The Common Interest, the state-level pilot organization, operated in Idaho from 2005 – 2009. Its major legislative achievements led the Idaho Democratic Party to make the unusual move of asking him, as an independent, to be their nominee for Governor in 2010.
Prior to returning home to pilot the citizens’ group, Keith became the first professor of negotiation and conflict resolution hired by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He started his academic career as a professor at Columbia.
Keith has also served in a variety of business leadership roles. Most recently, he was a partner at the Cicero Group, ranked the 12th best boutique management consulting firm in the world by Vault.com. Prior to Cicero, he served as COO of Health Catalyst. Keith’s leadership there played a critical role in attracting a major investment by Sequoia Capital. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Midas Gold, which trades on the Toronto Exchange (TSX: MAX).
Keith earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior from UCLA and BA in American History from Stanford. A fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up working summers on the family cattle ranch, Keith finished eighth in the world standings of the National Cutting Horse Association in 2017 after competing in the World Finals in Fort Worth. He and Christine are the proud parents of Anna (16), Dan (14), and Cate (11). The kids are still deciding if they’ve forgiven their parents for moving them from Idaho to DC this summer.
He is the author or editor of six books, including Getting Primaried: The Causes and Consequences of Congressional Primary Challenges (University of Michigan Press, 2013); Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform in the United States and Canada (University of Michigan Press, 2011); and the edited volume The Deregulatory Moment? A Comparative Perspective on Changing Campaign Finance Laws (University of Michigan Press, 2016).
He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Carleton College.
Celeste served in the Ohio Legislature from 2007-2012. Known for working effectively “across the aisle” whether he was in the majority or the minority, he has lived his belief in respectful dialogue. One of the only candidates for state office who insisted on running a positive campaign, he won each of his 3 races with a comfortable majority in a swing district. He was recognized for his emphasis on civil dialogue with the John Glenn Public Policy Institute’s Outstanding Public Service Award in 2011. Celeste lives in Columbus, Ohio, is married and has two daughters and 3 grandchildren.
Prior to joining NICD, she served as the Senior Director of Field Support for the League of Women Voters of the United States. There she worked with national, state and local leadership on internal governance programs and civic capacity building through development of a nationwide training system and volunteer coaching structure to increase organizational outreach and effectiveness. Prior to that she served as Executive Director of AFL-CIO’s national youth group, where she developed an international anti-child labor campaign called the Toycott (a boycott of toys made in China). Cheryl also served as Legislative Director for the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) and helped pass a state “motor voter” law designed to increase voter registration among under represented populations through public agencies. She also worked as a district Field Representative for Minnesota Congressman Gerry Sikorski when he served in Congress.
She and her husband Alain Fournier enjoy spending time in nature and observing birds through experiences in our country’s state and national parks.
Hala has more than fifteen years of experience as a manager in the public and nonprofit sector. She organized civic engagement projects around the country with AmericaSpeaks. These community engagement campaigns brought people—ranging from stakeholders, constituents, and residents—into conversations on policy issues to help inform decisions on potentially contentious issues. Hala also worked in the office of District of Columbia Mayor, Anthony Williams, where she organized public engagement activities with local residents.
Hala holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. In her spare time, Hala can be found exploring her home of Washington, DC with her family.
Prior to joining the Institute, she served as a Major Gifts Officer at Share Our Strength focusing primarily in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. In addition to cultivating and stewarding donors, she played a pivotal role in increasing the organization’s donor base and creating new fundraising events and platforms. Maya created a successful Mid-Tier Ambassador Program for Share Our Strength that explored ways to further engage and increase giving amongst mid-level donors, garnering industry interest when she presented her findings at the annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference in 2015 and she has also published advice on how to engage these types of crucial and loyal donors.
Previously, Maya was at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), where she worked on the Northeast finance team. She helped plan and execute a $10 million fundraising plan for the 2010 & 2012 cycles. In this role, Maya built, organized and staffed fundraising events and was the point person for the DSCC’s annual New England Technology Conference in Boston, a biennial Women's Policy Conference in New York City, and a Women on the Road Fly-around effort with all Women Senators and Candidates. Prior to her time at the DSCC, Maya worked at a lobbying firm leading their fundraising efforts.
Maya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and a Master’s degree in Political Management from The George Washington University.
Tara came to the Institute seeking to assist other like-minded individuals in making a difference in the world.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Prior to joining the Institute, Makayla served in the office of Ohio State Senator Charleta B. Tavares as a Legislative Service Commission (LSC) Fellow. An Ohio native, Makayla attended Bowling Green State University prior to participating in the LSC Fellowship Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies focusing in American Foreign Policy.
Makayla came to the Institute seeking to work collaboratively with state legislators who want to recreate America’s political culture and take back policy for people instead of parties.
Previously, Tim served as Director of the Center for Leadership and Engagement at Wagner College and as Research Associate at the Kettering Foundation where he engaged in research focusing on deliberative democracy and citizen-centered politics. He came to NICD to help build the research network and to support efforts that are explicitly connected to democratic and political engagement. He earned a BA from St. Bonaventure University, MA and MPA from the University of Dayton, and Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Nadine brings nearly thirteen years of Ohio state government and academic experience, serving in various liaison and communication capacities at state agencies, legislative offices, and a public university. Most recently, Nadine served as the communication and marketing manager for the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center, located at The Ohio State University. Her roles throughout state government and academia included legislative liaising, communications, external relations, social media and website management, and brand identity.
Nadine graduated from Ohio University (‘05) with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and a specialty in Political Communications and Public Advocacy. She enjoys spending time with her two young children and husband in Worthington, Ohio.