As an incubator for policy innovation and convener of the best minds in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the arts, and journalism, the Sine Institute announced its 2023 class of Fellows and Distinguished Lecturers. These experts lead discussions and study sessions with students, as well as convene and participate in campus-wide events throughout the year. Learn more about Fellows from previous years: 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019.
Anna Deavere SmithPlaywright, Actress, Teacher, Author
Anna Deavere Smith is a playwright and actress. She’s credited with having created a new form of theater. Her plays, which focus on contemporary issues from multiple points of view, are composed of excerpts of hundreds of interviews. Plays and films based on them include Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, Let Me Down Easy, and Notes from the Field about the school-to-prison pipeline. Her work as an actress on television includes: Inventing Anna, The West Wing, Nurse Jackie and Black-ish. Mainstream movies include Philadelphia, The American President, Rachel Getting Married and Billy Crystal’s new movie Here Today. President Obama awarded Smith the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She’s the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, several Obie awards, a Drama Desk award, and the George Polk Career Award in Journalism and the Dean’s Medal from Stanford University School of Medicine. She was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize and nominated for two Tony Awards. She’s a professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has several honorary doctorate degrees including those from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Spelman College and Juilliard and Oxford.
Creating Communities of Artists and Good Will
Bill de Blasio
Democrat, 109th Mayor of New York City
Bill de Blasio is an American political leader who served as the 109th mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he held the office of New York City Public Advocate from 2010 to 2013. De Blasio started his career as an elected official on the New York City Council, representing the 39th district in Brooklyn from 2002 to 2009. As mayor, de Blasio led NYC through the Covid-19 pandemic, turning what was once a global epicenter into the safest city in the country. In 2014, de Blasio created a groundbreaking initiative which ensured that early childhood education became a universal right in the five boroughs. The universal Pre-K and 3-K programs in NYC have become a national model. During his tenure, NYC financed the preservation and construction of over 200,000 affordable homes, the most created by any administration in the City’s history. In 2019, de Blasio launched a first-in-the nation, 6-point action plan to end long-term homelessness. “The Journey Home” initiative was designed to increase access to housing and health care in combination with rapid-response outreach efforts for homeless individuals living in the streets. In fulfilling his campaign promise to end a “tale of two cities,” de Blasio implemented policies which successfully reduced income inequality among New Yorkers and fought alongside them to secure a $15 minimum wage for all workers. In response to the growing climate crisis, de Blasio and the NYC Council passed the Climate Mobilization Act (or the NYC Green New Deal) to make NYC net-carbon-neutral by 2050, as well as groundbreaking legislation to reduce building emissions and to end fossil fuel use in new buildings. Prior to being an elected official, de Blasio served as the campaign manager for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s successful senatorial campaign of 2000 and got his start in NYC government working for Mayor David Dinkins. De Blasio graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Metropolitan Studies and from Columbia University with an M.A. in International Affairs.
Politics and Policy: Taking On The Contentious Issue of Education and Actually Making Progress
No issue elicits more passion or causes more controversy in America than education. Yet progress in this field is needed more than ever as our nation fights the effects of COVID-based learning loss. Through the prism of key inflection points in our country’s largest public school system (NYC), this seminar series will examine strategic decision-making on some of the toughest issues in education policy and will focus on tangible ways to improve schools for all our children.
Dates & Times (EST)
Leveling the Playing Field: The Making of Universal Pre-K in NYC
February 14 | 12PM
The Case for Traditional Public Schools: Lessons from the Frontline of America's Largest School System
March 21 | 12PM
Keeping Schools Open: Fighting COVID While Putting Children First
April 11 | 12PM
April 25 | 12PM
Republican, 23rd Governor of Arizona
Governor Doug Ducey was elected as Arizona's 23rd governor in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 with more votes than anyone in state history. Upon election, Arizona had a $1 billion deficit and a sluggish economy. Today, Arizona has a record surplus, a balanced budget and a booming economy.
That’s no coincidence. Governor Ducey has eliminated overburdensome regulations, fostered the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and reformed taxes every year he’s been in office—including signing the largest income tax cut in state history.
Throughout his administration, Governor Ducey has prioritized education. Since he took office, Arizona has invested approximately $11.5 billion into K-12 education and brought per-pupil funding to a record high. He has also positioned Arizona as a national leader in school choice and civics education. In 2022, Governor Ducey signed what has become the gold standard in school choice and educational freedom.
Even with record investments and historic tax cuts, Governor Ducey has found a way to ensure Arizona’s insulated from future downturns, adding $1.4 billion to the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
He is a former businessman and CEO of Cold Stone Creamery who today also serves as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He has 3 sons, has been married to his wife Angela for 31 years and resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Bringing Innovation and an Entrepreneurial Approach to State Government
When Governor Ducey took office in 2015, the state was facing a $1 billion deficit, state agencies had amassed massive backlogs and long wait times, and the state’s economy relied primarily on call centers and construction.
During his campaign for governor, Ducey committed to shrinking state government and growing the economy — and he delivered. Eight years into his administration, Arizona has more citizens, the budget is balanced, the economy is strong, the state is a top destination for companies, and government is more efficient than it's ever been.
Today, Arizona sits atop a $5 billion budget surplus, with over $1 billion in the rainy day fund, the lowest flat tax in the nation and an Aa1 credit rating. Arizona is now a hot spot for new companies from across the globe – car manufacturers, autonomous vehicles, tech start-ups, and world-class semiconductors – as it celebrates the expansion of companies like TSMC, Intel and Lucid.
State agencies, like the Department of Child Safety, have eliminated backlogs and the Arizona Department of Transportation’s motor vehicle division wait times are down to an average of 20 minutes per customer. Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, the state has passed countless first-in-the-nation policy reforms including universal occupational licensing, the American civics act, and the “gold standard” for school choice reform.
Many credit Arizona’s record growth to Governor Ducey’s strong entrepreneurial leadership, and his focus on efficient government and innovative policy solutions.
Dates & Times (EST)
Reforming the State's Economy: Turning a $1 Billion Deficit into a $5 Billion Surplus
February 14 | 4PM
Modernizing State Government: Implementing the Arizona Management System
March 7 | 1PM
Race to Be the Best: Gold Standard of Education Reform, American Civics Act, Water Innovation, Occupational Licensing and Modernized Gaming
March 21 | 4PM
April 4 | 1PM
Vice President for Advocacy, FWD.us; Former Senior Advisor on Migration, Biden-Harris Administration
Alida Garcia is a mother of twins, entrepreneur and nonprofit executive who has climbed national ranks as a campaign manager and political & public affairs strategist for electoral & issue advocacy campaigns. Alida recently served as a Senior Advisor on Migration for the Biden-Harris Administration where she helped align the White House around work toward its ambitious immigration policy agenda and built stronger ties with the Administration and the NGO community. She currently is the VP of Advocacy for FWD.us, a bipartisan advocacy organization primarily focused on passing common sense immigration and criminal justice reform policies. She has been a national leader in many immigration political fights including the #HomeisHere campaign that was successful at the Supreme Court on DACA in 2020, mobilizing millions of Americans to call for an end to Family Separation, and recently the Supreme Court campaign to defeat Texas’ efforts to stop the Biden Administration’s ability to end the Remain in Mexico program. Alida also is a Co-Founder and Partner at Inclusv, which focuses on increasing the number of people of color working in the political and government sectors. She also served as the National Latino Vote Deputy Director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Preceding her national roles Alida was active in her home state of California where she organized for Vice President Kamala D. Harris' first statewide campaign and served in Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa's Office of Economic and Business Policy. Prior to politics Alida was an associate at K&L Gates LLP. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia Law School.
Immigration Renovation: Finding a path forward for America's immigration system
America holds a complicated narrative as a welcoming nation that has been challenged regularly over its history, including today. This lecture series will include leaders from policy, media, direct services and advocacy sectors at the frontlines of some of the well known crises of recent history like family separation, the challenge to DACA in the courts, and forging a bipartisan path forward toward legalization of undocumented immigrants. The series will interrogate how policy change damages or supports the building of a welcoming nation. Students will have the opportunity to learn the nuances of navigating narrative in policy campaigns, and how narrative choices impact individuals, groups, and culture.
Dates & Times (EST)
Preparing for a Post-DACA World: Lessons from the Dream Movement
February 16 | 5PM
Disrupting The American Immigration Narrative
March 21 | 5PM
Finding Common Ground on Immigration - Is There Any Left?
April 10 | 5PM
April 26 | 5PM
Vice President and Executive Editor for National Public Radio (NPR) News
Terence Samuel is Vice President and Executive Editor at NPR, where he oversees all newsgathering for the broadcast network. He is the author of the 2010 book The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the United States Senate.
He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, Washington Politics Editor at the Washington Post and a managing editor at National Journal. Samuel began his career as a writing fellow at the Village Voice and was a reporter as the Roanoke Times, a national correspondent at both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and chief congressional correspondent at U.S. News & World Report.
He was a director of editorial programming for AOL Black Voices before joining the Washington Post Company in 2007 to help launch TheRoot.com. He wrote a politics column for the American Prospect for six years and his work is featured in Best American Political Writing of 2009.
News Deserts & Disinformation: How the Crisis in Local News is Destabilizing Global Democracy
This seminar will explore the ramifications of the generational demise of local and regional news outlets across the US and internationally, and how the resulting decline in local news coverage, particularly government and political news, has led to a deterioration in the quality of citizenship and destabilized important democratic institutions across the board.
We will examine how the disappearance of local news has accelerated the spread of disinformation, heightened political partisanship, and amplified cultural divisions across the globe. We will engage stakeholders who are trying to revive a local news ethos and those fighting back against the flood of disinformation and misinformation. The core mission of the seminar will be to seek out solutions to the crisis at hand.
Dates & Times (EST)
Local News: Deserts, Oases and Solutions
February 8 | 4PM
Disinformation and the Demise of Democracy
February 22 | 4PM
How Journalism Can Save Itself & Democracy
March 22 | 4PM
April 4 | 4PM
Republican, Former US House of Representatives (CA 45)
Former U. S. Representative Mimi Walters represented California's 45th Congressional district in Orange County from January 2015 to January 2019. Ms. Walters served as the Freshman and Sophomore Representative to the Republican Elected Leadership Committee for the 114th and 115th Congress. As a member of the House leadership team, Walters served alongside Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy working on key issues ranging from legislation, policy, and messaging for House Republicans.
Serving on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee she was able to gain insight to issues facing the Technology, Healthcare, Energy and Environmental sectors.
Prior to her election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Ms. Walters served on the Laguna Niguel City Council and subsequently served in both the California State Assembly and the California State Senate.
Ms. Walters possesses a background in business, finance, and government. Her professional career included time serving as an investment executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert and Kidder, Peabody & Co.
Currently, Ms. Walters serves as Chief Commercial Officer for Leading Edge Power Solutions, LLC, is a member of the Board of Directors of B. Riley Financial, Inc. and EOS Energy Enterprises, Inc. In addition, she is Chairwoman of Apollo Pact, a leading patient advocacy nonprofit focused on advancing psychedelic research to address the mental health epidemic.
U.S. Mental Health Crises and Putting out the Fire
In this series of seminars we will examine the history of mental health, the causes, and the potential solutions for this crisis facing the United States and the world. Research shows that mental illnesses are common in the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year. Estimates suggest that only half of people with mental illnesses receive treatment.
Together we will discuss the history, causes and potential solutions available and the ways in which we can find consensus on this important health issue.
Dates & Times (EST)
Overview of the Mental Health Crises in America
February 21 | 4PM
How to Solve the Mental Health Crises
March 7 | 4PM
Psychedelics: Potential Solution?
March 28 | 4PM
April 18 | 4PM
David RubensteinCo-founder and Co-Chairman, The Carlyle Group
David M. Rubenstein is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm. Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, and the University of Chicago. He is an original signer of The Giving Pledge and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. Mr. Rubenstein is the host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS and Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein on Bloomberg TV, and is the New York Times best-selling author of The American Story, How to Lead, The American Experiment, and How To Lead. A native of Baltimore, Mr. Rubenstein is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School.
Horacio RozanskiPresident and Chief Executive Officer of Booz Allen Hamilton
Horacio Rozanski is president and chief executive officer of Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Booz Allen partners with clients to drive transformation and advance critical missions through a unique combination of technology, innovation, and consulting expertise. It employs approximately 30,000 people as of September 30, 2022, and had revenue of $8.4 billion in the year ending March 31, 2022. Today, Horacio is driving the execution of Booz Allen’s VoLT strategy. With a focus on velocity, leadership, and technology, VoLT positions the firm to become the premier partner to the federal government, continuously bringing innovation to national priority missions, faster than the pace of change. For more than a decade, Horacio has played a central role in major strategic initiatives, including Booz Allen’s 2010 initial public offering. Beginning in 2012, Horacio led a transformation that positioned the firm as a leader in technology integration and adoption across the defense, intelligence, and civil markets. These initiatives also included a 2016 refresh of the firm’s values and defined its purpose statement—empower people to change the world. A respected authority and leader in the consulting industry, Horacio has expertise in business strategy, technology and operations, talent and diversity, and the future of consulting. He joined Booz Allen in 1992 as a consultant to commercial clients, was elected vice president in 1999, and served as chief personnel officer, chief strategy and talent officer, and chief operating officer before becoming president and chief executive officer in 2015. He also is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Outside of Booz Allen, Horacio is Chairman of the Board for Children’s National Hospital and a member of the Board of Directors at Marriott International, Inc.; CARE USA; and the Economic Club of Washington, DC. He is also a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the Business Roundtable, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience, and Vice Chair of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board. Horacio was named to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and received the 2020 Horatio Alger Award. That same year, he was also named Washington Business Journal’s CEO Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion of the Year. Born and raised in Argentina, Horacio moved to the United States to attend college. He holds a B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.