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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins | Labor Partnerships

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Green For All. Prior to joining Green For All, Phaedra was head of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA. While there, she earned her reputation as one of the nation's most brilliant, inspirational and creative problem solvers for working families.

The scope and scale of her many achievements have won her wide praise. San Jose Magazine named her one of the 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley. The Silicon Valley Business Journal called her one of "40 to watch under 40" by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

As a woman of color, Phaedra has distinguished herself as an innovative leader in California and led the way for emerging leaders in the American progressive movement, directing campaigns to win policy victories on local, regional, and state levels. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal online, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, America at Work, NBC News and ABC News.

An alumna of American Leadership Forum, she has served on the boards of the Progressive Technology Project, New World Foundation, the Women's Fund of Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose General Plan Update Task Force and the Central Labor Council Advisory Committee. She serves on the board of the Leadership Council of California Forward and is Chair and Co-Founder of the Partnership for Working Families.

Norris McDonald | Environmental Policy

Founder and President of the African American Environmentalist Association, he has been a career environmentalist for 28 years. Formerly with the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth), as Director of the Energy Conservation and Transportation Project, he is an energy and environmental specialist and has served as an advisor to industry and local neighborhood community groups.  McDonald was president of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) from 1982 to 1984.  He organized the first Energy Braintrust for the late Congressman Mickey Leland.  He has authored and successfully worked for the passage of national energy legislation before the U.S. Congress.  He has presented testimony before federal, state and local regulatory agencies, U.S. House and Senate Energy and Environmental Committees. He was a participant in the original meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt environmental justice policies.

McDonald led the fight in Congress in the early 1980s to maintain Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) Standards.  He presented testimony before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at the confirmation hearing of John Herrington as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in 1985.  McDonald drafted and led the lobbying campaign in the U.S. Congress to pass the Federal Shared Energy Savings Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.  He served as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) instructor in 1997 for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School.  He recently assisted in the passage of the first civil rights legislation of the 21st Century, the No Fear Act, signed by President Bush on May 15, 2002.

He was the author of the first comprehensive studies of pollution in Washington, D.C.  He is a recognized national speaker on energy and environmental issues and has appeared in numerous print and electronic media.  He has received special recognition from the U.S. Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior.  He has served on several federal, state and local environmental advisory committees.  He served as a consultant for the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Pilot Project Report for the Alameda Naval Air Station, Oakland, CA, 1996. 

Louis Soares | Workforce Development

Louis Soares is the Director of the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress. Louis brings more than 15 years of private, nonprofit and public sector experience. He has worked as a nonprofit director, educator, policy analyst, volunteer, and advocate across the fields of workforce, education, and economic development. A leader in workforce development and human capital issues, Louis has published articles and op-eds on workforce and innovation.

Prior to joining American Progress, he served as Director of Business Development at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation where he managed Rhode Island’s business attraction, export assistance, government contracting, and small business initiatives from 2003 to 2006. As Director of Education and Training for the Rhode Island Technology Council from 2000–2002, Louis developed and managed a workforce training strategy for a 240-member trade association, which included implementing education-business partnerships at the high school, college, and corporate levels to align with relevant workplace skills.

He also was a small business consultant with the U.S. Peace Corps in Romania in 1995 and 1996. Louis has expertise in state strategy and incentives for economic development, adult literacy, and workforce development. He holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from Brown University.

Joy Moses | Poverty Issues

Joy Moses is a Policy Analyst with the Poverty & Prosperity program at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, she was a Children and Youth Staff Attorney at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. The majority of her practice focused on the education rights of homeless students, including ensuring school enrollments and participation in such services as the National School Lunch Program, special education, and preschool education. Her efforts involved producing informational publications; presenting at workshops focused on explaining relevant laws and best practices; administrative and legislative advocacy; litigation; and providing technical assistance to state and local school officials, legal advocates for children, service providers, and families.

She began her career as an Equal Justice Works fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where she worked on policy and litigation activities related to high stakes testing, school desegregation, and access to the courts for civil rights plaintiffs. These efforts led Joy to become a co-editor and chapter author for a book entitled Awakening From the Dream: Civil Rights Under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice as well as steering committee member for the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights. She has also sought to be involved in the D.C. legal community, having served as a president of the Washington Council of Lawyers, an organization promoting pro bono and public interest advocacy as a means of ensuring equal justice for low income residents of the District of Columbia.

Joy received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Stanford University.

Rev. Edward N. Cole | Faith Based Partnerships

Rev. Edward N. Cole is a native Washingtonian with more than 20+ years working with inner city youth and adults in the areas of mentoring, spiritual counseling, one-on-one counseling, life skills and job-readiness training. He has served with the D.C. Department of Corrections and the Oak Hill Youth Center in Laurel, MD as a chaplain.

Serving as the President/CEO of Through His Eyes Youth Empowerment Corporation, Rev. Cole shares a special interest in youth and juvenile justice programs. He has received specialized training in therapeutic setting, one-on-one counseling, team treatment, life skills and job placement. Rev. Cole is a member of the board of directors for the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Club that serves over 12,000 youth. He is also a member of the East of the river Clergy Police Community Partnership and the American Correctional Association.  

Rev. Cole attended the Jericho Christian College and received training in Biblical Chronology, Religious Education and Church History. He serves as Mission and Outreach minister at New Jericho Community Church in Laurel, MD. He is a friend to mankind and truly a lover of God. He also served as Vice-President of Programs for the Council of Churches of Greater Washington.

Randy Knox | Corporate Sustainability

Randy Knox currently serves as the Senior Director of Global Workplace Solutions for Adobe Systems, Inc. Randy oversees all aspects of real estate, facilities and security worldwide for Adobe Systems Inc. In addition to Adobe’s corporate headquarters in San Jose, Calif., the company's real estate portfolio includes major software development centers in San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Newton, Mass.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Ottawa, Canada; Noida, India; Bangalore, India; Beijing, China; Hamburg, Germany and Bucharest, Romania. Adobe has more than 90 sites worldwide.

Adobe’s headquarters is one of the largest corporate facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area, comprised of nearly 2 million square feet of office and parking space. Spearheading Adobe’s efforts in conserving resources and increasing building efficiencies, Knox introduced state-of-the-art technology enabling Adobe to achieve U.S. Energy Star qualification in 2005. In December 2006, Adobe became the first company in the world to receive three platinum certifications under the U.S. Green Building Council’s prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) program.

Prior to joining Adobe in 1999, Knox was vice president of facilities operations at Novell Incorporated. Knox began his career as an electronic technician for the United States Air Force and Advanced Memory Systems.

Knox is an active member of CoreNet, an association for corporate real estate and related professionals. He holds a master’s degree in business from the University of Redlands and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delaware.