Gara LaMarche is President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. Before joining Atlantic in 2007, LaMarche was Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute (OSI) from 1996 to 2007 and Associate Director of Human Rights Watch and Director of its Free Expression Project from 1990 to 1996. He was Director of the Freedom-to-Write Program of the PEN American Center from 1988 to 1990, when PEN played a leading role in campaigns to lift Iran’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie and challenged restrictions on arts funding in the United States. He was the Associate Director of the ACLU’s New York branch from 1979 to 1984 and the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas from 1984 to 1988. LaMarche is the author of numerous articles on human rights and social justice issues and is the editor of Speech and Equality: Do We Really Have to Choose? He teaches at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, and has been an adjunct professor at New School University and The John Jay College of Criminal Justice. LaMarche serves on the boards of StoryCorps, The White House Project, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the
Leadership Council of Hispanics in Philanthropy.
Chris Daggett has been a respected leader in New Jersey’s nonprofit world for nearly 20 years, serving on a number of boards, including the Schumann Fund for New Jersey Regional Plan Associates, and the Trust for Public Land.
As the independent candidate for governor in 2009, he was the first independent candidate to raise the threshold amount of money to qualify for public matching funds and to participate in public debates with the major party candidates. He was also endorsed by The Star-Ledger, the state’s leading newspaper.
Previously, Chris served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of New Jersey (1982-1983), Regional Administrator of the USEPA (1984-1988), and Commissioner of the NJDEP (1988-1989). In addition, for six years he was a managing director of William E. Simon & Sons, a private investment firm, and since 1996, has operated a brownfields development company, acquiring, remediating and redeveloping environmentally impaired real estate. Just prior to coming to the Dodge Foundation he was a Principal with JM Sorge, Inc. (JMS), an environmental consulting and management firm providing assessment, investigation and remediation services to the public and private sectors.
Chris holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives in Basking Ridge with his wife Bea. They have two grown children, Alexandra and Justine.
Feather Houstoun leads the William Penn Foundation, which invests approximately $64 million a year in the Greater Philadelphia region in support of children and youth, arts and culture, and environment and communities. Houstoun served in the cabinets of Governors Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania) and Tom Kean (New Jersey). As Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Public Welfare, she headed programs associated with welfare, Medicaid, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health. As New Jersey Treasurer she oversaw all fiscal matters including budget, public pensions and debt issuance, as well as the State Planning Office. She has also served as Chief Financial Officer for SEPTA, and held federal and state posts in housing. Following her eight years in Harrisburg, she was a senior visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania teaching and conducting research on public management issues. She has written and published extensively on growth management, gubernatorial leadership, housing, smart growth, and community development. She was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 1991.
Matthew Bishop is US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist. He is the co-author of “Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World” – described as an “important book” by President Clinton - and “The Road from Ruin: How to Renew Capitalism and Put America Back on Top”.
As well as chairing the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Philanthropy and Social Investing, he has served as a member of the Sykes Commission on the 21st century investment system, and the Advisors Group of the United Nations International Year of Microcredit 2005.
Before joining The Economist, Mr. Bishop was on the faculty of London Business School, where he co-authored books for the OUP on subjects ranging from privatization and regulation to mergers.
Melissa Berman has led Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors since January of 2001. A frequent writer and speaker, Dr. Berman has been profiled in the New York Times and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Her ideas and views have also been featured widely in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Alliance magazine. She has been interviewed on the Today Show and NPR, among other radio/TV programs.
Dr. Berman is a director of the Foundation Center and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of Business, where she teaches philanthropy. She is a member of the advisory board for the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia’s Business School. Dr. Berman holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Previously, she served as Senior Vice President, Research and Program Development at The Conference Board, a nonprofit, independent business research organization. She oversaw all research and publications on management practices, including global corporate citizenship and governance.