Bloomfield College Announces Impressive Lineup of Speakers in New Lecture Series


By Alicia Cook

Bloomfield College has announced the latest lineup for its Leadership Development Lecture Series. The series began at the College in the spring of 2018 after Matthew Frankel partnered with Student Affairs to create a new Leadership Development Lecture Series. Frankel, who acts as moderator for the series, is the former Press Secretary and Press Aide for House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow, the Democratic Leadership Council, and a variety of national and local political and advocacy campaigns across the country. He was introduced to Bloomfield College by Trustee Hank Uberoi.

The College is excited to welcome the following guests of the series to campus during its 150th anniversary year. Spring 2019 speakers will be announced in early January 2019. Each monthly session begins at 3:00 p.m. on campus. To RSVP or learn more, please contact Yuliana Gonzalez at

Session 1 - September 18, 2018 
The ABC'S of Leadership: Myths & Truths About Leadership; Making a Difference - Civic Responsibility

CHRISTY DAVIS JACKSON: as part of her 25 year career in strategic management, public affairs and public policy analysis, Mrs. Davis Jackson has served as Chief Counsel for the first African American woman in the state legislature, the late Dr. Wynona M. Lipman, as State Director for the late US Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, as Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs for Warner Lambert Company, as Campaign Manager for former US Senator Jon S. Corzine's US Senate campaign, as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Davis and Partners, a leading public affairs company, as Vice President of the largest health sciences and medical education organization in the country, and as Chief Executive Officer of the premiere education organization in the state of NJ. Her client roster included but was not limited to Prime Healthcare, Verizon, Eli Lilly Companies, Roizman Development, Traffic Plan Company and PKF MARK III. In addition to being an attorney, Mrs. Davis Jackson is a certified compliance professional and has advised clients in workforce compliance protocols as an expert. Mrs. Davis Jackson has been honored to receive numerous professional awards, including the Urban League's Vanguard Award, the Junior Achievement Mega Mentor Award and the Central Labor Council's A. Philip Randolph Award for advancing the interest of minority business in the state of NJ. She has been honored by the city of Newark, NJ and the city of Orange, NJ for her civic and community engagement. She currently serves on the Board of the African American Chamber of Commerce for the State of New Jersey. As a Supervisor in the AME Church, Mrs. Davis Jackson, has served as Supervisor of Missions for the 20th Episcopal District (countries of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania) and currently serves in that capacity for the 6th Episcopal District (State of Georgia, USA) where her husband Bishop Reginald T. Jackson serves as the presiding prelate. As Chief Executive Officer and partner of City Strategy Group, Mrs. Davis Jackson is a sought after strategist, speaker and thought leader.

Session 2 - October 16, 2018
Introduction to Civic Engagement and Servant Leadership 

BRENDAN W. GILL: of Montclair was first elected District 5 Freeholder in 2011 and Freeholder At-Large in 2014. He is now serving his third term. He was appointed Freeholder Vice President in 2015 and Freeholder President in 2018. He is a life-long resident of Essex County, attended Montclair Public Schools, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Seton Hall University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Freeholder Gill most recently managed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's 2017 election campaign and served as a Senior Aide and Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He served as State Director for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg from 2007 until his passing in 2013. Previously, he was District Director for U.S. Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman and Communications Director for the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Freeholder Gill chairs the Democratic Committee of Montclair where he previously served on the Planning Board and currently operates his own public affairs and political consulting firm, The BGill Group, LLC. He is an active member of his community and has been recognized for his leadership and public service. In 2017, he was named to the NJBIZ Power 100 list and named Political Operative of the Year for 2016 and 2017 by Insider NJ. In 2014 and 2015, he was named New Jersey's Most Powerful Elected Official by PolitickerNJ.

Session 3 - November 13, 2018 
The Value of a College Education: Why Earn a College Degree 

SHAVAR JEFFRIES: a highly successful litigator and a fierce advocate for his clients, Shavar Jeffries brings integrity, courage, and uncommon insight to his complex-litigation and white collar criminal defense work for Lowenstein. His experience stretches across the spectrum, from managing large-scale government investigations to representing individual and institutional clients in impact-litigation matters to case-specific advocacy and alternate methods of problem solving for diverse clients. Before Jeffries joined Lowenstein in 2014, he was an Associate Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law School's Center for Social Justice in Newark, New Jersey, where he ran a litigation clinic focused on complex and class-action litigation and advocacy. In this role, he helped numerous clients, in both individual and class actions, defend themselves against consumer fraud, unlawful education policies, and overly broad government actions in wide-ranging matters affecting individual rights and liberties. From 2008 to 2010, Jeffries was counsel to New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, serving in the line of succession as one of the office's most senior officials. In that role, Jeffries oversaw all multistate investigations, spanning a wide range of matters from securities and consumer fraud to environmental protection and products liability. He also had supervisory responsibility for several divisions of the office, including the Division on Civil Rights, encompassing responsibility for enforcing a wide range of state and federal employment and antidiscrimination statutes. Earlier in his career, Jeffries was counsel to the firm and Deputy Director of the Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest and Constitutional Litigation at Gibbons P.C., where he worked on a variety of complex-litigation and class-action matters, including cases involving consumer fraud, voting rights, affordable housing, and special education. He clerked for Nathaniel R. Jones, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and worked as an associate at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), where he defended the University of Michigan in affirmative-action litigation challenging its admissions policies, and represented large institutional clients in class-action employment cases. A native of Newark, New Jersey, Jeffries has been extensively involved in the Newark community. He was the founding Board President of TEAM Academy Charter School, Board President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark, and a board member of Seton Hall Preparatory School. In 2010, he was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board and was then unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as Board President. Jeffries ran as a candidate for Newark mayor in 2014, in a campaign that attracted national attention. Despite being a first-time municipal candidate, Jeffries' reform platform gained broad support and he proved to be a formidable contender, obtaining over 46 percent of the vote, more votes than any other first-time municipal candidate in modern history. Jeffries has received numerous honors for his client advocacy, including "40 Under 40" recognition by the National Bar Association as one of the nation's top lawyers, the Garden State Bar's Young Lawyer Award, the NAACP's Freedom Fund Award, the Brendan Byrne Distinguished Public Servant Award, and recognition by New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Rising Star."

Some of the special guests last year included Oscar James, Newark City Council Member/Community Activist; Tom Johnson, former Executive Producer ABC World News Tonight/Executive Editor of Bloomberg Politics; Jonathan Simon, Chief Diversity Officer, JP Morgan; Joshua Cohen, Executive Director, Anti-Defamation League; and Tai Cooper, Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Murphy.

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