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Husky Leadership Initiative

September 2, 2016

U Lead We Lead 2016 Speakers Announced

The Husky Leadership Initiative is proud to present its annual kick-off event U Lead We Lead: For a Better Tomorrow. On October 20, students and other members of the University community will dig into stories from local luminaries who will each share their story and perspective and call you to action.

Thursday, October 20 | 6-8:00 p.m. HUB Ballroom
Register now!

2016 U Lead We Lead Speaker Line-up:

Patricia Whitefoot,
Tribal Leader & Education Champion 

Born and raised in the original homelands of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Patricia Whitefoot lives in White Swan, WA where she was raised by her maternal grandparents.  She continues to live in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains where early lessons were grounded in the natural environment and daily life around her.  Family travels along the Columbia River, bordering Oregon and Washington, to fish and gather the traditional foods fostered a deep relationship with the diverse landscape and extended Plateau family.

At the urging of her grandmother, Patsy obtained a B.A. with a Teaching Certificate in Education from Central Washington University in Ellensburg and a M.A. from Ft. Wright College in Spokane, WA.  For over 40 years, she has managed Indian Education and community mobilization programs from preschool to adult education at the tribal, and state level.  Currently, she is the director of the local Indian Education Program/Yakama Wellness Coalition.  Patsy serves as the Education Chair of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (62 Northwest Tribes).  Appointed by President Obama, Ms. Whitefoot also serves on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education with the U.S. Department of Education.  Currently she is serving a second term as the President of the National Indian Education Association.

She has three children who all graduated from White Swan High School on the Yakama Reservation and ten grandchildren.  In rearing her children and supporting extended family, she is always inspired by the Native children’s unique gift for endless learning.  In her role as an educator, she advocates her ancestors’ vision of holistic health, environmental and spiritual well-being with origins steeped in the diverse and unique Native languages, values, cultures and histories.


John Kelly
Global Responsibility & Public Policy Expert

John Kelly is senior vice president of Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy at Starbucks where he oversees the development and execution of Starbucks strategies and functions including corporate responsibility, ethical sourcing and environmental impact, public policy and government affairs for all brands across all business units and geographic regions. He is based at the corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Before beginning his role at Starbucks in 2013, John worked at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington where he led a variety of global policy, regulatory, and political initiatives over his 15-year career there. His most recent position was Vice President of the Industry Affairs Group in Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs Department. Prior to this assignment, John worked in Europe as the leader of Corporate Affairs for Europe, Middle East, and Africa where he led policy and corporate social responsibility strategies. He then returned to Redmond to help start-up Microsoft’s citizenship program. He was one of the early members of its Government Affairs organization, helping steward the growth and importance of that organization to Microsoft. Before Microsoft, John worked for nearly a decade in Washington, D.C. in a variety of government policy roles.

John graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science in 1988. He earned his law degree from the Washington College of Law in 1993 and is a member of the Washington State Bar. John is a member on the Nature Conservancy Business Council and sits on the board of the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition.

Eric Liu
Civic Entrepreneur & Democratic Spark

Eric Liu is an author, educator, and civic entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Citizen University, which promotes and teaches the art of great citizenship through a portfolio of national programs, and the executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program. His books include the national bestsellers The Gardens of Democracy, and The True Patriot, co-authored with Nick Hanauer. Eric’s most recent book is A Chinaman’s Chance, published in July, 2014. His first book, The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, was a New York Times Notable Book featured in the PBS documentary “Matters of Race.” His other books include Guiding Lights: How to Mentor – and Find Life’s Purpose, the Official Book of National Mentoring Month; and Imagination First, co-authored with Scott Noppe-Brandon of the Lincoln Center Institute, which explores ways to unlock imagination in education, politics, business and the arts.

Eric served as a White House speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and later as the President’s deputy domestic policy adviser. After the White House, he was an executive at the digital media company RealNetworks. In 2002 he was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow, and in 2010 he was awarded the Bill Grace Leadership Legacy Award by the Center for Ethical Leadership.

Eric lives in Seattle, where he teaches civic leadership at the University of Washington and hosts Citizen University TV, a television program about civic power. In addition to speaking regularly at venues across the country, Eric also serves on numerous nonprofit and civic boards. He is the co-founder of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. A board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service, he is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. A regular columnist for CNN.com and a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com, Eric can be found on Twitter @ericpliu.

Thank you to our sponsor:
Starbucks is committed to providing students with pathways to opportunity through employment, training and education and is honored to support student leadership development through U Lead We Lead. Through this support, Starbucks helps activate the Husky Leadership Initiative’s mission to cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to be effective change agents who apply their knowledge and service to the world.