David Nevins, Chairman of the Board
As one of the initial driving forces behind the Bridge Alliance and as chairman of the board, David Nevins brings business acumen, vision and a tireless this-must-and-can-be-done zeal to the burgeoning movement to bridge divides to transform the political process. As a business leader, Nevins excels at building bridges between people and organizations from the right, left and center for civilized conversation and then action.
He co-founded the Bridge Alliance because, as he says, “No matter how well managed and how well funded anyone organization is, significant political reform will not happen without an alliance to further collaborative interactions. Together we can and will raise the collective impact of all.”
He is a member of the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows, with a focus on the Aspen Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, he established and continues to work with The Nevins Democracy Leaders program at Penn State University. Nevins graduated with honors in economics from Penn State in 1969 and received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He continues as President of Nevins Real Estate Management.
Debilyn Molineaux, President and CEO
Debilyn Molineaux co-founded the Bridge Alliance to harness the exponentially growing field of organizations into a “game changing” movement that shifts the underlying dynamics of power, politics, and participation in our country. She works with the staff, board members and other leaders of Bridge Alliance members in advancing the common mission of all 80+ organizations. Debilyn brings a passion to her work that is contagious to all around her.
Hailing from a conservative, agricultural community, Debilyn started her career as a small business owner, working with community businesses to promote and grow their own operations through advertising and marketing. After engaging other women business leaders, Debilyn was inspired to become more active in the political process.
Her own personal experiences -- as a small business owner, a local candidate for office, and an elected president of a national organization -- have given her enormous insight into the challenges facing citizens who want to get involved and organizations that want to scale their impact.
In addition to Bridge Alliance, she co-founded Living Room Conversations and the National Conversation Project. Debilyn continues to bring her insight to entities seeking to grow their participation and efficacy. She serves as an advisor to many leaders and organizations.
Debilyn is an ontologically trained coach and is especially adept at guiding organizations in new ways to bring out hidden talents of volunteers and staff who become valuable assets.
Kristina Becvar, Chief Operating Officer
Kristina Becvar is a lifelong advocate who recently made the career pivot from operational and HR management to full-time student. She received her B.S. in Business Studies and is currently a M.S. student at UMass Amherst in the Data Analytics and Computation for Social Sciences program. Her primary research interests are international human rights, the role of combat veterans in society, and
the ways social and traditional media affect and reflect societal roles of communities as well as shape the ways militant/extremist groups to grow their power and recruit. In her rare downtime, she loves traveling, enjoying live music, and watching the Chicago Blackhawks.
Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson, Jr., Chief Program Officer
A third-generation educator, Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson is a spiritual entrepreneur, Senior Minister of Living Tree Church and adjunct faculty at Methodist Theological School of Ohio. Johnson formerly served as senior minister of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri, a predominately African-American intergenerational urban parachute church plant.
Rev. Dr. Johnson is respected for his leadership and strategies around social and racial justice issues. Recognized as a scholar-practitioner, Johnson authored Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community, and is a sought after thought-leader who empowers individuals and communities towards prophetic response—healing, justice and reconciliation. With some 19 years of professional ministry experience in Indiana, North Carolina, and Missouri, Johnson’s skills extend far beyond the pulpit. Trained in education and nonprofit management, he has served in volunteer and paid leadership positions for multiple nonprofit organizations. He counsels bishops, General Board agencies, annual conferences, and local churches across the country. Johnson in 2017 was the Vosburgh Visiting Professor of Ministry and Social Engagement at Drew University’s Theological School.
At a time when our nation is experiencing great upheaval on matters of race, policing, violence, ecclesial and communal fragmentation, Johnson continues to prepare prophetic leaders who promote healing, justice and transformation through his leadership of The Center for Social Empowerment -- a hub for theologically informed reflection, investigation, and education on social and racial justice issues.
Jeremy Garson, Legal Counsel and Chief of Staff
Jeremy Garson is an attorney who is licensed in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2014 and, prior to joining the Bridge Alliance, served as a labor / employment attorney. Jeremy has previously served as a constituent caseworker handling veterans' affairs and tax casework for a Democratic Congressman. He also worked on a Democratic presidential campaign. He is dedicated to pushing against the nation's "us vs. them" mentality and ensuring that progressives, conservatives, libertarians, and everybody in between have voices at the collective table. Jeremy is passionate about sports, and in particular Michigan Wolverines basketball and the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia 76ers.
Shakira Mills, Deputy Chief of Staff
Shakira "Shay" Mills is a recent Virginia Wesleyan University graduate with a B.A in Communication, Political Science and Women/Gender Studies. Shay developed a passion for activism during her undergraduate years and is now dedicated to using her love of writing to advocate for American minority groups. Her goal is to change the perspective surrounding minority issues, resulting in collaborative change amongst all political parties, social classes, ethnicities, religious beliefs, etc. When she is not fighting for human rights, Shay is either working on her goal of becoming a professional filmmaker or curled up with a good book.
Brian Clancy, Chief Civic Engagement Officer
Brian is Founder and CEO of Big Tent Nation. Among other career adventures he led the team that launched Fidelity.com and was responsible for systems planning and analysis at the world’s largest investment management organization. He also has a strong social entrepreneurship track record that includes co-founding the Center for Financial Inclusion. The Center has become a global thought leader in microfinance and has partners and funders that include the Gates Foundation, McKinsey, Harvard Business School and the World Bank. He also has experience in the rough and tumble world of city and state politics through his tenure as President of the Boston Public Library Foundation.
Morris Effron, Co-Founder, Citizen Connect
Mo is a relatively recent arrival to the field of civic renewal, stepping back from a long career in the private sector to focus his considerable energies and skills on healing our democracy. Mo brings a deep background in software and digital marketing to the field. With the leading technology publishers Ziff-Davis and International Data Group he’s started disk magazines and run Information Technology groups. The advent of the internet redirected Mo from tech infrastructure to the front lines of the business, reimagining and recreating the ways media companies serve their readers and advertisers. “It’s been a thrill to have been at the center of the two great technological revolutions of our lifetime: the PC and the internet.”
Now Mo is tackling an even bigger challenge: how to bring more Americans together to sustain healthy, productive self-governance. One pivot point, per the mission of Bridge Alliance, is to dramatically enhance the bridge between ordinary citizens and the organizations doing this work. That’s the reason for Citizen Connect, and that’s the reason Mo has made its success his mission. It may seem like a long way from the BA in Philosophy he got at Yale University, but actually, it’s just turning political theory into practice.
Jeanene Louden, Chief Volunteer Officer
Jeanene Louden has always been a team player. She was a three season letterman in high school, and as an adult played league soccer, softball, and volleyball. Her nonprofit team activity includes 25 years on an economic development board, five years on a health systems planning board, and eight years on an AYSO board.
Professionally, she began working outside the home at age eight, accompanying her mom to pick crops. The work ethic she developed in the fields and later in factories helped her earn her BS in Community Health. She has also worked as an emergency medical services planner, a special projects manager for a paramedic ambulance service, and a middle manager (health and safety risk management) in two multinational government contracting companies. When she hit "the glass ceiling," she formed her own contracting firm at age 37, which -- in keeping with her identity as a team player -- she named TEAM.
Michelle Dickson, Services Coordinator, Citizen Connect
My name is Michelle, and I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I attended Louisiana State University from 2015 to 2019. I majored in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and International Relations and have a minor in American history. At LSU, I was apart of Kappa Alpha Theta, Young American Federation, and College of Republicans. After graduating, I pursued a Master's degree in Legislative Affairs at George Washington University. While working on my Master's degree, I have worked for non-profits, senatorial and congressional campaigns, and campaign consulting.
Vince Lamb, Coffee Party USA Ambassador
Sangeeta Kurada, Healthy Self-Governance Intern
Sangeeta Kurada is a Masters in Public Health student at University of Texas Health School of Public Health. She is concentrating on Health Promotion and Education. Sangeeta received a Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2019. She has a focus on the impact of health service delivery systems and the integration of potential stakeholders virtually. Sangeeta is interested in using her background in biology and social media to conduct stakeholder research and improve relations domestically amongst communities of interest.
Sachi Bajaj, Healthy Self-Governance Intern
Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Sachi Bajaj is a rising Sophomore at the University of Southern California, double majoring in International Relations and Psychology. On-campus, she is involved with organizations such as Project RISHI, Trojan Bhangra, and Trojan Shelter. She is also an avid environmentalist and the founder of a global environmental and humanitarian organization, The Me2U Foundation. Her goal is to alter the way our world treats the planet, especially alongside other youth. Lastly, in her free time, she loves to play tennis, take dance classes, and try new foods.
Sophie Sperber, Healthy Self-Governance Intern
Sophie Sperber is a rising Junior at the University of Southern California. She is studying Journalism and Political Science. She was raised in Northbrook, Illinois. At USC, Sophie is involved in the Annenberg Media Center and The Daily Trojan, two of the school's news publications. She mainly works on campus news and features stories, both in writing and digital formats like radio or video. She has a special interest in politics, law and constitutionality, in specific regards to voting equality. In her free time, she enjoys reading, working out, or watching hockey games.
Kelly Ramirez, Healthy Self-Governance Intern
Kelly Ramirez is a graduate from the University of Kansas with a degree in Political Science and Spanish. She has spent the past year in Madrid Spain where she worked in a bilingual high school as a language assistant. She has returned to her new home of Houston Texas with a passion for politics, civic engagement, and social media marketing. She has experience working on political campaigns, grassroot organizations, and diversity and equity initiatives. She hopes to incorporate her passion for social media and creativity with her passion for politics. When she’s not working, she loves to cook, read, do yoga, and plan her next travel experience.
Lennon Wesley III, USC Dornsife Center Intern
Lennon Wesley III recently graduated from USC with a Bachelors in Business and Philosophy, Politics, and Law. He is now a Masters student at the USC Marshall School of Business studying Social Entrepreneurship. As an undergrad he was deeply involved in student government and civic engagement. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lennon is passionate about various causes including access to education, social justice, and food insecurity. In his personal time, Lennon is an avid sports fan, as well as loves binge watching his favorite shows and playing basketball.
Grace Ryan, Healthy Self-Governance Intern
Grace Ryan is in the class of 2024 in the college of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. Grace is pursuing a major in Classics with a minor in Law and Society and Applied Economics and Management. Having been able to study the origins and histories of democracies and republics through her courses, Grace is excited in promoting civic engagement and healthy self-governance.