacher leaders to information and each other so that may close the education divide—on a global scale. Brains are evenly distributed throughout the world, he is fond of saying, but education is not. Today, Teachers Without Borders members span 171 countries. TWB offers a suite of free teacher development courses, workshops, and resources in global education and international development, policy change, girls' education, peace and human rights, and education in emergencies. A recipient of the 2010 Champion of African Education Award, the 2018 Luxembourg Peace Prize, and the 2019 Ahmadiyyah Peace Prize, Teachers Without Borders champions teachers as the only truly sustainable change agents.
Dr. Mednick holds professorships at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Brussels. His book, Outside My Window: My Eyewitness Account of Teacher Leaders Changing the World, is available without cost, online.
Jeremy D. Fogel is a Senior United States District Judge in the Northern District of California. He was appointed as the tenth Director of the Federal Judicial Center on October 3, 2011. He was founder, Directing Attorney, and Executive Director of the Mental Health Advocacy Project of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. He served as a judge of the Santa Clara County Municipal Court from 1981 to 1986, and of the Santa Clara Superior Court from 1986 until 1998, when he was appointed to the district court.
Dr Losang Rabgey holds a Ph.D. in gender and anthropology from the University of London and is the first Tibetan to become a Commonwealth Scholar. Dr. Rabgey and her sister Dr. Tashi Rabgey co-founded Machik, whose mission is to incubate social innovation for Tibet. In 2006, Dr. Rabgey was recognized by the National Geographic Society as an Emerging Explorer for her innovative work in gender equality and bridging cultural divides. She is a frequent public speaker and has presented at the Nobel Peace Forum, Yale University, UC Santa Cruz and Harvard University, among others. Her current research interests include gender, social entrepreneurship and cultural empathy. Born in India and raised in Canada, Dr. Rabgey first returned to Tibet with her family in 1987.