The two-generation (2Gen) field is rapidly advancing: scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. On June 14, 2018, Ascend is proud to feature and host state and local leaders from around the country to release the timely publication States Leading the Way: Practical Solutions that Lift Up Children and Families as part of Ascend’s Solutions Series. The forum will lift up the most promising, actionable solutions from seven states that can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for families in the US.

You can watch a livestream of the forum here and check out the agenda here. Registration to attend the forum in person is now closed, but we welcome you to tune into the livestream starting at 9:00 am until 3:00 pm EST. If you have any questions, please reach out to Eddy Encinales, Program Coordinator at Ascend, at


Confirmed speakers include:

Aspen Institute

  • Dan Porterfield, President and CEO, Aspen Institute
  • Anne Mosle, Vice President, Aspen Institute; Executive Director, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
  • Roxane White, Morgridge Innovator in Residence, Ascend at the Aspen Institute

National, state, and local 2Gen leaders

Policy and Systems

  • Kristin Bernhard, Deputy Commissioner for System Reform, Bright from the Start, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
  • Pankaj Bhanot, Director, Hawaii Department of Human Services
  • Reggie Bicha, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services
  • Susan Birch, Executive Director, Washington State Healthcare Authority
  • John Davis, Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Human Services
  • Tracy Gruber, Director, Utah Department of Child Care and Senior Advisor for the Intergenerational Poverty Initiative, Utah Department of Workforce Development
  • Gretchen Hammer, Medicaid Director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF)
  • Ross Hunter, Secretary, Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families
  • Amy Jacobs, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
  • Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director, Mesa County Health Department
  • Mary Anne Snyder, Director, Office of Early Childhood, Colorado Department of Human Services
  • Martha Ann Todd, Deputy Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
  • David Wilkinson, Commissioner, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood


  • Brittany Birken, CEO, Florida Children’s Council
  • Frank Daidone, President and CEO, Nurse-Family Partnership
  • JoMarie Morris, Executive Director, Jeremiah Program Rochester-SE Minnesota
  • Megan Smith, Associate Professor and Director, MOMS Partnership, Yale University School of Medicine


  • Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber Foundation
  • Raquel Hatter, Deputy Director of Human Services, Kresge Foundation


  • Sarah Watamura, Associate Professor, University of Denver, Department of Psychology