Media Learning Seminar


Featured Speakers

Arianna Huffington

Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of thirteen books. Her latest book, Third World America, will be published in September 2010. She is also co-host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular political roundtable program, and is a frequent guest on television shows such as Charlie Rose, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show.

In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that has quickly become one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. She was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, and to the Financial Times’ list of 50 people who shaped the decade.

Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

Chris Hughes

Co-Founder, Facebook and Founder,

Chris Hughes has spent his career developing technologies to make social communication and political organizing easier and more efficient. After cofounding Facebook in 2004, he worked as the site's spokesman and as a product manager specializing in user experience. In 2007, Hughes joined Barack Obama's presidential campaign as director of online organizing; he oversaw the development of the on-site network After working in 2009 in venture capital for General Catalyst Partners, he is embarking on an initiative called Jumo to use the social Web to foster responsible, long-term relationships between people and organizations working to change the world.

A.C. Thompson

Reporter, ProPublica

A.C. Thompson is a staff reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom headed by former Wall Street Journal editor Paul Steiger. His work focuses on poverty, human rights, and policing.

Thompson’s reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina helped to lead to the indictment of seven current or former New Orleans police officers on federal charges, and uncovered a string of alleged hate crimes against African Americans. Before joining ProPublica, he co-founded the Chauncey Bailey Project, a collaborative effort by web, radio, TV, and print reporters to examine the 2007 murder of Chauncey Bailey, an Oakland, California news editor.

Steven Waldman

Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

Steven Waldman is Senior Advisor to the Chairman. He is leading an agency-wide effort to assess the state of media and make recommendations designed to ensure a vibrant media landscape. He was the co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of, the leading spirituality website, founded in 1999. Beliefnet won the top editorial awards on the Internet, including the General Excellence Award from the Online News Association and the National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online.

Before creating Beliefnet, Mr. Waldman served as National Editor of US News & World Report and was National Correspondent for Newsweek. He is author of the New York Times bestseller Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America. He also served as Senior Advisor to the CEO of the Corporation for National Service in the 1990s.

Mr. Waldman's work has appeared in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review Online, Huffington Post, The Atlantic,, The Washington Monthly and Slate. He has been a regular commentator on national television and radio programs including Fox & Friends, Fox Business, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, ABC World News, NPR’s All Things Considered and On the Media, and many others. He was named a “Spiritual Innovator” by Time magazine.

Speakers and Panelists 

John G. Davies

President and CEO, Baton Rouge Area Foundation

John G. Davies has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation since June 1988. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves Southern Louisiana.

During the past 20 years, the Foundation helped to organize and provide leadership to the Louisiana Pan American Commission and provided funding and technical support to institute Local Education Funds throughout the greater Baton Rouge area. It brought housing intermediary Local Initiatives Support Corporation to Baton Rouge and launched Plan Baton Rouge, a master planning process to revitalize the city center along New Urbanism principles that has drawn more than $1.5 billion in new investments.

More recently, the Foundation raised more than $45 million for hurricane relief in response to Katrina, launched a mental health initiative to care for hurricane sufferers, rehabilitated the Capitol House Hotel through its Wilbur Marvin Foundation, conducted regional planning across South Louisiana through its offshoot planning division and created two community foundations.

During Mr. Davies’ tenure, the Foundation has grown from $5 million to more than $533 million in assets, and has awarded more than $230 million in charitable grants.

Mr. Davies is board chair of the Wilbur Marvin Foundation. He also serves on the advisory committee of the David Rockefeller Center of Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

Mr. Davies grew up in Latin America as the son of an American diplomat stationed in Lima, Peru. He attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville

Paula Ellis 

Paula Ellis joined Knight Foundation in September 2006. A member of the Executive Committee, she oversees national programs and new initiatives, and is responsible for developing and gauging the impact of the foundation's overall strategy.

Previously, Ellis was vice president for operations at Knight Ridder, where she oversaw 15 newspapers and was a member of the Management Committee. Throughout her career as a news, corporate and civic leader, she developed deep experience in national and community issues. From Washington, Ellis led Knight Ridder's coverage of the end of the Cold War, the 1988 presidential elections and the Iran Contra Investigation. Later, as publisher of the The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, she worked with local groups to foster civic leadership while drawing new readers to the paper, which was named a Knight Ridder top performer three times.

As an innovator in the journalism field, Ellis chaired Poynter Institute's National Advisory Board, was at the forefront of the coaching writers' movement and helped found the National Writers Workshop. A Harvard Business School case study cited her work at The State in Columbia, S.C., where she, then managing editor, led the transition to a digital newsroom.

Ellis earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, where she was editor of the student daily. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism. She is married to Gary Galloway, a 30-year newspaper reporter, columnist and editor, now retired. She has four stepchildren and 12 grandchildren.

Steve Gunderson

President and CEO, Council on Foundations

Steve Gunderson is President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit membership association of approximately 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations. After serving three terms in the Wisconsin State Legislature, Gunderson served 16 years in the U.S. Congress and was a recognized leader on agriculture, education, employment policy, health care and human rights issues.

Following his career in public service, he was named the senior consultant and managing director of the Washington office of The Greystone Group, a strategic management and communications consulting firm. The lead author of The Jobs Revolution: Changing How America Works, Gunderson is recognized for his insight and analysis on the national political issues of the day, and has lectured widely from Harvard University to The Brookings Institution. A graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Gunderson today lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his partner Jonathan Stevens.

James Head

Vice President, Programs, San Francisco Foundation

James W. Head is vice president of programs at The San Francisco Foundation and has more than 30 years of experience in the field of philanthropy and grant making, nonprofit management, community and economic development and public interest law. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2004, Mr. Head was President of the National Economic Development and Law Center (NEDLC) for 18 years. A lawyer by training, he has worked as consultant to foundations, business, and government, and as a professor of law. Mr. Head also serves as President to the Port of Oakland Commission. His past and present affiliations and community service include the community advisory board of Union Bank of California; member and past board president of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association; board member of Northern California Grantmakers, the National Center for Youth Law, and the Neighborhood Funders Group; as well as adjunct professor of law at U.C. Hastings, U.C. Berkeley (Boalt) and Santa Clara University Law Schools in the Bay Area.

He was an advisor to the 2001 Race Commission in Cincinnati, Ohio, a member and chair of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board, and a founding board member of the California Community Economic Development Lending Initiative. Mr. Head holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from the University of Georgia, School of Law.

Alberto Ibarguen

Alberto Ibargüen was named president and CEO of Knight Foundation in January 2005. He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism.

He studied at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Between college and law school, he served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela’s Amazon Territory and in Colombia. He practiced law in Hartford, Connecticut until he joined The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York before moving to Miami.

Ibargüen is chairman of the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the Web as a medium that empowers people worldwide to bring about positive change. He is a member of the boards of PepsiCo, AMR Corp. (American Airlines), AOL, ProPublica and the Council on Foreign Relations. Over the years, he has served on the boards of arts, education and civic organizations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Wesleyan University, Smith College and the University of Miami. He is trustee emeritus of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as board chair. He also served as board chairman of PBS and of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra.

For his work to protect journalists in Latin America as part of the Inter American Press Association, he received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University, and George Washington University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters.

Ibargüen and his wife, Susana, live in Coconut Grove, FL.

Barbara Kibbe

Partner and Vice President of Client Services, Monitor Institute

Barbara Kibbe is a partner at Monitor Group and Monitor Institute’s vice president of client service. She leads the Group’s global philanthropy practice from the Group’s San Francisco offices.

Barbara has over twenty-five years of experience in social change and philanthropy as an executive, a consultant, a grantmaker and a foundation program director. Barbara was twice selected by the Nonprofit Times for its annual list of the fifty most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit sector.

Prior to joining Monitor, Barbara served as vice president for program and effectiveness at the Skoll Foundation and, prior to that, as the director of the Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where she directed a total of $100 million in grants aimed at enhancing the capacity of foundation grantees and promoting greater effectiveness in the field of philanthropy. In the 1980’s she co-founded Harder+Kibbe Research and Consulting, a leading advisory services firm that worked with community, family, and corporate foundations, as well as a wide range of health, human service, and cultural organizations.

Barbara is a trained scenarist, an attorney specializing in nonprofit law, and an expert at process design and facilitation. Barbara uses rigorous analytics in her work with clients but understands the limitations of data, tools and frameworks. According to Barbara, “New data, tools and frameworks will not change behavior without the right mix of skills, capabilities and incentive systems – in other words, the right culture to support and reinforce good decisions. The best ideas and most thoroughly proven solutions will fall flat if they encounter a human system that is not ready to embrace them.”

Barbara Kibbe is a partner at Monitor Group and Monitor Institute’s vice president of client service. She leads the Group’s global philanthropy practice from the Group’s San Francisco offices.

Barbara has over twenty-five years of experience in social change and philanthropy as an executive, a consultant, a grantmaker and a foundation program director. Barbara was twice selected by the Nonprofit Times for its annual list of the fifty most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit sector.

Prior to joining Monitor, Barbara served as vice president for program and effectiveness at the Skoll Foundation and, prior to that, as the director of the Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where she directed a total of $100 million in grants aimed at enhancing the capacity of foundation grantees and promoting greater effectiveness in the field of philanthropy. In the 1980’s she co-founded Harder+Kibbe Research and Consulting, a leading advisory services firm that worked with community, family, and corporate foundations, as well as a wide range of health, human service, and cultural organizations.

Barbara is a trained scenarist, an attorney specializing in nonprofit law, and an expert at process design and facilitation. Barbara uses rigorous analytics in her work with clients but understands the limitations of data, tools and frameworks. According to Barbara, “New data, tools and frameworks will not change behavior without the right mix of skills, capabilities and incentive systems – in other words, the right culture to support and reinforce good decisions. The best ideas and most thoroughly proven solutions will fall flat if they encounter a human system that is not ready to embrace them.”

Mariam C. Noland

President, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Mariam C. Noland became the first president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, in 1985. The Community Foundation has assets of more than $545 million and in its 25 year history, has distributed nearly $430 million through more than 36,800 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties.

Noland has more than thirty years experience administering community foundations. She joined the staff of the Cleveland Foundation in 1975 where she served as program officer and secretary/treasurer. In 1981, she became vice president of the Saint Paul Foundation, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Prior to her work in the foundation field, Noland was on staff at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, and Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio.

Noland is currently a member of the board of trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Independent Sector, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan and is a vice chair of the board of the Henry Ford Health System. She has served as chair, board of trustees, Council of Michigan Foundations and a vice chair, board of trustees of the national Council on Foundations. Noland recently received the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award and the 2010 Women and Leadership in the Workplace award.
Noland obtained her Ed.M. from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science from Case Western Reserve University. She and her husband, James A. Kelly, live in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.

Darcy Oman

President and CEO, Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia

Darcy Oman is the President and CEO of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia. She has served in the executive leadership role since November 1985, when Oman was hired as the foundation’s first full time professional staff member.

Over her 25 years of service to the community, Oman has served on numerous boards and leadership advisory committees. In 2010, Oman serves as an officer and board member of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence and on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Estate Planning Council. She is a member of the Homeward Board of Advocates, Bridging Richmond Executive Council and a community advisor to The Older Dominion Partnership, a statewide initiative focused on age wave planning and preparedness. Oman is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Richmond and the Forum Club, a local forum for discourse by civic, community and business leaders on issues impacting the Richmond region. In October 2008, Oman was recognized by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities for her contributions toward the improvement of human relations, social welfare and justice, and the quality of life of the people in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2009, she was recognized by Virginia Law Weekly in the inaugural class of Virginia's Influential Women.

Nationally, Oman serves on the Foundation Center's Grantmaker Leadership Panel. She completed her second year as Chair of the Council on Foundations' Community Foundations Leadership Team in June 2008, where she served as a member from 2001-2009. She continues to work on the Council's legal and regulatory committee for community foundations, where she previously served (1996-2004), including two years as its chairman.

Mayur Patel

Mayur Patel joined Knight Foundation in 2009. As vice president of strategy and assessment, he is responsible for aiding ongoing strategy development, strengthening research and knowledge management capabilities and assessing the impact and effectiveness of the foundation’s efforts.

Patel was previously a project associate with the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford, involved in research on international institutions and economic affairs, and a fellow with the World Trade Organization in Geneva. He has served as a consultant to Oxfam's offices in Kenya and the UK, and as a trade and investment policy adviser to Realizing Rights, an NGO based in New York. He has previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe, his home country, on issues of civic engagement and parliamentary support.

A Rhodes Scholar, Patel has a doctorate in international development from the University of Oxford, from which he also earned a master’s degree. Prior to attending Oxford, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is a Junior Fellow with the EVA Business and Policy Forum based in Helsinki and a recipient of a Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award. Recently, Patel was named a 2011 Independent Sector American Express NGEN Fellow and one of '30 Under 30 Civic Leaders' by Splashlife Magazine and the National Council on Citizenship.

Lee Rainie

Director of Internet & American Life Project, Pew Research Center

Lee Rainie is director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the Internet. Since 1999, it has examined how people’s Internet use affects their families, communities, health care, education, civic and political life, and workplaces. Rainie is a coauthor of Up for GrabsHopes and Fears, and Ubiquity, Mobility, Security.All are based on project surveys about the future of the Internet. Before launching the Pew Internet Project, Rainie was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

Trabian Shorters

Trabian Shorters joined Knight Foundation in December 2007. He is responsible for the foundation’s work in 26 communities across the United States and within the Knight Community Information Challenge (KCIC). Trabian has a long history of creating and running different types of networks for social innovation.

From 2003-2007 Trabian was a senior venture entrepreneur with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, where he simultaneously directed Ashoka-US, served on the global executive team and was an integrator for Ashoka-US, Canada and Mexico. In these roles, he managed major donor relationships, raised the Ashoka-US budget, spoke and traveled to Europe, Africa and South America on Ashoka's behalf.

He also found and vetted 17 Ashoka Fellows including Charles Best, Gerald Chertavian, Ron Chisom, Joe Marshall, John Sage, Jim McCorkell, Joe Williams, Tyrone Bledsoe, Jim Thompson, Steve Bigari, Ami Dar, and Eboo Patel.

Prior to Ashoka, Trabian was the leading social entrepreneur who launched Technology Works for Good (now NPowerDC). TechWorks was a first-of-its-kind network of technology providers, funders, nonprofits and consultants committed to helping nonprofits use technology to serve more people better and faster. By securing founding support and senior executive leadership from AOL Time Warner, Microsoft, Fannie Mae and the Meyer Foundation, TWFG became Washington D.C.’s leading nonprofit provider of technology solutions to organizations of all sizes.

In addition to his leadership in social entrepreneurship and technology, Trabian is one of the original authors and organizers of the AmeriCorps National Service proposal to the Clinton administration. AmeriCorps now has more than 500,000 alumni who have served thousands of organizations in the U.S. . He was a member of the Children Defense Fund's Black Student Leadership Network and was once nominated by AOL to be a Smithsonian Institution Laureate for innovations in technology delivery.

Today Trabian is vice chair of and is a coach for New York University ’s Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program for Social Entrepreneurship. Originally from Pontiac, Michigan, he earned a journalism degree from Michigan State University, participated in Horizons Upward Bound Program at Cranbrook, and is the proud first grandson of Kennis and Irma Lee Hutchons.

Dr. Tony Siesfeld

Partner, Monitor Institute

Dr. Tony Siesfeld is a partner of Monitor Group and has over 20 years of experience in for-profit and not-for-profit advisory work. He is also the Director of Research Design and Analysis, Monitor Group's marketing research and analysis group. He works out of the Institute's Cambridge office where he focuses on education, measurement and evaluation, and bringing leading practices from for-profit businesses to organizations in the social sector.

Prior to joining the Institute, Tony developed extensive expertise in strategic marketing analysis and consulting, performance measurement, and customer-decision modeling. His work has emphasized the link between how customers think, feel and behave and the optimal strategic and operational choices for businesses and other organizations. His work has been noted in Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He has contributed to publications such as the Journal of Strategic Performance Measurement, Strategy and Leadership, and Forbes ASAP, as well as to the publications of organizations such as Sloan Foundation, the Brookings Institution, and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Dr. Siesfeld holds a B.S. (summa cum laude) from the University of Vermont and, from Stanford University, an M.S. in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Psychology. He enjoys bicycling, kayaking, international travel, and teaching.

Amy Webb

President, WebbMedia Group

Amy Webb is an author, speaker and future thinker and heads the Webbmedia Group (, an international digital strategy consultancy that offers mobile, platform, social and emerging tech/ media strategic services and workshops to Fortune 500 companies, media organizations, mid-sized businesses, governments and universities worldwide. Amy has spent more than 15 years working with digital media, founding several web-based companies and now advising various tech startups and media groups as well as Webbmedia's clients. Her team of consultants and programmers at Webbmedia helps news and tech organizations around the world find inspiration in the tumult of technology. Recent clients have included Gannett, Time Inc., American Public Media/ Minnesota Public Radio, Hearst Digital, National Public Radio, ABC, U.S. State Department, Knight Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, Univision, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and many others.

Amy serves on a number of boards, including the Online News Association, South By Southwest (SXSW), Knight-Batten, International Center for Journalists and Temple University's Journalism Program. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/ Interactive Media Peer Group and a Prime Time Emmy judge, as well as a judge for the prestigious Knight News Challenge. She is a regular commentator on various broadcast shows and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences around the world. Follow her on Twitter, Foursquare and most other social media services: webbmedia.

Scott Wierman

President, Winston-Salem Foundation

Scott F. Wierman joined The Winston-Salem Foundation as Senior Vice President for Donor Services in 1988. On April 1, 1997, Scott became the fourth President of The Winston-Salem Foundation. The Foundation is a $244 million community foundation serving Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina. The Winston-Salem Foundation is the oldest foundation in North Carolina.

Scott came to The Winston-Salem Foundation from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he was a major gifts officer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his position as a major gifts officer, he worked with the University’s annual giving program.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a masters of business administration degree from the Babcock School of Business at Wake Forest University.

Scott currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust-Poor and Needy Division, the ECHO Council, the Board of Directors of Forsyth Futures and Winston-Salem State University Endowment. He also serves as the Secretary of the Campaign Coordinating Committee. He formerly served on the Boards of Hands On of NWNC, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina Investment Committee, NSFRE-North Carolina-Triad Chapter, ScienceStars, the Crosby Celebrity Golf Tournament, The Crosby Scholars Program, Leadership Winston-Salem, Partners for Home Ownership, Community Services Research Group and Forsyth Early Childhood Partnership. He has also served his profession by serving in a number of capacities for the Council on Foundations, including chair of the 2001 Fall Conference. He serves as chair with Forsyth Futures, and is also active with the Stratford Rotary Club, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and the Twin City Youth Soccer Association.

He is married to Lauren Wierman and they have two daughters, Mary Beth and Abigail and a son, Jonathan.


Breakout Facilitators and Scribes 

Joaquin Alvarado

Sr. Vice President, Digital Innovation, American Public Media

Joaquin Alvarado, a strategic thinker in digital media, joined American Public Media / Minnesota Public Radio in January 2010 as senior vice president for digital innovation. Before joining APM/MPR, he was senior vice president for diversity and innovation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he led successful initiatives to broaden its reach and diversity. Previously, Alvarado spearheaded key projects and companies furthering new frameworks for public media, education and community leadership, including CoCo Studios, to promote collaboration and information sharing for fiber and mobile networks; the Institute for Next Generation Internet; and National Public Lightpath.

Dirk Beveridge

President, 4th Generation Systems

Dirk Beveridge is president and chief executive officer of 4th Generation Systems, a sales, marketing, and leadership development firm that helps distributors and manufacturers become more competitive and provider deeper value to customers. Dirk is an experienced business executive who has helped strengthen the sales and marketing strategies of leading distribution firms, in the industrial, chemical, building materials, electrical, food service, office products, hardware & plumbing, packaging and other lines of trade. For more than 20 years, he has worked with over 3,000 firms as a leadership consultant, trainer and speaker.

Today, 4th Generation Systems is one of the leading providers of employee development and sales empowerment systems to distribution companies and their suppliers worldwide. Through an integrated curriculum of blended learning practices and strategic coaching, 4th Generation Systems helps clients develop top performers who align behind the company vision.

In addition to leading 4th Generation Systems, Dirk is one of the nation’s highest-rated business speakers. He provides timely, pertinent information to organizations on the topics of customer focus, sales motivation, and market leadership. He is a passionate, energetic and entertaining presenter and has been featured on international speaking tours addressing groups on six continents.

His presentations are often followed with blended and online learning systems to build more long-term team commitment to a company’s vision and customer focus, which is how 4th Generation Systems was founded.

Dirk’s personal mission is to make a real difference for his clients, employees, stakeholders and community. In addition to leading his growing businesses, Dirk has managed to complete four Ironman triathlons.

Charles Firestone

Executive Director, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program

Charles M. Firestone has been Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program since 1989. The Program is a non-partisan convener of leadership roundtables on communications policy and the societal impact of information and communications technologies. For three years he was also the Institute’s Executive Vice President for Policy Programs and International Activities.

Previously, Firestone was Director of the Communications Law Program and Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Law School, 1977-90. He was also the first President of the Los Angeles Board of Telecommunications Commissioners. Firestone’s legal career includes positions as an appellate attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, as director of litigation for a Washington DC public interest law firm, and as a communications attorney in Los Angeles. He has argued several communications law cases before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts. Firestone is a GLOCOM Fellow (Japan) and was a Visiting Professor at the Duke University Terry Sanford Institute in 2003. He holds degrees from Amherst College and Duke University Law School.


FSG is a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research, founded in 2000 as Foundation Strategy Group and celebrating a decade of global social impact.

Today, FSG works across sectors in every region of the globe — partnering with foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and governments to develop more effective solutions to the world’s most challenging issues. FSG brings together leaders that are hungry to exchange information, to elevate learning and to create collective impact for shared priorities in social change.

Working with many of the world’s leading corporations, nonprofit organizations, and charitable foundations, FSG has completed more than 400 consulting engagements around the world, produced dozens of research reports, and published influential articles in Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review among other publications.

Jeff Reifman

Founder, NewsCloud

Jeff Reifman is founder of NewsCloud, which offers consulting and other services specializing in Facebook and social media. His current focus is the ongoing development of NewsCloud's open-source Facebook application for news publishers, funded by Knight Foundation. Last summer, Reifman used a similar Facebook application that led to the capture of a Wired magazine writer who voluntarily disappeared in the magazine's Vanish contest. In 1996, during an eight-year stint at Microsoft, Reifman helped manage the launch of He is also a freelance writer.

Raymond Santiago

Director, Miami-Dade Public Library System

Raymond Santiago was appointed Director of the Miami-Dade Public Library System in 1998. As Director he is responsible for a County department with over 800 employees, and 50 facilities serving over 2.5 million residents with a budget in excess of $80 million. In 2001 the Library System began an aggressive capital expansion program which has resulted in the opening of 18 new facilities with an additional 2 facilities currently in development. In recognition of his accomplishments, the Library Journal named Mr. Santiago the 2003 Librarian of the Year. In 2005 became the recipient of the Public Library Association’s Charlie Robinson Award, honoring his efforts as a risk taker and change agent. In October 2008 the Miami-Dade Public Library System was awarded the National Medal for Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Mr. Santiago is a member and past Chair of the Executive Board of the Urban Libraries Council. He serves on the board of several library associations including the Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) and the University of Buffalo Department of Library and Information Studies Advisory Board. He is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET now Lyrasis), and served as the Chair of the Public Library Association’s 2008 National Conference.

Mr. Santiago received his Master of Library Science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ron Shuffield

President, Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell, Miami.

Ronald A. Shuffield is president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell, a real estate brokerage firm with 10 offices in South Florida. He is a member of the board of governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the executive committee of the Beacon Council of Miami-Dade. He has served as chairman of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and the Coral Gables Community Foundation. Shuffield received the Robert B. Knight Outstanding Citizen Award for his involvement in the Coral Gables community and was inducted in 2003 into the South Florida Business Hall of Fame.

Heidi Wiliamson

VP Communications, Berks County Community Foundation

Heidi Williamson joined Berks County Community Foundation in 2001 to raise awareness about the foundation and ways in which philanthropy and community leadership can have a lasting, positive impact on the quality of life for local residents. In addition to marketing and communication responsibilities, Williamson has led projects aimed at increasing the availability of news and information in the Greater Reading area and ensuring the continued viability of 20 local libraries.

Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Williamson was the manager of global communication at Exide Corporation, where she developed and implemented the organization’s first international internal communication strategy.

She earned a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English: Professional Writing from Kutztown University. Williamson recently completed a term as chair of CommA, an affinity group for communication professionals and is currently a member of the inaugural cohort of Career Pathways, a philanthropic leadership program of the Council on Foundations. She serves as vice president of the board of trustees for the Reading Public Library, and sits on the program committee for

Williamson lives near Kutztown, Pennsylvania with her husband, Jim, and their three children.

Kinsey Wilson

 Sr. Vice President and General Manager, NPR Digital

Kinsey Wilson has played a leadership role in digital media for more than a decade. As a senior news executive he has provided strategic and operational oversight of print and online news operations and been a leader in industry organizations during a period of rapid technological and cultural change.

He joined NPR as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media in October 2008, with responsibility for NPR's web, podcasting and mobile operations. With Ellen Weiss, NPR's Senior Vice President for News, he oversees the online news and music staffs.