Lisa Witter is an entrepreneur, and award-winning executive, author, and regular public speaker. She is the co-founder and a board member of Apolitical, a global learning network for government, and the CEO of the Apolitical Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by Apolitical to advance the revitalization of democracy by building better politics. The foundation’s keystone project, Apolitical Academy Global, helps prepare a new generation of transformational political leaders via a network of non-partisan political training academies. She’s a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, co-chairs the Forum’s Council on Agile Governance, and served for six years on the Brain and Behavior Council. She is a former public servant with deep experience in gender and behavioral science and has founded numerous political training academies over the last 25 years. She’s served on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards. She and co-founder Robyn Scott were awarded the 2020 Creative Bureaucracy Award.
“What I Wish They Knew”: Translating between Bureaucrats and Politicians
Relations between those who govern (in democratic systems, elected leaders and their political staff) and the professional civic service have always been fraught. It’s often been said that the two groups work towards competing agendas speaking completely different languages. But to reach a point where government is working to the best of its ability, it’s vital we refine the relationships between them. How can we go about this?
In this discussion run by the Apolitical Foundation, we’ll tackle this question head on with former ministers and politicians from across the globe.
Join us immediately afterwards for a live interactive Zoom exchange in the following session: ‘Working Towards a Creative Bureaucracy – How Politicians and Civil Servants Can Approach it Together’
Lisa Witter – CEO of Apolitical Foundation
Axelle Lemaire – Former member of French Parliament and former Minister for Digitisation
Cecilia Vaca Jones – ED of the Bernard van Leer Foundation and former Minister for the Coordination of Social Development in Ecuador
Nick Clelland – Former South African politician and political advisor to the Western Cape Premier
Soledad Núñez – Former Secretary for Housing and Habitat in Paraguay and co-founder of the Apolitical Academy in Paraguay
More events with Lisa Witter
Axelle Lemaire is Former Secretary of State in charge of Digital and Innovation and former Member of the National Assembly of France. She was a leading proponent of net-neutrality legislation and was a key figure in the French tech start-up scene. Axelle is now the Global Head of Terra Numerata at Roland Berger.
Cecilia has over 20 years of experience managing social development policies and programmes. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, she was the Minister of Social Development of Ecuador from 2013 to 2016. She championed policies to improve the conditions of children, women and indigenous communities, including a cross-sectoral policy for ECD. Cecilia has also worked for several civil society organizations, the Organisation of American States, UNDP and has been a university professor. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Policies for Sustainable Development from the University of Bologna, a BA in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University in Ecuador, and an executive Master’s degree in cities from the London School of Economics.
Paraguay’s former Minister of Housing and Habitat. At the age of 31, she became the youngest Minister of the Executive Branch. Soledad oversaw a dramatic increase in the production of social housing for low-income households having worked with more than 30,000 families in her country. Soledad was also elected President of the Regional Assembly of Ministers and High Level Authorities of Housing and Urban Development for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015.
Before, Soledad coordinated the implementation of a National Poverty Eradication Plan and was an active leader in the Development of the Paraguayan Open Government Plan at the Technical Planning Secretariat for Social and Economic Development. She has also served as National Director of TECHO Paraguay, a non-governmental organization that provides emergency housing solutions and promotes the active involvement of young people in the policy making process. She recently founded Alma Cívica, a new organization which aims to create a new generation of transformational public leaders
Nick Clelland is a communications expert and strategist with experience in the most aggressive media and public environments. He is the CEO of Resolve Communications, a lobbying and advocacy agency operating in South Africa, and a former MP for the Democratic Alliance. Nick has directed political communications operations on three continents: he was director of strategic communications for the Western Cape Government in South Africa, headed up media communications for the Auckland City Council in New Zealand and, in Britain, was part of the media team for the Liberal Democrats 2005 general election campaign. He is also an experienced communications trainer and a member of the teaching team at the International Academy for Leadership in Germany.