Ins & Outs of D.C. 2021

June 10th | 11 am-3 pm ET | Virtual


11:00am: Welcome and Introduction

Kimber Maderazzo, Chair of the Board, C200 and Found & CEO, MILLI ROSE

11:05am – 11:30am: A Look Ahead – Insights into Key Policy Issues

Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senate

11:30am – 12:15pm: What Does a Post-Pandemic World Look Like?

Moderator: Mary Naylor, Executive Chairman, Americas for Aspire Lifestyle

Panelists: Sylvia Burwell, President, American University

Kavita K. Patel, Physician and Fellow, The Brookings Institution

12:15pm – 12:40pm: Policy Proposal for the United States’ Infrastructure

Carlos Monje, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation

Dan Glickman, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

12:40pm – 12:50pm: BREAK

12:50pm – 1:10pm: How Can Business and Government Work Together to Reskill Our Workforce for the Future?

Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation

Marty Walsh, U.S. Secretary of Labor

1:10pm – 1:40pm: A Media Perspective on Labor and Jobs

Moderator: Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation

Panelists: Vanessa Fuhrmans, Deputy Management Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal

Paul Fain, Journalist and Analyst

1:40pm – 2:00pm: 2021 National Women’s Business Council Priorities: Leading Female Founders to Profitability

Liz Sara, Chair, National Women’s Business Council

2:00pm – 3:00pm: America’s Role in the World: How has it Changed?

Moderator: Margery Kraus, Founder & Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide

Panelists: Dr. Orit Frenkel, Former Senior Manager for GE Global Government Affairs

Frank Lowenstein, Former Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry

James McGregor, Bestselling Author & Expert on U.S.–China Trade and Relations

Join us for one of C200’s most anticipated events, the Ins and Outs of D.C.!

This exclusive event offers the C200 community an insiders’ look behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. At our inaugural event in 2019, we heard from Senators Susan Collins, Tammi Duckworth, Debbie Stabenow, and many others, visited the National Press Club, and enjoyed dinner at the Embassies. This year, we’re bringing D.C. to you! Enjoy exclusive virtual panels and hear keynotes from D.C.’s top leaders on what our country can expect as we try to navigate our way back to “normal” in a post-pandemic world.

Ins & Outs of D.C. 2021









Free for C200 Members

Suggested $25 Donation for Non-Members


Sylvia M. Burwell, President, American University

Sylvia Mathews Burwell is president of American University, which under her leadership, ranks as one of the top innovative universities in the nation, serves as home to the first anti-racist research and policy center, and holds the title of the first U.S. university to achieve carbon neutrality.

Burwell previously served as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she oversaw the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and led the department’s responses to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. As the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), she worked with Congress to negotiate a two-year budget deal following the 2013 government shutdown. She has also held leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Walmart Foundation.


Paul Fain, Journalist and Analyst

Paul Fain writes The Job, a newsletter about connections between education and work, which is part of the Open Campus Media network. For the last decade, Fain was a reporter and editor at Inside Higher Ed where he oversaw the coverage of nontraditional students, policy, and more. Fain was also the founding host of the successful podcast, The Key with Inside Higher Ed, and managed IHE‘s coverage of the pandemic in 2020. 

Before IHE, Fain was a Senior Reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he covered leadership and finance for more than six years. A former Staff Writer for C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., Fain has written for The New York Times and contributed chapters for books on innovation in higher education, published by the Harvard University Press and the Stanford University Press. A graduate of the University of Delaware, he is a native of Dayton, OH, and currently lives in Takoma Park, MD.

Edie Fraser, CEO of Women Business Collaborative (WBC)

Edie Fraser is CEO of Women Business Collaborative (WBC), a non-profit to accelerate Equal Position, Pay and Power for all businesswomen.  She is also a founding member and current board member of C200. WBC works with business women organization partners and stakeholders. Edie spent 14 years as Managing Director, Diversified Search and Founder and CEO of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors®(MWM)–with 2.5 million commitments to mentor. As a consummate entrepreneur, Edie built three companies and several movements.  Edie founded Diversity Best Practices and the Public Affairs Group. She ran the campaigns for the US passage of the Panama Canal Treaties, Labor Law Reform, and after Million Women Mentors, the action with WBC. She received 56 major Leadership awards and served on boards, inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, and received the Mosaic Award from Diversity Woman. She was Chairman of the World Affairs Council of DC.  

Edie was Founder and CEO of Public Affairs Group working with 250 Fortune companies, advancing best practice programs on women and diversity leadership. The company included Diversity Best Practices (DBP), the Business Women’s Network (BWN), and Best Practices in Corporate Communications. She served as head of Strategic Planning for health and Human Services. Edie started her career with Foreign Service Officer status working for five years at the Peace Corps and became an African Desk Officer with responsibilities for Malawi and Chad and did college recruiting. She worked for five years for the domestic poverty program before as a government contractor before beginning her own public policy firm.

Her eight books include Do Your Giving While You’re Living and Women’s Entrepreneurship in America. In 2015, she released “Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy with STEMconnector® and WOW Facts and Women’s Quick Facts.  She has produced many books and reports related to diversity, including The Chief Diversity Officer and The Diversity Primer.  

Edie is a member of the Cosmos Club. She graduated with Honors in Political Science from Duke University and is married to Joe Oppenheimer.

Dr. Orit Frenkel, Former Senior Manager for GE Global Government Affairs

Dr. Orit Frenkel, member of APCO’s International Advisory Council, is the founder and President of Frenkel Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in government relations and policy issues in Asia and the CIS countries, trade policy, investment and market access issues, as well as training programs for foreign government officials.

Prior to starting Frenkel Strategies, Orit was the Senior Manager for GE Global Government Affairs for 26 years. In that position, she was responsible for advising the GE businesses on government relations, trade, investment and CSR issues in ASEAN, North and Central Asia, as well as in the CIS countries. Orit’s extensive experience working with US and foreign governments, as well as with a variety of stakeholders, resulted in billions of dollars of GE sales. She worked with U.S. and multilateral financing institutions to obtain financing for GE’s transactions.

Orit led GE’s policy and advocacy on TPP, KORUS, Russia and China WTO accession, Uruguay Round, NAFTA and other trade policy issues. She coordinated GE’s policy and strategy development, developed messaging and led coordination and consensus building among stakeholders in GE and the larger business community, trade associations, think tanks, and other stakeholders.

Orit organized numerous multi-day training programs for foreign government and private sector officials that GE hosted in the U.S., educating officials on U.S. government relations, investment regulations as well as specific issues, such as energy and digital policy.

She began her career working in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where she was the Director for Trade in High Technology Products and Deputy Director for Trade with Japan, and spent a 9-month detail working for Congressman Lee Hamilton.

She is the author of several articles on trade policy issues, as well as a book on the negotiation of the US-Israel Free Trade Area. She is on the board of numerous trade associations and advisory panels.

Ms. Frenkel received a B.A. in Economics from University of Maryland (Phi Beta Kappa), an M.P.P. from the University of Michigan, and a International Economics from John Hopkins University.

Vanessa Fuhrmans, Deputy Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal

Vanessa Fuhrmans is the Deputy Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal’s management bureau, where she edits and writes about management and workplace issues. A 20-year veteran of the Journal, Fuhrmans was a 2020 recipient of the Newswomen’s Club of New York’s Front-Page Award for her coverage of women in the workplace and has served two tours as a foreign correspondent in Germany. Prior to the Journal, Fuhrmans was a correspondent for Bloomberg News and has a Master’s of Science from Georgetown University’s Edmond A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Dan Glickman, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Dan Glickman, former U.S. secretary of agriculture and chair of APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council, is the former executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. Secretary Glickman also serves as a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., formed by former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, to develop and promote bipartisan solutions to the country’s problems and to promote civility in government.

Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Secretary Glickman was chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) and director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

From 1995 to 2001, Secretary Glickman served as U.S. secretary of agriculture, where he led the department in administering farm and conservation programs; modernizing food safety regulations; forging international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets; and improving its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights.

Before his appointment as secretary, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 18 years, representing the 4th congressional district of Kansas. During that time, he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal farm policy issues. He was also an active member of the House Judiciary Committee; chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and a leading congressional expert on general aviation policy.

Earlier in his career, Secretary Glickman was president of the Wichita School Board; partner in the law firm of Sargent, Klenda and Glickman; and trial attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Secretary Glickman is currently a member of the Kansas and District of Columbia Bars, Council on Foreign Relations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Council on American Politics at The Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University; is a senior fellow of the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism; and is vice-chair of the World Food Program-USA.

He is also on the board of directors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Communities in Schools; Food Research and Action Center, a domestic anti-hunger organization; National 4-H Council; and the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, where he is chair of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. Additionally, he co-chairs the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ global agricultural development initiative, as well as an initiative of eight foundations administered by the Meridian Institute that looks at long-term implications of food and agricultural policy.

Secretary Glickman received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University.

Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Throughout her public service, Senator Klobuchar has always embraced the values she learned growing up in Minnesota. Her grandfather worked 1500 feet underground in the iron ore mines of Northern Minnesota. Her father, Jim, was a newspaperman, and her mother, Rose, was an elementary school teacher who continued teaching until she was 70.

Senator Klobuchar has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses. In 2016, an analysis by Medill News Service ranked her first among all 100 senators in sponsoring or cosponsoring bills that were enacted into law in the 114th Congress. 

Senator Klobuchar has always understood that her first duty is to represent the people of Minnesota. She acted quickly to obtain full funding to rebuild the I-35W bridge just thirteen months after it tragically collapsed into the Mississippi River. She worked across party lines to expand education and job opportunities for returning service members, fought to ensure that Minnesota National Guard members received the full benefits they earned, and helped turn Minnesota’s ground-breaking “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” program into a national model. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Klobuchar worked to pass the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill to strengthen Minnesota’s rural economy and give farmers the certainty and support they need. 

Since arriving in the Senate, Senator Klobuchar has worked with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. She led the effort to pass landmark pieces of legislation to end human trafficking and to combat the opioid epidemic. She fought to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, keeping foreign toxic products off our shores and out of our stores, and pushed the cell phone companies to enact more consumer-friendly policies. Additionally, her efforts to protect consumers have resulted in the largest furniture recall in American history as well as millions of defective airbags being taken off the road.

As a member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Klobuchar has been a leader in working to implement a competitive agenda to ensure businesses have the tools they need to grow and create good jobs in their communities. She has authored legislation to lift the trade embargo with Cuba as well as legislation to help small businesses tap into new markets abroad. She has successfully advocated to take action to combat illegal steel dumping. She has also passed a significant amendment aimed at boosting funds for STEM education for American students and led national initiatives to boost American tourism, including a series of regulatory reforms adopted by the Obama Administration. 

Senator Klobuchar also serves as the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, where she has worked to advance policies that protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior and make sure businesses are able to compete on a level playing field. She has introduced legislation to lower prescription drug prices by cracking down on “pay-for-delay” agreements, the practice of brand-name drug manufacturers using pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market.

Senator Klobuchar is also the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, where she works to ensure fairness, transparency, and efficiency in government. She helped pass the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate and has authored legislation to automatically register eligible voters when they turn 18. She has also led efforts to improve election security and prevent foreign interference in our democracy, and successfully secured $380 million to strengthen states’ election infrastructure and help protect them from future attacks by foreign adversaries.

Before serving in the Senate, Senator Klobuchar headed the largest prosecutor’s office in Minnesota for eight years, making the prosecution of violent and career criminals her top priority as well as an increased focus on white collar crime. She led the effort for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law, and received the leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her safe schools initiative, community prosecution efforts, and criminal justice reforms earned national awards from both the Bush and Clinton Justice Departments. She worked with the Innocence Project to advocate for videotaped interrogations across the country as well as innovative eyewitness processes to protect against false identifications.  As a private citizen and before being elected to public office, Senator Klobuchar was the leading advocate for successful passage of one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing 48-hour hospital stays for new moms and their babies.

Her work has gained national recognition. Vogue magazine described her as “personable, popular, and pragmatic,” the New York Times described her as a “former prosecutor with made-for-state-fair charms,” and Working Mother Magazine named her as “Best in Congress” for her efforts on behalf of working families. She has received numerous awards from the National Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union for championing farmers and rural communities. She has been recognized for her work on behalf of children and consumers, and Refugee International gave her the Congressional Leadership Award for her work to support refugee communities. She received an award from the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) for her work to fight sexual assault in the military, and the Disabled American Veterans honored her work to improve the lives of America’s veterans. She has also received the “Outstanding Member of the Senate Award” from the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition and the “Above and Beyond Award” from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for her commitment to developing a supportive work environment for employees serving in the Guard and Reserves.

Senator Klobuchar was the valedictorian of her Wayzata High School class. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior essay in college, published as the book “Uncovering the Dome,” chronicles the 10-year-history behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and is still used at colleges and universities across the country.

Senator Klobuchar is married to John Bessler, a native of Mankato, who attended Loyola High School and the University of Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar and John have a daughter, Abigail.

Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman, APCO Worldwide

Margery Kraus is founder and executive chairman of APCO Worldwide, a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy headquartered in Washington, D.C. She specializes in public affairs, communication, and business consulting for major multinationals. Ms. Kraus founded APCO in 1984 and transformed it from a company with one small Washington office to a multinational consulting firm in major cities throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

In September 2004, Ms. Kraus led a management buyout of her firm, making APCO one of the largest privately-owned consulting firms in its field in the world and the largest that is majority women-owned. APCO was built almost entirely through organic growth. Throughout the years, Ms. Kraus achieved this by fusing the best local talent and experience with a global perspective and best practices, resulting in an international firm with a unique culture based on seamless teamwork and common values.

Ms. Kraus’s achievements have been recognized over the years through a number of prestigious awards, including the PRWeek U.S. Power List (2020); Enterprising Women of the Year Award (2019); PRWeek Top 20 Most Influential Communicator (2018); PRWeek Hall of Femme (2017); PR News PR People Hall of Fame (2015); C200 Foundation Entrepreneurial Champion Award (2015); PRWeek Hall of Fame (2014); U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress Corporate Statesmanship Award (2013); Volunteers of America (Greater New York) Spirit of the Founders (2012); the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Agency Mentorship (2012); Global Thinkers Forum Excellence in Leadership (2012); Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame (2011); Institute for Public Relations Alexander Hamilton Medal for lifetime contributions to professional public relations (2010); Washington Business Hall of Fame (2009); Enterprising Women Hall of Fame (2009); Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the services category in Greater Washington (2006); Washington PR Woman of the Year (2006); and PR News Lifetime Achievement (2005).

Ms. Kraus has deep expertise in providing strategic counsel on issue-based communication, crisis management, market-entry, and corporate reputation across diverse industry groups. The range of her experience is reflected in APCO’s industry practice groups. In addition, she pioneered one of the industry’s earliest practices in corporate responsibility and the development of public/private partnerships. Prior to starting APCO, Ms. Kraus assisted in the creation and development of the Close Up Foundation, a multimillion-dollar educational foundation sponsored in part by the United States Congress. Ms. Kraus continues to be involved with the foundation by serving on its board of directors.

Ms. Kraus is active on other institutional and corporate boards and committees. She is chairman of the board of the Women Presidents’ Organization; serves on the international advisory board of Tikehau Capital, the social responsibility advisory board of Univision Communications Corporate, and the advisory board of Enterprising Women magazine. She also serves as a trustee of American University, the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, and the Institute for Public Relations. She serves as interim chair of the WAMU Board of Advisors.

Frank Lowenstein, Former Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry

Frank Lowenstein is an international policy expert and former high-ranking State Department official. Lowenstein served as special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations for the U.S. Department of State, where he was responsible for overseeing the Middle East peace process, including policy formation, strategic messaging, direct engagement with the Israelis and Palestinians and outreach to key stakeholders in the international community. During his time with the department, Mr. Lowenstein also served as a senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry.

A longtime advisor to Secretary Kerry, Mr. Lowenstein previously served as a principal in a leading Washington lobbying firm and as staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), before joining the State Department in 2013. During Secretary Kerry’s time in the Senate, Mr. Lowenstein was his senior foreign policy advisor and directed the SFRC Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs, a role which saw him travel extensively with then-Senator Kerry throughout the Middle East.

From 2003 to 2004, Mr. Lowenstein was the director of national security policy for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, he practiced law for six years in Boston.

Mr. Lowenstein holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a juris doctorate degree from Boston College Law School.

Mr. Lowenstein is also Executive Director of APCO Worldwide’s Washington office and head of the firm’s Global Solutions Practice.

James McGregor, Bestselling Author and Expert on U.S.–China Trade and Relations

James McGregor is the author of two highly regarded books: No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism, published in October 2012, and One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China, published in 2005. 

Mr. McGregor was a veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and CEO of Dow Jones China. Prior to joining APCO, he was founder and CEO of a China-focused consulting and research firm for hedge funds. He also held previous roles as a senior advisor for Ogilvy Public Relations China and the China managing partner for GIV Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that focused on technology and Internet investments in China and India. In 2014, he received a SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement from The Holmes Group. 

Mr. McGregor is a professional speaker, regular television and radio commentator and a contributor of essays and opinion articles for a variety of publications. He has lived in China for more than three decades. He was an active member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) for nearly a decade and served as chairman in 1996. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Global Council member of the Asia Society, a board member of the U.S.-China Education Trust and a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China. He splits his time between Shanghai and Beijing.

Mr. McGregor is also Chairman of APCO Worldwide’s Greater China region.

Carlos Monje, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation

Carlos Monje Jr. is Senior Advisor to Secretary Pete Buttigieg and is President Biden’s nominee to be Under Secretary of Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He previously led the domestic agency review process for the Biden-Harris presidential transition where he recruited, trained, and deployed more than 400 volunteers to do a top to bottom review of the federal government.

He served as Twitter’s Director of Policy and Philanthropy for the U.S. and Canada. Before joining the company Monje led the agency review for the Clinton-Kaine Transition Team. He previously served as Acting Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation. He oversaw the implementation of surface transportation programs, the TIGER discretionary grant program, and efforts to promote equity and economic development.

Monje was previously Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the White House Domestic Party Council where he helped oversee all aspects of policy, message, and event development across a wide spectrum of domestic policy issues, including disaster recovery, veterans affairs, and national services issues. He was also a founding staffer of the White House Office of Social Innovation, where he oversaw efforts to pass and implement the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

Monje also served as Deputy Policy Director at Obama for America and Special Assistant in President Obama’s D.C. Senate office where he handled homeland security and veteran affairs. Monje previously worked as a policy and press aide in the United States Senate and on a number of federal and statewide electoral campaigns.

A graduate of Harvard University, Monje is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He met his wife, Anne Filipic, while they both worked on the Obama campaign in 2008. Monje is the first of his family born in the United States. His family is from Argentina.

Mary Naylor, Executive Chairman, Americas for Aspire Lifestyles

Mary Naylor is a nationally recognized concierge industry pioneer with 25 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience. She is a seasoned, proven C-level executive with deep knowledge of building and running start-ups, a VC-funded company, and operating a subsidiary of $1B+ international company, with a passion for b2b and b2b2c service industries and expertise in both the revenue and service delivery sides of business. 

Mary is currently Executive Chairman, Americas for Aspire Lifestyles. Aspire is World’s largest b2b2c Concierge and Loyalty Solutions company with concierge call centers in 23 countries, 3000+ client programs, and 1500 employees. Clients include American Express, UBS, MasterCard, Citi, Luxury Card, JP Morgan Chase, Ritz Carlton, and Interval International.  Mary secured the largest account in the industry closing a $287m deal with top global credit card co. She serves as the primary executive liaison with Tier 1 clients driving growth, digital innovation, and strategic account development. Mary is a member of the ExCo and leads global initiatives for the company in the areas of enterprise account sales, marketing, and product development. 

Prior to Aspire Lifestyles, Mary pioneered an industry as the Founder of Capitol Concierge and then VIPdesk.  At VIPdesk she raised $14m in venture capital and led the highly successful exit strategy resulting in the sale of the company at two-times industry multiples and managed complex integration of the company with multi-billion dollar international organization.

Mary also serves as the Hospitality Sector Advisor to Healthe, Inc.  Healthe is the global leader in developing and deploying high-tech lighting solutions that mitigate COVID-19 and other viruses, protecting people safely while occupying indoor spaces.

Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation

Jane Oates is the President of WorkingNation, an LA-based non-profit media entity that tells the stories of solutions bridging the education and workforce worlds. Through film, journalism, and live events WorkingNation raises awareness of the changing world of work and helps individuals, businesses and communities address those changes. Before joining Working Nation, Oates worked at the Apollo Education Group, managing Corporate Social Responsibility and working on linking the universities with employers through thought leadership events.

Oates served as the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training at the US Department of Labor (DOL) under Secretary Hilda Solis. She partnered with cities and states to strengthen local economies during the Great Recession. She worked with industry leaders to create policies that would give immediate assistance to dislocated workers and struggling businesses and to also create long-term solutions.

Oates became a national leader in education and workforce programs during her ten years with Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP). Oates served as the Commissioner of the New Jersey Higher Education Commission under Governor Jon Corzine. Oates began her career as a teacher in the Boston and Philadelphia Public Schools. She went on to become the Director of Field Services at the Temple University Center for Research and Human Development, working with K-12 districts nationwide.

Oates sits on a number of non-profit boards, including NOCTI and NCCEP.

Kavita K. Patel, Physician and Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Dr. Kavita Patel is currently a primary care physician in Washington DC. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution where she concentrates on a number of efforts including the national and local COVID-19 response. Dr. Patel was previously a Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama and a Deputy Staff Director to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, where she focused on pandemic preparedness and health care reform. Her prior research in healthcare quality and community approaches to mental illness have earned national recognition and she has published numerous papers and book chapters on healthcare reform and health policy. She has testified before Congress several times and she is an NBC/MSNBC Medical Contributor.

Liz Sara, Chair, National Women's Business Council

Liz Sara has more than 30 years of experience in the DC high-tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader and angel investor. 

Since founding Best Marketing LLC in2001, she has consulted with more than 100 early stage and growth-stage tech companies on their go-to-market strategies, delivering increased revenue, market adoption and brand awareness.   

In 2018, she was appointed as Chair of the National Women’s Business Council, a federal agency that advocates for female founders. She is immediate past Board Chair of the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of MD.  She mentors startup CEOs at the leading incubators and accelerators in the Washington, DC area.  She is a frequent author and conference speaker on topics related to entrepreneurship and business.

Marty Walsh, US Secretary of Labor

Martin J. Walsh, a lifelong champion of working people and a proud product of the City of Boston, was the City’s 54th mayor. Mayor Walsh was sworn in to serve a second term on January 1, 2018.

Mayor Walsh’s vision was of a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston — a City with equality and opportunity for all, where a revolutionary history inspires creative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.

After taking office, Mayor Walsh was focused on strengthening Boston’s schools, adding hundreds of high-quality pre-kindergarten seats, funding extended learning time and advanced curriculum at more schools, and securing tuition-free community college for Boston Public Schools graduates.

The Mayor led Boston to the forefront of the global innovation economy, by attracting industry-leading private sector employers, upgrading the City’s digital infrastructure, and using technology to transform government services — from a parking meter payment app to a new City website.

At the same time, he created powerful tools for low-income workers, including a “learn and earn” job apprenticeship program and an Office of Financial Empowerment. He was the founding vice-chair of the Cities of Opportunity Task Force at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, elevating the national conversation on income inequality.

The Walsh Administration addressed the tremendous need for housing in the City with an ambitious plan, setting records for new affordable and middle-class homes. In addition, he built a state-of- the-art homeless shelter and put the City on a path to effectively ending chronic homelessness.

The Administration was been hailed by President Obama for expanding young people’s opportunities and breaking new ground in crime prevention and police-community relations.

Other milestones include the nation’s first municipal Office of Recovery Services to prevent and treat substance abuse; the City’s first Cultural Plan in a generation, to restore Boston’s identity as an arts leader; and, in a sign of strong fiscal management and economic policy, the City’s first perfect AAA bond ratings, unlocking unprecedented investments in parks, libraries, and public safety.

Finally, the Mayor invited the people of Boston to help build a blueprint for the City’s future in Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in half a century. Before taking office, Mayor Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he was a leader on job creation and worker protections; substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness; K-12 education; and civil rights. He played a key role defending Massachusetts’ pioneering stand on marriage equality.

Mayor Walsh also made his mark as a labor leader. After following his father into Laborers Local 223 in Boston, he rose to head the Building and Construction Trades Council from 2011 to 2013. He worked with business and community leaders to promote high-quality development, and he created a program called Building Pathways that has become a model for increasing diversity in the workplace and providing good career opportunities for women and people of color.

Born and raised in the neighborhood of Dorchester by immigrant parents, Mayor Walsh was driven to make sure Boston is a City where anyone can overcome their challenges and fulfill their dreams. As a child, Mayor Walsh survived a serious bout of Burkitt lymphoma, thanks to the extraordinary care he received at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. His recovery from alcoholism as a young adult led to his lifelong commitment to the prevention and treatment of addiction. And while working full-time as a legislator, he returned to school to earn a degree in Political Science at Boston College.

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