National Advisory Council

Elli Abdoli

Partner, Nielsen Merksamer

National Advisory Council: 2021

Elli Abdoli is a partner with Nielsen Merksamer in the Political Law Section. She advises Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, trade associations and other organizations on complying with federal, state and local lobby, campaign finance and ethics laws, including developing and implementing comprehensive nationwide compliance systems. Ms. Abdoli specializes in “pay-to-play” laws, including SEC Rule 206(4)-5, MSRB Rule G-37, and state and local laws impacting the political activity of current and prospective government contractors, investment advisers,...

Brad Barber

National Advisory Council: 2016

Mr. Barber is a retired attorney and development professional with extensive experience in the management of non-profit and fundraising organizations, and in the planning and implementation of fundraising campaigns. He currently serves as a board member or advisor for several non-profit organizations.

Since 2017 Mr. Barber has served as a member of the Board of Regents of Samuel Merritt University. He is also currently a member of the Advisory Board for the Division of Earth and Life Science of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2017 to...

Elmy Bermejo

National Advisory Council: 2024

Elmy Bermejo has been a senior government official with more than 25 years of experience at the executive level and has established a successful record of collaboration with public and private stakeholders on a range of issues including workforce development, disaster relief, and small business support. She is a strategic thinker with excellent relationship management skills, committed to public service and is a tireless advocate for women’s rights. On November 2021 President Biden appointed Elmy to serve as the Regional Administrator at SBA for...

Peter Brightbill

Senior Director of Government Relations, Wells Fargo Bank

National Advisory Council: 2012

Peter Brightbill ('87), Senior Director of Government Relations, started working with Wells Fargo in 1998; he is based in San Francisco. In this role, he is responsible for managing the organization’s state legislative and political agendas in California.

Additional responsibilities include providing counsel to the company’s senior executive management in public policy, legislative, community and political activities.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Peter served in various management and policy positions in California state government. He...

Kelly Calkin

Partner, Townsend Calkin Tapio Public Affairs

National Advisory Council: 2012

Kelly Calkin is a leader in a new generation of game-changing political strategists who are redefining how to win in high-stakes candidate, ballot measure and legislative campaigns.

Bringing state-of-the-audience perspectives and a fully integrated management approach, Kelly focuses on helping clients see around corners with difference-making game plans, stay ahead of curves with high-touch service, and win the most competitive campaigns with high-velocity creative and optimally-efficient media.

Kelly has the unique experience working as...

Mady Deininger

Founder and President, Kismet Wines

National Advisory Council: 2019

Ms. Madeleine (Mady) Deininger earned her BA in Liberal Studies from Stockton State College and her MA in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College, with a concentration in Comparative Literature and History. During and after her tenure as a graduate student, she worked as a freelance photographer, writer and editor.

Mady began her career in the fine wine business in 1985 and is currently Founder and President of Kismet Wines, Inc. in Sonoma, CA, where she developed national marketing and sales programs for California and...

Pamela S. Duffy

Partner, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP

National Advisory Council: 2011

Pamela Duffy is a partner at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP. She is one of the first women to become a name partner at a major San Francisco law firm. Her practice focuses on public policy issues and commercial real estate, land use and development, with a particular emphasis on large public - private partnerships. She currently heads the lead counsel team to the privately financed $1 billion LA Clippers' arena in Inglewood and has acted as lead counsel on projects as varied as the San Francisco 49ers' Levi's Stadium, the Exploratorium, the San...

Maria Echaveste

President, The Opportunity Institute

National Advisory Council: 2018

Maria Echaveste is the President of the Opportunity Institute, a non-profit focused on increasing social and economic mobility and advancing racial equity. Before that, she built a distinguished career working as a consultant, lecturer, senior White House official, long-time community leader, and corporate attorney. Echaveste also has been a Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies 2008-2021, and affiliated with the UC Berkeley Food Institute since 2013.

Echaveste served in various capacities in President Clinton’s...

Peter D. Hart

Chairman, Hart Research

National Advisory Council: 2006

For more than 35 years, Peter Hart has been one of the leading analysts of public opinion in the United States. Since 1971, he has directed Peter D. Hart Research Associates, which has conducted more than 6000 public opinion surveys that have included interviews among more than five million individuals. Hart Research also has undertaken more than 5000 focus group sessions. Mr. Hart currently serves as Chairman of Hart Research and as Senior Counselor to the McGinn Group.

Mr. Hart built his reputation on his successful work in politics, working...

Tom MacBride (Chair)

Of Counsel, Downey Brand LLP

National Advisory Council: 2016

Tom MacBride is Of Counsel at Downey Brand LLP after 35 years as a partner at Goodin, MacBride, Squeri & Day LLP in San Francisco. He continues to specialize in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). He served as President of the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel (CCPUC) in 1997-98, a position he also held in 1982-83. Mr. MacBride participated in a number of successful legislative initiatives to reform CPUC procedures, including the drafting and advocacy leading to the enactment of the Calderon-Peace-...