Geri Mannion, Chair, Strengthening U.S. Democracy Program, Carnegie Corporation of New York, brings a wealth of experience about the role of philanthropy in challenging, improving and deepening the civic dialogue. She has chaired the division since 1998, after staffing the Corporation's program of Special Projects for almost ten years. In addition to supporting projects that focus on improving broad civic engagement, the U.S. Democracy Program focuses on strengthening the capacity of nonprofit organizations that contribute to a healthy civil society. Separately, Mannion continues to chair the Corporation's Special Opportunities Fund, which allows the Corporation to respond to proposals that are important but not related to the foundation's primary foci. These proposals are by invitation only. A generalist, Mannion has spent more than thirty years in the field of philanthropy. Before joining Carnegie Corporation, she worked for the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. Mannion holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in political science, both from Fordham University.