The Impact Center is comprised of a small, experienced core staff augmented by nationally respected advisers, consultants and fellows. We operate with a focused, proactive approach to tackling issues, recognizing that our greatest assets are our intellectual capital and strategic knowledge management.
Our organization is lead by:
For over three decades John Hart has been a leader in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors addressing some of our nation's most difficult problems on issues from healthcare and education to crime and community policing. John believes in collaboration, and recognizes that the strongest force in our democracy are leaders who understand the levers of power, are able to innovate, and actively work together to create change.
It is this principle that led John to found the American Democracy Institute (ADI), now the Impact Center, a nonprofit organization empowering leaders by providing skills, resources, and access to a network of peer leaders committed to strengthening our democracy. In the four years since ADI's founding, John has built a tremendous organization which has inspired and engaged over 20,000 young activists through youth summits and online programs. Under John's direction, the organization has identified and recruited over 500 top young professionals throughout the nation to join the Impact Center's National Leadership network which is a growing resource for these emerging leaders.
Prior to founding the Impact Center, John served as Director of Policy Implementation for the James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he managed operations and programs. Before joining the Hunt Institute, John served as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Government Affairs for Ovations, a division of United Health Group, focusing on improving public, private and nonprofit sector partnerships in health care.
During the Clinton Administration, John served for four years as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. In that capacity, he served as President Clinton's representative to state and local elected officials on federal-state policy, and acted as the President's liaison to the Catholic community. Under Attorney General Janet Reno, Hart was appointed as Principal Deputy Director at the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). At COPS, he was responsible for the management and administration of a $1.4 billion annual budget and a 250 member staff which was responsible for coordinating between federal, state, and local governments to institute community policing initiatives.
John played a key role during the 1992 presidential transition, acting as Special Assistant to Transition Directors Warren Christopher and Thomas "Mack" McLarty. Prior to the election, he served as Deputy Director of the Clinton/Gore Transition Planning Foundation, the pre-transition organization that he formed during the general election campaign. John also served as Secretary to the Foundation's Board of Directors. During the 1992 primary campaign, John was the Clinton campaign's National Director of Delegate Operations, culminating in the nomination of Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in New York, where he managed the convention floor operations.
John is a recognized expert on leadership, he has appeared on national television, spoken to audiences across the world, and served on official delegations to foreign countries as an advocate for the importance of developing young leaders in a democracy. In a 2007 address, President Clinton said: “I was looking at John and thinking of all the contributions he's made...and I marvel at all the wonderful things he's done with this life.”
An attorney by training, John practiced law in Washington, D.C. and served as Law Clerk to the Honorable James T. Turner of the United States Court of Federal Claims. He is a graduate of the Catholic University of America and the Fordham University School of Law.
Christofer Nelson has extensive experience leading projects that require a great deal of collaboration among diverse partners, competing vendors, community organizations and government entities. He believes in the power of collaboration-within teams, across divisions, and among organizations-and brings this passion to helping clients accomplish complex projects. In his role at the Impact Center, Christofer is responsible for designing and developing the Impact Center's Leadership Programs and other initiatives. Christofer also directs the day-to-day marketing operations for the organization as well as Impact Center initiatives.
Christofer has also worked as a communications consultant in the private and nonprofit sectors where he helped specialize in delivering messages by harnessing interactive platforms through digital and live media. This has included developing websites and online communities, as well as producing 3,000+ person events that combine live performance, video, and other multimedia elements.
He previously worked as the Resources Manager for Washington DECA, an educational-service non-profit in the Seattle area, where he was responsible for forging partnerships with businesses and community organizations, planned and facilitated numerous events, and worked on policy issues.
Christofer is native of Washington State and a graduate of American University.