Alysa Cooper is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Citizenship Counts. From a very young age, she was taught to value American citizenship and appreciate its benefits. In 2007 Alysa was hired by K-12 education publisher, McDougal Littell (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) to author The Path to Citizenship, a curriculum that targets middle and high school students and focuses on the tenets of citizenship and the naturalization process. The Path to Citizenship served as Citizenship Counts’ core curriculum until September 2011 and has been used in middle and high schools throughout the country.
Ms. Cooper has been employed by a variety of companies to manage an assortment of projects, ranging from education initiatives to corporate events. Alysa worked for the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG). She was selected to be on a media team of 17 individuals from around the world who interviewed all 11,000 athletes who competed in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games and authored their official biographies for the Games. Additionally, she worked as a Corporate Marketing Manager for Washington Sports & Entertainment, an umbrella organization that included (at the time) the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, the Georgetown Hoyas, and MCI Center (now Verizon Center).
In January 2019, Ms. Cooper was a recipient of the inaugural Beacon Award. The purpose of the Beacon Award is to change the narrative about immigration and show that immigrants and their children are important contributors to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our nation. Previously, in May 2011, Alysa was recognized at the White House as a Champion of Change, which is part of President Obama‘s Winning the Future initiative. Her efforts with Citizenship Counts were highlighted as one of the top innovative educational programs in the field of immigrant integration. She previously served on the Steering Committee of the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and on the Civic Education Advisory Committee for the Arizona Department of Education.
Her appreciation for America has taken her to each of the 50 states. She has a strong commitment to education and to community service, as evidenced by her leadership roles on several charitable committees and boards. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the proud wife of U.S. Navy Commander, Dr. Adam Cooper and mother of two young children.
Alison Johnston has over 20 years of experience as a C-level executive in both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Johnston held various leadership roles in non-profit organizations including Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of The Phoenix Symphony; Chief Operating Officer of the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center; Executive Director of Ballet Arizona and Chief Operating Officer of PetSmart Charities.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Johnston spent 12 years with Citigroup Latin America and the Caribbean, holding various senior level positions including Country Business Manager of the Consumer Bank in Venezuela and The Bahamas, Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs, Senior Product Manager and Marketing Director for Latin America.
Ms. Johnston has her MBA in Marketing from the Joseph A. Martino School of Business at Fordham University, NY, NY, and her B.S. of Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She resides in Scottsdale with her husband, son and two rescue dogs. An avid golfer and fitness enthusiast, Mrs. Johnston enjoys the outdoors as well as spending time with her family and friends.
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