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

Brock Bierman
Managing/Senior Advisor
Civic Ancestry

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

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

Amy A. Kass
Senior Fellow
Hudson Institute

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

 About Us

Civic Enterprises is a public policy and strategy firm that works with corporations, nonprofits, foundations, universities and governments to develop innovative initiatives and public policies in the fields of education, national service, civic engagement, conservation, public health and more. We work with organizations that seek to challenge the status quo and grow their impact for the greater good. Working closely with clients to determine what they need to better engage with their stakeholders and serve their constituents, we specialize in research and policy development, strategy and coalition building, state and federal policy analysis, and strategic communications.


 Staff Members

John Bridgeland

President & CEO

John Bridgeland is President & CEO of Civic Enterprises, Co-Chair of The Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds, Co-Convenor of GradNation to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020, and Vice Chairman of Malaria No More, a nonprofit working to end malaria deaths in Africa by the end of 2015. Previously, Bridgeland was appointed by President Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions. He also served as Director of theWhite House Domestic Policy Council, Assistant to the President of the United States, and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps under President George W. Bush. He is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law and has given commencement addresses at the College of William & Mary, Johns Hopkins University, Saint Anselm College, Hamline University and Ripon College. In addition, he was named a Non-ProfitExecutive of the Year in 2009 for his work in developing the Serve America Act that was signed into law.  


For a full bio click here.


kathleen mcmahon

chief of staff

Kathleen McMahon is the Chief of Staff at Civic Enterprises, where she manages the project portfolio, operations, and staff. She brings 14 years experience in the nonprofit sector where she has worked on issues related to dropout prevention and recovery, civic engagement, and college access. Prior to joining Civic, Kathleen most recently served as the Deputy Director of Capital Partners for Education, a mentoring and college preparation organization for low-income DC youth where she led the organization’s fundraising and communications efforts during an unprecedented period of growth. She previously worked for the Points of Light Foundation (now the Points of Light Institute) and later for Work, Achievement, Values & Education (WAVE), Inc. - a national dropout prevention and recovery organization. She also spent a year in Bangkok, Thailand teaching sixth grade English. Kathleen has been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area since 2005, where she co-founded the DC Volunteer Council. She earned her M.S. in NGO/Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. in Public Policy and French from Syracuse University (Phi Beta Kappa)


jim capretta

principal

James C. Capretta is Principal of Civic Enterprises, LLC. Mr. Capretta is also a Fellow in the Economics and Ethics Program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an Adjunct Fellow with the Global Aging Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and an Adjunct Fellow with Hudson Institute. Mr. Capretta served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University in 2006 and was a Visiting Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution in 2005-2006. From January 2001 to May 2004, Mr. Capretta served as the Bush Administration's top budget official for health care, Social Security and pensions, education, and labor policy. He was the lead official in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for all aspects of Medicare and Medicaid reform policy development and implementation as well as for the development of the President's other important domestic policy initiatives in education and labor. From June 2004 to August 2006, Mr. Capretta was a Managing Director of Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates, where he performed a wide range of consulting and advocacy services for clients. Prior to joining the White House in 2001, Mr. Capretta served for nearly a decade as a Senior Policy Analyst on the Republican Staff for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), handling health care and Social Security issues, and as a Professional Staff Member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health. Mr. Capretta began his career as a budget examiner at OMB from 1987 to 1990 after graduating with an MA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1985, receiving a BA in Government.


jennifer depaoli

senior education advisor 

Jennifer DePaoli is the Senior Education Advisor at Civic Enterprises.  Prior to joining Civic Enterprises, Jennifer served as an education policy researcher at Policy Matters Ohio, a state policy think tank, where she worked on state K-12 education policy analysis.  In this role, she authored Misleading Measurements, a report on highly rated urban public schools in Ohio and co-authored Avoiding Accountability, a report on charter school closure law in Ohio.  Jennifer also brings with her nearly a decade of experience teaching at the university and elementary/middle school levels.  She began her career in education as a 7th grade teacher at Leesville Road Middle School in Raleigh, NC, then later as a 5th grade teacher at C.O. Harrison Elementary School in Cincinnati, OH.  She most recently taught courses in educational foundations to pre-service teachers at the University of Akron and Ohio State University.  Jennifer earned her Ph.D in Education from Ohio State University, where she focused on state- and district-level K-12 education policy.  She also holds a Master's in Education and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton.


erin ingram 

policy advisor

Erin Ingram is a Policy Advisor at Civic Enterprises. Prior to joining Civic Enterprises, Erin served as an associate at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations for the Scaling What Works initiative, which worked to expand the number of grantmakers and public sector funders seeking to grow the impact of high performing nonprofits. In this role, she led communications and outreach efforts, assisted in the research and writing of publications, and the production of conferences and other learning opportunities that brought together innovative grantmakers from around the country. She has also helped to found a nonprofit providing education and healthcare to at-risk youth living in the slums of Nairobi, taught English to business professionals in Madrid, and served with City Year as a Senior Corps Member in a public school on the south side of Chicago. Erin earned her M.A. in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh, and holds a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster.


hina samnani

office and financial assistant

Hina Samnani is the Office and Financial Assistant at Civic Enterprises. Prior to joining Civic Enterprises, Hina worked as a Metropolitan Policy intern for The Brookings Institution. She is an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut, with degrees in finance and political science. During her time at UConn, she was involved in many volunteer and internship opportunities, including working as a Research Assistant for The Human Rights Institute and working on a grassroots education reform campaign in Brooklyn, NY.




Matthew Atwell

Research Associate

Matt Atwell is a Research Associate at Civic Enterprises. Matt graduated from Saint Joseph's University cum laude with degrees in Political Science and Economics. During his time at SJU, Matt studied abroad in Belgium where he interned in the European Parliament for Member of the European Parliament, Marian-Jean Marinescu of Romania. Matt also graduated with departmental honors in political science after spending his senior year researching and writing a thesis on party polarization in United States politics. While at school, Matt participated in many service opportunities in various communities across the country.


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Office: (202) 898-0310