George Linzer

Founder | Publisher | Executive Editor

George has spent much of his career keeping the public informed and educated about technical issues, and he has found the web to be the ideal medium for that pursuit. For almost 14 years, he served as the founding executive producer and editor of Lab Tests Online, a patient education site that grew to reach 2.5 million patients and professionals each month and served as the cornerstone of a global network of sites in 17 countries and 14 languages. He had earlier created a website for the US EPA’s emergency response programs that similarly pulled together the best available knowledge to inform the public about the nation’s programs for responding to oil spills and hazardous substances releases. He also started a communications company that helped the US EPA launch its Energy Star program and several other public-private partnership programs.

Long frustrated by the lack of memory and context in the news media and its vulnerability to distraction, distortion, and obfuscation of the issues that matter most, George has modeled The American Leader on these past successes. At various times throughout his career, he has also consulted to a variety of consumer media and mission-driven organizations, including PBS Online,, Global Fishing Watch, and the Gates-funded Design for Learning.

Steve Nicholas

Board Member

Steve has spent much of his career focused on urban sustainability solutions. He most recently served as Vice President of the U.S. Program for the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), where he launched ISC’s U.S. Program and created the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy (SCLA). SCLA has provided capacity-building and technical assistance focused on sustainability to more than 500 US communities. Prior to joining ISC, he was Director of the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment for eight years, where he led several urban sustainability initiatives related to climate change. He co-authored Seattle’s first-ever climate action plan, as well as the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which sparked a national movement of more than 940 mayors taking local action on global warming and demanding stronger federal action.

Steve recently co-authored The Guide to Greening Cities which uses success stories from across North America to show how to turn a green city agenda into reality. Steve holds a Master of Public Policy from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. in Public Policy from Colby College.

Steve Brody

Board Member

Steve is an MIT-educated rocket scientist who spent 20 years at NASA before becoming Vice President of North American Operations for the International Space University (ISU). While at NASA, Steve participated in the Discovery Program of planetary science missions (e.g., Lunar Prospector, Genesis, Deep Impact, Kepler), the SOFIA Airborne Observatory, and the International Space Station Program. For ISU, Steve’s principal activities have included service on ISU’s Executive Committee to help guide and further the University’s development, maintaining and enhancing ISU’s relationships and support to public and private organizations and individuals in the space community, and supporting alumni affairs and the conduct of ISU’s current programs. Steve has a passion for communicating with the public about the excitement of space exploration and development as well as its relevance to societal challenges such as climate change. As a faculty member for ISU, he has focused on Space and Society topics including the role of space for K-12 education and the intersection of space, spitrituality, and interfaith dialogue.

Jane Saunders

Board Member

Jane Saunders is the Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Rights Management Policy at the Motion Picture Association (MPA).  She is responsible for Rights Management issues worldwide, including negotiation of agreements on behalf of member companies with collective management organizations (CMOs) and ensuring best practices in CMO administration through board memberships and other participation. She  represents MPA and its member companies in CMO governance structures including the Administrative Board of AGICOA, Geneva, Switzerland, the Board of Directors of German producer CMO GWFF USA, the Board of Directors of Danish producer collection society PRD, as Chair of the Board of the Copyright Collective of Canada and on the Rightholder Committee of CMO GWFF.

Prior to joining MPA, Jane was a practicing attorney active in the area of bankruptcy and copyright/compulsory license litigation. She received her J.D. from Emory University Law School and her B.A. from Dartmouth College.

John Giambalvo

Senior Advisor

John is an advisor extraordinaire, serving as an effective sounding board on business strategy and ensuring that decisions are considered thoroughly from all sides. He has led pre-revenue startups and $100 million corporations, and has worked with founders and boards in all aspects of strategic planning, budgeting, corporate structure, strategic partnerships, and potential investment and funding sources. His experience extends to all corporate matters, including operations, finance, HR, legal, IT, and political, and across public, private, and non-profit sectors. John has a B.S. in Business Administration (Finance) from the University at Albany, a Master of Public Policy & J.D. from Duke University.

Flannery Wiest


Flannery is an editor and writer based in Washington, D.C. She recently graduated from Simmons University with an MA and MFA in Children’s Literature, where she was awarded the 2019 Writing for Children Award; previously, she earned a BA in English, Linguistics, and Book Studies from Smith College. She has contributed to the editorial teams of numerous literary agencies and publishing houses, and her book reviews have been published in The Horn Book Magazine.


Ciara McLaren


Ciara McLaren is a freelance writer based in Chattanooga, TN. After graduating with an MA in Political Science from the University of Florida, she worked in conservation and education before transitioning to writing full-time. Her work has appeared in HuffPost, Business Insider, and elsewhere.

Joe Lanane


Joe Lanane is a lifelong community journalist with more than 15 years of industry experience. Most notably, he spent 8 years at Community Impact Newspaper, working his way up the editorial ladder from market-level editor to regional managing editor. From 2017-20, he led the company’s editorial operations as executive editor.

Mary Jane Gore


Mary Jane is a writer based in Charlottesville, Va. She has written about medicine and health care,  government affairs, and on a variety of topics for local news organizations.

Eric Seaborg

Journalist and Author

In 30 years as a freelance writer, Eric Seaborg has covered topics ranging from health care to hiking and travel to atom splitting. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Lab Tests Online, Endocrine News, Kidney News, Sierra, Backpacker, American Hiker, Boys’ Life, World Book Health and Medical Annual, and Uncommon Wealth: Essays on Virginia’s Wild Places (published by the Nature Conservancy). His collaborative books include Adventures in the Atomic Age: From Watts to Washington, written with his Nobel-prize winning father, Glenn T. Seaborg. Library Journal said: “‘Page turner’ is a term not usually applied to a science memoir, but this compelling portrait of a major scientist is an exception.” Written with Ellen Dudley, American Discoveries: Scouting the First Coast to Coast Recreational Trail received the Barbara Savage Award for adventure travel writing.

J. Michael Deal


Michael is a freelance journalist with a particular interest in issues surrounding voting rights and money in politics. His articles have appeared in The Philadelphia Citizen, Next Avenue, the Solutions Story Tracker, and on his website By highlighting compelling stories of ordinary citizens standing up for common sense solutions, his writing strives to motivate others to become involved and make democracy work for their communities, states, and the nation as a whole. He is a member of the Solutions Journalism Network. Michael is also an international development leader, having served in a number of executive management positions in the non-profit, business, and government sectors, with professional relationships in over 40 countries. His career included 28 years with USAID as a Foreign Service Officer. He continues to advise several international nonprofits.

Robin Stevens Payes


Robin is a Maryland-based science writer, and consultant in social marketing specializing in health, science and education. She’s written for Discovery Education, the National Institutes of Health, the Dana Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine.  She’s also the author of the new teen time travel adventure series, Edge of Yesterday  and creator of EOY Media’s interactive “learning through story” platform.

Kyle Mullins


Kyle is from sunny St. Petersburg, Florida and is currently studying in chilly New Hampshire at Dartmouth College. There, he is pursuing a history major modified with economics and a minor in public policy. Following his freshman year, he was named a Global Scholar by the College’s Dickey Center for International Understanding. He is a news reporter for The Dartmouth, the on-campus newspaper, and served as an associate managing editor his sophomore fall. He is also the secretariat assistant for DartMUN XV (model UN), a public programming assistant for the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, and a member of the climbing team.

Forrest Stewart


Forrest Stewart recently graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA with majors in environmental policy and sociology. During his undergrad, he worked on both local and national political campaigns, conducted research on community resilience, hitchhiked over 1,000 miles in the Patagonian wild, started a bluegrass band, and wrote his senior capstone paper about the implications of combining environmental and social policies as in the Green New Deal. Forrest now lives in Denver, CO where he works at a law firm—he plans to attend law school in the near future. Forrest hopes that The American Leader will allow readers to spend less time trying to understand the confusing world that we live in and more time organizing to make it better.

Sophia Guan


Sophia is currently a junior at Dartmouth college majoring in English and minoring in International Studies and French. She is a managing editor of the Dartmouth Law Journal and hopes to pursue a career in international law. Sophia is originally from Newton, Massachusetts. She enjoys reading, drawing, and dancing in her free time.

Technical Reviewers

We are grateful for the contributions of our Content Partners’ editorial liaisons and the following individuals:

William Gale

William Gale is the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy and a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future (Oxford 2019).

Lisa Palmer

Lisa Palmer is a journalist and author. Her award-winning coverage of science, climate change, and sustainability has been published by The Guardian, Scientific American, The New Republic, Yale E360, Slate, the Nature journals, Climate Connections and The New York Times. She is the author of HOT, HUNGRY PLANET: The Fight to Stop a Global Food Crisis in the Face of Climate Change. She is a senior fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, a two-time grantee of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, and was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center 2014-2015.