In collaboration with the Forum for Community Solutions
Featuring Melody Barnes, chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Opportunity Youth Forum and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and John Bridgeland, former director of the United States Domestic Policy Council and USA Freedom Corps, in conversation with Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The panel will discuss the nation’s COVID-19 response and how it has exposed deep systemic inequities in our nation. Can COVID-19 serve as a catalyst for social change? As we think about domestic policy and recovery in the years ahead, how do we build a more equitable future for all Americans?
Melody Barnes is co-director for policy and public affairs of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia, where she also serves as the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor of Practice at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and a distinguished fellow at the School of Law. Barnes also serves as the chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Opportunity Youth Forum. Ms. Barnes was Assistant to the President and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Administration of President Barack Obama. She was also executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress and chief counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her experience includes an appointment as director of legislative affairs for the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and serving as assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights.
John Bridgeland is Founder & CEO of Civic; Vice Chairman of Malaria No More, a non-profit working to end malaria deaths in Africa; Vice Chairman of the Service Year Alliance to make a year of national service a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds; Co-Convener of Grad Nation to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020; Vice Chairman of UNITE; Commissioner and Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development at the Aspen Institute; Co-Founder of the High Seas Initiative to protect 30 percent of the ocean as marine reserves by 2030; and Executive Producer of the 2017 National Geographic film, Sea of Hope. Previously, Bridgeland was appointed by President Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions, and by President George W. Bush to serve as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Assistant to the President of the United States.
Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., has served as President and CEO of the Aspen Institute since June 2018. Prior to leading the Aspen Institute, Dan served for seven years as the President of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), a leading national liberal arts college founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1787. Under his leadership, F&M set records for applications, fundraising, and fellowships; developed cutting edge new centers for student wellness, career services, and faculty excellence; constructed a new athletics stadium; and embarked upon the process of building a groundbreaking new visual arts center. Perhaps most important, Dan led F&M in the development of the Next Generation Initiative talent strategy, through which the College strengthened its academic excellence and competitiveness by tripling its percentage of incoming low-income students and more than doubling its percentage of domestic students of color.