Policy Council

Robert Balfanz
The Everyone Graduates Center
Johns Hopkins University

Melody Barnes
Melody Barnes Solutions
Vice Provost for Global Student Leadership Initiatives
Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University

John J. Dilulio Jr.
Frederic Fox Leadership Professor University of Pennsylvania

Sylvia Earle 
Aspen High Seas Initiative 
President and Chairman, Mission Blue 
The Sylvia Earle Alliance 
National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence 

William Galston
Senior Fellow, Governance Studies
Brookings Institute

Michael J. Gerson
Hastert Fellow at Wheaton College
Columnist, The Washington Post

Stephen Goldsmith
Daniel Paul Professor of Government
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

Robert D. Putnam
Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy
Harvard University

Timothy Shriver
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Special Olympics

Randal C. Teague
Legal Counsel

Senator Harris Wofford
Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
Assistant to President John F. Kennedy
Chair of America's Promise Alliance

In Memoriam
Amy Kass
James Q. Wilson


Gary R. Edson

Principal, Civic Enterprises
Gary Edson is Principal of Civic Enterprises. He is a White House veteran and recognized leader in global development. His career spans the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

In the George W. Bush White House, Edson served as Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy National Economic Advisor, and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs. He also was the President’s chief negotiator for the summits of G8, Latin American, EU, and Asia Pacific leaders.

Edson established the groundbreaking, multi-billion dollar Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty; and co-led the development of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment ever by any nation to combat a single disease. He also coordinated the response to financial crises in Brazil, Argentina and Turkey; launched initiatives on clean water and human trafficking; and, in the aftermath of 9/11, coordinated interagency efforts to choke off terrorist finance and, together with John Bridgeland, oversaw aid to New York. Previously in his government career, he was Chief of Staff and General Counsel to the US Trade Representative, and Special Assistant to the US Deputy Secretary of State.

Edson has held a number of executive positions in the non-profit sector, including having served as President of Conservation International, and CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, helping Haiti “build back better” after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

His private sector experience includes business turnarounds and private equity. Edson was Chairman of PAR Systems, Inc., a provider of intelligent robotic systems to the aerospace, life sciences and material handling industries. He is an affiliate partner at Lindsay Goldberg LLC, a private equity firm, and was Managing Director of Baker & Mckenzie Compliance Consulting LLC. He has held executive positions at the Albright Stonebridge Group and Equity Group Investments, Inc.

Edson currently is Senior Advisor at TOTAL Impact Capital, a merchant bank for impact investing, and is a board member of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a global partnership fighting women’s cancers.

Edson graduated with a B.A. from Stanford University, and has a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
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