Speaker Bios


In order of appearance

David WoolnerDavid Woolner is Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian at the Roosevelt Institute, and Associate Professor of History at Marist College. A specialist in Anglo-American relations and U.S. foreign and economic policy under Franklin D. Roosevelt, he is the co-editor with Warren Kimball and David Reynolds of FDR’s World: War, Peace and Legacies, with Henry Henderson of FDR and the Environment, and with Richard Kurial of FDR, the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church in America, 1933-1945. He is the editor of The Second Quebec Conference Revisited: Waging War, Formulating Peace; Canada, Great Britain and the United States in 1944-1945 and is author of the forthcoming book, Cordell Hull, Anthony Eden and the Search for Anglo-American Cooperation, 1933-1938.  Dr. Woolner is also Visiting Associate Professor of History at Bard College and a member of the faculty of the Bard Prison Initiative. He serves on the Editorial Board of the International History Review, and in the fall of 2010 held the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, the Netherlands, where he remains an Honorary Fellow. He is a past recipient of a Churchill Archives By-Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge University, and an Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Fellowship at the Roosevelt Institute.

Philip HarveyPhilip Harvey is Professor of Law and Economics, Rutgers School of Law, Camden where he teaches Contracts, Labor and Employment Law, Law & Economics, and Social Welfare Law and Policy.  He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. After clerking for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York, he worked as a Litigation Associate specializing in employment disputes at the New York law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton. He has also has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, a Visiting Professor of Law and Economics at the Yale School of Organization and Management, and was the first Joanne Woodward Professor of Public Policy at Sarah Lawrence College. Professor Harvey’s research focuses on public policy options for securing economic and social human rights, with a particular emphasis on the right to work. Among his publications are Americas Misunderstood Welfare State: Persistent Myths, Enduring Realities, with Jerry Mashaw and Theodore Marmor (Basic Books, 1990); Securing the Right to Employment: Social Welfare Policy and the Unemployed in the United States (Princeton University Press, 1989); “Benchmarking the Right to Work, in Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement and Policy Issues,”in Alanson Minkler and Shareen Hartel, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2007); “Human Rights and Economic Policy Discourse: Taking Economic and Social Rights Seriously,” in Columbia Human Rights Law Review 33 (2002): 363-471; “Combating Joblessness: An Analysis of the Principal Strategies that Have Influenced the Development of American Employment and Social Welfare Law During the 20th Century,”  Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law, 21 (2000):  677-758.

Bill QuigleyBill Quigley is Professor of Law and Director of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice  and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans and former Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.  Quigley has served as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on issues including human rights, Katrina social justice issues, public housing, voting rights, death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience and has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and the ACLU of Louisiana, for which he served as General Counsel for 15 years. Quigley  teaches in the clinic as well as courses in Law and Poverty, Social Justice Lawyering, Community Lawyering, and Catholic Social Teaching and Law. His research and writing has focused on living wage, the right to a job, legal services, community organizing as part of effective lawyering, civil disobedience, high stakes testing, international human rights, revolutionary lawyering and a continuing history of how the laws have regulated the poor since colonial times. He has served as an advisor on human and civil rights to Human Rights Watch USA, Amnesty International USA, and served as the Chair of the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. He has also been an active volunteer lawyer with School of the Americas Watch and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Among his publications are Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job At a Living Wage (Temple University Press, 2003) and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice (2008). In 2003, he was named the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA. He is the recipient of numerous teaching and public service awards.

Gertrude Schaffner GoldbergGertrude Schaffner Goldberg is Professor of Social Policy Emerita at Adelphi University School of Social Work where she directed the Ph.D. program and served as the director of its Center for Social Policy. She is co-chair of the Columbia Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare & Equity and co-founder and Chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition.  Goldberg is the author, co-author and editor of six books and numerous book chapters and articles on social policy.  Among her publications are:  When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal, co-edited with Sheila Collins (Oxford, 2013); Poor Women in Rich Countries: The Feminization of Poverty Over the Life Course (author/editor, Oxford, 2010); Government Money for Everyday People (co-author 4th ed., Adelphi University, 2004); and Diminishing Welfare: A Cross-National Study of Social Provision (author/co-editor 2002); The Feminization of Poverty: Only in America? (author/co-editor, Greenwood Press, 1990); Washington’s New Poor Law: Welfare “Reform” and the Roads Not Taken, 1935 to the Present (co-author, Apex Press, 2001); Jobs for All: A Plan for the Revitalization of America (co-authored, Apex Press, 1994).

Sheila CollinsSheila D. Collins is Professor of Political Science Emerita and former Director of the graduate program in Public Policy & International Affairs at William Paterson University. She is co-chair of the Columbia Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare & Equity and the Seminar on Globalization, Labor & Popular Struggles; a member of the International Advisory Board of the Toda Institute for Global Peace & Policy Studies; a member of the Global Ecological Integrity Group; former book series editor for the Caucus for a New Political Science of the APSA; former member of the Editorial Board of New Political Science; and a co-founder of the National Jobs for All Coalition, on whose Executive Board she serves.  Collins is the author or co-author of six books, and numerous book chapters and articles on politics, public policy, the environment, social movements, and religion.   Among her books are: When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal, co-edited with Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg (Oxford, 2013); The Rainbow Challenge: the Jackson Campaign & the Future of U.S. Politics (1986); Jobs for All: A Plan for the Revitalization of America (co-authored 1994); Let Them Eat Ketchup! The Politics of Poverty & Inequality (1996); and Washington’s New Poor Law: Welfare “Reform” and the Roads Not Taken, 1935 to the Present (co-authored with Gertrude Goldberg, 2001).   Recent book chapters on the environment include:  “The Past is Prologue, the New World is Yet to Come: Governing the Global Commons in an Age of Transition” in Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law, eds. Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann and Colin Soskolne (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011); “Interrogating and Reconceptualizing Natural Law to Protect the Integrity of the Earth.” In Laura Westra, J. Ronald Engel and Klaus Bosselmann, eds.  Democracy, Ecological Integrity and International Law.  (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010).

William Darity Jr.William Darity, Jr. is Arts & Sciences Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. He also serves as Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and as Co-Director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality. Previously he served as director of the Institute of African American Research, director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, director of the Undergraduate Honors Program in economics, and director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina. Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.  He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2011-2012) at Stanford, a fellow at the National Humanities Center (1989-90) and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors (1984). He received the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award in 2012 from the National Economic Association, the organization’s highest honor. He is a past president of the National Economic Association and the Southern Economic Association. Among his publications are:  “Confronting Those Affirmative Action Grumbles,” in Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Robert Pollin, eds., Capitalism on Trial: Explorations in the Tradition of Thomas E. Weisskopf (Edward Elgar, forthcoming); “From Here to Full Employment,” Review of Black Political Economy (November, 2012).  “Bold Policies for Economic Justice, ” with Darrick Hamilton, Review of Black Political Economy 39, no.1 (March, 2012): 79-85.

Dean BakerDean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.  He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD’s Trade Union Advisory Council.  He was the author of the weekly online commentary on economic reporting, the Economic Reporting Review (ERR), from 1996 – 2006. He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, and National Public Radio.  He writes a weekly column for the Guardian Unlimited (UK), the Huffington Post, TruthOut, and his blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting.  His analyses have appeared in many major publications, including the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, the London Financial Times, and the New York Daily News. He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan.  Among his several books are: The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive; Taking Economics Seriously (MIT Press), which thinks through what we might gain if we took the ideological blinders off of basic economic principles; False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy (PoliPoint Press, 2010) about what caused – and how to fix – the current economic crisis.  In 2009, he wrote Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy (PoliPoint Press), which chronicled the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles and explained how policy blunders and greed led to the catastrophic – but completely predictable – market meltdowns.  He also wrote a chapter (“From Financial Crisis to Opportunity”) in Thinking Big: Progressive Ideas for a New Era (Progressive Ideas Network, 2009).  His previous books include The United States Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2007); The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006), and Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot, University of Chicago Press, 1999).  His book Getting Prices Right: The Debate over the Consumer Price Index (editor, M.E. Sharpe, 1997) was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year.

Helen Lachs Ginsburg is professor emerita of Economics at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, co-chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Full Employment Social Welfare and Equity and a co-founder of the National Jobs for All Coalition.   Her publications  include Poverty, Economics and Society  (editor); Unemployment, Subemployment and Public Policy; Full Employment and Public Policy: The United States and Sweden; and Jobs for All: A Plan  for the Revitalization of America  (with Sheila D. Collins and  Gertrude S.  Goldberg); guest editor (with June Zaccone, Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, Sheila D. Collins and Sumner Rosen)  of “The Challenge of Full Employment in the Global Economy” in Economic and Industrial Democracy, An International Journal.  Ginsburg is a  recipient of a Swedish Bicentennial Fund Award and the Lawrence Klein Award of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for her work on comparative employment.  In the 1970s she was an active participant in the attempt to commit the government to a policy of full employment and she continues to do so as through her service on the Executive Committee  of the National Jobs for All Coalition.

John ConyersThe Honorable John Conyers, Jr., a Detroit Democrat, was re-elected to represent the 14th Congressional District in November of 2010, to his 24th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Having entered the House of Representatives in 1965, Mr. Conyers is the second most senior member in the House of Representatives. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations (now renamed Committee on Oversight and Government Reform) from 1989 until 1994.  In 2006, Congressman Conyers was elected by his congressional colleagues to lead, as Chairman, the pivotal House Committee on the Judiciary in the 110th and 111th Congress. In addition to its oversight of the Department of Justice (including the FBI) and the Federal Courts, the Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over copyright, civil rights, consumer protection, and constitutional issues. Congressman Conyers was also a member of the Judiciary Committee in its 1974 hearings on the Watergate impeachment scandal and played a prominent role in the recent impeachment process, giving him the distinction as the only Judiciary Committee Member to have served on both panels.  Congressman Conyers is also one of the  founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and is considered the Dean of that group. Formed in 1969, the CBC was founded to strengthen African-American law makers’ ability to address the legislative concerns of Black and minority citizens.  In Mr. Conyers’ 40 plus years in Congress, some of his major accomplishments include: the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the Motor Voter Bill of 1993, the Martin Luther King Holiday Act of 1983, the Alcohol Warning Label Act of 1988, and the Jazz Preservation Act of 1987.  He was also the driving force behind the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Katrina vanden HeuvelKatrina vanden Heuvel is Editor and Publisher of The Nation. She is a frequent commentator on American and international politics on ABC, MSNBC, CNN and PBS. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Foreign Policy magazine and The Boston Globe. She writes a weekly web column for The Washington Post. Her blog “Editor’s Cut” appears at thenation.com.  Vanden Heuvel is the author of The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in The Age of Obama (Nation Books, 2011). She is also the editor of Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover and co-editor of Taking Back America–And Taking Down The Radical RightShe is also co-editor (with Stephen F. Cohen) of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers (Norton, 1989) and editor of The Nation: 1865–1990, and the collection A Just Response: The Nation on Terrorism, Democracy and September 11, 2001.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Gary DorrienGary Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. Dorrien is the author of 16 books and approximately 275 articles that range across the fields of ethics, social theory, theology, philosophy, politics, and history. More than forty reviewers have described his trilogy, The Making of American Liberal Theology, as the definitive work in the field. The social ethical side of Prof. Dorrien’s work includes acclaimed works on economic democracy, social ethical theory, and American politics. His book Social Ethics in the Making, a comprehensive interpretation of social ethics as an academic field and a tradition of public discourse, won the Choice Award as the outstanding book in ethics of 2009. More recently Prof. Dorrien published a critique of Barack Obama’s presidency titled The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective and lectured extensively on this topic. A frequent lecturer at universities, conferences, civic groups, and religious communities, Prof. Dorrien is a recent past president of the American Theological Society and has a long record of involvement in social justice organizations. His book, Imperial Designs, grew out of his extensive lecturing against the U.S.’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. His book, Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice (Columbia University Press, 2010), features his lectures on economic democracy, racial and gender justice, and anti-imperial politics.

Michael LightyMichael Lighty is Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United and former organizational director of Democratic Socialists of America.  For over 20 years he has spoken and organized throughout the country on healthcare reform, financing and delivery issues.  He coordinated the California Nurses Association’s Prop 216 campaign for an HMO patients’ bill of rights, the nurses’ fight against Arnold Schwarzenegger and was the campaign manager for the clean money initiative.    Lighty served as the vice-chair of the City of Oakland Planning Commission and serves on the Board of Port Commissioners for the City of Oakland and the Board of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center.  He has been active with non-profit organizations devoted to neighborhood issues, voter registration, and lesbian and gay equality.   

Christopher Policano has been Communications Director of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) since April of 2009 (with 1.6 million members, AFSCME is the largest affiliate of the AFL-CIO). Policano has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and communications. He has held top communications posts at the New York City Council, the United Federation of Teachers, Phoenix House Foundation and AFSCME District Council 37, New York City’s largest union of municipal employees. He has been a reporter for the NY Daily News and the NY Post.

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