Leadership Council

The Opportunity Nation Leadership Council is a network of influential Americans leading the conversation about how to revitalize the American Dream and raise awareness about the growing opportunity gap in our country.  

Leadership Council Chair: Robert Denson – President, Des Moines Area Community College


A. Barry Rand – CEO, AARP

Andrea Levere – President, Corporation for Enterprise Development

Angela Glover Blackwell – Founder and CEO, PolicyLink

Anne Kress – President, Monroe Community College

Anthony Marx – President and CEO, New York Public Library

Arianna Huffington – President and Editor-in-Chief, AOL Huffington Post Media Group

Artur Davis – Attorney; Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives (2003 – 2011)

Bobbi Silten – Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility, Gap Inc.; President, Gap Foundation

Brian Gallagher – President and CEO, United Way Worldwide

Charles Kolb – President, The French-American Foundation

Christopher Graves – Global CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

Dan Carroll – Former Partner, TPG Capital

Dennis Van Roekel – President, National Education Association

Dr. Alicia Munnell – Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management; Director, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Dr. Curtis L. Ivery – Chancellor, Wayne County Community College District

Dr. Diana Natalicio – President, The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Eduardo Padrón – President, Miami Dade College

Dr. Eugene J. Cornacchia – President, Saint Peter’s College

Dr. Fareed Zakaria – Editor-At-Large, TIME; Host of CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria

Dr. Harry Williams – President, Delaware State University

Dr. Isabel Sawhill – Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; Co-Director, Center on Children and Families and the Budgeting for National Priorities Project, Brookings Institution

Dr. Jill Wakefield – Chancellor, Seattle Community Colleges

Dr. Judith Rodin – President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Kathy Krendl – President, Otterbein University

Dr. Kenneth Peacock – Chancellor, Appalachian State University

Dr. Mil Duncan – Research Director, AGree

Dr. Paula Johnson – MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rick Warren – Pastor, Saddleback Church

Dr. Robert Ross – President and CEO, The California Endowment

Dr. Ronald Ferguson – Senior Lecturer in Education and Public Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Kennedy School

Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter – Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Author

Dr. Scott Cowen – President, Tulane University

Dr. Willarda V. Edwards – MD, MBA, Managing Partner and Internist at Edwards & Stephens; 110th President, National Medical Association

Dr. Xavier de Souza Briggs – Associate Professor of Sociology and Planning, MIT Department of Urban Studies & Planning; Former Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, President Barack Obama; Former Senior Policy Official at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, President Bill Clinton

Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B. – President, Saint Anselm College

George Nethercutt – Founder and Chairman of the Nethercutt Foundation; Former Member of U.S. House of Representatives (1995 – 2010)

Howard H. Stevenson – Sarofim-Rock Baker Foundation Professor, Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing and Chair of the Harvard Business Publishing Company Board, Harvard Business School

Hubie Jones – Senior Advisor and Social Justice Entrepreneur in Residence, City Year, Inc.

Hugh Price – Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; Former John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor, The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Former President and CEO, National Urban League

Irv Katz – President and CEO, National Human Services Assembly

J. Barry Griswell – Former CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines; Former Chairman and CEO, Principal Financial Group

Jacob Harold – President and CEO, Guidestar

James Catanzaro – President, Chattanooga State Community College 

James Gutierrez – Founder and Former Chairman and CEO, Progreso Financiero

Jim Wallis – President and CEO, Sojourners 

Jo Ann Jenkins – Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, AARP Foundation

John Coatsworth – Provost and Professor of International and Public Affairs and History, Columbia University

Jon Schnur – Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, America Achieves

Jonathan Lavine – Managing Director, Sankaty Advisors, LLC/Bain Capital, LLC

Jordin Sparks – Musician, Actress, Philanthropist

Joshua Bekenstein – Managing Director, Bain Capital, LLC

Judy Vredenburgh – President and CEO, Girls Inc.

Kat Graham – Actress on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, Singer

Kimberly Kelleher – Board of Directors, Say Media; Former President, Say Media

Lisa Nicole Wilkerson – Broadway Actress

Luis Ubiñas – Former President, Ford Foundation

Major General Albert Zapanta (Ret.) – President and CEO, U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce

Marguerite W. Kondracke – Senior Advisor, America’s Promise Alliance

Margy Waller – Senior Fellow, Topos Partnership; Former White House Senior Advisor on Working Families, President Bill Clinton

Mark Rodgers – Principal, The Clapham Group; Managing Director, Wedgwood Circle

Mark Wildman – Vice President, Group Publisher of The Parenting Group

Max Stier – President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service

Meredith DeWitt – Principal, Meredith J. DeWitt Consulting

Michael E. Porter – Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

Michael J. Gerson – Journalist, Washington Post; Former Chief Speechwriter, Senior Advisor and Member of the White House Iraq Group, President George W. Bush

Michael Lynton – CEO, Sony Entertainment, Chairman; CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Michael Miles – Advisory Director, Berkshire Partners; Former President and COO, Staples, Inc.

Michael R. Eisenson – Co-Founder, Managing Director and CEO, Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC

Michelle Nunn – Currently running for the U.S. Senate to represent the State of Georgia; Former CEO, Points of Light

Mickey Edwards – Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives (1977 – 1993)

Naila Bolus – President and CEO, Jumpstart

Neera Tanden – President, Center for American Progress

Nick Cannon – Actor, Comedian, Musician, Writer and Executive Producer

Noel Castellanos – CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Patrick McCarthy – President and CEO, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Paul Grogan – President and CEO, The Boston Foundation

Rick Stengel – Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, President Barack Obama; Former Managing Editor, TIME

Robert Atchinson – Co-Founder, Adage Capital Management, L.P.

Robert Reich – Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Roger Brown – President, Berklee College of Music

Romanita Hairston – Vice President, U.S. Programs, World Vision

Ron Haskins – Co-Director, Brookings Center on Children and Families and Budgeting for National Priorities Project; Former White House Senior Advisor for Welfare Policy, President George W. Bush

Russell Simmons – CEO, RUSH Communications

Salam Al-Marayati – Executive Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council

Stanley Litow – Vice President, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs; President, IBM International Foundation

Stuart Thorn – President and CEO, Southwire

The Honorable Deval L. Patrick – Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Honorable Harris Wofford – Former U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

The Honorable John Bridgeland – CEO, Civic Enterprises; Former Assistant to the President and Director of White House Domestic Policy Council and USA Freedom Council, President George W. Bush

The Honorable John J. Dilulio, Jr. – Frederic Fox Leadership Professor, University of Pennsylvania; Faculty Director & Co-Chair of the Director’s Advisory Group, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program; Former Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, President George W. Bush

The Honorable Melody Barnes – CEO, Melody Barnes Solutions, LLC; Former Assistant to the President and Director of White House Domestic Policy Council, President Barack Obama

The Honorable Michael Bloomberg (Co-Chair) – 108th Mayor, New York City

The Honorable Ted Strickland – Former Governor of Ohio

The Honorable Tony Hall – Executive Director, The Alliance to End Hunger; Former U.S. Ambassador, United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture; Former U.S. Congressman, Ohio

The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones – President, Union Theological Seminary

The Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr. – President, Esperanza

Tiffany Dufu – Chief Leadership Officer, Levo League; Former President, The White House Project

Wayne Ford – Iowa State Representative, 65th District

will.i.am – Musician/Producer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Woody Hunt – Chairman and CEO, Hunt Companies, Inc.

Stay Informed