How to Rebuild Trust in American Leadership


From the NFL to Media Executives to elected office, the trust & faith we have in the very organizations that define American culture is has dwindled. But Dr. Jerry Toomer, a 30 year veteran of behavioral psychology, joins the pod to discuss how a few core principles can be applied to catalyze change in our communities, and build a new generation of American leadership that doesn’t always require a board room or a podium.

Dr. Jerry Toomer serves as an Executive Partner and Adjunct Professor in the Lacy School of Business at Butler University.  With over three decades of applied experience as a Human Resource executive, he brings unique insights into leadership and organization effectiveness.

If You’re Not Cheating, You’re Not Trying: Gaming College Admissions with a 14-Year Veteran of the Game

While wealth has been used to hack college admissions for generations, the FBI indictment in Operation Varsity Blues underscores vast inequities in higher education. Eric Rath, a 14 year veteran of college counseling & SAT prep, joins the pod to diagnose what’s gone wrong with the admissions process, and steps we need to take to break the caste system of education.

Eric Rath is founder of Rath Education Group, a test prep and tutoring firm. Before starting his own firm, Eric’s 14 year tutoring career spans companies ranging from large corporations to small startups, with roles as varied as writing multiple curricula (specifically SAT, ACT, & GRE), training hundreds of instructors, managing over 75,000 hours of tutoring programs, and even personally teaching over 14,000 hours of one on one private tutoring. A perfect score holder on the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT, from 2010-2015, prior to the 2016 SAT & ACT redesign, Eric’s students averaged score increases of 670 points (SAT) and 7.5 points (ACT). Eric earned his B.A. with high honors from U.C. Berkeley.

Fewer Veterans Are Running for Public Office. Meet the Team Changing That: New Politics

Emily Cherniack & Micah Scharf of New Politics join the pod to discuss why recruiting service members for a second tour of duty — representing their country, after spending years fighting for it — is more important now than ever.

Emily Cherniack, Founder and Executive Director

Emily Cherniack is steeped in the traditions of servant leadership. From her service in AmeriCorps and employment with City Year AmeriCorps, to being part of the founding team of Be the Change — where she led a coalition of over 200 organizations to engage 250,000 people for a Day of Action in support of the $6 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 — Emily has worked tirelessly to serve our country and support others who serve. In 2018, Emily was named to the Politico 50 as one of the 50 “thinkers, doers, and dreamers driving politics.” Emily’s path to politics came when her boss and mentor, Alan Khazei, decided to run for the US Senate in 2009. Khazei asked Emily to become his Deputy Campaign Manager and, although he was defeated, Emily learned a great deal from his campaign and the power of political leaders who chose to serve country before self. This experience led Emily to conclude that our current system for recruiting political talent is broken. The current talent pipeline is intentionally exclusive, and has significant barriers that prevent transformational leaders from successfully running for office; the only way to change that is to change the pipeline. New Politics was founded in 2013 to address exactly that. Emily graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education Policy. She lives in Boston.

Micah Scharff, Director of Strategy & Development

Micah serves as the Director of Strategy and Growth, where she oversees the organization’s ambitious growth plan following an election cycle where service veterans were a national movement and ran some of the strongest races in the country on both sides of the aisle. She joined the team after serving as the Finance Director and Senior Advisor to Ken Harbaugh’s congressional campaign, where she led a fundraising operation that raised the most money in the country for a Democrat in a Solid Republican district. Her leadership in Harbaugh’s operation earned her a feature story on CBS This Morning, profiling millenial women who were changing politics. Ken Harbaugh’s campaign was Micah’s first job in politics. Frustrated with the 2016 election, Micah left her role as a management consultant to join Harbaugh’s campaign. Micah quickly became one of the country’s top fundraisers, leading Harbaugh’s groundbreaking effort that earned national attention. A proud Midwesterner, Micah was born and raised in St. Louis. She graduated from Emory University, where she studied Economics and earned 4 NCAA letters. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Is an “America First” Strategy Disrupting Alliances Abroad? We Asked a Parliamentarian from Europe.


PortugalDr. Ricardo Leite, a Member of Parliament from Portugal, joins the pod to discuss how multilateral relations between traditional allies is shifting in real time; and what those evolutions mean for countries to tackle shared interests (like public health goals) together. Recorded at the Concordia Summit 2018.

Opportunity Zones – Can a Tax Break Save the US-Mexico Border?

Should Amazon Have Invested In Opportunity Zones? And, what do Napster, Cory Booker, and VP Pence have in common?

Even though Amazon was pilloried for seeking tax “incentives” from New York, “opportunity zones” offer investors new tax breaks to revitalize traditionally distressed zones. Eddie Cullen, founder of the Border Freedom Fund, joins the pod to describe how these “zones” can create new hopes in overlooked American communities, including the US-Mexican border.

Changing of the Guard: How Millennials are Grabbing Seats of Power

Why Millennials in America are becoming the face of community organizing, new technologies, and the nation…

Ben BrownFounder & Executive Director of the Association of Young Americans (AYA), Ben Brown, joins the pod to discuss why young people in America are increasingly becoming the face of community organizing, new technologies, and the nation. Ben argues how representing their voice in politics will be vital to the growth and competitiveness of the country in the 21st century.
Ben Brown started AYA in his NYC apartment in 2016 and is responsible for leading its growth and strategy, including inking partnerships with Lyft, CoachUSA and others. Prior to AYA, Ben was a consultant at Enovation Partners where he worked with Fortune 500 companies to develop innovation strategies, invest in clean-tech startups, and evaluate market entry opportunities. Before working with some of the world’s largest companies, Ben advised clean energy startup companies as a Manager at non-profit Clean Energy Trust (CET). At CET, Ben oversaw the development of a multimillion-dollar public-private investment fund and advised dozens of startups leading to millions of dollars in follow on funding. Ben is a graduate of Middlebury College.

Why Women Still March

Women March in San Francisco, CA January 2019

Showing up at The Women’s March in San Francisco, CA – January, 2019

Women March in San Francisco, CA January 2019While 2019’s Women’s March was criticized for size, affiliation, accusations of bigotry and beyond — women and girls and allies of all backgrounds still showed up in cities across the nation. Join American Enough for live dispatches with leaders, organizers and skeptics of this year’s March explaining why it was important for so many to show up.

The opinions expressed in this episode do not necessarily reflect those of the host or of MouthMedia Network.

Is 2019 the Year America Finally Enacts Paid Family Leave Policies?

Why working families in the United States struggle to spend time with newborns & raise their families…

Executive Director of the nation’s leading paid family leave advocacy organization PL+US, Katie Bethell, joins the pod to discuss why working families in the United States struggle to spend time with newborns & raise their families (when the rest of the industrialized world invests in robust parental leave protections) and why hope may be on the horizon in 2019.
Katie Bethell is the Founder and Executive Director of PL+US and one of Fortune’s 2018 “World’s Greatest Leaders” with 15 years of public policy and issue advocacy experience in the United States. Prior to founding PL+US, Bethell was the Campaign Director at leading successful bids for family friendly policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Her portfolio included work to win passage of statewide paid family leave in New Jersey and Washington State, paid sick days legislation in Connecticut, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Following MomsRising, Katie was Managing Director of North America Campaigns at, where she oversaw the team that ran hundreds of impactful public campaigns in the US. For her organizing, Katie was named by Fast Company as one of the “Most Creative People in Business.”

(Golden Globes Special): Is Hollywood Shifting from Commercial Impact to Social Impact?

The transforming of creative content in Hollywood…

In an era where entertainment increasingly mirrors the despair contained within our daily news cycle, one studio in Hollywood is doubling down on creative content that seeks to unite Americans with hope & inclusivity. Co-Founder of Wayfarer entertainment, Farhoud Meybodi, joins the pod to discuss how their brand of TV, Film, and Web-driven content can both speak to the issues of our time, while using art to galvanize change.


Co-Owner of Wayfarer Entertainment, Farhoud Meybodi is a Clio Award-winning director, and executive producer focused on premium storytelling content across scripted, unscripted, and branded distribution channels.

Unlike many creatives in the entertainment business, Farhoud started his career in law, and spent his mid-twenties climbing up the corporate ladder as a sales and marketing executive for a global luxury brand. This non-traditional background gave Farhoud a marketers mindset – something he draws upon frequently when helping brands, agencies, TV networks, studios and NGOs connect with audiences through the power of human connection and social impact. At his core, Farhoud is passionate about creative storytelling content that entertains, educates and inspires.

Mostly recently, Farhoud directed and executive produced Season Four of My Last Days, an award-winning documentary series about life told by courageous people living with a terminal illness, for the CW Network. He received a bronze Clio Award for directing and executive producing “Meet Anthony,” a season three episode of the show profiling renowned street photographer Anthony Carbajal, and his harrowing life experience with ALS. He developed, and executive produced Chefs Without Borders, a documentary series featuring celebrity Chef, Curtis Stone, and Actress/Model, Lindsay Price, as they journey from Los Angeles to Tanzania to live with, and learn from three Indigenous tribes, each representing a unique perspective on food insecurity. Farhoud also developed, executive produced and wrote Man Enough, a dinner conversation series featuring Scooter Braun, Anderson Silva, Justin Baldoni, Matt McGorry, Javier Munoz, Prince EA, Derek Hough, Tony Porter, Aydian Dowling and Jamey Heath that explores the heart of traditional masculinity in America. Farhoud created, developed and executive produced Project Upgrade, an unscripted series for Google featuring YouTube stars, The Merrell Twins, as they set out to design and build a new consumer product with the help of successful, female mentors from Google, Space X, NASA, and Disney.

Farhoud has also developed and directed national campaigns for Subaru, Kellogg’s, MetroPCS, and The Ad Council, and sold several scripted pitches to major studios and television networks.

Why are Paychecks Shrinking, if the Economy is Booming? 

Why Most Americans Can’t Afford a $400 Bill

Rachel Schneider (Author of the Financial Diaries, and Entrepreneur in Resident at the Aspen Institute’s FSP) followed 235 American families to understand why so many American’s still feel financial duress even while our economy grows at a rapid rate. She joins to the pod to detail how experimenting with new policies, like short term cash infusions, can address wage stagnation in the country.

Rachel Schneider is the Omidyar Network Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (FSP), and co-author of The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty. Described as a “must-read for anyone interested in causes of – and potential solutions to – American poverty” by Publisher’s Weekly, The Financial Diaries challenges conventional wisdom about inequality. As a social entrepreneur, Rachel is launching a new effort to explore how the social contract should evolve as a result. She is particularly interested in how small, strategic cash infusions can go a longer way by helping families at pivotal moments in which they simply don’t have the cash on hand that they need. She is developing hypotheses about how cash infusions can not only be stopgap measures, but also be a bridge toward stability and an investment in mobility. She is seeking partners with whom to expand and test those hypotheses by designing and implementing prototypes, and drawing attention to the range of solutions that can help families in need.

For the last decade, Rachel has lead many of the projects at the heart of the work of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), where she is still a Senior Advisor. She is both a conceptual, and a practical thinker, with an unusual ability to think both about big ideas and about the smaller steps that can be taken today. Her research has been cited in the nation’s largest publications, and she is a highly sought-after consultant, writer and public speaker.

Rachel began her career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co., but credits her commitment to the potential for innovative finance to solve major social problems from her days as a VISTA Volunteer (now AmeriCorps). She holds a J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley