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The Millennial Policy Initiative  is an independent nonpartisan policy project of New Leaders Council and CALinnovates that is dedicated to freedom, opportunity and community for all. Our goal is to empower a generation of leaders, thinkers and elected officials to develop modern ideas to the challenges we face as a nation.

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Commission on the Future of Work

Commission Senior Advisors
Heather Hudson
Executive Director, Governor's Workforce Board, Rhode Island

Heather Hudson was appointed as Executive Director of the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) in June 2016. Under her leadership, more than 4,000 Rhode Islanders have obtained employment and/or technical training, over 350 employers have received assistance, and nearly 2,000 youth received an internship or other form of career readiness. Prior to this role, Heather served as Policy Advisor for Governor Gina M. Raimondo, and as Director of Financial Empowerment in the Treasurer’s office. In these roles, she led the development of several initiatives including CollegeBoundBaby, RI Promise, and the Working Cities Challenge. Before coming to Rhode Island, Heather was a grants manager for El Centro de la Raza in Seattle, worked at Casa de la Esperanza in Colorado helping low-income students increase academic success, and worked on former President Obama’s 2012 campaign in Colorado. Heather serves on the board for College Visions, is a proud AmeriCorps Alumna, and in 2017 was named as one of Providence Business News’ 40 under 40. Heather received her B.A. from Willamette University in 2006 and her Master’s degree in Education Policy at the University of Colorado in 2012. Heather has lived in Providence, RI, for five years but is originally from Tacoma, Washington; she can be found rock climbing in her free time.

Bijan Madhani
Senior Policy Counsel, Computer & Communications Industry Association

Bijan Madhani is Senior Policy Counsel at the Computer & Communications Industry Association. He concentrates primarily on privacy and surveillance policy, cybersecurity, global Internet issues, and emerging technology. Bijan previously focused on these matters as a law clerk with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Department of Justice. He also spent time as counsel with the Food and Drug Administration, prior to which he worked as a Legal Fellow with CCIA. He received his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in 2013, and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010.

Jason Towns
Managing Partner, Groundwork

Throughout his 18 year career, Jason Towns has successfully built and exited a venture-backed startup and has advised or invested in dozens of brave entrepreneurs across multiple continents. His work spans a number of industry verticals such as predictive analytics, big data, last mile delivery, crypto and enterprise mobile. Today, he runs Groundwork, helping top seed stage startups from diverse backgrounds access capital, connections & strategic support while enabling seed investors to build stronger, more inclusive portfolios. He’s helped companies raise more than $17m in capital from seed stage through growth. Since 2014, valuations for companies he’s advised have risen more than 3x. His mission is to quietly and efficiently serve founders while driving capital & resources from the west into innovation ecosystems around the globe. On the African continent, he helps power the Mzansi Commons Collective, working to transform the township economies. Jason sits on a number of advisory boards including Industrial Bank’s Evolving Leaders Advisory Council, the Congressional Research Institute of Social Work and Policy (CRISP) Board of Directors, the Releaf Advisory Board & Jetpack’s Advisory Committee. Jason has received numerous professional distinctions such as The Root's list of the 100 Most Influential African Americans, The Digital Diversity Network's Change Agent Award, The Registry's 40 Under 40 in Silicon Valley, MIPAD’s 100 Most Influential People in the African Diaspora, and most recently Ebony Magazine’s 2017-2018 Power 100 list.

Commission Senior Fellows
Sandhya Anantharaman
Co-Director, Universal Income Project
(San Francisco '18)

Sandhya Anantharaman co-directs Universal Income Project, a progressive universal basic income advocacy group based in the Bay Area. Universal Income Project works to build networks and use creative tools to educate, popularize, and organize around this radically common-sense idea. In particular, Sandhya's focus involves working with progressive advocates to encourage bold, long-term thinking about aspirational policy goals. Under her direction, UIP has hosted weekend-long Create-a-thons, monthly speaker events in San Francisco, and built a network of hundreds of basic income advocates. She was a lead organizer for the first-ever California Solidarity Conference, bringing together progressive organizations across the state for an open discussion on long-term strategic thinking. Sandhya is a nationally recognized expert on basic income. She has appeared on Fox News, and spoken at SXSW Eco, Netroots Nation, Meeting of the Minds, and for the Young Elected Officials Network. She started in progressive politics as an organizer on the Obama 2012 campaign, and has worked on elections and with national advocacy groups as a grassroots and field organizer, analyst, and digital strategist.

Scott Astrada
Director of Federal Advocacy,
Center for Responsible Lending
(Washington, DC '17)

Scott B. Astrada is the Director of Federal Advocacy at the Center for Responsible Lending. Located in the Washington D.C. office, Scott directs and coordinates federal legislative and regulatory advocacy in coordination with CRL senior leadership to advance CRL policy goals. Prior to his role at CRL, Scott worked as an economic policy advisor for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center under former Minority Leader Harry Reid and previous Chairman Chuck Schumer. Prior to the Senate, Scott was an attorney in the Obama Administration at the White House Office of Management and Budget, Office of General Counsel. Before joining OMB, Scott was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow, completing his fellowship on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and then at the National Council of La Raza. Scott has worked extensively in these roles on tax, finance, and labor policy aimed to drive inclusivity, equitable prosperity, and the remediation of racial discrimination in the finance and labor markets. Scott received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his JD and MBA from Marquette University, and his LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.

David Bander
Executive Director, Policy Office, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
(New Jersey '13)

David M. Bander is Executive Director of the Policy Office at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  In that position, he provides counsel to the Department on a wide variety of policy and legal issues, as well as overseeing regulatory action.  Before that, he was an associate with the union-side law firm of Mets Schiro & McGovern, LLP, where he represented public and private sector unions in all aspects of labor-management relations; a Staff Representative for 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, one of the largest labor unions in the country; and chief of staff to New Jersey State Senator Linda Greenstein.  David received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, and has a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia.  He is admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  He lives with his wife Heather in Plainsboro, New Jersey, where he serves as a member of the town council.  

Efrem Bycer
Manager, Economic Graph, LinkedIn
(San Diego '12)

Efrem is the Manager, Economic Graph at LinkedIn where he leads a set of partnerships with government agencies and civic organizations to help connect workers to economic opportunity. Learn more about LinkedIn's Economic Graph at economicgraph.linkedin.com. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Efrem led Code for America's efforts to help governments better leverage agile software development and user-centered design to support their economic and workforce development efforts. Efrem was a manager of economic development at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation where he led EDC۪'s work on public policy, global strategic initiatives, and select industries, including life sciences, clean technology, and craft beer. He has also served as a Performance Auditor for the City of San Diego and as a board member of multiple organizations supporting leadership development, education, and community engagement. In his spare time, Efrem is an avid runner, snowboarder, and homebrewer. Efrem has a Bachelor's of Science in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and a Master's in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Quiteka Moten
Coordinator, Office of Continuing Education, Tennessee State University
(Nashville '17)

Quiteka “Teka” Moten coordinates the Office of Continuing Education at Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, TN. She has shaped workforce development initiatives in the healthcare industry; customized veteran training programs for corporate clients; and executed various CEU programs/conferences in the downtown Nashville area. In her current position, Teka leverages her project management skill set to increase non-credit revenue growth and the expansion of robust online course offerings through Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Military Spouse Care Advancement Account (MyCAA) funding. Passionate about healthcare and working with seniors, Teka also volunteers as the Program Director of the Caregiver Relief Program, a Tennessee-based 501©3 with a mission of assisting families with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Through providing hands-on training, care plans, respite reimbursement, and in-home nursing visits, the organization grants radical care to those in need of hope. In this role, she uses her Certified Dementia Practitioner and PAC Dementia Coach designation to train caregivers and healthcare professionals alike. Teka is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and a B.A. in Sociology. Teka is currently a Master’s of Public Health candidate with a Behavioral Science concentration. Most recently, she was recognized by TSU’s College of Health Sciences as the Student Research Award recipient. In her downtime, Teka enjoys traveling, playing golf, and attending social gatherings with friends.