After the Comma: Launching Civic Advisors
“This is not a period, this is a comma in the continuing story of building America…”
-President Obama, January 20 2017
For the better part of the last decade, the people I worked for had two last names: Obama and Biden. Serving them and our country at the White House and during the campaign was the honor of my life. And we had a pretty incredible run. But as January 2017 came closer, many of us who had served in the Administration had to step back and answer a tough question, “after that kind of opportunity, how could we continue the work we cared so much about and keep making an impact after this Administration?”
In thinking that and what made the last decade so special through, it was of course our incredible leaders, but also, especially in my role, a freedom to be entrepreneurial in making an impact and an unparalleled team always looking to make a difference. We had the opportunity every day to make progress not just through public policy, but by engaging leaders in every sector — from business to entertainment to educators to non-profits to sports leaders to state and local elected officials. We knew change didn’t just come from politicians — it came from people engaging on the issues they were passionate about.
Which brings me to my next step.
Today I’m excited to publicly announce a new venture, Civic Advisors, a social impact strategy and consulting firm. What do those buzzwords mean? We are going to help good people trying to do good things get shit done. Yes, I almost called the company GSD, inc.
We will help our clients with a full slate of services including strategic engagement & communications, advocacy, digital strategy development & management, campaign strategy & management, video production, corporate social responsibility strategy & management, event strategy & design, business development, executive coaching & media training, impact evaluation, and speechwriting.
Civic Advisors gives us an opportunity to keep working with the many friends and leaders we worked with over the last decade, as well as the ability to branch out and engage people we might not have had the chance to meet yet.
Of course, this work takes a team, and the Obama-Biden movement didn’t lack for talent. So a main focal point of this next step is the Civic Advisors Network, an impact consulting collaborative. This Network keeps an incredible group of people working together to make a difference, allows each of us to scale up or down for different projects, and brings a diverse set of talents and perspectives to one table. Check out the full network below and on our website.
We all honed our skills at the highest level and now we are ready and excited to keep using what we learned to make an impact in this new capacity. So if you are looking to make a difference or to up your game, there is someone, and probably more than one person, in this group who can help you do that in a powerful way.
As we launch Civic Advisors, we already have incredible projects to dive into. We’re continuing to support key initiatives launched by the Obama’s and Biden’s during our time at the White House, including It’s On Us, Better Make Room, the United State of Women, and our push to make two years of community college free. We’re helping UNICEF USA plan the next step in their movement to put Children First and support children around the world. And we’re partnering with The Montag Group, a talent management and sports & entertainment consulting company on social responsibility in the sports world.
Thank you to those of you who are joining us as a part of this next step, to the many of you who have supported us along the way, and to those of you who plan to continue making a difference across the country. Together, on whatever issue you care about and are fighting for, let’s work together to make an impact and build a movement.
Civic Advisors Network & Expertise:
Alex Sopko, Civic Advisors Chief Operating Officer
Elias Alcantara: Local Elected Official Outreach & Criminal Justice Reform
Noland Chambliss: Executive Coaching & Strategic Communications
Devin Hampton: Energy, Infrastructure & Smart Cities Development
Hannah Hankins: Domestic Policy, Press & Strategic Communications
Marie Harf: Foreign Policy, Press & Strategic Communications
David Heifetz: Speechwriting, Strategic Communications & Leadership Development
Adam Garber: Digital Stategy & Video Production
Sri Gainedi: Writing, Logistics, & Operations Support
Alissa Ko: State Elected, AAPI, & Progressive Engagement
Lauren Kelly: Project Management, Event Strategy & Design
Shelly Marc: Event Strategy and Management & Criminal Justice Issues
Tara McGowan: Strategic Communications, Digital Strategy & Creative Production
Paul Monteiro: Police-Community Relations, Racial Justice & Faith Outreach
Jorge Neri: Advocacy/Political Campaign Design & Immigration Outreach
Katie Waldo: Event Strategy & Management, Advance & Logistics