Meet Our Staff

Christopher R. Riano
Christopher R. RianoPresident
Christopher R. Riano
Christopher R. RianoPresident
Christopher R. Riano is the president of the Center for Civic Education, the nation's largest constitutional law and civic education nonprofit dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry both in America and...
[read more]

John Thurman
John ThurmanVice President & Chief Operating and Financial Officer
John Thurman
John ThurmanVice President & Chief Operating and Financial Officer
John Thurman is the Center for Civic Education’s Vice President and Chief Operating and Financial Officer. He is responsible for the financial and business management of the Center as the organization...
[read more]

Donna Phillips
Donna PhillipsVice President & Chief Program Officer
Donna Phillips
Donna PhillipsVice President & Chief Program Officer
Donna Phillips is the Center for Civic Education’s Vice President & Chief Program Officer, leading the Center’s ambitious strategic plan for development, implementation, and innovation of its national and international programs...
[read more]

Mara Tolas
Mara TolasLillian B. and Martin J. Jarvis Director of Development
Mara Tolas
Mara TolasLillian B. and Martin J. Jarvis Director of Development
Mara Tolas is the Lillian B. and Martin J. Jarvis Director of Development. Dedicated to engaging friends of the Center and supporters of civic education, she works to advance the mission by deepening relationships and...
[read more]

Michael Blauw
Michael BlauwDirector of Civic Learning and Strategic Partnerships
Michael Blauw
Michael BlauwDirector of Civic Learning and Strategic Partnerships
Michael Blauw is a proud alumnus of We the People. The program ignited in him a passion for political science and philosophy, eventually impelling him to become an educator...
[read more]

Mark Gage
Mark GageDirector of Publishing and Communications
Mark Gage
Mark GageDirector of Publishing and Communications
Mark Gage directs the Center for Civic Education's publishing efforts in traditional and new media and helps create the Center's strategy of growth and innovation. He also manages the editorial content...
[read more]

Alissa Irion-Groth
Alissa Irion-GrothDirector of Program Grants and Innovation
Alissa Irion-Groth
Alissa Irion-GrothDirector of Program Grants and Innovation
Alissa Irion-Groth works with educators throughout the United States and the world to strengthen and expand civic education for all people. She has worked to innovate, evaluate, and sustain civic education....
[read more]

Gary Wise
Gary WiseDirector of Operations and Information Technology
Gary Wise
Gary WiseDirector of Operations and Information Technology
Gary Wise is the Center for Civic Education's Director of Operations and Information Technology. Gary is a multifaceted, strategic, and results-driven senior-level director...
[read more]

Umesh Naidu
Umesh NaiduSenior Accountant & IT System Administrator
Umesh Naidu
Umesh NaiduSenior Accountant & IT System Administrator
Umesh Naidu is the Center's senior accountant and IT system administrator. Naidu has been with the Center since 2002. He studied in Fiji Islands and worked as an accountant prior to...
[read more]

Bradford Pilcher
Bradford PilcherSenior Designer and Editor
Bradford Pilcher
Bradford PilcherSenior Designer and Editor
Bradford (Brad) Pilcher joined the Center in 2023. He previously spent more than a decade helping grow the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival into the largest in the world as Associate Director...
[read more]

Emily Voss
Emily VossSenior Manager of National Programs and Professional Development
Emily Voss
Emily VossSenior Manager of National Programs and Professional Development
Emily Voss joins the Center from the museum field. She was most recently the Education Director at the Robert H. Smith Center...
[read more]

Sarah Atkinson
Sarah AtkinsonFinance and Human Resources Manager
Sarah Atkinson
Sarah AtkinsonFinance and Human Resources Manager
Sarah Atkinson is the Center for Civic Education's Finance and Human Resources Manager. She is responsible for the financial and human resources management of the Center...
[read more]

Taja Butler
Taja ButlerManager of Civic Learning Projects
Taja Butler
Taja ButlerManager of Civic Learning Projects
Taja Butler joined the Center for Civic Education as the Manager of Civic Learning Projects, bridging professional development, curriculum development, and civic education....
[read more]

Valerie Milianni
Valerie MilianniManager of Sales and Operations
Valerie Milianni
Valerie MilianniManager of Sales and Operations
Valerie Milianni is the Manager of Sales and Operations at the Center. She also provides administrative support for the Center’s educational programs, events, and conferences...
[read more]

Kelly Reichardt
Kelly ReichardtManager of Civic Learning and Curriculum
Kelly Reichardt
Kelly ReichardtManager of Civic Learning and Curriculum
Kelly Reichardt is the Manager of Civic Learning and Curriculum for the Center for Civic Education. In her current role, she strives to further the mission of the Center through the development of high-quality instructional....
[read more]

Anna Ballard
Anna BallardCoordinator of National Programs and Grants
Anna Ballard
Anna BallardCoordinator of National Programs and Grants
Anna Ballard joined the Center for Civic Education as the Coordinator of National Programs and Grants in 2023. Through this role, she manages...
[read more]

Janel Huber
Janel HuberAdministrative Assistant
Janel Huber
Janel HuberAdministrative Assistant
Janel Huber has been with the Center since 2005. She has a bachelor of science degree in education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at various childcare centers in Pennsylvania and Vermont...
[read more]

About

CCE LogoThis site is brought to you by the Center for Civic Education. The Center's mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965. Learn more.

Center for Civic Education

5115 Douglas Fir Road, Suite J
Calabasas, CA 91302

  Phone: (818) 591-9321

  Email: web@civiced.org

  Media Inquiries: cce@civiced.org

  Website: www.civiced.org

© Center for Civic Education