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, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
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, Executive Director
Kristina Becvar's professional journey has been nothing short of transformative. From a background in legal operational and change management, she followed her curiosity to explore the world of data analytics and research methods, opening up new career paths for herself.
Returning to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she had previously earned her B.A. in Business Studies, Kristina pursued and successfully earned an M.S. in Data Analytics and Computation for Social Sciences. This two-year endeavor solidified her expertise in data analytics and research methods, preparing her for the challenges ahead.
Beyond her professional interests, Kristina is deeply engaged in nonviolence advocacy, particularly for those affected by war and conflict in conflict zones and international security. Her experiences as the spouse of a disabled combat veteran have contributed to her desire to bring about positive change in this field. During her M.S. pursuit, Kristina delved deep into her passions while serving as a project manager at the Human Security Lab, supervising research on topics like nuclear taboos, Ukrainian conscription law, and post-U.S. withdrawal civilian voices in Afghanistan.
Kristina remains eager to continue honing her skills and actively seeks opportunities to collaborate on future research endeavors. Her interests are diverse, spanning areas such as human security, combat veteran narratives, and conflict resolution on both domestic and international fronts.
Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson, Director of Partnerships and Programs
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.
Brian Clancy, Co-Founder & Director - Citizen Connect
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 & Director - 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, Volunteer Coordinator
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.
Lennon Wesley III, Associate Editor, The Fulcrum
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.
Willow Paul, Marketing & Communications Manager
Willow Paul is a dedicated advocate for fostering nonpartisan political dialogue and encouraging active political engagement. With a strong background in public deliberation and participatory democracy, she brings a wealth of expertise to uplift the healthy self-governance movement and spread awareness to the public.
Willow spent most of her academic journey at Colorado State University, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies, specializing in Political Communication, and later achieved her M.A. in Communication Studies, focusing on Deliberative Practice. Her thesis work delved into affective polarization, depolarization, and cross-party dialogue, cementing for her the importance of remaining politically nonpartisan in her endeavors.
Her previous work involved collaborating with non-governmental organizations, local government, and fellow practitioners to design, lead, and facilitate nonpartisan dialogic events both in her community and online. These experiences have deepened her dedication to fostering respectful, curious, and collaborative cross-party dialogue.
Willow Paul is on a mission to promote the Bridge Alliance’s efforts to transcend political divides and create a more engaged and united America.
Isaiah Escobar, Intern
Isaiah Escobar, a native of Camden, New Jersey, served honorably for four years in the Air Force. Following his time as a skilled F-15 Fighter Jet mechanic in Goldsboro, NC, Isaiah joined the JAG Corps as a paralegal in Okinawa, Japan. In this role, he contributed to military justice, assisting attorneys in upholding military discipline. As a political science student at Pomona College, Isaiah values the perspectives of his peers. He's acutely aware of the current polarizing political culture in America. However, Isaiah remains steadfast in his belief that America's best days are yet to come.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Isaiah has also made a meaningful impact outside the classroom. He founded a company called True College with a mission to help low-income students navigate the college application process. Isaiah recognizes that education is a powerful tool for building a strong and functional democracy, and he's committed to ensuring that opportunities for higher education are accessible to all. Through True College, he's working to level the playing field and empower disadvantaged students to pursue their dreams of higher education.