Institute of Politics

Anna Galland

Former Executive Director of MoveOn

Anna will draw on her experience as a political and civic organization leader in seminars focused on threats to democracy in the U.S. and explore how the progressive movement – and others in civil society – can combat its erosion.

  • Office Hours

    Thursdays

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  • Seminars

    Tuesdays

    12:30-1:45pm CT

    -

    Seminars are off the record and open to current UChicago students only.

    Seminars

Anna is a nationally-recognized progressive organizer, nonprofit leader, and campaign strategist with two decades of experience advancing democracy and economic and social justice in the United States. She serves as Senior Democracy Fellow with Propel, a New York-based investment and philanthropic venture, and regularly serves as a strategic advisor to political and civic organizations.

She is the national board chair of MoveOn Civic Action, following seven years as Executive Director (2012-2019). She led a top-to-bottom overhaul of MoveOn in a time of tremendous growth, increased visibility, and impact -- mobilizing millions of people in campaigns to extend & defend access to health care, protect democracy against accelerating assaults, and fight for the dignity and safety of immigrants.

In close partnership with MoveOn PAC's Executive Director, she quadrupled MoveOn's budget and base of sustaining donors, tripled the size of the staff team, and dramatically grew its membership and reach. She also raised millions of dollars for other organizations and for humanitarian relief.

Her work in national media has included numerous appearances on MSNBC, CNN, and CSPAN, and interviews with print publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, Huffington Post, and a range of other outlets. Her writing has appeared in outlets including The Nation and the Boston Globe.

She serves as a member of the boards of Public Citizen and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and as an advisor to a number of other activist efforts and civic start-ups, including the Leadership Center for Social Change at the City University of New York and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. She lives with her husband and three children in the Chicago area.

Seminars

"Renewing Our Democracy: Movement-Building Perspectives on the Path Forward"

Our democracy is ailing. The mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 was just the latest vivid display of a multi-front crisis. Severe and racialized polarization divides our two major political coalitions; gridlock, corruption, and dysfunction have increased the public’s appetite for more authoritarian leadership; disinformation is rampant. Americans can’t agree on basic truths like whether Joe Biden was legitimately elected in 2020 - even as attacks on nonpartisan election administration and the right to vote are underway. Americans today have historically low levels of trust in one another, in our government, and in our democratic system. Addressing these challenges, renewing our democracy, and building a healthier political culture will require a range of efforts. Social movements and grassroots activists have an essential role to play - in concert with high-integrity politicians and public officials, journalists, technologists, business and philanthropic leaders, and many others. Over 8 weeks, we’ll dig into the challenge of renewing democracy with a movement-building lens, drawing inspiration from conversations with a range of leaders from different sectors and perspectives.

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