Team / Advisory Council

Spotlight is managed in partnership with Freedman Consulting, LLC and The Hatcher Group. Its poverty journalism project was selected to be one of the 2019 participants in the Media Transformation Challenge at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center. For general and/or media inquiries, please contact Ashley Flowers at To submit a commentary, please contact Bill Nichols at

Spotlight Advisory Council Members

Spotlight is advised by a bi-partisan group of stakeholders from the research, advocacy, philanthropy, policymaking and journalism communities, including:

  • Melissa Boteach, National Women’s Law Center
  • Camille Busette, The Brookings Institution
  • John Carr, Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Georgetown University
  • Garnesha Crawford, Oath
  • Sean Gibbons, Communications Network
  • Tamar Jacoby, Opportunity America
  • Fran Baylor, Prosperity Now
  • Angela Rachidi, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mark Rodgers, The Clapham Group
  • David Rousseau, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Doug Steiger, Concordis: Strategy and Analytics

Former Advisory Council Members

In 2007, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity launched with a focus on asking presidential candidates what they would do about reducing poverty and promoting opportunity. This effort was supported by a bipartisan Advisory Council of respected and distinguished national figures that endorsed Spotlight’s call for a substantive debate on poverty. We thank those original Advisory Council members for their support in establishing Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity. Former Advisory Council members include:

Rebecca M. Blank:
Under Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Department of Commerce; former Robert S. Kerr senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and former co-director of the National Poverty Center and dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Geoffrey Canada:
Author and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

William S. Cohen:
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Cohen Group and former Secretary of Defense and Senator

Michael Gerson:
Op-ed Columnist, The Washington Post, and former top Policy Aide and Speechwriter to President George W. Bush

Mark Greenberg:
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; former Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; and Director, Georgetown University Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy

Ron Haskins:
Senior Scholar and Co-director, Center on Children and Families, the Brookings Institution, former Staff Director, Subcommittee on Human Resources, House Ways and Means Committee and former Special Advisor to the President

Nancy L. Johnson:
Senior Public Policy Advisor, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC and former Member of Congress

Otis Johnson:
Former Mayor of Savannah, Georgia

Jack Kemp (1935-2009):
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Representative, Vice Presidential Candidate, and Founding Chairman of Kemp Partners

George Mitchell:
Partner, DLA Piper, Chairman of the Global Board and Co-Chair of the Government Controversies Practice Group and former U. S. Senator

Hilary Pennington:
Vice President, Education, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation

Jeanne Shaheen:
U.S. Senator and former Governor of New Hampshire

E. Clay Shaw Jr.:
Former Member of Congress

Wellington E. Webb:
Founder, Webb Group International, and Managing Director, Webb Development Group and former Mayor of Denver, Colorado

Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.