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 www.bridgealliance.us.
Rachel Kaganoff Stern is the Chief Executive Officer of the Junior State of America (JSA). Rachel spent 15 years as an Associate Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. She worked across a number of research areas including health care, civil justice, and national security policy. Her primary responsibilities were to design and implement case studies. Her final project at RAND was a two-year study evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the programs used to compensate losses resulting from the September 11 Terrorist Attacks. Prior to working at RAND Rachel spent two years working as a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C. Rachel graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University and has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University.
The Junior State of America (JSA) was created by and for young people interested in what happens around them – from politics, to how government works, and contributing to their community. Since its founding in 1934, JSA has served as a place where students build leadership skills, learn civil debate, and strengthen their engagement through volunteering and activism. More than 500,000 students have graduated high school as more active, informed members of their community as a result of their participation in JSA.
Q1: You have an amazing background as a political scientist at the RAND corporation focusing on various research areas from health care, civic justice and national security policy. Tell us a little about yourself and how you were inspired to join the Junior State of America as CEO.
Q2: The JSA helps to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students to be active, effective and ethical leaders in our democratic society. Tell us how the JSA works, engages students and why that mission is more important today than ever as we prepare our nation’s future business, civic and political leaders.
Q3: As a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, tell us how the JSA helps to encourage high school students to participate in volunteering and activism and how that helps create a platform to serve those students throughout their future education and careers.
Q4: The JSA has more than 400 chapters in 35 states and eight territories and it’s still growing. Tell us about some of the amazing work and projects your students are doing around the country.
Q5: The JSA has some interesting institutes coming up this summer – including one on media and politics; a civics immersion program and one on young women’s leadership. Tell us a little bit about those programs and what students can expect.
Q6: Finally, how can students start a new chapter with the JSA… and how can individuals, organizations or businesses get involved, donate or learn more about the JSA?
Connect with Rachel 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 www.nevinspr.com.