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Founder & CEO

John Bridgeland

John Bridgeland is Founder & CEO of Civic, a social enterprise firm in Washington, D.C. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of the COVID Collaborative, a national platform that marshals top leaders and institutions in health, education and the economy to work with state and local leaders to combat COVID.  He is also the Co-Founder of ACT NOW, a ground-up effort to re-envision policing and public safety across 14 communities representing the diversity of the United States.  He is also Vice Chairman of UNITE, a national platform that brings leaders across sectors and political parties together to tackle public challenges.  Bridgeland is Vice Chair of Service Year Alliance at The Aspen Institute to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds, Co-Convener of GradNation to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020, and Vice Chairman of Malaria No More, a nonprofit working to end malaria deaths in Africa.


Previously, Bridgeland was appointed by President Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions. He also served as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Assistant to the President of the United States, and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps after 9/11 under President George W. Bush. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law and has given commencement addresses at the College of William & Mary, Johns Hopkins University, Saint Anselm College, Averett University, Hamline University, and Ripon College. In addition, he founded Tennis for America in 2020 with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, which awarded him their “Lifetime Achievement Award,” presented by Wimbledon Champion Stan Smith.


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Matthew Atwell


Senior Research and Policy Analyst

Matthew Atwell has been a member of the Civic team since 2015. He conducts data analysis and research on a diverse set of policy areas, including the education gap, civic health, social mobility, and ocean conservation. He has co-authored numerous nationally syndicated Civic reports, including Building a Grad Nation, Hidden in Plain Sight, Our Opportunity Nation, and the Great American High School Campaign, and was the lead author of Civic Deserts: America’s Civic Health Challenge. Matt is an honors graduate of St. Joseph’s University, where he studied Political Science and Economics. During his undergraduate studies, he attended Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, where he also worked for a member of the European Parliament. ​In 2019, Matt received a Master's Degree in Applied Economics from George Washington University.

Ellie Manspile

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Operations Director

Ellie Manspile joined the Civic team as an Executive & Research Assistant in 2018. At Civic, she helped create Tennis for America, supports projects such as the annual Building A Grad Nation report and America's New Business Plan, and works on other topics including education, students experiencing homelessness, national service, and entrepreneurship. She also helps manage client contracts, finances, and the Fellow program. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Ellie graduated from The College of William & Mary summa cum laude as a double major in Government and Marketing with a concentration in Business Analytics. At W&M, Ellie served as a tour guide for the W&M Admissions Office, a marketing intern for Student Engagement and Leadership, and worked in Corporate Communications at the Richmond Federal Reserve. She currently serves on the W&M Washington D.C. Alumni Chapter Board as the Communications Chair.

Fallon Bridgeland


Research Associate

Fallon Bridgeland joined the core Civic team in 2016. She has worked in business operation, development, and project management, as well as in research and policy support. Her project portfolio spans a wide range of issue areas. These projects include ACT NOW, a ground-up effort to re-envision policing and public safety across 14 communities representing the diversity of the United States, to the Aspen High Seas Initiative, bringing the national parks idea to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. Before 2016, she worked as a research fellow for Civic during winter breaks from college. Fallon graduated with high honors from the College of William and Mary, where she studied Psychology and Business Management. At W&M, Fallon held several leadership positions, including President of Reveille A Cappella, and completed an independent study in cognitive psychological research. Fallon lived abroad at Cambridge University in England, where she studied English literature and German studies. She serves as a member of EARTH College’s President’s Youth Advisory Board and is lead singer and songwriter for her band, Far Places.

Arushi Bansal


Research Fellow

Arushi Bansal is a Civic Fellow for the summer of 2021. She is a rising second year at the University of Chicago and is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Economics with a specialization in Data Science. On campus, she is a Public Policy Scholar, Junior Writer for the university’s political newsletter The Gate, and Session Leader for the Women+ Leadership Institute. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she has interned with the Office of Network Support at Chicago Public Schools, preparing reopening guidances for principals as the district transitioned from remote to hybrid learning. She also closely worked with the Communications and Marketing team of the Chicago nonprofit Debate It Forward. She is passionate about educational policy and the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on student outcomes.

Ryan Lenaghan


Research Fellow

Ryan Lenaghan is a rising junior at Virginia Tech, majoring in Political Science with a focus on Law; he is also pursuing a minor in Science, Technology, and Law. Ryan maintains a Dean’s List grade point average. Outside of the classroom, he is actively involved in the Phi Alpha Delta professional legal fraternity and also holds leadership positions in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. A member of the 2019 Virginia Tech Men’s hockey team, he has also served as a Youth Coach for a local hockey organization. In his prior summer at Civic, Ryan worked on a range of projects including ACT NOW, Unite, and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.

Adriana Obeso


Research Fellow

Adriana Obeso joined Civic in 2021 as a Summer fellow. She is a rising third-year student at the University of Chicago studying Public Policy and Economics with a Specialization in Business. On campus, Adriana serves as a Research Lead for the Paul Douglas Institute, a student-run think tank through which she has published two reports: Municipal Housing Law Enforcement in Chicago and Ban the Box Illinois: The Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences of “Fair Chance” Policies. Adriana also served as a Research Associate for the Global Student Policy Alliance, evaluating the implementation of climate policies across 193 countries through the creation of an Open Climate Policy Database and World Ranking Index. Over the last year, Adriana has also served as a nonprofit consultant, designing and implementing projects on behalf of campusCATALYST and the Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement. Prior to joining Civic, Adriana served as a Policy Research Intern for Advance Illinois, where she collaborated with educators to develop data-informed policies to support student success in the Illinois Public School System. Adriana is passionate about developing data-informed solutions to our nation’s most challenging problems.

Bennett Stillerman

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Research Fellow

Bennett Stillerman joined Civic in 2021 as a Research Fellow. He is a junior Robertson Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Political Science and Public Policy, with a minor in Statistics. On campus, Bennett is the current Managing Editor of the Carolina Political Review, as well as a member of the Student Leadership Team for the UNC Institute of Politics. He is also a former Editorial Board member for the Daily Tar Heel. In the fall and summer of 2020, Bennett worked on the Cal Cunningham for US Senate Campaign, as well as working for the Sabato Crystal Ball at the UVA Center for Politics, publishing an article on the 2020 Election in North Carolina. He is passionate about public service and electoral politics.

Gary R. Edson



Gary Edson is Principal of Civic. He is a White House veteran, non-profit executive, and recognized leader in global development. Condoleezza Rice has called him “one of the best ‘policy engineers’” she has ever known. As Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor to President George W. Bush, Edson established the groundbreaking Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty; co-led the development of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; co-chaired the Task Force on New York Economic Revitalization after 9/11; and helped launch Volunteers for Prosperity. Earlier in his career, he served as General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative. In the non-profit sector, Edson has served as CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, helping Haiti “build back better” after the devastating 2010 earthquake, and President of Conservation International. He is Senior Advisor at TOTAL Impact Capital, a merchant bank for impact investment, and an affiliate partner at Lindsay Goldberg LLC, a private equity firm. He was previously Chairman of PAR Systems, Inc, a provider of intelligent robotic systems, and Managing Director at the Albright Stonebridge Group.

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