President, Michigan State Board of Education
John Austin was first elected to the State Board of Education in 2000 and is currently serving in his second term. He is director of the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening Michigan's competitiveness in the global economy. Austin has spearheaded numerous initiatives with Prima Civitas and coined the term "blue economy" to describe Michigan's unique water-related resources and promote them as economic assets. He is also a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, where he directed the Great Lakes Economic Initiative. He was the founding director of the $100-million New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, and served in 2004 as policy director and principal report author for Governor Granholm's Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth, chaired by Lt. Governor John Cherry. A lecturer at the University of Michigan, Austin is a graduate of Swarthmore College and holds a master’s from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Senior Fellow, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Richard Longworth is an expert on globalization and a writer and speaker on the impact of globalization on the American Midwest. He is the author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism and writes and hosts the CCGA blog “The Midwesterner." Longworth joined the Chicago Council after a career in journalism, including 20 years as a foreign correspondent with the Chicago Tribune and United Press International. Longworth reported from 80 countries on five continents and won two Overseas Press Club awards, plus every major national award for economic reporting, in addition to twice being a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Longworth’s Global Squeeze was one of the first books on globalization, while “Global Chicago,” a report written for the MacArthur Foundation, led to the founding of the CCGA’s Global Chicago Center. Longworth is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; has been a visiting scholar or lecturer at DePaul University, Northwestern University, and Columbia University; and is a mentor at the Harris School at the University of Chicago. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Jocelyn Sargent is a key player in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's mission to provide and improve resources for vulnerable children. She leads and develops design and management plans for foundation-sponsored programs, based on research into national program trends and directions. Charged with determining the potential of both human and financial resources, Sargent focuses on statewide programs for Michigan, and also serves on the Kellogg Foundation's Racial Equity Team. She came to the foundation from the University of North Carolina, where she served as program director of the Institute of African American Research and as assistant director for the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. She also was the deputy director and a senior research associate at the Howard Samuels State Management and Policy Center at City University of New York Graduate Center. Prior to this, she worked at the Open Society Foundation as a program director and created and administered foundation’s Southern Initiative, an innovative program designed to increase the capacity of grassroots advocacy groups and support community organizing across the American South. An expert on organizational development and the research and evaluation of community development programs, Sargent is a graduate of the University of Texas and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Peggy Sindt, ’73
President, Albion Economic Development Corporation
Through the Albion Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Peggy Sindt oversees the retention, recruitment and growth of local business. The EDC also manages the Albion Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (currently administering its third U.S. EPA grant) and the Albion Tax Increment Finance Authority. Sindt and the EDC were instrumental in helping Albion attract the recently announced $78.4-million Brembo foundry project, demolish a building on a brownfield site and acquire funding to expand the industrial park and start the Albion Health Care Alliance after the closing of the local hospital. Sindt has been named a Certified Economic Developer by the Michigan Economic Developers Association, and applies this expertise to service in several regional development organizations. She is a member of Albion College's Class of 1973 and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Vice President for University Engagement, Cleveland State University
Byron White has spent his career as a journalist and administrator in the corporate, non-profit, and public sectors. At Cleveland State, he serves as vice president for university engagement and chief diversity officer, advancing civic engagement, workplace engagement, and inclusion and multicultural engagement. White previously held executive administrative positions with the Ohio Board of Regents and Xavier University in Cincinnati. A journalist for many years, White was an editor and editorial writer for The Cincinnati Post and the Chicago Tribune, where he also served as senior manager for community relations. He currently represents Cleveland State on the executive committee of the Fund for Our Economic Future, the board of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the advisory committee of Central Promise Neighborhood, and as chair of Campus District Inc. He is a graduate of Ohio University with a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.