Founding Advisors

The opinions expressed by contributors to Republic 3.0 belong solely to those contributors and do not reflect the opinions of our Advisors in any way. 

Matt Bennett
Matt Bennett is Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and a co-founder of Third Way. He previously served in the White House as a Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs for President Clinton, where he served as the principal White House liaison to governors and covered a wide range of issues, including disaster response, Medicaid, immigration, education and others. Prior to that, Matt served in Vice President Al Gore’s office. He was Communications Director of the Clark for President Campaign in 2004, and from 2001-2004 was Director of Public Affairs for Americans for Gun Safety.

Matt appears frequently as a political commentator on television and radio and is quoted frequently in newspapers including The New York Times and the Washington Post. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, Today, Good Morning America, Meet the Press, NPR and almost all major cable political programs. Matt practiced law in Washington D.C. from 1993-1997. He earned his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Debbie Cox Bultan
Debbie Cox Bultan has nearly 25 years’ experience working in center-left politics and non-profit management. She currently serves as Executive Director of the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), which identifies and promotes pro-growth progressive elected leaders and ideas at the state and local level.  Debbie also serves as Operations Director for the Civic Leadership Foundation, a Chicago-based non-profit which prepares underserved youth for college, career and civic life.  Prior to helping launch NewDEAL, Debbie spent 15 years at the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), where she served as National Political Director and Chief of Staff.  Among her accomplishments at the DLC was the development of a national network of hundreds of state and local elected officials. Debbie is also a veteran of statewide, congressional and state legislative political campaigns in California.  She currently resides in Santa Barbara, California with her husband and their two children.

Al From
Al From is one of America’s premier strategists and policy entrepreneurs with a track record of injecting innovative ideas into the national debate, turning major national institutions around, and changing the course of American life. He is the author of the new book The New Democrats and the Return to Power, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Currently he is principal of The From Company, LLC, which offers strategic advice to private clients.

In March 1985, From founded the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the organization whose ideas and political strategies during the past quarter century played a central role in the resurgence of the modern Democratic Party. He led the DLC from its inception until April 2009. The New York Times Magazine, in February 2010, called the DLC under From’s leadership one of the two “most influential think tanks in history, the primary shapers of political thought at the end of the broadcast age.”

From played a prominent role in the 1992 election of President Bill Clinton and served as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Clinton transition.  Before founding the DLC, From was executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, served in President Jimmy Carter’s White House, and was staff director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations.

From serves on the Board of Advisers of the Medill School at Northwestern University, the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Chamber Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the National Advisory Board of The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, the Board of Directors of the Institute for Behavior and Health, the Executive Board of the University of Maryland’s Center for American Politics and Citizenship, and the Advisory Board of the Annapolis Forum.  He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors in 1999, and served as chairman until December 2002 when his term expired.  He has recently appeared on a number of television programs, including Morning Joe, Press Pass with David Gregory, The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, and Andrea Mitchell Reports.  His writings have appeared in numerous national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, and Politico.com.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, From earned a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, was editor of the Daily Northwestern, and was named a charter member of the Hall of Achievement of the Medill School of Journalism.  He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife, Ginger.

Cori Smith Kramer
Cori Smith Cramer is Executive Director of Center Forward. Cori has more than a decade of public policy and political service.  She served as Chief of Staff to two moderate Members of Congress, Congressman Brad Ellsworth of Indiana and Co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition Congressman Mike Ross of Arkansas. In addition to her widespread involvement on Capitol Hill, Kramer also has extensive campaign experience. She managed Congressman Mike Ross’ successful re-election campaign, Congressman Charlie Stenholm’s re-election campaign and Congressman Brad Ellsworth’s U.S. Senate campaign.

Cori has served as the Executive Director of Center Forward since its inception in 2011.  She resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Ted.

Will Marshall
Will is president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), established in 1989 as a center for political innovation in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he has been one of the chief intellectual architects of the movement to modernize progressive politics for the global age.

Called “Bill Clinton’s idea mill,” PPI’s policy analysis and proposals were the source for many of the “New Democrat” innovations that figured prominently in national politics over the past two decades. The Institute also has been integral to the spread of “Third Way” thinking to center-left parties in Europe and elsewhere. Marshall is an honorary Vice-President of the Policy Network, an international think tank launched by Tony Blair to promote progressive policy ideas throughout the democratic world.

Marshall is editor or co-editor of many books, including Memos to the New President (PPI, January 2009); With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty(Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); The AmeriCorps Experiment and the Future of National Service (PPI, 2005); Building the Bridge: 10 Big Ideas to Transform America (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997); and Mandate for Change (Berkley Books, 1992), PPI’s best-selling policy blueprint for President Clinton’s first term. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and many other newspapers, as well as The American Interest, The American Prospect, Democracy, and other journals. In 1985, Marshall helped to found the Democratic Leadership Council, serving as its first policy director.

Bill Andresen

Bill Andresen is currently Associate Vice-President for Federal Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Penn, Bill worked at Dutko Worldwide as Senior Vice-President where he represented a number of corporate and non-profit clients. During his time at Dutko Bill was recognized as one of Washington D.C.’s most effective and influential lobbyists.

During his more than 20 year career on Capitol Hill, Bill served as Chief of Staff to Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman from 1992-2003, guiding the Senator’s policy and political agenda. As Sen. Lieberman’s Chief of Staff, Bill was named numerous times as one of the 50 most influential Congressional Staffers. Bill started his Capitol Hill career as Chief of Staff to California Congressman Mel Levine. He served Rep. Levine in the same capacity when Levine served in the California State Assembly. In 2004 Bill served as Vice-President for Federal Affairs at the Democratic Leadership Council, where he served as a liaison to Democratic Members of Congress and assisted in the development of that organization’s policy and political agendas.

Bill is married with three children. He has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for Inspired Teaching and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. He is also past President of the Science Coalition, a non-profit organization composed of 50 research universities dedicated to informing Congress and the Administration about the importance of funding basic research. He is also a Senior Advisor to Third Way, a progressive non-profit think tank.

Cindy Brown 

Cindy Brown is a Principal at Blank Rome Government Relations LLC and has more than 20 years of experience providing strategic legislative and political advice to Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations on an array of critical issues, with a particular focus on tax, healthcare, and trade matters.  Prior to joining Blank Rome, Cindy served as Vice President of Legislative Strategies at The Campaign to Fix the Debt, where she developed and implemented a campaign-wide strategy focusing on Capitol Hill and the Administration to execute strategic legislative goals. Prior to that role, she was a principal at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, where she built and executed successful strategies to accomplish her clients’ goals on the critical issues before Congress.  She also served as Chief of Staff to Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) and was the congressman’s top advisor to the House Ways and Means Committee.  Cindy was instrumental in the revitalization of the New Democrat Coalition (“NDC”) and played a critical role in formulating policy positions for the coalition, as well as launching the group’s successful PAC.  She continues to serve as advisor to the New Democrat Leadership and the NDC PAC.

John Michael Gonzalez

John Michael Gonzalez is a Principal at Peck Madigan & Jones.  He began his political career with the late Texas Governor Ann Richards, and later served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Chris Bell (D-TX) and then to Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL), a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, the largest group of moderates in the House.

John Michael also served on the Obama-Biden Transition Project in the office of Congressional Affairs and was responsible for Congressional outreach to the House Committees on Financial Services, Energy and Commerce and Small Business. Because of his work with the Obama transition team and his several years in the moderate leadership of the House Democratic caucus, John Michael continues to be a trusted resource to most of the House Democratic Leadership as well as the pro-business New Democrat Coalition. He has been played a key role in many pieces of legislation, including the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, the Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement, the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Elizabeth L. Greer

Libby Greer is a Senior Vice President at Forbes-Tate, and was with Forbes-Tate’s predecessor firm, Cauthen Forbes & Williams. Before joining CFW and Forbes-Tate, Ms. Greer served nearly eight years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Allen Boyd (D, FL-2). In that capacity, she directed the legislative and political operations for Boyd, including staff in Washington, DC and Florida. Additionally, she implemented Congressman Boyd’s work as Co-Chairman for Administration of the Blue Dog Coalition in the 110th Congress, directing a group of 47 fiscally conservative Democrats. In that role she developed political strategy; crafted a fiscally responsible, pro-growth legislative agenda; and facilitated outreach to key allies in Democratic and Republican leadership, across the different caucuses of Congress, and in the U.S. Senate. In previous Congresses she aided Boyd’s efforts as Co-Chairman of the Blue Dog PAC, shepherding its growth from roughly $250,000 in contributions to over $2.6 million. Along the way, she volunteered on numerous congressional and legislative races around the country.

Libby has a B.A. in English from Birmingham-Southern College, where she graduated with a Distinction in Leadership Studies in 1998. She is a native of Birmingham, AL. She and her husband and two children live in Washington, DC.

Stefan Hankin
Stefan Hankin is the founder and president of Lincoln Park Strategies, a public opinion research firm based in Washington D.C. Prior to starting Lincoln Park Strategies, Stefan served as a lead pollster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, focusing on the primaries in South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Before working for the Obama Campaign, he conducted research for the Democratic National Committee and Governor Howard Dean informing the much heralded “50-State Plan,” which turned into the blueprint for the Democratic Party’s success in 2006 and 2008.

Stefan’s research and analysis has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Christian Science Monitor as well as political outlets such as Politico and National Journal. He has also appeared on numerous radio and TV programs including WJLA’s Nightly News, CSPAN, ABCNews’ Topline, and CTV Televisions’ Question Period discussing his research and opinions.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Stefan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and now resides with his wife and two daughters in Washington, DC. He also is a board member of Mobilize.org a DC based non-profit and sits on the planning committee for the Capital Area Food Bank’s Blue Jeans Ball.

Sohini Gupta Jindal 
Sohini Gupta Jindal is a Principal at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc.  She is a lawyer, policy expert and lobbyist with more than 15 years’ experience focused in health care and social services.  Her work has involved such major legislative efforts as the creation of the Medicare Part D program, post-September 11th anti-bioterrorism initiatives, health care reform, welfare reform, and financial services reform. She started her policy career as a Governor’s Fellow for then Governor Evan Bayh (D-IN) and later served for six years as his Health and Social Policy Counsel when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. In the private sector, she has worked for the American Hospital Association, as the Government Affairs strategist for Baxter Healthcare’s Bioscience business, and as the Vice President of Government Affairs for UnitedHealth Group.

Sohini received her J.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the mother of two vibrant girls, the small business owner of a local coffee-wine cafe and resides in Virginia.

Izzy Klein
Israel “Izzy” Klein is a principal at the Podesta Group, where he spearheads government relations and media outreach efforts for global financial services, technology, telecommunications and energy clients. Before joining Podesta Group, Izzy held several senior positions on Capitol Hill, including as communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Deputy Staff director for Communications for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), and as a senior advisor in various capacities to Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA).

A native of West Orange, New Jersey, Izzy holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He is on the board of directors of the Junior State of America Foundation, a national civics and leadership organization for high school students; serves on the Strive DC Board of Directors, a local D.C. job training non-profit; and is a partner with the Truman National Security Project. Izzy lives with his wife Sarah and their twins in Chevy Chase, MD.

Gary Meltz
Gary is the Principal and founder of MELTZ Communications, a public relations firm based in Washington, D.C. Gary has worked in Washington for over 15 years in politics and high-stakes political communications. Prior to founding MELTZ Communications, Gary worked at one of the nation’s leading crisis management public relations firms as a senior vice president.  Prior to his career in public relations, Gary was Press Secretary for Congressman Eliot Engel of New York, currently the Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee and a high-ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Before that, he worked in the offices of Vice President Al Gore, Senator Richard Durbin, Congressman David Phelps, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and the Democratic National Committee.

In addition to his work at MELTZ Communications, Gary manages the University of Kansas’s Washington Internship Program, which brings 20 students from KU to Washington every spring. He also hosts an annual Taste of Chicago fundraiser for Camp of Dreams, a Chicago non-profit that sends at-risk Chicago children to summer camp every year.

Vickie L. Walling
Vickie L. Walling serves as Managing Director of Prime Policy Group, based in Washington, D.C.  Vickie joined Prime Policy Group after 34 years of senior-level Capitol Hill experience. She is widely recognized for her creation of the highly visible and successful PAC for and providing strategic legislative and fundraising counsel to the Blue Dog Coalition, a coalition of moderate House Democrats. She most recently served as Chief of Staff for Representative John Tanner (D-TN), whom she had worked for since 1989.

Prior to her work for Congressman Tanner, Vickie worked for former Congressman Ed Jones (D-TN), where she directed management for House services; established the legislative agenda; drafted legislation; directed an active constituent mail program; supervised and trained staff; prepared speeches and statements; and gave the Congressman daily briefings on legislative activity in the House. Vickie is one of the most legendary and practiced liaisons between the Washington business community and Capitol Hill, and her moderate, bipartisan approach has earned her allies on both sides of the aisle.

Vickie received a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

 

 

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