Civic Enterprises is a social enterprise 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.
President & CEO
John Bridgeland is Founder & CEO of Civic, Vice Chair of Service Year Alliance 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 the White 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-Profit Executive of the Year in 2009 for his work in developing the Serve America Act that was signed into law.
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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)
gary r. edson
Gary Edson is Principal of Civic Enterprises. He is a White House veteran, non-profit executive, and recognized leader in global development. Condoleezza Rice has called him “one of the best ‘policy engineers’” she has ever known.
As Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor to President George W. Bush, Edson established the groundbreaking Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty; co-led the development of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; co-chaired the Task Force on New York Economic Revitalization after 9/11; and helped launch Volunteers for Prosperity. Earlier in his career, he served as General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative.
In the non-profit sector, Edson has served as CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, helping Haiti “build back better” after the devastating 2010 earthquake, and President of Conservation International.
He is Senior Advisor at TOTAL Impact Capital, a merchant bank for impact investment, and an affiliate partner at Lindsay Goldberg LLC, a private equity firm. He was previously Chairman of PAR Systems, Inc, a provider of intelligent robotic systems, and Managing Director at the Albright Stonebridge Group.
An expert in global health, Edson is a board member of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a global partnership fighting women’s cancers, and helped launch Malaria No More.
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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.
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 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.
research and financial associate
Hina Samnani is the Research and Financial Associate 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.
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.
Ocean Conservation Research Fellow
Prior to interning with Civic Enterprises and attending her first year of college at Duke University, Sarah held leadership roles in Maui County and Hawaii State Student Council organizations, mentored middle and elementary school students in STEM education,
educated Molokai community members on environmental issues, presented at the Hawaii Conservation Conference on research, and led various projects regarding the sustainability and conservation of natural resources on her home island of Molokai, Hawaii. Sarah’s
current research utilizes Geographic Information Systems to analyze the socioeconomic and ecological impact Red Mangrove is having along the southern coast of Molokai and its imminent threat to the fringing reef. This original research earned her 1st
place in the world in the category of Earth and Environmental Science at the 2015 Intel International Science and
Engineering Fair. Her work caught the attention of Esri CEO, Jack Dangermond, who asked Sarah to be a plenary speaker before 17,000 geospatial professionals and software engineers at the 2015 Esri International User Conference in California. Growing up on
the island of Molokai, Sarah has been committed to protecting Hawaii’s unique natural and cultural resources that has led her on a path to majoring in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University.
Lily Nalulani Jenkins
Ocean Conservation Research Fellow
Lily Nalulani Jenkins is an Ocean Conservation Research Fellow at Civic Enterprises. Currently a senior attending Molokai High School in Hawaii, Lily has been zealous about conservation work since second grade. She has explored this passion as a previous intern with the National Park Service, Haleakala as well as with Maui Economic Development Board and Nene O Molokai. Lily has mentored middle school and high school students in leadership and STEM career development though organizations such as Rotary, National Park Service, Hawaii State Student Council, and Robotics. Notable achievements include being a two-time Intel International Science and Engineering Fair grand award winner placing 1st in the world in the category of Earth and Environmental Sciences for her research on the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of Red Mangrove along the south shore of Molokai. Additionally, Lily was a plenary speaker at the 2015 Esri User Conference in California. Lily plans to pursue a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Geographic Information Science and Environmental Science, with a concentration in marine ecosystems.
Wynne Tidwell is a summer intern at Civic Enterprises. Wynne is a rising senior and the College of William & Mary studying Government and Geology. She is an active member of the W&M community and has held leadership positions in her student organizations and campaigned in local elections. After spending last summer studying abroad in Prague and learning about the Czech political system and atmosphere, Wynne is excited to further explore public policy here at Civic Enterprises.