Alicia Dennis has worked throughout PEOPLE’s sections for more than 15 years, earning multiple editorial awards for reporting and breaking news coverage. As editorial director for the crime, human interest and sports sections, Dennis oversees teams of journalists who report on individuals around the country making a difference in their communities and making unique and remarkable connections. She directs the investigative efforts of a team delving into crime cases around the world, bringing millions of readers (in addition to viewers on Investigation Discovery’s People Magazine Investigates series) compelling accounts of mystery, intrigue and insight from victims and their families. 

Emiliana Guereca is a renowned feminist and entrepreneur who dedicates her life to promoting women’s rights and social justice. Emiliana founded the Women’s March Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of women, minorities, and marginalized communities.

 Women’s March Foundation organized the largest protest, Women’s March Los Angeles, in 2017.  

In addition to her work with the Women’s March Foundation, Emiliana is also the founder of Women’s March Action. This political organization mobilizes women and other marginalized groups to vote, run for office, and engage in the political process. Through these organizations, Emiliana has been at the forefront of some of the most significant social and political movements of our time . 

Emiliana’s commitment to social justice and her unwavering dedication to promoting women’s rights have earned her numerous accolades and awards, including recognition as a “Woman to Watch” by Los Angeles Magazine, and a “Hero of the Resistance” by The Advocate. Her work has also been featured in The New York Times, CNN, and NPR, among other media outlets.

Emiliana is a true inspiration to all those who strive for a more just and equitable world, and her work continues to have a lasting impact on society.

Carolina García Jayaram is the Founding CEO of The Elevate Prize Foundation, a global purpose-driven nonprofit that serves to amplify social impact and empower passionate problem solvers, leaders, and innovators.

García Jayaram has over two decades of experience in leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to enriching and shaping social impact, philanthropy, and culture. She is a devoted advocate for the democratization of philanthropy, increasing the visibility of changemakers on mainstream platforms to deepen their impact and the creation of pathways for everyone to take action and ignite social change.  

She most recently served as CEO & president of the National Young Arts Foundation and, prior to that, as president & CEO of United States Artists, where she created a funder coalition endowment to help support the country’s most accomplished artists.

Previously, García Jayaram was the executive director of the Chicago Artists Coalition. While there, she was a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Cultural Advisory Council and was named “Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts” by the Chicago Tribune.

Currently, García Jayaram serves as a Member of Fast Company’s Social Impact Council; as a founding Ambassador for Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace, and Security; Emeritus Board member of Guitars Over Guns;  and as the new Co-Chair of the University of Miami School of Law’s LL.M. Program in Sports, Arts + Entertainment Law.

Joe is the chairman of Commonwealth Financial Network, which he founded in 1979 and which currently has $200B in assets under management.

He is also chairman of Southworth Development, a golf and resort real estate company with award-winning properties in the United States, Scotland and The Bahamas.

In 2011, he helped to form Commonwealth Cares to maximize the impact of Commonwealth Financial Network’s charitable efforts. Since its inception in 2010, Commonwealth Cares has supported more than 360 different organizations that relieve human suffering, promote social and economic growth, and protect our planet’s resources.

In 2012, Joe founded the Deitch Leadership Institute at the Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the United States. The institute provides leadership training and focuses on the individual growth of students as well as on community improvement.

Joe is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the author of the bestselling book, > Elevate: An Essential Guide to Life.

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, co-Founder & President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network, and national bestselling author of ‘Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action‘. Dr. Fajgenbaum is also a patient battling a deadly disease which he discovered a treatment for that is saving his life and others. Through his work at Penn, he has also identified and advanced 11 other treatments for autoimmunity and cancer. He recently co-founded Every Cure, a non-profit on a mission to unlock the full potential of FDA-approved medicines to treat every disease possible. He has been profiled by The NY Times, TODAY, GMA, and others and received numerous awards including the 2016 Atlas Award along with then VP Joe Biden and Forbes 30 Under 30. Dr. Fajgenbaum earned a BS from Georgetown University, MSc from the University of Oxford, MD from the University of Pennsylvania, and MBA from The Wharton School. 

A Peabody and six-time Emmy Award® winner, Michelle Genece Patterson has nearly 30 years of broadcasting and production experience in network and cable television news and documentaries. 

Michelle currently serves as Senior Producer for the cross-platform, multi-network, global initiative CNN Heroes which recognizes and honors everyday people whose positive works help to change the world. Having helped launch this award-winning campaign, now in its seventeenth year and based in New York, Michelle oversees editorial content – supervising story selection, vetting and verification, production, staff assignments and cross-network coordination for the campaign. Michelle also serves as liaison to CNN’s Standards & Practices and Legal departments and as Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa’s producer for the annual special, “CNN Heroes: An-All Star Tribute.”

Michelle broadened the scope of the CNN Heroes Award by cultivating a ten-year collaboration with the Annenberg Foundation, an organization recognized for its support of nonprofits globally. Now, she manages a new collaboration with The Elevate Foundation, whose mission is to amplify changemakers and drive meaningful impact. This collaboration will help CNN Heroes sustain their good work and strengthen their abilities to leverage the exposure, opportunities and resources awarded to them by CNN. The Elevate Foundation is providing Top 10 CNN Heroes with invaluable non-profit training and has awarded each 2022 Top 10 CNN Hero with a $25,000 grant to further their work.

A native of Boston, MA, Michelle is of Haitian descent and currently resides in Yonkers, NY with her husband and young daughter. 

Lisa Singh is the Director of the Massive Data Institute and a Professor in the Department of Computer at Georgetown University.  She has authored/co-authored over 95 peer reviewed publications and book chapters related to data-centric computing, e.g. data mining, data privacy, and data science, and is a co-author of Words That Matter: How News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Election.  Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, the State Department, the Office of Naval Research, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Department of Defense.  Current projects include understanding online social movements, developing methods and tools to better understand forced migration, learning from public, open source big data to advance our understanding of human behavior and public opinion, detecting and monitoring poor-quality information on social media, and understanding social structures and behavior dissemination in animal societies.   Her work has been featured in different media outlets, including the CNN, the Washington Post, and NPR. Dr. Singh is also involved in different initiatives focused on increasing participation of women in computing and integrating computational thinking into K-12 curricula. She received her B.S. from Duke University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. 

Jennifer Humke is a Senior Program Officer in the Journalism and Media Program at the MacArthur Foundation. Through her grantmaking, she supports organizations and activities that encourage and train individuals and groups, particularly young people and those from historically marginalized communities, to use participatory media tools, platforms, and practices to contribute to public dialogue and help shape culture and policy. Previously, she served as a Program Officer for MacArthur’s Digital Media and Learning Program, a 10-year, $200 million initiative aimed at re-imagining learning for the digital age. Prior to her tenure with MacArthur, Jennifer worked in the Communications Office at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and for three years she served as the Communications Manager for an international human rights NGO in Kampala, Uganda, that trained human rights activists from countries in conflict how to identify and document gender-specific human rights abuses in war. She has a joint MA from the School of International Service and the School of Communications at American University and a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently serves on the Board of Young Chicago Authors, a Chicago-based arts education nonprofit; the Board of the Impact Guild, a new global membership organization designed to connect, empower and activate people who use media, technology and popular culture for social good and healthy democracies; and the Harmony Labs Narrative Observatory Advisory Board.  

As Chief Science & Innovation Officer at the National Geographic Society, Ian Miller oversees the Society’s research and conservation functions to ensure that science continues to be foundational to the organization’s programs for impact and illumination. 

Before joining the Society, Miller spent 15 years at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, most recently serving as the director of Earth and Space Sciences. During this time he studied fossil plants, paleoclimate, paleoecology, and tectonics, and he also co-led the Snowmastodon Project, which provided a new benchmark for understanding climate change in the American West. 

Throughout his academic career, Miller has natural history experience on all seven continents and has been a lead scientist on major field expeditions in Madagascar and much of the western United States. He continues to collaborate on research projects in paleobiology and geology focused on the recovery of life following Earth’s last mass extinction.

Beyond his work as a scientist, Miller has led museum initiatives aimed at deepening people’s connection with the natural world and unearthing major trends in new and existing audiences that are defining the future of museums. 

Miller received his Ph.D. and master’s degree in geology and paleobotany from Yale University, and a B.A. in geology from Colorado College.

An Unwavering Believer in the Power of Partnership, Alex Jakana is Senior Program Officer for Philanthropic Partnerships at the Gates Foundation with 6+ years of experience specializing in partnership development, advanced negotiation, networking, stakeholder management, and fundraising. Over this time, He has managed active investments in Africa, Asia, the USA, and the UK.

Before joining the foundation, Alex was an Executive Producer of editorial partnerships at the BBC in London, the culmination of an eighteen-year-long career as an international multimedia journalist.

Alex is a passionate advocate of collaboration!

Sahar is a founding Co-Director of Color Congress, an ecosystem-builder that resources, supports, and connects organizations led by people of color that serve nonfiction filmmakers, leaders, and audiences of color across the US and US islands, with Sonya Childress. She is a veteran documentary impact strategist, field builder, and researcher. In her career she has led impact campaigns and strategy for over two-dozen documentaries, created documentary impact resources, designed and led impact trainings and grantmaking programs. In 2020 she authored the Ford Foundation commissioned report, Beyond Inclusion: The Critical Role of People of Color in the U.S. Documentary Ecosystem

Sonya Lockett is a seasoned media executive and nationally recognized strategist at the intersection of entertainment, advocacy and social impact.  As head of The Next Slate, Sonya works with organizations and individuals to develop initiatives that drive action and increase their positive impact in the world. 

Most recently she served as Chief Impact officer at 1 Community where she developed issue-based campaigns to leverage the power of their content (including Just Mercy, Respect) through strategic partnerships with organizations to mobilize and advance change and culture shifts on vital issues.  

As Vice-President of Social Responsibility for BET/Viacom, Sonya maximized the network’s platforms to engage consumers and corporate partners in social change initiatives.  Under her leadership, BET earned the TV Cares “Ribbon of Hope Award”, an NAACP Image Award and the 2007 Emmy Award for Best National Public Service Campaign.  

Sonya is a founding board member of Higher Heights for America, and The Impact Guild where she serves as Co-Chair.  Sonya also serves on the Board of the Social Impact Fund.  She is a graduate of the Harvard’s Executive Education Program in Corporate Social Responsibility, the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program. She was named one of Most Influential Minorities in Cable and has been honored for her community work by New York Cares, Black AIDS Institute and Planned Parenthood Federation of America among others.

A native of Baton Rouge, LA., Sonya is a proud graduate of Howard University.