Business’ Role in Preventing Democratic Backsliding

March 14, 2024 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Daniella Ballou-Aares is the Founder and CEO of the Leadership Now Project, a national membership organization of business and thought leaders committed to fixing American democracy. Daniella began her career at Bain & Company, working across the firm’s offices in the US, South Africa and the UK. From there she became a founding Partner at Dalberg, where she led the Americas business and transformed the startup into the largest social impact strategy firm with 25 offices worldwide. She spent five years in the Obama Administration as the Senior Advisor for Development to the Secretary of State, serving under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. Daniella’s perspectives have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Fast Company, POLITICO, and the World Economic Forum, among others. Daniella is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2014 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from the Kennedy School and graduated cum laude from Cornell with a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering.

Richard Eidlin has worked for more than thirty-five years at the intersection of business, politics, and policy. His career has spanned the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, domestically and internationally, and involved a range of leading edge issues, including sustainable economy, democracy, and clean energy. He has served as Business for America’s Policy and Membership Director since 2018.  In 2009, he co-founded the American Sustainable Business Council and served as vice president for policy for ten years. In that role Richard directed membership and led state and national advocacy campaigns on the environment, energy, regulatory reform, campaign finance, and economic development issues. Richard directed ASBC’s work on Capitol Hill and with the Obama administration.  Previously, Richard served as the business outreach director for the Apollo Alliance, advocating for federal and state clean energy and job creation policies. In the 1980’s, he worked for five years as a senior troubleshooter for New York City government in two departments, focusing on identifying potential corruption and mismanagement. Beginning in the early 1990’s, he devoted ten years to growing the US solar energy industry, building sales networks and advocating for state and federal legislation and regulations to create new markets. From 1995–2000, Richard led training seminars for Fortune 1000 companies for Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship. In 2007–2008, he co-directed the Colorado Cleantech for Obama campaign and helped craft gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter’s “New Energy Economy” strategy. Richard served an adjunct faculty at the University of Denver on Environmental Policy and Sustainability for 12 years.

Ben Ginsberg is the Volker Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a nationally known political law advocate representing participants in the political process. His clients have included political parties, political campaigns, candidates, members of Congress and state legislatures, governors, corporations, trade associations, political action committees (PACs), vendors, donors, and individuals. He represented four of the last six Republican presidential nominees.  Ginsberg’s representations have ranged across a variety of election law and regulatory issues, including voting issues and elections, federal and state campaign finance laws, recounts and contests, government investigations, election administration, and redistricting. He served as cochair of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which produced a much-lauded report on best practices and recommendations for state and local officials to make US elections run better.   His academic background includes being a lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, and a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Currently a CNN contributor, he appears frequently on television as an on-air commentator about politics and the law and has written numerous articles on US politics.  He served as national counsel to the 2000 and 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaigns and played a central role in the 2000 Florida recount. In 2012 and 2008, he served as national counsel to the Romney for President campaign. He has represented the campaigns and leadership PACs of numerous members of the Senate and House as well as national party committees, governors, and state officials. He was a partner at Jones Day from 2014 to 2020 and, before that, at Patton Boggs for 23 years.

Richard Pildes is one of the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional law and a specialist in legal issues concerning democracy. A former law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, he has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute, and has also received recognition as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Scholar. President Biden appointed him to the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. In dozens of articles and his acclaimed casebook, The Law of Democracy, he has helped create an entirely new field of study in the law schools. His work in this field systematically explores legal and policy issues concerning the structure of democratic elections and institutions, such as the role of money in politics, the design of election districts, the regulation of political parties, the structure of voting systems, the representation of minority interests in democratic institutions, and similar issues. He has written on the rise of political polarization in the United States, the transformation of the presidential nominations process, the Voting Rights Act (including editing a book titled The Future of the Voting Rights Act), the dysfunction of America’s political processes, the role of the Supreme Court in overseeing American democracy, and the powers of the American President and Congress. In addition to his scholarship in these areas, he has written on national-security law, the design of the regulatory state, and American constitutional history and theory. As a lawyer, Pildes has successfully argued voting-rights and election-law cases before the United States Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, and as a well-known public commentator, he writes frequently for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and was part of the Emmy-nominated NBC breaking-news team for coverage of the 2000 Bush v. Gore contest.