National Priorities Project
nominated for 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
Dennis P. Bidwell is the principal of Bidwell Advisors, a Massachusetts-based firm providing real estate consulting and fundraising services to non-profit organizations and private real estate owners. The firm specializes in charitable gifts of real estate. Prior to forming Bidwell Advisors in 2001, Dennis was national land protection director at American Farmland Trust. Previously, he worked in Boston as vice president of Leggat McCall Advisors, a real estate consulting and appraisal firm. He served as development officer at National Trust for Historic Preservation, and as program officer at Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Dennis earned his Masters in Business Administration from Boston University (through the Public and Nonprofit Management Program), and his Masters in Education from Harvard University. Dennis has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, and has assumed leadership roles in various political campaigns.
Doug Hall is the Director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a network of state-based organizations working to improve the well-being of working families. Before joining the Economic Policy Institute in 2009, Doug served as Director of Operations and Research for Connecticut Voices for Children. His areas of expertise include child poverty, state economic development policy, and tax incidence. Doug has written and co-authored numerous reports, including most recently reports on the minimum wage, paid sick days, and income inequality at the state level. Doug holds a Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Ontario.
Bill Breitbart is the Director of Housing for Central and Western Massachusetts for the Massachusetts Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), for which he provides technical assistance and pre-developmental funding to affordable housing organizations. He has spent most of his career as an attorney specializing in affordable housing. Bill served on the NPP board as Clerk 1993-1996 and as Treasurer 1997-1999.
Jen is currently the Issues Campaign Director for the Working Families Organization. Building off the successful model of the Working Families Party in NY and CT, Working Families aims to build, support, and coordinate effective and powerful state-level Independent Political Organizations committed to making our political process work for working class, middle class, and poor people so that we can achieve a society that is fair and sustainable and lives up to the full promise of democracy. Jen leads campaign planning and support for Working Families Organization’s local and state issue campaign work. Prior to that, Jen was the Minimum Wage Campaign Coordinator at the National Employment Law Project where she supported campaigns to raise the minimum wage at the local, state and federal levels. For 15 years, Jen worked in the national office of ACORN, including ten years as the director of ACORN’s Living Wage Resource Center, which served as a clearinghouse for the national living wage movement and provided direct organizing support for the campaigns driving the effort.
Laura Berry is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. She began her career as a chemical engineer prior to a 17-year career on Wall Street in socially-responsible investing that included handling accounts for religious orders. After leaving Wall Street, she served as the director of the New London Development Corporation’s Community Development Initiative. At the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven she served as Vice President for Development and, later, Senior Vice President for Philanthropic Services. Laura has a B.S. from Michigan Technology University and an M.S. from the University of Michigan. She obtained a Certified Financial Planner designation from Quinnipiac University.
Savita Farooqui is the Founder and President of SymSoft Solutions (SymSoft), a Sacramento-based web development and systems integration company. SymSoft specializes in creating software solutions for government agencies and non-profit organizations. Under Savita’s direction SymSoft has delivered popular, award-winning applications that have been recognized by the White House, the US Department of Labor and the Center for Digital Government. Savita is passionate about open data and has been recognized as a “Champion of Change” by the Executive Office of the President for her work in technology and innovation. She is a member of the California DGS Small Business Advisory Council, PMI Government Forum, IEEE and ACM. She holds an MS in Computer Science from the National Institute of Technology in India.
Heidi Garrett-Peltier is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on the employment impacts of public and private investments, particularly in the realm of clean-energy programs. Heidi has written and contributed to a number of reports on the clean energy economy. She has also written about the employment effects of defense spending with co-author Robert Pollin, consulted with the U.S. Department of Energy on federal energy programs and is an active member of the Center for Popular Economics. Heidi holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Jim Harper is the Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. He works to adapt law and policy to the unique problems of the information age, in areas such as transparency, privacy, telecommunications, intellectual property, and security. Jim was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee and he recently co-edited the book Terrorizing Ourselves: How U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It. He has been cited and quoted by numerous print, Internet, and television media outlets, and his scholarly articles have appeared in the Administrative Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, and the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. He wrote the book Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and Misunderstood. Jim is the editor of Privacilla.org, a Web-based think tank devoted exclusively to privacy, and he maintains online federal spending resource WashingtonWatch.com. Jim holds a J.D. from UC Hastings College of Law.
Paul Kawika Martin is Peace Action’s organizing and political director and has worked with numerous Environmental, Peace, Animal Rights and Human Rights organizations including Greenpeace and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). Paul worked with a Clinton Presidential Commission and spent a year campaigning in twenty countries on Greenpeace ships including the Rainbow Warrior. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Roz Lemieux is the founder and partner of Fission Strategy (web 2.0 and social media strategy) and Executive Director of New Organizing Institute. From 2004-2006, Roz worked for MoveOn.org Political Action. Prior to MoveOn, she consulted for progressive candidates. Roz started her career in online organizing in 1999 as web team director at the Feminist Majority Foundation
Miriam Pemberton is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, writing and speaking on demilitarization issues for its Foreign Policy In Focus project. She leads a group that produces the annual “Unified Security Budget for the United States.” Other recent publications include "The Budgets Compared: Military vs. Climate Security." Formerly she was editor, researcher and finally director of the National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament. Miriam holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Lorna Peterson is Executive Director, Emerita, of Five Colleges, Inc. She has served on a number of community boards including the University of Massachusetts Friends of the Fine Arts Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and the United Way of Hampshire County. In addition to serving as a member of the Board of the National Priorities Project, Lorna is also on the Board of the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts and the Foundation Board of Greenfield Community College and serves as chair of Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers. She holds a doctorate in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University and has taught in several women’s studies programs at the Five Colleges.
Jeff Rosen is the Chief Financial Officer for the Solidago Foundation and its affiliated Foundations, where he oversees all of the financial systems as well as managing the MRI and PRI portfolios. Jeff is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and holds a Masters in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine, where he worked to pioneer sustainability focused impact assessment techniques. He has worked in the private sector as a serial entrepreneur, developing and selling food sector businesses, and as a chief financial officer for several restaurant chains and food manufacturers. He is an active, founding member of PVGROWS, a local food system collaboration located in Western Massachusetts, where he is part of a group focused on financing the regional food economy. Jeff is an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Antioch University Sustainable MBA program, where he has taught Ecological Economics for Social Entrepreneurs since 2007.
Preston Smith is an Associate Professor of Politics and Chair of Africana Studies at Mount Holyoke College. He is the author of Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis: Housing Policy in Postwar Chicago and co-author of Renewing Black Intellectual History: Ideological and Material Foundations in Black American Thought. His research interests include African-American politics, black intellectual history, neoliberal urban political economy, African immigration, and community development. At Mount Holyoke he has served as coordinator of the Community-Based Learning (CBL) program where he helped to create the Puerto Rican Studies Faculty-Community Seminar. Preston has served on the boards of the Housing Discrimination Project, National Council of the Labor Party, Holyoke Community Land Trust, and New England Public Radio (NEPR). Preston received his BA in history from Howard University and his PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Ericka Taylor is the Executive Director of the DC Fair Budget Coalition, which advocates for budget and policy initiatives that address poverty and human needs in the District of Columbia. Immediately prior, she served as the Development Director for The Other 98%, a netroots organization dedicated to ending the corporate control of the U.S. political system. Ericka has spent the bulk of her career working for social justice organizations including ACORN, Tenants and Workers United, and Youth Action. She was also a member of the program staff at the Public Welfare Foundation in Washington DC, and the co-chair of the People of Color Caucus of the National Network of Grantmakers. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors or Steering Committees of the National Organizers Alliance, Progressive Technology Project, Youth Education Alliance, and DC Jobs with Justice. Ericka has a B.A. in English from Cornell University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction from Eastern Washington University.