Will Byrne, Groundswell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Will oversees the strategy and management of Groundswell - one of the most innovative social sector organizations in the United States' emerging clean economy. In 2012, he was awarded a Fellowship from Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the world’s largest social entrepreneurship network. In recognition of Groundswell's impact in the clean energy sector, The White House awarded Will the Champions of Change honor, while The World Economic Forum selected him into their Young Global Shapers community. In 2010, Will was one of 50 global social entrepreneurs selected for the prestigious Cordes Fellowship. Named one of Washington Life magazine’s “10 Green Warriors You Need to Know,” Will has also been featured in The Huffington Post and The Nation magazine, and was selected as a plenary speaker at the U.S. government's annual sustainability conference. Prior to co-founding Groundswell, Will worked in the field operation of the 2008 Obama for America Campaign.
After graduating with honors from Vassar College, Will served in an editorial capacity for the American Academy in Berlin, as well as Der Spiegel magazine.
Derek Ellerman, Polaris Project, Co-Founder and Chairperson
Derek Ellerman serves as Board Chairperson of Polaris Project—one of the leading international anti-trafficking organizations—which he co-founded in 2002. Polaris Project has four offices in the U.S. and Japan, more than 40 staff, and a $3 million dollar annual budget. During his tenure as co-director, Polaris Project received the Do Something BRICK Award, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Award, the Justice for Victims of Crime Award from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Redbook Strength and Spirit Award, and the Champions of Change Award from Lifetime Television and The Body Shop. In 2004, Derek testified before the U.S. Congress on strategies to combat human trafficking in the U.S.
Derek received the Ashoka Fellowship from Ashoka Innovators for the Public and the John Hope Award for Public Service from Brown University. He has taught at the graduate-level as an Adjunct Professor at Trinity University on international criminal network operations and counter-trafficking strategies. Derek has a Sc.B. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University.
Bracken Hendricks, Center for American Progress, Senior Fellow
Bracken Hendricks is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he works on advancing clean energy and economic development. He co-authored the book "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy" with U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA). A former advisor to President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and transition team, Bracken was an architect of clean-energy portions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A veteran of the Clinton Administration, he served as special assistant to the Office of Vice President Al Gore, with the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and with the President's Council on Sustainable Development. He was founding executive director of the Apollo Alliance and has served as an energy and economic advisor to numerous other federal, state and local policymakers and elected officials.
Bracken received his Bachelor's Degree from Mary Baldwin College, and a Master of Public Policy and Urban Planning degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
John Lauer, Groundswell, Co-Founder
John Lauer is the Co-Founder and former Policy Director of Groundswell. John graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Religious Studies, where he is now pursuing a law degree. John worked for the U.S. Forest Service for six years as a firefighter and has fought fires in every western state. In 2012, he led a successful campaign that successfully petitioned President Barack Obama to give wild land firefighters access to affordable health insurance. He has served on the NFFE Forest Service Council Fire Committee. Lauer is a co-author of “Clean Contracts: Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now” published by Center for American Progress in January 2011. He has traveled extensively in India, South America and the American West. Lauer is also an amateur Abraham Lincoln scholar and Eagle Scout.
Christopher Murray, Dow Lohnes, LLC, Attorney and Vice President for Education Policy
Christopher Murray is the Vice President for Education Policy at Dow Lohnes Government Strategies LLC. He joined DLGS after practicing law for five years in Dow Lohnes PLLC’s higher education practice group. Christopher routinely addresses the political and regulatory issues confronting the education sector. In particular, he focuses on government relations matters related to online learning, the enactment and promulgation of laws and regulations regarding Title IV program administration and corresponding program compliance, federal workforce and military education programs, accreditation, foreign sanctions, and technology applications in education.
Christopher received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School where he was an editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and his B.A. in Government and Theology from Georgetown University. He is Dow Lohnes’s pro bono coordinator and advises startup community and economic development nonprofit organizations in his pro bono legal practice.
Jennifer Pryce, Calvert Foundation, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Jennifer Pryce is responsible for strategic initiatives, marketing and communications, social media and policy work at Calvert Foundation. Jenn's team anchors its work around the development of initiatives that combine a social issue with the power of impact investing such as women investing in women. Women investing in women is the only retail impact investing product available to US residents that is focused on supporting organizations which are dedicated to empowering women. These initiatives provide Calvert Foundation with the necessary risk capital to pursue new investments in emerging sectors and geographies as well as ongoing operating capital required to support innovation and thought leadership within the impact investing sector.
Jenn brings over 15 years of finance and community development work to this role - previously, as the U.S. Portfolio Manager, Ms. Pryce oversaw the management and growth of Calvert Foundation's domestic investments, including investments in community development finance institutions, affordable housing development and initiatives around healthcare clinics and charter schools. Prior to the Calvert Foundation, Jenn worked with Nonprofit Finance Fund, a national CDFI, as the Director of the Washington DC-MD-VA office. Before NFF, she also held positions at Wall Street firms, working at Neuberger & Berman as an equity research analyst and Morgan Stanley's London office in the Investment Banking division. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon, Africa as well as worked at the Public Theater in New York City. Jennifer received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Union College and an MBA from Columbia University.
Kristen Psaki, Groundswell, Co-Founder
Three weeks after graduating college, Kristen joined the Obama for America campaign. As Florida New Media Director during the general election, Kristen directed and managed a state web page, internal and external social networks, a text message program and a team of New Media gurus. After co-editing four videos with the Presidential Transition Team, Kristen joined Energy Action Coalition’s PowerShift09 Internet Team and created the most watched video of their season. Kristen co-led a four-day training for the Jamaican Women’s Political Caucus in Kingston, Jamaica on a New Media curriculum she developed for the Institute for Public Leadership, a YWCA-backed training program for prospective women candidates and campaign managers.
A co-founder of Groundswell, Kristen served as the organization's first Communications/Creative Director until June 2010. Currently, Kristen lives in Detroit, Michigan where she is implementing an innovative Green Economy Leadership Training (GELT) program and is part of a team launching Distributed Power, a social enterprise that will hire GELT graduates to transform three square blocks of Highland Park (a city within Detroit) into a Green Zone.
Bryce Schonberger, University of Southern California Candidate for PhD in Accounting, Certified Public Accountant
Bryce received undergraduate and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently holds an active CPA license. In 2007, he received an Elijah Watt Sells award for obtaining one of the top ten scores on the complete CPA exam. Following graduation, Bryce spent two years working in the electronic audit support group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. In that role, he used database analysis tools to provide information on high risk transactions to audit teams and consulted for internal audit departments to help develop monitoring tools within corporations.
Bryce is currently pursuing his PhD in accounting at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His coursework focused on markets-based accounting research, managerial and positive accounting research, judgment and decision making research in accounting, and corporate finance theory. His research interests include earnings quality, debt-holder uses of accounting information, and inter-industry and market-wide impacts of accounting information. A volunteer with a number of community service organizations, Bryce works with CCEO Youthbuild Charter School, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides alternative education and construction training to youth from disadvantaged communities.
Bryce lives in Los Angeles. In his free time, he enjoys yoga, hiking, backpacking, and reading accounting research and post-modern literature.
Stockton Williams, HR&A Advisors, Principal
Stockton Williams is a Principal at HR&A Advisors, where he advises local communities, innovative nonprofits, and mission-oriented businesses on the economic opportunities at the intersection of environmental sustainability and urban development. Stockton joined HR&A in January 2012 after 2 and-a-half years in the federal government as Senior Advisor on urban policy and environmental sustainability issues at the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Previously, Stockton held leadership positions in national philanthropy, as Senior Advisor at Living Cities, and community development, as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Enterprise Community Partners. He has written and spoken widely on sustainability and development and served on the boards of several real estate, housing, and energy organizations. Stockton holds a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Princeton University.