• Keynote Panelists

    One keynote speaker is so last year. This year’s Opening General Session at NRPA Congress will feature a panel discussion with dynamic speakers that will spark new ideas, provoke new thoughts and considerations around the NRPA Three Pillars and get you ready for great ideas and great learning opportunities.

    Meet the Panelists

    Robert Garcia

    Robert Garcia

    @Robert_Garcia, @CityProjectCA.

    Robert Garcia is the Founding Director and Counsel of The City Project. He is an attorney who engages, educates and empowers communities to achieve equal access to public resources. He received the KCETLink and Union Bank Local Heroes award in 2013 for this work. He has extensive experience in public policy and legal advocacy, mediation and litigation involving complex social justice, civil rights, human health, environmental, education and criminal justice matters. He has influenced the investment of more than $41 billion in underserved communities, working at the intersection of environmental justice, public health and the built environment.

    PODER Magazine named him one of 100 top Green Latino leaders in 2013. He received the President's Award from the American Public Health Association in 2010 for helping make green access, physical activity and public health social justice imperatives. Hispanic Business Magazine recognized him as one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States in 2008, "men and women who are changing the nation." He graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Stanford Law Review.


    Wendell Pierce

    Wendell Pierce

    Wendell Pierce is a native of New Orleans and strives to rebuild the neighborhood in which he was raised. Ponchartrain Park Development Corp, a non-profit corporation he created to build 500 affordable and environmentally friendly homes, is committed to honoring the community’s character and help longtime residents come back to their neighborhood. His work was featured on CNN in the documentary film “New Orleans Rising” with Soledad OʼBrien. He has also been a featured guest on CBS Morning News, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and Money Matters, as well as on a host of other national outlets.

    Wendell Pierce is recognized by film audiences for his work with directors including Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Sidney Lumet, Wim Wenders and Taylor Hackford, and universally hailed for his portrayal of Det. Bunk Moreland on five critically acclaimed seasons of HBO’s “The Wire.” He currently stars as Antoine Baptiste on the HBO series “Treme,” reuniting him with “The Wire’s" core creative team and HBO, recurs on the USA hit series “Suits” and concurrently stars opposite Michael J. Fox on his new NBC series “The Henrys.

    Maya Rockeymoore

    Maya Rockeymoore, Ph.D.

    @MayaRockeymoore, @PolicySolutions.

    Dr. Maya Rockeymoore is the President and CEO of the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that makes policy work for people and their environments.

    A former adjunct professor in the Women in Politics Institute at American University, Maya has also served as the vice president of research and programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), senior resident scholar at the National Urban League, chief of staff to Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), professional staff on the House Ways and Means Committee, and as a CBCF legislative fellow in the office of Congressman Melvin Watt (D-NC) among other positions.

    Maya’s areas of expertise include health, social insurance, income security, education, women’s issues and youth civic participation. She is the author of The Political Action Handbook: A How to Guide for the Hip-Hop Generation and co-editor of Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America among many other articles and chapters. Rockeymoore serves on the board of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the National Association of Counties and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. The recipient of many honors, she was named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2004 and is the recipient of Running Start’s 2007 Young Women to Watch Award.

    A regular guest on radio and television shows, Maya has appeared on NPR, CNN, Black Entertainment Television, ABC World News Tonight, Fox News, Al Jazeera and C-SPAN. Her opinions have also been quoted by the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, Boston Globe, Black America Web, and Houston Chronicle among other prominent national news sources.