Featured Speakers

Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Before joining Roosevelt, Rhiana was the policy director for New Consensus, charged with developing and promoting the Green New Deal. Previously she served as the policy director for Abdul El-Sayed’s 2018 Michigan gubernatorial campaign. A 2013 Rhodes Scholar, Rhiana has also worked as the policy analyst for the Detroit Health Department, was a Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow of Women and Public Policy at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and served on the policy team for former First Lady Michelle Obama. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 2011 with majors in African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

Brandon Hurlbut is a leader on climate policy, finance, technology, advocacy, law, politics, and media. He served in the Obama Administration as US Department of Energy Chief of Staff and in the White House as the president's liaison to the energy and environment cabinet agencies. Brandon provided leadership and counsel to the White House and Cabinet secretaries during high profile initiatives and challenges including deployment of $90 billion in clean energy investments under the Obama Recovery Act, the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, the Gulf oil spill, and Hurricane Sandy. At the DOE, Brandon served on the investment committee for its $38 billion clean energy fund. After public service, he co-founded Boundary Stone Partners, a government affairs firm, and he is a Senior Advisor to NGP Energy Technology Partners III.

Lenore Palladino is assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics and a research associate at the UMass Amherst Political Economy Research Institute, as well as a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Palladino’s research centers on corporate power, stakeholder corporations, shareholder primacy, and the relationship between corporate governance and the labor market. She has also written on financial transaction taxes, employee ownership, and the rise of fintech. She has published in Politics & Society, the International Review of Applied Economics, the Yale Journal of Regulation, and Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law, as well as the Financial Times and State Tax Notes. She frequently works with policymakers, media, and advocates on corporate and financial policy.

John Washington is a dedicated champion of social and economic justice who currently serves on the board of the Western New York Peace Center and founded its Community Economic Empowerment Task Force. Since 2011, when he found his calling in the Occupy Movement, he has worked diligently on an myriad of different revolutionary projects organizing local and national events. Since becoming an activist he has written legislation on Drone Regulation, Marijuana Decriminalization, and Economic Development. Most recently he contributed to the effort to Ban Fracking in Erie County. In 2012 he was awarded with the Coalition For Economic Justice Future of Justice Award.