Our People Executive Leadership Cassandra Dahnke Co-founder As nationally recognized civility experts, Cassandra and Tomas have been featured in national media coverage including PBS, CSPAN, National Public Radio, and Roll Call. Their book, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square, calls attention to the value of civil discourse, serves as a blueprint for action, and provides examples, in plain, straightforward language, of living, thriving civil discourse in American politics today. Tomas Spath Co-founder As nationally recognized civility experts, Tomas and Cassandra have been featured in national media coverage including PBS, CSPAN, National Public Radio, and Roll Call. Their book, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square, calls attention to the value of civil discourse, serves as a blueprint for action, and provides examples, in plain, straightforward language, of living, thriving civil discourse in American politics today. Our People Board of Directors John Alford Political Science Professor, Rice University John is a political science professor at Rice University with a research focus on U.S. elections and the biology of political behavior, including neuroscience and genetics. His work in this area has been funded by the National Science Foundation and featured in national media coverage including the New York Times, Forbes, CSPAN’s Washington Journal, and the cover of New Scientist magazine. He is the author of numerous articles on political behavior, and a co-author of a recent book Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences. Mary Josie Blanchard Deputy Director, Environmental Protection & Compliance, U.S. Department of the Interior Mary Josie is a Senior Government Executive whose long career has dealt with environmental restoration and mined land reclamation both in the State of Texas and the Federal government. She received degrees from Stephens College in Columbia, MO, and The University of Texas in Austin, TX. Mary Josie is a Trustee of the Cheetah Conservation Fund and served on several other boards including Stephens College Board of Trustees and Executive Women in Government. Randy Dietel President, National Pipe & Piling, Inc. Randy has been owner and CEO of Nunez Construction Co., Inc, a 4th generation family business, since 1982. He is also owner and CEO of Piling, Inc., founded in 1971. Randy has served on many boards and commissions, including a two year term as a city commissioner of Texas City, Texas. He earned a degree in music and has also served in the U.S. Army National Guard. Randy has been married to Peggy for 51 years and they have two children. Dasha Rhodes Assistant Professor, University of South Florida Dasha was among the first students to attend the 1st Student Legislative Seminars with the Institute. Since then, she has earned a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in social work and previously worked as a hospice social worker in the greater Houston area. She now works as an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida and lives with her husband and son in the Tampa Bay Area. Scott Roberts Retired Executive, Royal Dutch Shell Scott retired in 2008, having spent 35 years with Royal Dutch Shell in various positions, including President of Shell Mexico, Executive VP of Global Manufacturing for Shell Chemicals Ltd, and VP of Manufacturing for NW Europe. He is a chemical engineer with a Ph.D. from University of Washington, and a B.S. from University of Arizona. Scott is now a volunteer trail ranger at Scottsdale park and gallery guide at the Musical Instrument Museum. He and his wife Catherine have one son, Chris.