Senator Tammy Baldwin
Senator from Wisconsin (D.)


Senator Baldwin was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised by her grandparents. With a deep commitment to public service, she served on the Madison City Council, the Dane County Board of Supervisors and in the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 1998, she was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District for seven terms. 

In 2012, Tammy was elected to the U.S. Senate as Wisconsin’s first woman to serve in the Senate and the first openly gay member elected to the Senate.

Senator Baldwin serves on the Senate Budget Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

In the Senate, Senator Baldwin is committed to working across party lines to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Recently, Senator Baldwin and Senator Cory Booker introduced the Stronger Way Act, legislation to fight poverty in America with real solutions. The Stronger Way Act aims to meet the challenge of lifting people up and out of poverty with respect, opportunity, and the dignity of work. 

Specifically, The Stronger Way Act creates a new federal partnership to support state and local transitional jobs programs; rewards work with tax reforms that raise incomes for working families and individuals; and targets tax credits to working families with children.

Senator Baldwin’s legislation has garnered support from local, state and national leaders in the fight against poverty, including the Heartland Alliance.

Evelyn J. Diaz
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights

As President of Heartland Alliance, Evelyn Diaz leads a global anti-poverty and human rights organization based in Chicago that provides a comprehensive array of services to nearly half a million people annually in the areas of healthcare, housing, human services and justice. She is responsible for directing domestic and global strategy and operations for Heartland Alliance’s five nonprofit corporate entities, with a combined budget of $120 million and 1,200 employees in 12 countries.

Previously, Ms. Diaz was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lead the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services where she was responsible for administering an annual budget of $330 million to deliver social service programs to over 300,000 Chicagoans in the areas of children, youth, homelessness, domestic violence, aging, workforce development and human services. 

Before joining Mayor Emanuel’s cabinet, Ms. Diaz was Deputy Chief of Staff to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, coordinating the City’s human capital departments and overseeing initiatives related to poverty, jobs, and economic security.  She was later appointed by Mayor Daley as chief executive officer of the Chicago Workforce Investment Council, which was charged with addressing labor market shortages in key industries through a data-driven collective impact model.
Prior to working in the government sector, Ms. Diaz was Associate Director of the Chicago Jobs Council where she coordinated Opportunity Chicago, a $23 million initiative to assist thousands of public housing residents gain employment.  She has also worked as a direct practitioner providing individual and group counseling to domestic violence victims; managing programs for homeless women in shelter; and coordinating economic development initiatives and social service projects in Chicago's 46th Ward.
Ms. Diaz received her graduate degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.  She was named Social Worker of the Year in 2014 by the National Association of Social Workers’ Illinois and Chicago chapters.  She was a Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leader, and she serves on the governing boards of the National Skills Coalition, Rebuilding Exchange, Forefront, Thrive Chicago and Chicago Tech Academy

Leon Andrews
director for Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) 
National League of Cities

Leon T. Andrews, Jr. was appointed as the inaugural director for Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) at the National League of Cities and prior served as the senior fellow and program director at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where he led all of the Institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country including in areas related to childhood obesity, disconnected youth, youth engagement and leadership, and youth master planning since 2006.

Before joining the National League of Cities, Leon completed a research fellowship at The Forum for Youth Investment. Leon has an extensive background working in government, the community, the private sector, and academia for the last 23 years including the United States Department of Justice, United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, the United States Public Interest Research Group, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, YouthBuild Pittsburgh, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at The University of Michigan.

Leon is married to an amazing woman, Dr. Kristine M. Andrews, for the last 13 years and they have three beautiful daughters: Jessica Austin, Julia Iris, and Joanna Jonas.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta
Director of the Project on Deep Poverty
Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality

Indivar Dutta-Gupta is Director of the Project on Deep Poverty and Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. Previously, Indivar was Project Director at Freedman Consulting, LLC, leading strategic initiatives for major philanthropies, children’s groups, and workers’ organizations.

Indivar served as Senior Policy Advisor at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, focusing on budget and tax policies and cross-cutting low-income issues. Earlier, he focused on safety net, tax, and social insurance programs and policies as U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Professional Staff.

As an Emerson National Hunger Fellow, Indivar worked for DC Hunger Solutions and the Center for American Progress. Indivar is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and has been named a First Focus Campaign for Children Champion for Children, as well as one of Washington Life magazine’s most Influential 40-And-Under Leaders (2013) and Rising Stars 40 And Under(2016). Indivar is an honors graduate of the University of Chicago and a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Carla Javits
President and CEO of REDF

Carla Javits is President and CEO of REDF, a California-based nonprofit that is leading the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work. Through her stewardship, REDF has helped impact the lives of thousands of people in need by investing capital and expertise in social enterprises - mission-driven businesses focused on hiring and assisting people who are willing and able to work, but have the hardest time getting a job.

Inspired by REDF's founder, George R. Roberts of KKR, Carla focuses on achieving measurable results by building the partnerships and systems to provide a business solution to joblessness among those overcoming the most significant challenges.

Director of the National H.I.R.E. Network

2015 RMeyers headshot (3).jpg

Roberta Meyers was appointed the sole director of the National H.I.R.E. Network in 2007 after holding policy and direct service positions at Legal Action Center over 20 years.  She has worked with policy makers and advocates around the country to identify public policy priorities that affect employment and other reentry opportunities for people with criminal records as well as helped develop strategies to strengthen existing legislation or enact model policies.

She has trained hundreds of workforce, corrections, behavioral health, and reentry staff on strategies that best serve individuals who have criminal histories and has authored guidebooks and policy briefs on criminal record policies that impact employment and other re-entry needs.

Roberta has been called to testify before Congress, federal administrative agencies, and state legislators. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Management, and Economics from the State University of New York/Empire State College and a Master of Science degree in Public Safety with specialization in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from Capella University.

David Riemer
Senior Fellow
Public Policy Institute


David has been active for many years in reshaping Wisconsin and U.S. policies on welfare, poverty, health care and education. He was chosen in 2010 to serve as a member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council Special Committee on Health Care Reform Implementation, as well as the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) Study Panel on Health Insurance Exchanges.
David is the author of “The Prisoners of Welfare” and numerous articles on poverty, health care reform and public administration. He is one of the co-founders of The New Hope Project. David served from 2004-07 as Director of the Wisconsin Health Project, which sought to lower the number of Wisconsin’s uninsured and control health care costs. The project was responsible for developing bipartisan legislation to provide all of the state’s residents with affordable health insurance and lower the growth of health care costs.

David worked as an Atlantic Fellow in Public Policy in London and Oxford, England, in 2002; his research focused on supplementing low-income workers’ earnings through the tax system. During 2003, David served as Budget Director for Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. His primary responsibility was to help solve the state’s projected .2 billion deficit. The resulting balanced budget preserved vital services without raising taxes. In 2004, David campaigned for Milwaukee County Executive.
From 1988-2001, David held several high-level jobs for the City of Milwaukee, including Budget Director, Administration Director and Chief of Staff for Mayor John O. Norquist. For most of this period, he was responsible for overseeing the central fiscal, purchasing, IT and intergovernmental functions of the city government.

From 1975-88, David held several positions in government and the private sector. He was legal advisor to Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey, served as legal counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy’s Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research, worked as a health policy analyst for the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, prepared a report on Wisconsin’s uninsured for the state Department of Health and Social Services, and worked on health care cost containment issues for Time Insurance Company.

David received an AB degree from Harvard College in History and Literature (1970) and a law degree from Harvard Law School (1975).

Ben Seigel
Executive Director
21st Century Cities Initiative at Johns Hopkins University

Ben Seigel joined Johns Hopkins University in February 2016 as the first Executive Director of the 21st Century Cities Initiative (“21CC”), a new cross-disciplinary research program for urban study and change. Through it, faculty from across Johns Hopkins work with government and the private sector to develop and test solutions to foster economic growth, increase opportunity, and transform neighborhoods. Ben served in the Obama Administration from 2010-16, where he was a senior adviser in the office of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and director of the Labor Department’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He helped lead the administration’s job-driven training initiative, a multi-agency project crafted to better align federal job training programs with employer demand, and the administration’s strategies for addressing long-term unemployment. Ben also worked on President Barack Obama’s place-based initiatives, a series of government strategies integrating federal programs in a way best suited to the specific needs of certain neighborhoods, cities, or regions. As part of this work, Ben led the administration’s Baltimore Federal Team, guiding senior-level staff across more than a dozen agencies and the White House to address challenges unmasked by the April 2015 unrest after the death of Freddie Gray. Previously, Ben was senior vice president at Seedco, a national nonprofit community development organization, where he oversaw national program development, policy, and technical assistance activities. Ben holds a degree in political science from Swarthmore College and a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Rebecca Vallas
Managing Director
American Progress Poverty to Prosperity Program

Rebecca Vallas is the Managing Director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress. Before joining American Progress, Vallas served as the deputy director of government affairs at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, or NOSSCR, where her work was devoted to preserving and strengthening Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income for workers with disabilities. Prior to that, Vallas worked directly with low-income individuals and communities for several years as a legal aid attorney and policy advocate at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where she was named a Skadden Fellow and a Borchard Fellow in Law & Aging. She is also a past co-chair of the national Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Social Security Task Force. Vallas has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, PBS, and Al Jazeera America, and NPR, as well as several local television and radio outlets, and she is frequently quoted in national and local media. She is the author of numerous briefs and articles on poverty, income security, disability, and criminal justice policy, and frequently testifies before Congress. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and was the inaugural recipient of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association's New Leaders in Advocacy Award. She was twice named one of Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30" for Law & Policy, in 2011 and 2014.

Vallas received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She graduated summa cum laude from Emory University, where she received a bachelor's degree in psychology and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Chris Wilson
CEO & criminal justice reform advocate

Born and raised in Washington D.C, Chris grew up under extremely difficult circumstances. At the age of 17, he was charged with a crime, convicted, and sentenced to natural life in prison. While imprisoned, he earned his high school diploma, graduated from all of the vocational shops, earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Sociology, from Anne Arundel Community College and taught himself to speak and write in several foreign languages. He became a mentor, started a career center, book club and after serving 16 years in prison, he has returned to society a changed man.

Chris is currently a University of Baltimore Student. He resides in Baltimore City and is the owner and founder of the Barclay Investment Corporation, a multi-service social enterprise, specializing in residential and commercial contracting work. Barclay works closely with local workforce and social service providers to connect unemployed Baltimore City residents with clients who are in need of a number of services. His other business ventures include The House of DaVinci, a high-end furniture restoration and design company and Master Plan Productions, a social impact content development company.



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