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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.

Carolina Rivera

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Research Fellow

Carolina Rivera, a rising sophomore at the College of William & Mary is a Civic Fellow for the Spring of 2021. She is pursuing a double-major degree in International Relations and Hispanic Studies with a self-designed minor in GIS. Carolina is a student analyst at W&M's geoLab, ranked member of W&M’s Club Tennis, member of the Filipino and Latin American Student Associations, and a panel member of the Student Conduct Council. She aspires to be a U.S. Ambassador and is passionate about the issues surrounding marginalized communities in the U.S, environmental conservation and Hispanic & Asian Studies. Her interests include playing tennis, being with friends and family, filmmaking and painting.

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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