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View our growing list of TNLC 2021 Speakers below. You may also read about the TNLC 2021 Keynote Speaker, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry here. 

Miguel Ángel Escalona Aguilar

Sustainability Coordinator and Lecturer at Universidad Veracruzana

Miguel Ángel has a BSc in biology from the National Autonomous University in Mexico (UNAM), a master’s in biotechnology from University of Colima, a specialization in Ecological Agriculture and Farming from the International University of Andalucía; and his MSc and PhD in Agroecology, Sociology and Sustainable Rural Development from the University of Cordoba in Spain. He has participated as a visiting professor in various universities and research centres in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil and Spain. He teaches on a Masters in Agroecology: An Approach for Rural Sustainability for the International University of Andalucía in coordination with the Universities of Cordoba and Pablo de Olavide in Spain.

He is currently a full-time lecturer in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at Universidad Veracruzana (UV), coordinates the academic group on “Alternative techniques for Sustainable Agriculture” and is head of UV’s Sustainability Coordination. He has given over 100 training courses for HEIs, government and the private sector; presented at over 60 international conferences and published over 15 scientific articles, 18 chapters and 3 books. He has supervised 53 undergraduate, masters and PhD thesis. He is also a member of the University of Cordoba’s Institute of Sociology and Farming (ISEC). He works on research-development projects on production and consumption of organic food and agroecology in the rural, peri-urban and urban settings.

Julian Agyeman

Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University

Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and environmental sustainability. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity.

He believes that what our cities can become (sustainable, smart, sharing and resilient) and who is allowed to belong in them (recognition of difference, diversity, and a right to the city) are fundamentally and inextricably interlinked. We must therefore act on both belonging and becoming, together, using just sustainabilities as the anchor, or face deepening spatial and social inequities and inequalities.

He is the author or editor of 12 books, including  Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, 2011), and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press, 2015), one of Nature’s Top 20 Books of 2015. In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his “outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning“.

For a full biography please visit:

Elvis Akomoneh

Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Meridian Global University

Elvis Akomoneh is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Meridian Global University and a Lecturer at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon. He holds a PhD in Microbiology with research interest in emerging infectious diseases, an established cause of morbidity and mortality in his Sub-Saharan African region.

Elvis actively embeds civic engagement in his teaching and research. He is the Founder of Access Care Foundation, a community-based organization partnering with Higher Education Institutions in healthcare service delivery to the underserved in hard-to-reach areas. He is an active player in the fight against highly prevalent communicable diseases like HIV, malaria, typhoid, diarrhea, tuberculosis and COVID-19 as well as maternal and neonatal mortality in the conflict afflicted areas in Cameroon.

Lawrence S. Bacow

President, Harvard University

Lawrence S. Bacow is the 29th President of Harvard University.

Bacow was the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and served as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board. One of the most widely experienced leaders in American higher education, known for his commitment to expanding student opportunity, catalyzing academic innovation, and encouraging universities’ civic engagement and service to society, Bacow is the former President of Tufts University and past Chancellor and Chair of the Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

As President of Tufts from 2001 to 2011, Bacow advanced the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and public service and fostered collaboration across the university’s eight schools. Under his leadership, Tufts pursued initiatives to enhance the undergraduate experience, deepen graduate and professional education and research in critical fields, broaden international engagement, and promote active citizenship among members of the university community.

While at Tufts, Bacow emerged as a nationally recognized champion of expanding access to higher education through need-based student aid, while also advocating vigorously for federal support of university-based research. Bacow convened an international conference of higher education leaders in 2005 to initiate the Talloires Network, a global association of colleges and universities committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. He launched Tufts’ Office of Institutional Diversity and highlighted inclusion as a cornerstone of the university’s excellence. He also strengthened relations between Tufts and its host communities and expanded outreach to alumni, parents, and friends. While guiding Tufts through the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and its aftermath, he brought to fruition the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history.

Bacow was raised in Pontiac, Michigan, by parents who were both immigrants, and whom he saw as embodiments of the American dream. Interested in math and science from an early age, he attended college at MIT, where he received his S.B. in economics and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to earn three degrees from Harvard: a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Full Biography

Thomas Farnell

Higher Education Policy Expert at the Institute for the Development of Education

Thomas Farnell works as a higher education policy expert at the Institute for the Development of Education, a think-tank based in Zagreb, Croatia.

He is the co-author of the TEFCE Toolbox: An Institutional Self-Reflection Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education and is also author of the recent report Community Engagement in Higher Education: Trends, Practices and Policies (2020), published by the European Commission. He is currently leading two transnational projects to develop a European framework for assessing and supporting community engagement in higher education: Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education ( and Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement (

He is a member of the European Commission’s Network of Experts on the Social Dimension of Education and Training (NESET) and of the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education expert team on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education.

Archon Fung

Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Archon Fung is the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance. He focuses upon public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School. His books include Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, with Mary Graham and David Weil) and Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy (Princeton University Press). He has authored five books, four edited collections, and over fifty articles appearing in professional journals. He received two S.B.s — in philosophy and physics — and his Ph.D. in political science from MIT.

Mark Gearan

Director, Institute of Politics, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Mark Gearan is the 19th director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. A leading voice at the intersection of education and public service, Mark has held numerous leadership roles in American politics, government, and education.

From 1999-2017, Mark served as the President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS), becoming the longest-serving president in HWS history. Mark oversaw an era of unprecedented growth that included doubling the Colleges’ endowment, a capital plan which raised $205 million to support facilities, establishing 168 new endowed scholarships, and the completion of 80 significant capital projects.

In September 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed Mark as the 14th Director of the Peace Corps, after serving in senior positions in the Clinton White House. Mark oversaw the expansion of the Peace Corps program into South Africa, India, and Haiti as well as the establishment of the Crisis Corps.

Mark has served in a variety of roles in American politics and government including White House Communications Director, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Vice Presidential Campaign Manager for Clinton/Gore ’92, and Executive Director of the Democratic Governor’s Association. He is the Vice Chair for National and Public Service of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.

Born in Gardner, Massachusetts, Mark attended Gardner High School. He earned an A.B. in government cum laude at Harvard University in 1978 and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. He is the recipient of 13 honorary degrees. Mark is married to Mary Herlihy Gearan and they have two daughters, Madeleine, Harvard ‘15 and Kathleen, HWS ’21.

Full Biography 

Peter Kirira

Principal, College of Graduate Studies & Research and Senior Lecturer at Mount Kenya University

Peter Gakio Kirira is the Principal, College of Graduate Studies & Research and a Senior Lecturer at Mount Kenya University, Kenya. He holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a Postdoc in Synthetic Chemistry from Kyoto University, Japan.  His research interests are in drug research in infectious, non-communicable and neglected diseases.

In addition to teaching and research, Peter is passionate about civic engagement. He is the Founding Director of Mount Kenya University Foundation, the charitable arm of the University that coordinates several activities that the University undertakes in aid of the community and stakeholders. Through this platform, Peter has taken leadership roles in seeking partnerships and mobilization of resources in support of civic engagement activities in the country. He has also mobilized staff and students at the University to support the University civic engagement agenda. For example, together with staff and students, he has participated in safe water programs and anti-jigger campaigns in Kilifi & Marsabit, two counties which have high poverty index. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter and staff from Partners for Care, a local NGO, managed to set-up over 2,500 handwash units in the slum areas of Nairobi as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, he has been involved in documentation and publication of the impact of programs implemented by community based organizations. The impact assessment reports are a useful resource for donors and other stakeholders when evaluating the performance of various community-based interventions. Peter is always eager to collaborate with institutions and individuals who are interested in implementing community-based projects in Kenya.

In the last 5 years, Peter has organized several international conferences and has presented conference papers in more than a dozen countries. He has authored and co-authored over thirty articles appearing in professional journals. He also holds several patents.

Rachel Kyte

Dean of The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Rachel Kyte is the 14th dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University. A 2002 graduate of Fletcher’s Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) and a professor of practice at the school since 2012, Kyte is the first woman to lead the nation’s oldest graduate-only school of international affairs, which attracts students from all corners of the globe and at all stages of their careers.

Prior to joining Fletcher, Kyte served as special representative of the UN secretary-general and chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). She previously was the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to shift its operations and campaign for the Paris Agreement.

In her UN role and as CEO of SEforAll, a nonprofit public/private platform created from an initiative of the UN secretary-general, Kyte led efforts to promote and finance clean, affordable energy and low-carbon growth as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the Paris Agreement. She grew SEforALL into an organization that employs more than forty staff and has partnerships with companies, governments, and civil society organizations. 

Peter Levine

Tisch College Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs

Peter Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life. Trained as a moral/political philosopher, Levine has spent most of his career conducting applied empirical research and organizing professional efforts related to civic life in the United States, including sustained work on civic education, voting rights, public deliberation, social movements, and the measurement of social capital.

Levine graduated from Yale in 1989 with a degree in philosophy. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. Before coming to Tufts in 2008, he worked for Common Cause, the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy at University of Maryland, and the National Commission for Civic Renewal and helped to found and then led CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which is now part of Tisch College.

At Tufts, Levine’s primarily appointment is in Tisch College. He directs the Tufts Civic Studies program, which offers an undergraduate major, the Summer Institute of Civic Studies, and the annual Frontiers of Democracy conference. He holds tenure as a full professor in Political Science and has additional appointments in Philosophy, Science and Technology Studies, International Relations, Tufts University College, the Data Intensive Sciences Center, the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and the Center for Humanities at Tufts. He co-leads the University-wide Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement.

Levine is the author of eight books, including most recently We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013) and the forthcoming What Should We Do? Political Theory with Citizens at the Center (also Oxford University Press). He has served on the boards or steering committees of such civic organizations as AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Discovering Justice, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.

Phil Mlanda

Co-Founder & Program Manager of paNhari

Phil Mlanda is a social entrepreneur who co-founded an international non-profit organization called paNhari. PaNhari focuses on addressing unemployment by supporting innovation in youth-led projects in growth-enhancing industries such as agriculture, to bring communities and countries out of poverty particularly in Southern Africa. A large number of projects that he has focused on through paNhari are housed and incubated at higher learning institutions that include the University of Zimbabwe and Catholic University of Zimbabwe. Through this organization, Phil has worked on the development of university-accredited leadership and entrepreneurship curricula.

Phil's background in software development has allowed him to develop technical web applications and through such social-impact projects, he has developed private-public partnerships. The most recent application that he built, deployed and trained university students to maintain is a crowd-sourcing digital platform that was used during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Data from the application has been used as a tool for response and research. Phil will share key insights from this project at the Talloires Network Leadership Conference 2021.

Early in his career, Phil served as an IT Manager for a service-learning organization where he developed the IT strategy and worked on the implementation in countries that include the Dominican Republic, Kenya & South Korea. Phil started off his career in Zimbabwe building applications and other digital media for private and civil society organizations in Southern Africa. He has also worked as a software architect/manager at Booz Allen Hamilton, GEICO and other smaller start-ups.

Phil Mlanda holds a Master of Arts, Sustainable Development: International Policy & Management from SIT Graduate Institute in Washington DC and a BSc. Computer Science & Statistics from the University of Zimbabwe.

Anthony Monaco

President, Tufts University
Chair, Talloires Network

Anthony P. Monaco became the thirteenth president of Tufts University on August 1, 2011. A distinguished geneticist, he had served as the pro-vice-chancellor for planning and resources at the University of Oxford since 2007. An accomplished leader, scientist and teacher, he brings to Tufts deep-rooted commitments to academic excellence and inclusion, a global perspective and an understanding of the consequential role that universities have in society.

President Monaco holds faculty appointments as a professor of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences and as a professor of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, President Monaco received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1981, and his M.D. and Ph.D. through Harvard Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program, where he specialized in the genetics of neurological disorders. His doctoral research led to a landmark scientific discovery: the gene responsible for X-linked Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies.

Most recently, President Monaco has been a leader in defining higher education’s role supporting community needs in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.  As a member of the Testing Working Group, joining with other university presidents in Massachusetts, President Monaco helped shape policies and testing protocols critical to universities supporting safe in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Monaco chairs the Steering Committee of the Talloires Network, whose more than 375 member institutions around the world are committed to advancing civic engagement in higher education. He has served as the Chair of the Board of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts and the New England Small College Athletic Conference. He also serves on the boards of Cummings Foundation, Century Bank, the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, Tufts Medical Center and Wellforce.

Nieves Segovia

President, Institución Educativa SEK
Vice-Chair Talloires Network Steering Committee

Educator and expert in learning innovation, Nieves Segovia is President of SEK Education Group, comprising of University Camilo José Cela and SEK International Schools. SEK was founded in 1892. The group currently has nine schools in Spain, France, Ireland and Qatar, as well as UCJC University in Madrid, with over 15,000 students.

Nieves Segovia sits on the Education Advisory Board of the Spanish Ministry of Education. She chairs the Felipe Segovia Foundation and is a member of the board of trustees of Fundación Europea Sociedad y Educación and Fundación Transforma España.  She is Vice-Chair of the Global Sports Innovation Center, the Club Excelencia en Gestión and the Edutech Cluster Spain. She is also a member of Ashoka Support Network.She founded and promotes the Global Education Forum, a community of education innovators, and SEK Lab, an Edtech accelerator. In 2017 she launched the UCJC Integra Programme, a university refugee education scheme, which has now been joined by Sphera, a cross-cultural social entrepreneurship hub and EachTeach, a global refugee teacher training initiative. Among other awards, Nieves Segovia has received the UNICEF Prize for Education in Values and is recognized among the most influential women in education. She is a regular speaker at education forums and writes frequently for the media and specialized magazines.

Nieves Segovia is a 2019 Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow.

Andrew Petter

Professor and President Emeritus of Simon Fraser University

Andrew Petter is President Emeritus of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and a former member of the Talloires Network Steering Committee. He currently serves as a professor in SFU’s School of Public Policy, Chair of Innovate BC, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Asia.

Prior to joining SFU, Andrew taught in the Faculty of Law of the University of Victoria where he served as dean from 2001 to 2008.  From 1991 to 2001, he was an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columba and held numerous cabinet portfolios, including Advanced Education and Attorney General.

As SFU President from 2010 to 2020, Andrew oversaw the development and implementation of a strategic vision that sought to distinguish SFU as Canada’s “engaged university defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting edge research and far-reaching community engagement.” In furtherance of this Vision, he helped SFU to become a leader in areas such as experiential and service learning; research mobilization and innovation; and community programming and development.

During his presidency, SFU was named Canada’s top comprehensive university in the Maclean’s Rankings, and was rated first in the world for its impact on sustainable cities and communities in the 2020 Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings.

In 2019, Andrew was inducted into the Order of Canada in recognition of his leadership in advancing university-community engagement and higher education throughout the country.

Kelly Sims Gallagher

Academic Dean and Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy, The Fletcher School

Kelly Sims Gallagher is Academic Dean and Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.  She directs the Climate Policy Lab and the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher.  She served in the second term of Obama Administration as a Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as Senior China Advisor in the Special Envoy for Climate Change office at the U.S. State Department.

Gallagher is a member of the board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, serves on the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and also serves on the board of Energy Foundation China. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Broadly, she focuses on energy innovation and climate policy.  She specializes in how policy spurs the development and deployment of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, domestically and internationally.  She is the author of Titans of the Climate (The MIT Press 2018), The Global Diffusion of Clean Energy Technologies: Lessons from China (MIT Press 2014), China Shifts Gears: Automakers, Oil, Pollution, and Development (The MIT Press 2006), and dozens of other articles and book chapters.