Advisory Councils expand the reach and resources of America250 to engage all Americans in the most inclusive commemoration in U.S. history

Washington, D.C. –America250, the nationwide commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 led by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, has established 11 Advisory Councils across a variety of industries and specialties to increase inclusiveness, expand America250’s capacity and connection to partners and stakeholders, and facilitate program development, implementation, and social impact.

“We are excited to introduce our 11 Advisory Councils as we seek to connect with millions of Americans on our journey to 2026,” said Dr. Carleen Carey, Director of Public Outreach and Inclusion at America250. “Each council is composed of industry luminaries and leading experts in their respective fields who are empowered by America250’s mission and values. We look forward to the thoughtful contributions they will bring to this commemoration to ensure we are capturing the many voices of Americans.”

The current roster of Advisory Councils includes: Arts & Culture; Health & Wellness; History Education; Hospitality & Tourism; Innovation, Science & Entrepreneurship; International; Parks, Preservation & Public Spaces; Sports & Entertainment; Veterans, Military & Family Members; Youth Engagement; and Young Leaders. As America250 continues planning and preparations, additional Advisory Councils will be created.

Arts & Culture Advisory Council
The Arts & Culture Advisory Council will capture the essence of human creativity in its many manifestations and will highlight the unique impact of the arts through America250 programming and projects. The Arts & Culture Council will provide insight into the communities that use their artistic expression and imagination to produce pieces representative of the multifaceted American experience. This Council will ensure that America250’s vision is interpreted in a wide range of art forms and languages, all in an effort to reach every American.

Members:

  • Debbie Allen, Director/Producer/Actor, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Gabrielle Armand, Vice President, Brand, Sales & Marketing, Jazz at Lincoln Center
  • T. Lulani Arquette, President and CEO, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF)
  • Paxton K. Baker, Managing Partner, Liquid Soul Media
  • Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Alexander Gibson, Executive Director, Appalshop
  • Kendra Ingram, President and CEO, Marcus Performing Arts Center (Co-Chair)
  • Jewel Malone, Executive Director, YoungArts 
  • Brad Meltzer, Bestselling Author & Historian
  • Christopher K. Morgan, Executive Artistic Director, Dance Place
  • Harvey Pratt, Retired
  • Deborah F. Rutter, President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Janine Turner, Actress, Author, Playwright, Speaker, Founder and Co-President of Constituting America
  • Dr. Jay Xu, Director and CEO, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Health & Wellness Advisory Council
The Health & Wellness Advisory Council will bring together America’s experts in each area of health and wellness, covering topics of physical health, mental health, social well-being, and environmental health. Experts will inform the Foundation on the historic developments of health and wellness in America while also exploring the advancements and challenges of the present and future, enabling America250 to explore programs and partnerships that contribute to the overall health of our nation and its people.

Members:

  • Ramsey Alwin, President & CEO, National Council on Aging (NCOA)
  • Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Chief Health Officer, Special Olympics
  • Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
  • Stacy Bohlen, Chief Executive Officer, National Indian Health Board
  • Dr. Jane Delgado, President and CEO, National Alliance for Hispanic Health (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Victor Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine
  • Dr. Judy Heumann, President, Judith Heumann LLC (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Sara Newman, Director, National Park Service, Office of Public Health (Ex-Officio)
  • Stephen Kerrigan, President and CEO, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
  • Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, Director, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan and UCLA
  • Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director, The Trevor Project
  • Dr. Cheri Blauwet, Sports Medicine Physician and Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School

History Education Advisory Council
The History Education Advisory Council will work to deepen our shared understanding of the nation’s past and broaden our understanding of each other as Americans. This begins by developing and improving access to history education resources for students of all ages and enhancing professional development for educators in both formal and informal educational settings. 

Members:

  • Garry Adelman, Chief Historian, American Battlefield Trust
  • Niya M. Bates, Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton
  • Kevin Cline, Department Chair for Social Studies and Teacher, Frankton High School
  • Christy S. Coleman, Executive Director, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
  • Sergio de Alba, Teacher, R. M. Miano Elementary
  • John Dichtl, President & CEO, American Association for State and Local History
  • Dr. Reginald Ellis, PhD, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Florida A&M University (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Vice President, Creative Affairs, JusticeRx; Lead Artist + Executive Producer, AT BUFFALO: A New Musical
  • Cathy Gorn, Executive Director, National History Day
  • Dr. James Grossman, Executive Director, American Historical Association
  • Karalee Nakatsuka, History Teacher, First Avenue Middle School
  • Dr. Libby O’Connell, Emeritus, History Channel (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Colleen Shogan, Senior Vice President, White House Historical Association
  • Dr. Gabrielle Tayac, Associate Professor of Public History, George Mason University
  • Dr. Tuyen Tran, Assistant Director, California History-Social Science Project

Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Council
The hospitality and tourism industry will be essential in Americans’ engagement in the semiquincentennial, with national and international visitors welcomed into every region and community of the country. From big cities to small towns, American culture has been shaped and influenced by our nation’s rich travel traditions, and the Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Council will uplift and highlight our collective commitment to exploring America’s places.

Members:

  • Brad Dean, CEO, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Gretchen Hall, CEO, Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America
  • Laura Huerta Migus, Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services (Ex-Officio)
  • Parker McMullen Bushman, Chief Operating Officer, Inclusive Guide
  • Travis Owens, Vice President, Cultural Tourism, Cherokee Nation Businesses
  • Dee Patel, Managing Director, The Hermitage Hotel (Co-Chair)
  • John Ricks, Executive Director, Nebraska Tourism Commission
  • Sherry Rupert, CEO, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (Co-Chair)
  • Stephen Wolter, Executive Director, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University

Innovation, Science & Entrepreneurship Advisory Council
Perhaps the most important legacy of America250 will be hope for America’s future. The Innovation, Science & Entrepreneurship Advisory Council will engage our national expertise as we seek to shape, inform, and inspire another 250 years of American ingenuity. 

Members:

  • Philip Auerswald, President, National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Co-Chair)
  • Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University and SciStarter (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
  • Rachel Goslin, Director, SI Arts and Industries Building (Ex-Officio)
  • Jill Johnson, CEO, Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Dean Kamen, President, DEKA Research & Development Corp.
  • Paul Laudicina, Chairman Emeritus, Kearney

International Advisory Council
America250’s chartering legislation, the United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act, uplifts the significance of America’s commitment to the pursuit of life, liberty, justice, freedom, and equality around the globe. The overarching purpose of the International Advisory Council is to engage friends of America worldwide in the 250th commemoration, and to support the activities of the Department of State to engage foreign nations in America250.

Members: 

  • Judith Baroody, Retired
  • Aurelia Brazeal, Ambassador (retired) (Co-Chair)
  • Tania Chomiak-Salvi, Retired Diplomat
  • Bill Clifford, President and CEO, World Affairs Councils of America
  • William Courtney, Adjunct Senior Fellow, RAND Corporation; Ambassador (retired) (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Dan E. Davidson, Director, American Councils Research Center, American Councils for International Education
  • Dr. Alix Desulme, Councilman, City of North Miami
  • Shaun Donnelly, Consultant, Retired Ambassador, U.S. Council for International Business
  • Julie Dussliere, Chief of Paralympic Sport, The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
  • Patricia Harrison, President & CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Eunice Reddick, U.S. Ambassador (retired)
  • Susan Sygall, CEO and Co-Founder, Mobility International USA
  • Dr. Christopher Washington, Executive Vice President and Provost, Franklin University

Parks, Preservation & Public Spaces Advisory Council
The Parks, Preservation & Public Spaces Advisory Council supports the Foundation’s priority to preserve and make ready the places where our collective and individual American stories unfold. Intended to support parks, historic properties, and battlefields at both national and state levels, and shaped by classic preservation guidance and oversight, the Advisory Council will inform America250 dialogue and programs to preserve and promote the irreplaceable legacy of our built and natural environment. 

Members:

  • James Campi Jr., Chief Policy and Communications Officer, American Battlefield Trust (Co-Chair)
  • Dieter Fenkart-Froeschl, Chief Operating Officer, National Park Foundation
  • Valerie Grussing, Executive Director, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
  • Katherine Malone, Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic 
  • Ed Price, President, Trails Access Project
  • Cathy Ritter, Founder & CEO, Better Destinations LLC
  • Robert Rosenbaum, Retired
  • Marie Salerno, President/CEO, National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy
  • Alan Spears, Senior Director for Cultural Resources, National Parks Conservation Association (Co-Chair)
  • Robert Stanton, 15th Director (Retired), National Park Service
  • Jordan Tannenbaum, Vice Chairman, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Sports & Entertainment Advisory Council
Sports and entertainment have a storied history within the fabric of the U.S. For centuries, arenas, stadiums, and theaters have brought people from all walks of life together to share a singular experience. This Council will aim to harness the unifying spirit of sports and entertainment as a tool to expand America250’s influence and impact, thereby making the Foundation’s resources, commemoration, and celebration accessible to each and every American.

Members:

  • Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President – Social Impact, Growth Initiatives, and Legislative Affairs, National Hockey League
  • Warrick Dunn, Philanthropist/Entrepreneur, NFL (Co-Chair)
  • Mitch Glazier, Chairman & CEO, Recording Industry Association of America
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Former Olympian; Founder & CEO, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation
  • Sandra E. Lopez, Vice President and GM, Intel Sports
  • Dr. Jamil Northcutt, Vice President, Major League Soccer
  • Cal Ripken, Founder, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
  • Angela Ruggiero, CEO, Sports Innovation Lab
  • Aisha Thomas-Petit, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, AMC Networks
  • Don Wildman, President, Archivist Media (Co-Chair)
  • Ann Wool, President, Translation LLC

Veterans, Military & Family Members Advisory Council
Military service members, veterans, and their families sacrifice each and every day to protect and uphold our nation’s founding ideals. The Semiquincentennial is a special occasion to express our deep and unending gratitude for the service and sacrifice of America’s military. This Advisory Council will consider how to integrate this special emphasis in America250 partnerships and programming.

Members:

  • Nina Amos, Executive Director, Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (HORSE) Cavalry Association
  • Robert Borka, National Executive Director/COO, Marine Corps League
  • Peggy Combs, Major General (USA RET), United States Army (Co-Chair)
  • Jennifer Dane, CEO, Modern Military Association of America
  • Lawrence Guzman Romo, Past President, The American GI Forum; Commissioner, Department of Defense Naming Commission
  • Justin Hauschild, Legal Fellow, Student Veterans of America (SVA)
  • Todd Hunter, Assistant National Communications Director, DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
  • Robert Jackson, Director of Operations, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.
  • Autrey James, California State Commander, The American Legion
  • Doug Raaberg, Major General USAF (Ret.), Executive Vice President, Air Force Association
  • Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO, Blue Star Families
  • Patrick Scanlan, Program Manager, Association of the United States Army 
  • Ted Tenorio, President, Native American Veterans Association 
  • Alfred Valenzuela, Major General (USA RET), United States Army (Co-Chair)

Youth Engagement Advisory Council
The Youth Engagement Advisory Council will be led by professionals who have dedicated their careers to the betterment of America’s youth. These experts will advise America250 on programs and projects that ensure that the next generation of leaders are inspired by and engaged in this milestone of American democracy.

Members:

  • Katie Adamson, Vice President, Health Partnerships and Policy, YMCA of the USA
  • Paul Caccamo, Founder & CEO, Up2Us Sports
  • David Johns, Executive Director, The National Black Justice Coalition 
  • Dr. Ashley Johnson, Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation
  • Nafeesha Mitchell, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff to the CEO, Teach For America
  • Lorraine Orr, COO, BGCA
  • David Quilleon, Senior Vice President, Global Mission, State Development & Operations, Best Buddies International
  • Elizabeth Ramirez-Washka, VP of Diversity & Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer & Associate GC Labor & Employment, Boy Scouts of America
  • Elisha Rhodes, Interim CEO & COO, YWCA USA, Inc (Co-Chair)
  • Sue Santa, Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy, Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Jennifer Sirangelo, President & CEO, National 4-H Council (Co-Chair)
  • Scott Stump, CEO, National FFA Organization
  • Jose Antonio Tijerino, President & CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation 
  • Mary Titla, Executive Director, UNITY Inc
  • Ebony Webber, Chief Operating Officer, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS)
  • Shari Werb, Director, Center for Learning, Literacy & Engagement, Library of Congress (Ex-Officio)
  • Kelvin Williams, Senior Vice President, Business Operations, PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation, Inc.

To learn more about America250’s Advisory Councils, click here.   

About America250
America250 is a multiyear effort to commemorate the semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the United States. The purpose of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, created by Congress, and the corresponding America250 Foundation, is to catalyze a more perfect union by designing and leading the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our country’s history. America250 represents a coalition of public and private partners all working to create initiatives and programs that honor our first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine our next 250. The commemoration period began in 2020, culminates on July 4, 2026, and officially concludes in 2027. For more information, visit www.america250.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and  Instagram.

Media Contact:
Rebecca Devine, rdevine@mavenagency.com