About the Summit

Each year, City Year's In School & On Track National Leadership Summit convenes national and local leaders from the education, business, government, and philanthropic communities to discuss the unique and targeted role national service can play in helping to turn around low-performing schools. 

When: Wednesday, April 29 - Thursday, April 30, 2015 

Where:  ​Washington Hilton, Washington DC 

Registration is by invitation only.

Hotel Information: City Year has reserved a block of hotel rooms April 29-May 1 for the National Leadership Summit at the Washington Hilton, located at 1919 Connecticut Ave NW, at the discounted rate of $279/night. To reserve a room within the City Year block, you can book online through this link, using the reservation code CYE or call (202) 483-3000 and ask for the City Year room rate.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, April 29: ​ 

  • Board of Trustees Meeting 
  • Hill Day Meetings 
  • Congressional Dinner & Awards at Union Station 

Thursday, April 30: 

  • Board of Trustees & Site Board Breakfast 
  • District Leaders & Alumni Breakfasts 
  • Summit Programming 
  • Evening Celebration at Newseum 

Our Sponsors

Sponsored by CSX & Comcast NBCUniversal

 For additional information about the Summit, please contact Nicole Kennedy at nkennedy@cityyear.org



8:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Breakfast available for Summit attendees - Columbia Hall

8:00 AM - General Registration and Hill Day packet pick up in Opens - Columbia Foyer

9:00 AM - Hill Day Meetings Begin (will vary by site) - Capitol Hill
Delegations from City Year’s 26 sites will visit Members of Congress and their staff to discuss the unique role City Year AmeriCorps members play in high-need urban schools and to encourage active and on-going support for increased funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

2:00 PM - Corporate Partner Meeting - Washington Hilton

2:30 PM - Board of Trustees Meeting - Washington Hilton


This evening will kick off National Leadership Summit by recognizing and celebrating those who make our work in schools possible. The event will feature remarks from members of Congress, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and our Summit sponsors, as well as the presentation of the Eli J. Segal Corps Member of the Year Award, the Seven Generations Award, and our newest honor, the Champions of Student Success Award, which will recognize a member from each of our 26 U.S. site delegations for outstanding contributions to the advancement of City Year's work.

Confirmed Speakers:
Michael Brown, CEO & Co-Founder, City Year, Inc.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio
AnnMaura Connolly, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President, City Year, Inc.
David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
Wendy Spencer, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

• Mithra Irani Ramaley, Senior Vice President, Regional and Site Operations, City Year, Inc.
• Sean Holleran, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, City Year, Inc.
• Phyllis Segal, Vice President, Encore.org

5:30 PM - Cocktail Reception
6:45 PM - Awards Ceremony Begins


7:00 AM - Registration Opens - Columbia Foyer 


• Board of Trustees & Site Board Breakfast
• District Partners Breakfast
• AmeriCorps Members & Alumni Breakfast

Breakfast for all Summit attendees will be available beginning at 8 am in Columbia Hall. Breakfast will be served at all specialty breakfasts in their designated rooms.



At least year's Summit, City Year released the Blueprints for Local Impact - customized plans for each site to help City Year achieve its Long Term Impact Goal. The Opening Plenary will spotlight some of our most significant breakthroughs on impact and partnerships and outline where challenges remain, and feature innovations that are expanding support for national service and generating powerful results for students and schools.

Featured Speakers:
Michael Brown, CEO & Co-Founder, City Year, Inc.
AnnMaura Connolly, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President, City Year, Inc.
Barbara M. Jenkins, Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools
Jordan Plante, Executive Director, City Year Orlando 


Looking Ahead: Deepening Partnerships with Federal, State & Local Education Partners to Achieve the LTI
How does federal education policy and funding make its way to the state and local level and to the schoolhouse? What are the most effective and efficient ways to drive change? What are the barriers to and accelerators for improving outcomes? This conversation will help to answer those and other questions while providing a set of tools for making your city’s Long Term Impact Blueprint come to life.

Confirmed Panelists:
Sally Bachofer, Senior Advisor to the President, City Year, Inc. 
Chris Maher, President, Mass Insight Education
Veronica Conforme,  Chancellor, Educational Achievement Authority of Michigan

Resourcing the LTI: The Red Jacket Society
Individual City Year sites’ local analyses reveal that one of the greatest areas of opportunity for engaging philanthropic support for the Long-Term Impact Strategy is in individual major gifts. This session will enable participants to learn from City Year leaders from across the country who participated in a pilot of the Red Jacket Society, an initiative to attract gifts of $10,000 or more, with great success. You will learn about how they attracted donors to the Red Jacket Society through personal solicitations and engagement events, how they created a world-class donor experience by connecting donors to City Year AmeriCorps members, and how they are differentiating the society from other local giving organizations.

Confirmed Panelists:
Allison Graff-Weisner, Chief Development & Alumni Officer, City Year, Inc. (Moderator)
Erica Hamilton, Executive Director, City Year New York
Ana Mari Ortega, Founder and Creative Director of Ana Mari Ortega, LLC
Ryan Cotton, Managing Director, Bain Capital
Michael Ward, Chairman and CEO, CSX
Jeremy Cramer, Vice President, Major Gifts, City Year, Inc.

The Road Ahead for AmeriCorps: A Conversation with Leaders from the Corporation for National and Community Service
This session will feature leaders from CNCS, who will share thoughts on priorities for the national service field in the coming months and discuss ways in which City Year can be a powerful partner as we advance our common goals of expanding service opportunities in America and addressing pressing public concerns.

Confirmed Panelists:
• Jennifer Ney, Vice President of Public Policy, City Year, Inc.
John Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff, CNCS
Ted Miller, Chief of External Affairs, CNCS
Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps
Dr. Mary Hyde, Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation, CNCS

Evidence-based Innovation: Emerging Findings from the Diplomas Now Randomized Control Trial
Third party researcher MDRC has been evaluating the Diplomas Now collaboration between City Year, Talent Development Secondary, and Communities In Schools in partnership with eleven school districts. This research is utilizing a national randomized control study to uncover the impacts and conditions needed to drive school improvement. In this session, MDRC and other representatives from the field will discuss findings from the first two reports of the study and underscore the importance of this type of research in driving practice and policy in the sector.

Confirmed Panelists:
Michele Cahill, Distinguished Fellow in Education and Youth Development (Moderator)
William Corrin, Deputy Director, K-12 Education Policy, MDRC

Jeremy Ayers, Vice President of Policy, Results for America
• Dr. Robert Balfanz, Senior Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University and Co-Director of Talent Development Secondary

Leveraging National Service for Workforce Development & Engagement
A growing body of research shows that national service can be a powerful tool for developing job skills, career success and long-term community investment. This session will discuss the barriers and opportunities in recruiting more young people to serve, identify the value AmeriCorps alumni bring to the workforce, and showcase the ways in which leading companies are helping to address social issues through the support of national service.

Confirmed Panelists:
Chris Mann, Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, City Year, Inc. (Moderator)
David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation

Kyle Caldwell, Program Director, C.S. Mott Foundation
Melanie Brennand Mueller, Vice President of Recruitment, City Year, Inc.
Molly Mitzner, Community Engagement Specialist, CSX (CYDC '14)
Meredith Fontecchio, Senior Manager, Corporate Citizenship, Deloitte Services LLP

• Sophie Livingstone, Chief Executive, City Year UK
Mary Bruce, Co-Director, AmeriCorps Alums

FOR AMERICORPS MEMBERS ONLY - Four Corners ~ Social Change Agents in Action
An interactive session for City Year’s AmeriCorps members with Charlie Rose, Dean of City Year, which will focus on exploring attitudes, perspectives and approaches to social change.

Confirmed Speaker:
Charlie Rose, Senior Vice President and Dean, City Year, Inc.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM   |   LUNCH PLENARY 


In the current political climate and looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election, we must work together to engage elected officials, build support for City Year, and secure a vibrant future for the national service movement.  During our lunch plenary, leading Washington strategists will offer insights on effective strategies in competing for limited agenda space, forging productive relationships with policymakers on both sides of the political aisle, and creating a sense of political momentum looking toward the future of education and national service. This session will also feature remarks from our President and exciting announcements about new commitments to the organization. 

Featured Speakers:
Jonathan Lavine, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Sankaty Advisors

• Evelyn Barnes, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, City Year, Inc.
• Michael Ward, Chairman and CEO, CSX
AnnMaura Connolly, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President, City Year, Inc.
Bob Schieffer, CBS News, Face the Nation (moderator)UPDATED 4/3/15
Paul Begala, CNN Commentator, Democratic Strategist and Affiliated Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown
SE Cupp, CNN Contributor
EJ Dionne, Opinion Writer, Washington Post
Congressman Steve LaTourette, President and CEO, Republican Main Street Partnership
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress
Jim Balfanz, President, City Year Inc.
Christine Morin, Senior Vice President, Site Growth and New Site Development, City Year, Inc.

• George Deveney, Senior Director of New Site Development, City Year, Inc.


Integrating Academic and Social-Emotional Learning to Develop Academic Identity and Accelerate Student Achievement, Setting Students Up for Post Secondary Success
This session highlights City Year's evidence-based approach to advancing school culture and other youth development practices that result in increased student engagement and school performance. Includes remarks by Dr. Gil Noam, Founder and Director of Program for Education, Afterschool and Resiliency, City Year's social emotional development partner.

Confirmed Panelists:
Gil Noam, Founder and Director of the Program in Education, Afterschool & Resiliency
(PEAR) at Harvard University
Stephanie Wu, Senior Vice President of Impact

Voices from the Field: City Year AmeriCorps Member Panel Discussion
How do City Year AmeriCorps members know they’re making a difference? Join a panel discussion with current corps members who will share their stories of impact and highlight breakthrough moments in the classroom.

Confirmed Panelists:
Liz Looney Lorenz, Director of New Site Development, City Year Inc. (Moderator)

Alumni in the Classroom: Inspiring City Year's Future Educators
City Year AmeriCorps members increasingly want to teach in our country’s neediest schools. This year, City Year launched the Future Educators network of City Year AmeriCorps members interested in pursuing careers in teaching across the country. This session will highlight current members of the Future Educators network within City Year and current alumni teachers talking about their paths to teaching and to work that advances City Year’s Long-Term Impact Strategy.

Confirmed Panelists:
Lindy Smalt, AmeriCorps Recruitment Manager, Teach for America
Amanda Panciera, Senior National Manager, Alumni & Career Services, City Year Inc.
Courtney Harter, Senior Director of School Design, City Year Inc.
Christopher Valenzuela, Senior AmeriCorps Member and Team Leader, Locke High School,
City Year Los Angeles; Member, Future Educators Task Force
Michael Greer, Senior AmeriCorps Member & Learning and Development Project Leader, City
Year Washington, DC; Member, Future Educators Task Force

Conversation with Emma Vadehra, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Education
The U.S. Department of Education plays a key role in accelerating innovation in education and supporting districts and schools to ensure that all students graduate from high school college and career ready. Get an inside look at the U.S. Department of Education's top priorities and how they influence City Year's work in partner districts and schools through a conversation with Emma Vadehra, Chief of Staff for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. This session will be led by Dr. Bob Balfanz, research professor at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where he is co-director of the Talent Development Secondary reform model and director of the Everyone Graduates Center.

Dr. Robert Balfanz, Senior Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University and Co-Director of
Talent Development Secondary (Moderator)
Emma Vadehra, Chief of Staff to Secretary Duncan, U.S. Department of Education


Dedicated time to connect with colleagues and partners following Summit sessions. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

6:00 PM - Shuttles depart from Hilton for event at Newseum

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM   |   I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER   |   NEWSEUM

This very special evening will highlight our collective commitment to the success of all young people through President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative.  This exciting event will include a sneak peek of the compelling documentary ALL THE DIFFERENCE.  Inspired by Wes Moore’s New York Times bestselling book, The Other Wes Moore, Academy Award®-nominated and national Emmy-winning producer/director Tod Lending is producing and directing ALL THE DIFFERENCE, a feature length documentary film and media and community engagement project. Targeted for a theatrical release and national public television broadcast in the fall of 2015 as a part of the PBS American Graduate series, ALL THE DIFFERENCE interweaves the stories of two promising youth, Robert Henderson III and Krishaun Branch. Robert is currently serving as an AmeriCorps member with City Year in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Featured Speakers:
• Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Legend and NBA Global Ambassador
• Joy Thomas Moore, Co-Executive Producer, All the Difference
• Robert Henderson, City Year Columbia AmeriCorps Member
• Stephen Spaloss, Regional Vice President, City Year Inc.
• Broderick Johnson, White House Cabinet Secretary and Chair of My Brother’s Keeper

6:30 PM - Reception Begins
7:30 PM - Program Begins
9:00 PM - Evening Concludes
9:00 PM - Shuttles return to Hilton


7:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Breakfast available for Summit attendees - Columbia Hall

Internal Meetings:
8:30 AM - 11:00 AM - ED/RVP Meeting - Fairchild East & West