Born in India, and raised in Belize, Sayu Bhojwani is a proud New Yorker who served as the City’s first Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs. She founded and led South Asian Youth Action (1997), New American Leaders (2010) and Women’s Democracy Lab (2021). She now combines her real-life and professional experience to share perspectives through No. 1 Immigrant Daughter. For over three decades, she has activated change in nonprofit and government settings, speaking across the country and internationally, and writing on how immigrants and women of color can shape the world we want to see. She is the author of the 2018 book People Like Us and maintains the newsletter No. 1 Immigrant Daughter on Substack.
David Blight is the Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University and a leading expert on the life and writings of Frederick Douglass and on the Civil War in historical memory. His most recent book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (2018), won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History. His book Frederick Douglass’s Civil War (1989), and his editions of Douglass’s Narrative and W.E.B. Du Bois’ Souls of Black Folk are widely taught in college courses. He also authored American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era (2011). Blight has appeared in several PBS films about African American history and works extensively with museums and other public history projects. His Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, 1863–1915 (2001), won a half-dozen prizes, including four from the OAH.
Suzanne Nossel is Chief Executive Officer at PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. Prior to joining PEN America, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. She served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, leading US engagement in the UN and multilateral institutions on human rights issues, and in the Clinton Administration as Deputy to the US Ambassador for UN Management and Reform. Nossel coined the term “Smart Power,” which was the title of a 2004 article she published in Foreign Affairs Magazine and later became the theme of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure in office. She is a featured columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and has published op-eds in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as scholarly articles in Foreign Affairs, Dissent, and Democracy, among others. She has served senior roles in the private sector at Dow Jones and Bertelsmann. Nossel is a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
An advocate for free speech and free minds, psychologist Pamela Paresky is the creator of the project Habits of a Free Mind: Psychology for Democracy and The Good Life, a set of teachable practices for fostering the habits of curiosity, compassion, courage and calling –– habits necessary for contributing to and thriving in a liberal, pluralist democracy. She most recently was a visiting fellow at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University where her Habits of a Free Mind course focused on the ability to engage across lines of difference without feeling traumatized and without dehumanizing others. Paresky writes about various aspects of illiberalism, including censorship, campus culture, antisemitism, and the effect of tribal norms on friendship and society. She is also a senior scholar at the Network Contagion Research Institute where she and her colleagues research and write about antisemitism and other forms of extremism.
A Republican former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Trevor was general counsel to John McCain’s 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns and an adviser to the drafters of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. To many, he is perhaps best known for his recurring appearances on The Colbert Report as the lawyer for Stephen Colbert’s super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, during the 2012 election, a program that won a Peabody Award for excellence in reporting on money in politics.
The American Bar Association Journal has described Trevor as “hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money.” Trevor is the author of several books and manuals on lobbying regulation and disclosure, campaign finance and federal election law. He has provided testimony and written statements to Congress on federal election proposals, campaign finance regulation and, recently, the effects of the January 6th attack on our democracy. He has also taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University, and he has appeared widely in national broadcast and print media. During the 2020 election season, Trevor was named to the cross-partisan National Task Force on Election Crises.
Trevor is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.) and Harvard University (A.B.). He is a member of the DC Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Trevor founded CLC in 2002.
Christy Vines is the President and CEO of Ideos Institute. She is best known for her unique perspective on faith, society, and culture, and her ability to help people bridge differences and connect more authentically. In 2015, Christy left the field of religious conflict and extremism to focus on the advancement of the burgeoning field of empathic intelligence and to find answers to the disconnections, biases, and misperceptions that often underlie conflict in the first place. She now leads the organization’s research and its application to the fields of conflict transformation, social cohesion, communal resiliency, and servant leadership. Christy is a published writer, speaker, and the executive producer of the 2022 documentary film, “Dialogue Lab: America,” a moving take on the current state of division and polarization in the U.S.
Michael Waldman is president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to revitalize the nation’s systems of democracy and justice. He was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999 and is the author of The Second Amendment: A Biography and The Fight to Vote. Waldman was a member of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. A graduate of Columbia College and NYU School of Law, he comments widely in the media on law and policy.