Repairing America’s Broken Democracy: Bridge Alliance Members Take Action – Brian Clancy, Chief Civic Engagement Officer – The Bridge Alliance

As part of a new series on citybiz, Repairing America’s Broken Democracy: Bridge Alliance Members Take Action, each month David H. Nevins, president & CEO of Nevins & Associates, will interview leaders from different Bridge Alliance member organizations doing work to support and protect our democracy around the country. The Bridge Alliance is a coalition of more than 100 organizations working together as active stewards of our democratic republic. Bridge Alliance member organizations span the ideological spectrum, but are unified to work efficiently, outside arbitrarily defined political lines. The Bridge Alliance supports the democracy ecosystem and advances the healthy self-governance movement. The Bridge Alliance nurtures consistent and open communications between its members, developing a foundation of trust to foster collaboration. For more information, visit

Prior to joining the Bridge Alliance full time, Brian was active in the civic renewal community for ten years. This included founding Big Tent Nation, creating the American Civic Collaboration Awards (The Civvys), supporting the inaugural National Week of Conversation and serving on the board at both the Listen First Project and Bridge Alliance.

Brian also has a strong social entrepreneurship track record that includes board stints and senior positions at Accion International and helping establish the Center for Financial Inclusion. The Center has become a global thought leader in microfinance and has partners and funders that include Mastercard, the Gates Foundation, Citibank, Credit Suisse and the Harvard Business School. He also has experience in the rough and tumble world of city and state politics through his tenure as President of the Boston Public Library Foundation.

Brian started his career in finance on Wall St. and then spent 15 years at Fidelity Investments in a variety of senior level positions. His undergraduate degree is from Cornell University and his MBA is from Harvard.

Interview questions:

Q1: You have a fascinating professional background that includes Wall St, Harvard Business School, senior jobs at Fidelity Investments, running a foundation and a longstanding commitment to global poverty alleviation via microfinance. How have these diverse experiences informed and inspired your decision to join the Bridge Alliance as their Chief Civic Engagement Officer?

Q2: Can you talk a bit more about why civic engagement and bridging differences is more important now than ever given the unprecedented political divides we’re facing in this country.

Q3: One of the interesting projects you are currently working on is a new online platform called Citizen Connect. Tell us about Citizen Connect and why you think it’s so important.

Q4: Could you tell us a little more about how Citizen Connect helps users find virtual or in-person events around the country and in their own communities that are of interest to them. How does that work?

Q5: Citizen Connect will also help interested users find like-minded organizations or groups that they can learn more about and potentially join, volunteer for or financially support. Tell us more about that opportunity on Citizen Connect.

Q6: I understand that you have another tool under development that integrates civic engagement opportunities into the daily news cycle. How will that work?

Q7: Finally, how can individuals learn more about Citizen Connect?

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

The Bridge Alliance is a coalition of over 90 organizations dedicated to rejuvenating America. With each organization focusing on a different sector of the movement, our members represent a combined three million supporters in the burgeoning field of civic reform and civil discourse. In addition, more than one billion dollars has been invested towards improving government effectiveness nationwide.

The Bridge Alliance acts as a hub of information and connectivity for over 90 civic action organizations.

We provide the infrastructure for our members to expand individually, collaborate on shared goals, and inform others that are invested in democracy revitalization. This generates a collective impact for greater than any one group could make alone.

David Nevins is president & CEO of Nevins & Associates, a highly regarded strategic communications company and proactive public relations partner. The firm’s regional and national client base is a unique mix of organizations across a variety of industries including: healthcare, professional service firms, finance, not-for-profits, distributors, state agencies, national media companies, technology, political and grassroots campaigns, real estate development, sporting events, and more.

With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and community and government relations, David is a talented and seasoned executive. Prior to founding Nevins & Associates in 1983, David served as the Director of Marketing for both Towson University and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was tapped by the CEO of Comcast to employ his marketing expertise as President of the company’s regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. David is a Past President of the Board of Governors for the Center Club and is a former Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland, a position to which he was appointed by the Governor of Maryland. David has chaired the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission and the Maryland Higher Education Loan Corporation, served as President of both the Jewish National Fund and the Towson Business Association and was a member of the PNC Bank board.

David is highly involved in the business, civic, and political communities, and his many years of active leadership in numerous organizations have built a network of contacts that he regularly puts to use for the firm’s clients. For more information, visit

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