Plenary Speakers

Andrea Batista Schlesinger

Managing Partner at HR&A Advisors

Andrea Batista Schlesinger leads the Inclusive Cities practice at HR&A Advisors, where she is a managing Partner of the Los Angeles office. As a former leader in government, think tanks, philanthropy, and political campaigns, Andrea uniquely understands the capacity and role of government, advocacy, and philanthropy in making cities just and dynamic places. Her current work focuses on supporting equitable economic development and removing barriers to opportunity for all communities in cities, by working to effect change in workforce development, education, criminal justice, racial equity, and other fields. Prior to joining HR&A, Andrea was Deputy Director of US Programs the Open Society Foundations, George Soros’ global philanthropy. Previously, Andrea served as a Special Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and as Executive Director of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, originally founded by an advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Andrea began her career in public policy at age 16 as the Student Advisory Member on the New York City Board of Education, for which she was the subject of an award-winning documentary, “Hear Us Now.” She is the author of the book The Death of Why: The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009). Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and holds Masters degrees in History from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, where she focused her studies on how global cities have constructed their responses to inequality during the latter half of the 20th century.


Plenary Session and Looking Ahead

Monday, June 20
9:35 AM - 10:30 AM