What We Do

The Center for Civic Education helps students develop (1) an increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (2) the skills necessary to participate as competent and responsible citizens, and (3) the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict. Ultimately, the Center strives to develop an enlightened citizenry by working to increase understanding of the principles, values, institutions, and history of constitutional democracy among teachers, students, and the general public.

To fulfill this mission, the Center develops high-quality curricular materials, provides exceptional professional development for teachers, and advocates for stronger civic education in the United States and emerging democracies.

Civics Curriculum

The Center provides research-backed curricular programs that have been trusted by teachers for decades. Our primary curricular programs are We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution and Project Citizen.

Professional Development

The Center for Civic Education offers high-quality professional development through its state partners, national events funded by federal grants, self-guided online courses, and webinars.

Network of Educators

The Center partners with a network of 50 state programs. These state programs conduct local teacher professional development and organize local and state simulated congressional hearings for students, impacting thousands of teachers and students each year.

Mission Statement

The Center is dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries.

 



Contact: Maria Gallo 
818-591-9321
gallo@civiced.org
  • For information on the Center's programs
  • Interviews with experts on the Constitution, civic education, public policy, and emerging democracies
  • Referrals to classroom civic teachers
The Center for Civic Education partners with a network of 50 state civics, government, and law programs sponsored by state bar associations and foundations, colleges and universities, and other civic and law non-profit organizations to promote teaching and learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. These state programs conduct local teacher professional development, hold conferences and organize local and state simulated congressional hearings for elementary and secondary students. Each year these state programs impact thousands of teachers and tens of thousands of students. If you would like to know more about your state program click on the map.

Board of Directors


Pauline Weaver
President

Prof. Jonathan D. Varat
Vice President

Clara Slifkin
Secretary

Henry L. Chambers, Jr.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio

Benjamin Glickman

Hon. David B. Ladenburg

Thomas Melia

Mariam Memarsadeghi

Dr. Ali Mossaver-Rahmani

Liza J. Prendergast

M. Carmen Ramirez

Dr Vicki Ross-Norris

James Wise

Daniel Wong


MEMBERS EMERITUS

Ruth M. Gadebusch

Dale Rogers Marshall

Leland R. Selna Jr.

National Advisory Council

The Center for Civic Education's National Advisory Council provides insight to Center leadership and staff on strategic issues facing the organization, which includes advice on programming, communications and long-term planning in the national civic and constitutional education space.

The National Advisory Council is composed of leaders spanning a variety of fields, including members of the judiciary, distinguished academics and private-sector leaders, all dedicated to the Center’s mission to develop an enlightened citizenry by working to increase an understanding of the principles, values, institutions and history of constitutional democracy among teachers, students and the general public.

Chairperson

Ken Barnes
CEO, Options for All, San Diego, CA

Members

Robert F. Armao
Chairman and CEO, Armao and Company, Inc., New York, NY

Zelalem Bogale
Adjunct Professor of Race, Law & Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada, Reno and District Coordinator of We the People (CD-2; NV), Reno, NV

Judge Mae D’Agostino
United States District Court Judge, Northern District of New York, Albany, NY

William N. Eskridge, Jr.
John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School

Trish Everett
Political Science & AP Psychology Teacher, Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Judge Jeremy Fogel
Executive Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, former Director of the Federal Judicial Center & United States District Court Judge, Northern District of California, Washington, D.C.

Dr. David R. Goldberg
Educational Scholar & Chairman Emeritus, Lensdrop Inc., New York, NY

Brandon Hasbrouck
Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, VA

Susan Jorgensen
We the People teacher, Charleston, SC

Jooho Lee
Assistant Professor of Economics, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch
Dean of the School of General Studies at Columbia University and Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, New York, NY

Justice Paula A. Nakayama
Senior Justice, Hawaii State Supreme Court, Honolulu, HI

Victoria Nourse
Ralph V. Whitworth Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Executive Director of the Center on Congressional Studies at Georgetown Law, Washington, D.C.

Paul Byron Pattak
CEO, Pi2 Strategies, LLC, Washington, D.C.

Judge Vera Scanlon
United States Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, NY

Carole Sherrard
CEO, Venona Project, LLC, Washington, D.C.

Jeff Smith
Partner at Greenberg Traurig LLP, Atlanta, GA

Hernandez Stroud
Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice, New York, NY

Danny Yagan
Associate Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco, CA
Together, the state bar and the UCLA committee created an executive committee for the Law in a Free Society Program composed of leading scholars, educators, and members of the legal profession. In 1981, this committee became the board of directors of what is now known as the Center for Civic Education. Founding members of the board made significant contributions to the development and expansion of the Center’s programs, which are now implemented in every state and in eighty-two other countries.  Read more about the Center's founders ->
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Meet our Staff

 
Christopher R. Riano<br>
Christopher R. Riano
President
Christopher R. Riano<br>
Christopher R. Riano
President
Christopher R. Riano is the president of the Center for Civic Education, the nation's largest constitutional law and civic education nonprofit dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry both in America and ... [read more]

Charles N. Quigley
Charles N. QuigleySenior Consultant and Founding Executive Director Emeritus
Charles N. Quigley
Charles N. QuigleySenior Consultant and Founding Executive Director Emeritus
Charles N. Quigley is broadly recognized as one of the most prominent curriculum, framework, and program developers in the field of civic education. Prior to the founding of the Law in a Free Society Project of the State Bar of California in 1970, ... [read more]

John Hale
John HaleSenior Consultant
John Hale
John HaleSenior Consultant
John Hale helps conceptualize, develop, and administer all of the Center's domestic and international programs. Mr. Hale has written student texts, policy papers, and articles in professional publications. He has directed and given speeches at numerous institutes and scholarly conferences, ... [read more]

James B. Heredia
James B. HerediaAssociate Director, Fiscal Affairs
James B. Heredia
James B. HerediaAssociate Director, Fiscal Affairs
James Heredia works with the executive director and other associate directors to advance the mission of the Center by providing fiscal leadership to meet its strategic goals and objectives. He has made numerous presentations on the importance of fiscal compliance in managing federal awards at conferences in ... [read more]

Robert S. Leming
Robert S. LemingDirector, We the People Program
Robert S. Leming
Robert S. LemingDirector, We the People Program
Robert S. Leming manages a national network of fifty state civic education programs involving thousands of upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers and tens of thousands of students in the study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He also directs a national effort ... [read more]

Maria Gallo
Maria GalloDirector, Professional Development & Special Programs
Maria Gallo
Maria GalloDirector, Professional Development & Special Programs
Maria Gallo oversees the professional development programs of the Center and manages the presentation of Center programs and curricula at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Gallo also directs the Citizens Not Spectators voting curriculum and the annual American Civic Educator Teacher Awards. ... [read more]

Alissa Irion-Groth
Alissa Irion-GrothDirector of Program Administration
Alissa Irion-Groth
Alissa Irion-GrothDirector of Program Administration
Alissa Irion-Groth has been coordinating international partnerships and other Center programs since 2004. Originally joining the Center to support the Arab Civitas Program in the Middle East and North Africa, she has worked to support programs and foster partnerships between the United States and ... [read more]

Greg Synnott
Greg SynnottDirector, Information Technology
Greg Synnott
Greg SynnottDirector, Information Technology
Greg Synnott develops and manages the Center's information systems, including data systems, accounting systems, and websites. Synnott is a hands-on leader who serves many roles, including data management, database administration, web development, and accounting. He has degrees in management information systems and accounting. ... [read more]

Jessica Martinez
Jessica MartinezProgram Coordinator
Jessica Martinez
Jessica MartinezProgram Coordinator
Jessica Martinez is the program coordinator for the James Madison Legacy Project. She provides assistance in the coordination and management of JMLP and the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution national civic education program. Previously, she was the Parent Outreach Coordinator/ AmeriCorp VISTA ... [read more]

Mark Gage
Mark GageDirector of Publishing and Digital Content
Mark Gage
Mark GageDirector of Publishing and Digital Content
Mark Gage directs the Center for Civic Education's publishing efforts in traditional and new media. He also manages the editorial content of the Center's websites and social media platforms. Gage co-founded the 60-Second Civics podcast in 2009 with Kaci Patterson and Tyler Shores. The daily podcast and quiz, which has published more than two thousand episodes, ... [read more]

Janel Huber
Janel HuberReceptionist and Administrative Assistant
Janel Huber
Janel HuberReceptionist and Administrative Assistant
Janel Huber has been with the Center since 2005. She has a bachelor of science degree in education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at various child care centers in Pennsylvania and Vermont. Huber is the Center's receptionist and provides ... [read more]

History of the Center

1965

The Beginning

The Center began as the Committee on Civic Education at the University of California at Los Angeles.

1965

1965-67

The Committee developed and implemented professional development programs with nationwide participants supported by the Danforth Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education under the National Defense Education Act and the Education Professions Development Act.

The Committee developed and implemented curricular programs in civics and government entitled, Your Rights and Responsibilities as an American Citizen; Conflict, Politics and Freedom; and Voices for Justice.

1967-69

The Committee created and administered a statewide curricular program on the Bill of Rights sponsored by the Advisory Panel to the Committee on Teaching About the Bill of Rights of the California State Board of Education.

1967-69

1969

The Center became affiliated with the State Bar of California.

1969-74

The Center was funded by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice and the California Council on Criminal Justice to develop and implement the Law in a Free Society professional development program in ten major school districts in California. The program was based on concepts fundamental to an understanding of politics and government. It was conducted under the auspices of the Extension Division of the University of California at Los Angeles.

1969-74

1974

The Center became a program of the State Bar of California.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center produced the first editions of the Law in a Free Society/Foundations of Democracy multi-media curriculum materials.

1979

The Center became part of a consortium implementing civic education programs throughout the nation funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Law Related Education Act. Other members included the Constitutional Rights Foundations of Los Angeles and Chicago, Street Law, and the Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship of the American Bar Association.

1979

1981

The Center became an independent 501(c)(3) California nonprofit corporation affiliated with the State Bar of California.

1982

With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Center began the Youth for Justice program in conjunction with the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Street Law, the American Bar Association, and Phi Alpha Delta. The Center promoted the implementation of its Foundations of Democracy program through this funding.

1982

1987

We the People Program Begins

With funding through the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Center started the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program and published the first We the People text, which was for high school students. The We the People program won national acclaim as a civic education program focusing on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. It has since been implemented in every state and congressional district and the District of Columbia.

1988

The Center published the We the People texts at the elementary and middle school levels.

The Center began The Disney Channel Salutes the American Teacher and The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards.

1988

1991

The Center published CIVITAS: A Framework for Civic Education, which was developed in conjunction with educators in every state as well as several other countries.

1992

The We the People program continued as a direct line item in the budget of the U.S. Department of Education and became an authorized program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for twenty-three years.

1992

1993

Project Citizen Program Begins

The Center created We the People: Project Citizen, which was incorporated into the ESEA as an authorized educational program. Project Citizen is a portfolio-based curricular program that promotes engaged participation in local, state, and federal government.

1994

The Center published the National Standards for Civics and Government, developed in conjunction with more than two thousand scholars, educators, and members of the general public. The National Standards have been widely used as a model for state curricular frameworks and standards throughout the country and in a number of other nations describing what students should know and be able to do in the field of civics and government at the end of grades 4, 8, and 12.

1994

About

CCE LogoThis site is brought to you by the Center for Civic Education. The Center's mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965. Learn more.

Center for Civic Education

5115 Douglas Fir Road, Suite J
Calabasas, CA 91302

  Phone: (818) 591-9321

  Email: web@civiced.org

  Website: www.civiced.org

© Center for Civic Education