expert directory

Please find below a list of related experts who may be a suitable fit for workshops, speaking opportunities, writing projects, etc. related to the topics of (transatlantic) civic education, among other focus areas. Click on the button to read more about each individual and how to contact them. 

Sarah Wagner

As part of my work at the Atlantic Academy, I enjoy creating lectures explaining the U.S. political system and current events to a broad audience as well as tailored to students. In addition, I co-host a podcast where I discuss specific domestic developments in the US and within transatlantic relations and I blog about interesting issues in the same context. Speaking as well as writing opportunities are right up my alley and I enjoy networking and collaborating on various projects!

Areas of expertise: U.S. political system, U.S. domestic politics, transatlantic relations Germany-USA, transatlantic organizations in Germany, civic education

Sarah Surak

Sarah Surak is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Salisbury University splitting her time between Salisbury, Maryland, and Hamburg, Germany. Her academic research and teaching specializations include civic education and engagement in the United States, comparative civic and democratic education (primarily in Germany and the United States), democratic empowerment and participation, and environmental policy (specifically waste management and urban infrastructure policy). Surak is a Senior Fellow with the national Center for Civic Reflection. She regularly facilitates workshops on civic reflection methods, dialogue techniques, utopian visioning for sustainability, and US election simulations (youth-focused).

Areas of expertise: Comparative Civic Education, Civic Engagement in Higher Education, Democratic Participation, American Politics, Sustainability and Civic Empowerment, Civic Reflection Methods, Critical Theory

Navina Engelage

Navina Engelage has been a full-time pedagogical staff member at the GESW (Gesamteuropäisches Studienwerk/ Pan-European Studies Institute) since 2008. Her focus is civic education and historical-political learning. Navina offers workshops on the topics of National Socialism, World War II and European remembrance as well as German division, everyday life in the GDR and reunification. She also provides introductions to oral history and biographical learning for young people. Navina knows her way around Berlin and will be happy to accompany your group to the historical sites. Finally, she invites you to come to the educational center GESW in Westphalia. She would be pleased to start an international project with you – preferably with older teenagers or young adults.

Areas of expertise: transatlantic civic education, public history, oral history, biographical learning, German politics, international projects

jackson opio

Jackson Opio is a Ugandan, currently living in Berlin – Germany.  Jackson is trained in mental health and treating torture and trauma survivors. Jackson is passionate about empowerment of young people for sustainable peace and resilience, and to take on active leadership roles in civic spaces. He is one of the trainers for the Model International Criminal Court (MICC) – an international programme of Kreisau Initiative for young people with focus on contemporary history and human rights education. Jackson also has special interest and experience in, and as well giving workshop on the topic of identity decolonization.

Areas of expertise: Human rights and social justice, International youth work, psychosocial support, decolonization


Teresa Pfaffinger

As head of the division youth, education and generations in the civic education department of the Hanns Seidel foundation, I would be open for speaking opportunities or writing projects about educational policies or youth policy, youth engagement or intergenerational projects in civic education, or about the work of a political foundation. I would also love to realize projects in cooperation with other organizations. I can offer stays at our educational center Kloster Banz or meetings at our headquarter in Munich. I can also offer my network of facilitators and speakers to various topics.

Areas of expertise: Educational policy/ youth education, civic engagement policy/ youth engagement, Working in intergenerational projects

Christoph Hövel

Christoph Hövel works for the Salvador-Allende-Haus, a federal educational center of the Socialist Youth of Germany – The Falcons. He is responsible for a state funded project concerned with the prevention of spreading conspiracy theories and has given several presentations and written short articles on the topic and topics related to this issue.

Areas of expertise: Critizism of Extremism Theory, Critical Theory, Critizism of the capitalist mode of production, countering Conspiracy Theories with young people, Conspiracy Theories and social divide, countering anti-Semitism, countering right-wing ideologies, Socialist Education

Michelle Chávez

I work as a non-formal youth civic educator at the educational institute Alte Schule Anspach (basa e.V.). I work mainly with youth, but I also organize and facilitate workshops and seminars for trainers working in the field of civic education. My work focuses on diversity-sensitive and racism-critical education. I use the Anti-Bias approach to sharpen the perception of individual and structural discrimination based on identity attributions and strengthen solidarity with one another. Likewise, I am currently working on girls’ empowerment project which addresses stereotypes, clichés and gender identity matters. I am available for speaking and writing opportunities on anti-discrimination approaches and gender issues from an intersectional perspective, and I would be happy to join projects on youth empowerment.

Areas of expertise: Anti-discrimination education, youth empowerment, girls’ empowerment, civic participation and gender equality

Emma humphries

Emma Humphries is the Chief Education Officer at iCivics, an educational non-profit dedicated to reimagining civic education for American democracy. She serves as the organization’s pedagogical expert and ensures its resources evolve to a place of greater equity and deeper learning for all students, oversees the implementation of iCivics’ innovative response to the Educating for American Democracy initiative, and supports the efforts of CivXNow, a national cross-partisan coalition of over 180 organizations focused on improving our nation’s K-12 in and out-of-school civic education. Emma is an experienced public speaker and workshop facilitator. 

Areas of expertise: best practices in civic education, teacher professional learning, U.S. civic education policy, history of civic education in the U.S.

adam westbrook

Adam Westbrook is currently Director of the Center for Community Engagement at Suffolk University in Boston, MA, where he develops civic education programs where students engage with communities in Boston, across the United States, and abroad. He has worked at the intersection of education, civic engagement, and civil dialogue for almost two decades. Adam’s graduate work in religious studies work focused on how well—or not well—societies with diverse religious groups have been able to create a shared common good. He has spent time studying intergroup conflicts throughout the world, and has facilitated and led interreligious dialogue in the U.S., Israel/Palestine. His community development projects have taken him across the globe, particularly in places where religious and political conflict exist, like Northern Ireland, Myanmar, and Bulgaria.

Areas of expertise: Civic engagement in Higher Education, American civic education, Dialogue and deliberation, Religions and civic life, Local and International community partnerships and coalition building, Experiential learning

April Grayson

April Grayson combines her commitment to racial equity and social justice with her passion for storytelling, documentary fieldwork, and art practice. She serves as the Director of Community and Capacity Building for the Alluvial Collective, where she facilitates dialogue and education programs, leads equity workshops and trainings, and oversees public history and documentary projects. She has collaborated with communities throughout the Deep South, the US, and internationally, with nonprofits, museums, K-12 schools, universities, professional organizations, and corporations. Since 2017, she has worked closely with local community groups, family members of lynching victims, and national organizations on historical memorialization efforts. She also helps design youth and intergenerational exchange programs and is eager to collaborate on programs focused on local history in a broader context. She is based in Oxford MS and Taos NM.

Areas of expertise: best practices in civic education, teacher professional learning, U.S. civic education policy, history of civic education in the U.S.