Speakers

Sevaun Palvetzian
CEO, CivicAction

One of Canada’s leading experts on civic engagement, Sevaun Palvetzian has been CEO of CivicAction since January 2014. Under her leadership, CivicAction has focused on building inclusive cities and levelling the playing field of opportunity. Throughout her career, Sevaun has advocated for new voices at the tables of influence including championing the next generation of leaders in her roles with the Ontario Public Service, the University of Toronto, and Presidential Classroom in Washington, DC.

Recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Sevaun is a voice of influence and advocacy on many urban issues and is frequently called on for media commentary. She has served as a member of the Toronto Police Service Board Transformational Task Force and as a member of Mayor John Tory’s Advisory Panel for International Hosting Opportunities. She also sits on the Board of Directors for NPower Canada, Waterfront Toronto, and is a member of the Ivey Business School Leadership Council.


Karl Zinsmeister
Vice President, The Philanthropy Roundtable

Karl Zinsmeister oversees all magazine, book, and Web publishing at The Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C. In 2016 he produced The Almanac of American Philanthropy, the 1,342-page culmination of a multiyear effort to create the authoritative reference on America's fascinating and culturally seminal tradition of solving public problems with private resources. He also founded and advises the Roundtable’s program on philanthropy for veterans and service members.

Karl has authored 12 books, including two different works of embedded reporting on the Iraq war, a book on charter schools, a storytelling cookbook, even a graphic novel published by Marvel Comics. He has also made a PBS feature film and written hundreds of articles for publications ranging from the Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal. Earlier in his career he was a Senate aide to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and editor in chief for nearly 13 years of The American Enterprise magazine. From 2006 to 2009 Karl served in the West Wing as the President's chief domestic policy adviser and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. He is a graduate of Yale University and also studied at Trinity College Dublin.

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