2018 Speakers

2018 Keynote Speaker

Kristen Clarke

Kristen Clarke, president & executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law(Lawyers’ Committee), leads one of the country’s most important national civil rights organizations in the pursuit of equal justice for all.  The Lawyers’ Committee’s seeks to promote fair housing and community development, economic justice, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, judicial diversity and more.

Throughout her career, Clarke has focused on work that seeks to strengthen our democracy by combating discrimination faced by African Americans and other marginalized communities.  Clarke formerly served as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she led broad civil rights enforcement on matters including criminal justice issues, education and housing discrimination, fair lending, barriers to reentry, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, gender inequality, disability rights, reproductive access and LGBT issues. Under her leadership, the Bureau secured landmark agreements with banks to address unlawful redlining, employers to address barriers to reentry for people with criminal backgrounds, police departments on reforms to policies and practices, major retailers on racial profiling of consumers, and one of the country’s largest school districts concerning issues relating to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Clarke speaks and writes regularly on issues concerning race, law and justice.  She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Democracy Now, Fox News, C-Span’s Washington Journal, TV One, and Yahoo News, the world’s second largest news site. She has also written numerous articles and books including Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership (co-edited with Dr. Manning Marable).

2018 Alumni Program Keynote Speaker

Richard ParkerRichard Parker is Lecturer in Public Policy and Senior Fellow of the Shorenstein Center. An Oxford-trained economist, his career before coming to the Kennedy School in 1993 included journalism (he cofounded the magazine Mother Jones as well as Investigative Reporters & Editors, and chairs the editorial board of The Nation); philanthropy (as executive director of two foundations he donated more than $40 million to social-change groups); social entrepreneurship (he grew environmental group Greenpeace from 2,000 to 600,000 supporters, helped launch People for the American Way, and raised over $250 million for some 60 non-profits), and political consulting (advising, among others, Senators Kennedy, Glenn, Cranston, and McGovern). From 2009 to 2011 he was an economic advisor to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

His books include The Myth of the Middle Class, an early study of widening U.S. income and wealth distribution and Mixed Signals: The Future of Global Television, a critical assessment of the spread of satellite-based news and its political impacts. His intellectual biography, John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics, which traces the history of 20th century economic theory and policy through the career of Harvard’s most famous economist, was described by William F. Buckley as “the best biography of the century”, by Sean Wilentz as “the best progressive history I’ve read in 15 years”, and by Keynes’ biographer Robert Skidelsky as “an unparalleled achievement.”

His academic articles appear in numerous academic anthologies and journals and he writes regularly for magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, Nation, Harper’s, Le Monde, Atlantic Monthly, and International Economy, among others.

He received the Kennedy School’s Carballo award for outstanding teaching in 2011 and ALANA’s Teacher of the Year award in 2007 from the School’s students of color.

Big Ideas in Public Service

Big Public Service Ideas peakers give TEDTalk-style presentations on how their innovative public service models are creating impact and empowering communities.

Joseph BarrettoJoseph Barretto, Principal, Barretto Consulting (Moderator)

Joseph J. Barretto is a management strategist with 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. His expertise includes organizational and fundraising strategy and leadership development, with a focus on building the capacity and ensuring the sustainability of organizations to maximize their impact. He also serves on the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard College. 

Joseph holds a BA from Harvard College and an MPA degree from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.



Richard KelleyRichard Kelley, Senior Associate, DC Affordable Law Firm

Richard Kelley joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in September 2016. He came to DCALF after a ten year career in education, teaching high school and running after-school and out-of-school time programming for low-income youth.  Prior to DCALF, Richard worked at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel reviewing and mediating federal employment law complaints and at the National Juvenile Defender Center working on juvenile justice reform efforts in Maryland.  At DCALF, Richard represents clients primarily in Family Law, Employment and Probate matters.

Richard earned his A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and his J.D. cum laude and LL.M. in International Business and Economic Law from Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as a Student Attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic.  Richard was a member of the Georgetown Law ProBono Board and completed over 175 hours of pro bono service while at law school, which included internships at the Children’s Law Center, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel as well as work with the D.C. Youth Court.

BerylBeryl C.D. Lipton, Projects Editor and Senior Reporter at MuckRock

Beryl C.D. Lipton, a 2010 History and Literature of America graduate, is Projects Editor and Senior Reporter at MuckRock, a collaborative news site that helps anybody file, track, and share public records requests. Responsible for the development of staff, user, and partnership projects, her work focuses on the freedom of information and the facilitation of collaboration to consider and discuss the range of American policies and experience while helping others to do the same.



sarah lockridge-steckelSarah Lockridge-Steckel, CEO of The Collective

Sarah Lockridge-Steckel is the CEO and Founder of The Collective in Memphis, Tennessee. The Collective is creating clear pathways to careers, for the over 45,000 youth out of school and work in Memphis. The vision of The Collective is that every young adult has the power to live their best life and the tools to make that a reality. She believes that we fix a broken system by investing directly in the visions and ideas of our young adults. Prior to launching The Collective, Sarah helped design the Memphis Music Initiative (MMI), a citywide $20M youth initiative to increase access to music education. She worked in strategy for Youth Villages and as a consultant to numerous national nonprofits, at The Bridgespan Group. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Harvard University, where she was President of the Black Students Association and Co-Director of the Franklin I-O Summer Program. She also received the Women’s Leadership Award. She is Harvard Class of 2009, and in May 2016, she received her MBA from the Yale School of Management, with a focus on nonprofit management and urban poverty. She grew up in Detroit, MI. Learn more about The Collective at changeiscollective.org. 

Amanda NguyenAmanda Nguyen, Founder and CEO of Rise

Amanda Nguyen is the CEO and Founder of Rise. She penned her own civil rights into existence and unanimously passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights after having to navigate the broken justice system after her own rape. She has written and passed 12 total laws protecting survivors. Her federal law was the 21st bill in modern US history to pass unanimously. Amanda is a Forbes Under 30, Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinker, Marie Claire’s Young Woman of the Year, Top 100 Asians and Tempest's #1 Woman of Color Trailblazer. She was a headline speaker at the Women’s March on Washington, Clinton Global Initiative, Obama Summit, United Nations Foundation and won TED Talk’s 2016 and 2017 fellowship. Previously, Amanda served at NASA and as President Obama’s Deputy White House Liaison to the State Department. She is Harvard Class of 2013. 

WaelWael Wahby, Co-Founder of Patient Doctor New Era, Lecturer of Internal Medicine at the University of Cairo


Wael Wahby is an Egyptian Lecturer of Internal Medicine and Nephrology in the Faculty of Medicine, leader of the Nephrology Department’s Quality Improvement Team, a Quality Improvement Trainer in the Faculty Leadership Development Center of Cairo University, a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (Mason Fellow) candidate, and Social Innovation and Change Initiative Cheng Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His passion is to deploy underutilized resources to better care for underserved medical patients. This drive led him to co-found PDNE (Patient Doctor New Era): the first student-run volunteer based healthcare quality improvement initiative in Egypt. Since its founding, PDNE has recruited more than 4,000 volunteers and served more than 36,000 patients by tapping underutilized interns and medical students. Wael received his MD, Masters of Sciences and pursued a Doctoral degree of Internal Medicine in Cairo University. He is a Certified International Professional Trainer (CIPT).

Why Work in the Public Sector? (Panel)

During this panel, alumni share their journeys navigating the public interest sector. Each panelist brings their unique perspective and offers advice to current students and alumni on how they got their dream public service job.

Dustin Tingley Dustin Tingley, Professor of Government, Harvard University; Member, FAS Standing Committee on Public Service


Dustin Tingley is Professor of Government in the Government Department at Harvard University. He received a PhD in Politics from Princeton in 2010 and BA from the University of Rochester in 2001. His research interests include international relations, international political economy, statistical methodology, and experimental approaches to political science.  His book on American foreign policy, Sailing the Water’s Edge, was published in fall 2015, and was awarded the Gladys M. Kammerer Award for the best book published in the field of U.S. national policy. Recent projects include attitudes towards global climate technologies and policies, and the intersection of causal inference and machine learning methods for the social sciences. Professor Tingley also serves on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Standing Committee on Public Service. 


katie hahnKatie Hahn, Community School Director, Renewal School in Brooklyn

Katie Hahn is a Community School Director at a public Renewal School in Brooklyn, New York. In this role, she leads a team of ten staff members to implement holistic student/family supports and school-improvement initiatives in partnership with school administrators and city agencies. Katie began working in public service as an undergraduate at Harvard University, where she volunteered with the Phillips Brooks House Association as a program director and student officer. After graduating with an A.B. in Social Studies, Katie returned home to New York City and began working with City Year New York. She obtained an LMSW from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in 2015. Later that year, Katie became a Community School Director as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first round of community school implementation, helping to lay the groundwork for the country’s largest community schools initiative.