Advocacy Innovators

Practitioners remaking activism and lobbying

Bruce Friedrich


Bruce Friedrich
Executive Director, The Good Food Institute

Bruce Friedrich is a happy warrior in the war on meat. 

Once nicknamed “Bruce Poppins” by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals President Ingrid Newkirk, Friedrich takes the same optimistic attitude he displayed during his 13 years with the animal-rights organization to his current role as executive director of The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that champions vegan and plant-based meat substitutes commonly known as alt-meats… 

Cassie Folk


Cassie Folk
Vice President of Federal Policies, Cannabis Trade Federation

Cassie Folk has made a career of selling politicians on the fun stuff. 

“I went from the circus to chocolate and candy to cigarettes, and now I’m at cannabis,” Folk said, reminiscing on an eclectic career in government relations that’s taken her from Feld Entertainment to the National Confectioners Association to Reynolds American tobacco. Folk’s latest job, however, has been the most personal. In February, she left her C-suite job at Reynolds to get on the ground floor of the marijuana start-up Cannabis Trade Federation as its top lobbyist…

Joshua Bolten

Joshua Bolten
President and CEO, Business Roundtable

Joshua Bolten says he realized he was a “policy nerd” early on in life. That passion led him to the top of Washington’s pecking order, serving as George W. Bush’s chief of staff, among other positions in government.

Now, Bolten represents some 200 CEOs of the country’s largest companies—comprising about 20 million employees—as CEO of the Business Roundtable, serving as an influential voice on economic issues ranging from trade to taxes to regulation…

Julie Linton


Julie Linton
Executive Committee Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health

Linton, a pediatrician by trade, often speaks at the national level representing the pediatric-health and child-welfare perspective in the contentious immigration-policy debates.

“When you’re talking about child separation, it disrupts the sanctity of the parent-child relationship, which is so fundamental to everything I do in primary-care pediatrics,” she said. “It really was not a decision of whether I should speak up; it was how to get through the time.”…

Karan Bhatia
Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google 

Karan Bhatia explains technology to the most powerful people in the world.

At Google, Bhatia is bringing a new focus to emerging markets. Since he started at the company last year, he has created a team dedicated to regions that often get less attention from tech companies: Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

The move is inspired, in part, by his background. As deputy U.S. Trade Representative in the George W. Bush administration, Bhatia focused on trade policy in Africa and Asia. His family is from India and he grew up in Kenya and Bangladesh, so he knows what a difference access to information can make…

Marsha Griffin


Marsha Griffin
American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health Executive Committee Member

Dr. Marsha Griffin did not expect that she would be working on issues related to immigrant children’s health. But then again, the Texas-based pediatrician didn’t expect to be a doctor at all: She didn’t attend medical school until she was almost 50 years old.

“I think the issue found me,” she said of her advocacy for immigrant kids. “I had no idea years ago that’s who I would be working with, but I chose to come back to the border and I worked for over a decade at a federally qualified community health center.”…