New Kids on the Bloc | Nov. 10, 2015 | 5-7 p.m.
The George Washington University

In 2008, millennials turned out en masse to support President Obama. Today, young voters are again poised to sway the next presidential election. Political operatives and policy experts gathered in Washington Tuesday to discuss the issues and candidates that will mobilize millennial voters.


Rock the Vote president Ashley Spillane, Burning Glass Strategies president Katie Packer, Jess McIntosh of EMILY's List and The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette discuss the role of the millennial voting bloc in 2016 and how health care and reproductive rights are shifting the conversation among young women voters. (Meena Ganesan/Washington Post Live)
Fusion's Katie McDonough, Andrew Kelly of the American Enterprise Institute, Young Invincibles's Aaron Smith and The Washington Post's Danielle Douglas-Gabriel discuss the cost of college and student loan debt as voting issues for millennials in 2016. (Meena Ganesan/Washington Post Live)

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Robert Bierman.


5:30 p.m. | Opening Remarks
Zachary Goldfarb, Policy Editor, The Washington Post

What Women Want
How health care and reproductive rights are driving the conversation
Katie Packer, President, Burning Glass Strategies
Ashley Spillane, President, Rock the Vote
Jess McIntosh, Vice President, Communications, EMILY’s List
Moderated by Danielle Paquette, Reporter, The Washington Post

The Debt Debate
A crash course in America’s student loan crisis
Katie McDonough, Political Reporter, Fusion
Andrew Kelly, Resident Scholar and Director of the Center on Higher Education Reform, American Enterprise Institute
Aaron Smith, Co-founder and Senior Strategic Advisor, Young Invincibles
Moderated by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Reporter, The Washington Post

Closing Remarks



Andrew Kelly
Resident Scholar and Director of the Center on Higher Education Reform, American Enterprise Institute

Andrew P. Kelly is a resident scholar in education policy studies and the director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on higher education policy, innovation in education, financial aid reform and the politics of education policy. Kelly has edited many books on higher education, and his findings have appeared in the American Journal of Education, Education Next, Educational Policy, Policy Studies Journal and Teachers College Record. He has also been published in popular outlets such as The Atlantic, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, National Affairs, National Review and The Wall Street Journal.


Katie McDonough
Reporter, Fusion

Katie McDonough covers politics for Fusion, a part of ABC News and Univision. She lives in Brooklyn


Jess McIntosh
Vice President, Communications, EMILY’s List

Jess McIntosh started at EMILY’s List in 2010 as deputy communications director. She became communications director in early in 2013 and vice president of communications in 2015. Before joining EMILY’s List, she served as spokesperson for Sen. Al Franken through his campaign, recount, subsequent election contest and first year in the Senate. McIntosh has worked in research and communications for the campaigns of Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She also served as communications director for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.


Katie Packer
Partner, Burning Glass Consulting

Katie Packer is a partner at political consulting firms WWP Strategies, which handles political campaigns and issue management, and Burning Glass Consulting, an all-female Republican consulting firm specializing in messaging to women. In 1998, Packer began working on political campaigns at college and in her home state of Michigan. She has since managed campaigns at every level from state legislature and governor to U.S. Senate and presidential. In 2012, Packer was the deputy campaign manager of Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. In 2008, she started the Workforce Fairness Institute, aimed at grassroots education and mobilization on workplace fairness issues. Packer is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School for Political Management.


Aaron Smith
Co-founder and Senior Strategic Advisor, Young Invincibles

Aaron Smith is the Co-founder and original executive director of Young Invincibles. He helped grow the group into one of the largest and most impactful youth organizations in the country. Smith has met repeatedly with top lawmakers and national leaders to discuss critical youth policy issues, has conducted dozens of trainings on youth leadership development and has launched new campaigns in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services to educate and engage millennials around the Affordable Care Act. He also serves as the president of YI Advisors, the millennial engagement consulting arm of Young Invincibles.


Ashley Spillane
President, Rock the Vote

Ashley Spillane is president of Rock the Vote, the non-partisan, nonprofit organization engaging young people in civic engagement. In her first year as president of Rock the Vote, Spillane reinvigorated the iconic youth organization with the launch of the Turn Out for What campaign, which helped garner nearly 800,000 applications through the organization’s online voter registration technology in 2014. Previously, Spillane spearheaded the creation of an interactive online platform for political data at The Atlas Project, oversaw a non-profit aimed at engaging more young people in politics as a career and worked on numerous political campaigns.



Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
Reporter, The Washington Post

Danielle Douglas-Gabriel covers the student debt for The Washington Post. She joined the national economy desk in July 2012 from Capital Business, a Post publication where she served as the local retail, hospitality and banking reporter. Prior to Capital Business, Douglas-Gabriel was the managing editor of Real Estate Forum, a commercial real estate trade magazine. Her writing has appeared in, New York Sun and New York Amsterdam News. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Donald Reynolds Journalism Institute and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


Danielle Paquette
Reporter, The Washington Post

Danielle Paquette is a reporter covering the intersection of people and policy. She’s from Indianapolis and previously worked for the Tampa Bay Times.


Biographies are provided by speakers and edited only for length and clarity.