Keynote Speakers

We are thrilled to announce keynote speakers who are actively involved in the TSA Community and serving as change agents in a variety of fields. Additional keynotes will be announced soon:

Stacey Abrams (MS ’94), House Minority Leader, Georgia

Photo of Stacey AbramsStacey Y. Abrams is the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District. She is the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and is the first African-American to lead in the House of Representatives. Stacey serves on the Appropriations, Ethics, Judiciary Non-Civil, Rules, and Ways & Means committees.

One of six children, Stacey grew up in Mississippi with working-class parents who taught them the value of public service and civic engagement at a young age. The family moved to Georgia in 1989, when her parents attended Emory University, where they both graduated with Masters of Divinity and became United Methodist ministers.

Stacey attended Spelman College, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Political Science, Economics and Sociology) and was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. She received a Masters from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Stacey returned to Atlanta as a tax attorney at the Sutherland law firm, with a focus on tax-exempt organizations, healthcare and public finance. At the age of 29, Stacey was appointed as the Deputy City Attorney for the City of Atlanta, where she led the legal and policy analysis for several major economic development, transportation and transit projects and managed a multi-million dollar budget and a team of more than 20 attorneys and paralegals.

Fiercely independent and entrepreneurial, Stacey has also founded a number of businesses, including an infrastructure consulting firm, a technology company and a beverage company for infants and toddlers. Most recently, she co-founded and serves as Senior Vice President at NOW Corporation, a financial services firm that specializes in providing access to capital for small businesses.

First elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2006, Stacey quickly became known for her expertise and ability to explain complicated tax and legal questions, and earned a reputation for working across party lines to pass legislation. In 2010, Stacey became House Minority Leader and has led the caucus to promote and pass legislation to increase educational opportunity, promote economic security, and improve the quality of life for all Georgians.

In 2012, Stacey received the prestigious John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, which honors an elected official under 40 whose work demonstrates the impact of elective public services as a way to address public challenges. Stacey has been recognized nationally as one of “12 Rising Legislators to Watch” by Governing magazine. She received the Friend of Labor Award from the Georgia AFL-CIO and an A-rating from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014. In April 2014, Stacey received the inaugural Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award from EMILY’s List. Stacey is also a 2014 Aspen Rodel Fellow and a 2014 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow.

Stacey has published articles on issues of public policy, taxation, and nonprofit organizations, including pieces with The Christian Science Monitor, Yale Law and Policy Review, U.S. News and World Reports, and The Huffington Post. She is also the award-winning author of several romantic suspense novels, writing under the pen name Selena Montgomery.

Stacey serves on the Boards of Trustees for Agnes Scott College and Atlanta Metropolitan State College Foundation, the Board of Directors for the Gateway Center for the Homeless, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, the Board of Visitors for the University of Georgia, and the Advisory Boards for Literacy Action, Project GRAD and HSTAT – Health Students Taking Action Together. Stacey lives in Atlanta.