Speaker's Bios


Dr. Vicki Golich

Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Metropolitan State University


Dr. Vicki Golich serves as provost and VP for academic affairs at Metropolitan State College of Denver. As be chief academic officer, at the 22,000-student downtown college, Provost Golich is responsible for curriculum, assessment, budget, faculty recruitment, hiring and evaluation policies. Provost Golich formerly served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at California State University-San Marcos and a professor of political science there. Golich holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree from California State University-Fullerton, and a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College.


Alison Malmon

Founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, Inc.


Alison Malmon is the founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, Inc., the leading national organization that uses students as the driving force to change the perception about mental health on college campuses.  Alison formed the organization following the suicide of her only sibling, twenty-two year old brother Brian Malmon. Wanting to combat the stigma that had caused her brother to suffer in silence and ultimately take his own life, she created a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania that promoted an open, enlightened dialogue around the issues. Just after graduating in 2003, Alison formed the 501(c)3 organization in order to develop and support chapters of the student group on campuses around the country. From that moment forward, she has served as Executive Director of the non-profit, leading the organization as it engages tens of thousands of student leaders nationwide and promotes a unified national voice for young adults in the mental health awareness movement. 

For her efforts, Alison has been named one of the "Top 15 Global Emerging Social Innovators" by Ashoka Changemakers and American Express, Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine, and a Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women.  She has also received the Destigmatization Award from the National Council of Behavioral Healthcare, Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award from Mental Health America, inaugural Young Leadership Award from the National Mental Health Research Association (NARSAD), and more. Alison has been profiled as a "Person you Should Know" on CNN, and in stories in the New York TimesWashington PostInside Higher Ed, and Glamour Magazine.

In addition to her work at Active Minds, Alison sits on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee, Suicide Prevention Resource Center Steering Committee, and Crisis Text Line Advisory Committee.  She is the mother of three young girls, and in her spare time, Alison loves flying 23ft in the air at the Trapeze School in Washington, DC.


Mike Allen

Co-Founder and Executive Editor, Axios

Co-Founder, Politico


Mike Allen is one of Washington’s most influential and well-connected journalists. He is the co-founder and executive editor of Axios, a new company delivering news and insights on politics, business, media, and tech. The company, whose name means “worthy” in Greek, specializes in high-quality news and analysis easily shared among the country’s influential readers and across social platforms. In addition to starting Axios, Allen was a co-founder at POLITICO, the digital media company that upended and revolutionized political and policy journalism in Washington, New York, and Europe. 

In 2006, Allen left POLITICO. He served as the chief White House correspondent and was the founding father of the successful daily email tip-sheet Playbook. It quickly became the early-morning must read source for movers and shakers in politics and media. The New York Times called Allen “The Man the White House Wakes Up To,” and Vanity Fair said, “Reading Playbook is as close as you can come on a Washington morning to knowing everything.”

TIME named Allen one of its top 140 Twitter feeds, calling him “the Virgil of the beltway, leading the rest of us hapless Dantes through the inferno of America’s political universe.” Vanity Fair named him to its 2011 (#39) and 2012 (#19) “Top 50 New Establishment and Powers That Be” lists, and Allen also won the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Merriman Smith Memorial Award for “Outstanding presidential coverage on deadline” in 2004.


Dr. Kim Hunter Reed

Executive Director, Colorado Department of Higher Education


Dr. Kim Hunter Reed serves as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Dr. Reed, a former Louisiana higher education official, most recently served in President Obama’s administration as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education, leading postsecondary diversity and inclusion work, supporting strong student and outcomes focused policies and aggressive national outreach efforts. She also led the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Prior to serving in the administration, Reed was a principal at HCM Strategists LLC, a public policy and advocacy consulting firm in Washington, D.C., focused on advancing effective solutions in health and education.

Reed has extensive higher education and government experience. She chaired Louisiana's higher education transition team in 2015 and has served as Louisiana's state policy director. Reed previously served as chief of staff for the Louisiana Board of Regents and executive vice president of the University of Louisiana System. Prior to those roles, she served on the faculty at Southern University in Baton Rouge and was executive assistant to the president and interim vice president of student affairs at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Reed received a doctorate in public policy from Southern University, as well as a master’s of public administration and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Louisiana State University.

She has received numerous honors, including Louisiana Role Model, Baton Rouge Chapter of LINKS, Inc.; LSU Alumna of the Year, Public Administration Institute; and Mom of the Year, Jack and Jill of America, Baton Rouge Chapter. Reed has been featured in Daughters of Men, a national publication highlighting outstanding African American women and their fathers. Reed is a wife, proud volleyball mom and relentless student advocate.


Elissa Buxbaum

Director of Campus Affairs, The Anti-Defamation League


Prior to joining ADL, Elissa Buxbaum has 10 years of experience on college campuses, in the areas of multicultural affairs, diversity & inclusion training and campus climate strategic initiatives. In her time as Associate Director of the Greenfield Intercultural Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Elissa served as advisor to the Race Dialogue Project, the United Minorities Council, and taught in the Programs for Awareness & Cultural Education program. Elissafacilitated for the Jewish Dialogue Group, convening individuals within the Jewish communities to talk about the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, and was involved in UPenn’s Black and Jewish dialogue. Working under the Chief Diversity Officer at Colorado State University, Buxbaum convened groups across academic and student affairs departments to measure campus climate, respond to incidents of bias and assess/build policy toward inclusive practices.

Elissa received her BA in Psychology/Linguistics and Jewish Studies from Emory University, and Master’s degrees in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State, having published in the Journal of Career Planning and Adult Development.


Beth Yohe

Director of Development, Anti-Defamation League (Rocky Mountain Region)


Beth Yohe, M.S. is a facilitator, consultant, and training designer. She has writtenand delivered training programs on a variety of topic areas including bias, understanding privilege, religious respect, ally-building, analyzing curriculum through a social justice lens, and facilitation skills. Yohe is the Director of Development for the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Rocky Mountain Region. Beth develops anti-bias training and curricular materials for the ADL's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, a leading provider of anti-bias education and diversity training programs. Beth oversees the Train-the-Trainer program and facilitator development for the Institute.

In addition, Yohe also serves as an instructor for University of Colorado at Denver's Department of Education in the Cultural Responsive Urban Education teacher licensure program. Beth has more than 15 years experience in anti-bias training and social justice work and serves on the board of The Privilege Institute, the International Bullying Prevention Association, the Mapleton Education Foundation, and the Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion. She has a Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University.


Payton Head

Rising Community Leader and Activist

Former President of University of Missouri's Students' Association


A rising community leader, Payton Head details the adversities caused by race, gender and sexual orientation discrimination and proven solutions to facilitate open dialogue and embrace marginalized communities. A queer black man, Payton has experienced firsthand the impacts of an underlying racist culture. While president of the University of Missouri's Students' Association, he spearheaded conversations about systemic racism on campus, which sparked student protests that made national headlines and led to the resignation of the University’s president.

Payton's courage and leadership led him to help organize and present at the first White House Convening for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Ed, and to partner with the National Campus Leadership Council and the Department of Education to co-author a guide for student leaders for addressing inclusion. Drawing from the guide, now a benchmark on campuses nationwide, Payton brings his leadership and communication strategies to schools across the country. 

Payton speaks candidly about his personal experiences, including the unique balance required of leaders who represent and advocate for individuals with different backgrounds and from diverse communities. With powerful examples to illustrate the importance of developing institutional cultures that are grounded in acceptance, he empowers students and campus administrators to fight hatred with radical love for others and for themselves.


Christina Postolowski

Rocky Mountain Regional Director, Young Invincibles


Christina is YI’s Rocky Mountain Director based in Denver, CO, where she oversees Young Invincibles' young adult leadership, policy advocacy, and organizing work in the region. Previously, Christina was a Policy Manager in YI’s national office in Washington, DC, where she led the organization’s work on health coverage and young parents. Christina has engaged in federal and state policy research and advocacy on issues including federal financial aid reform, health insurance access, and family economic security.

A native of Colorado, Christina holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law and an A.B. from Princeton University. Prior to law school, Christina worked for the Colorado Divisions of Real Estate and Insurance, where she helped to create and administer regulatory programs to protect consumers. In her free time, Christina likes to explore the great outdoors and perform with community theatres and choirs in the area.


Dan Xie

Political Director, Student PIRGS


Dan Xie is the Political Director for the Student PIRGs. Before coming in to her current role, Dan (pronounced Dawn) was the NJPIRG Students Organizing Director and the Assistant Organizing Director for CALPIRG Students. She worked with students and organizers to stop student loan interest rates from doubling, to teach 30,000 kids about energy efficiency, and to pass more than 50 plastic bag bans in cities and counties across the state of California. She also oversaw eight campuses in Southern California to successfully defeat Proposition 23, the dirty oil proposition. Dan graduated from the University of California-Davis in 2008 with degrees in Political Science and Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning.

Kellin Heron

George Washington University Graduate School of Public Management Alumna


Experienced fundraiser with a demonstrated history of working in large corporate environments with high-level business executives. Skilled in Fundraising, Public Affairs, Governmental Affairs, Government, Public Speaking and Event Management. Strong professional with a Masters Degree focused in Legislative Affairs and Political Management from The George Washington University.

Alayna Treene

News Desk Reporter, Axios


Reporter at Axios covering the latest breaking news from around the country. 

A George Washington School of Media and Public Affairs Alum, with previous positions at NBC, CBS and Bloomberg.