- Andrew Slack | HPA Creator/Cofounder
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Andrew is an Ashoka Fellow and a Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, where he is spending one year in New York City developing the Imagine Better Network: an unprecedented movement that goes beyond Harry Potter to all fandoms so that fantasy is no longer an escape from our world, but an invitation to change it for the better.He’s been featured in Fast Company, the front cover of Forbes.com, the New York Times, and been named one of the GOOD 100. He’s spoken at TEDx Rome and TEDx Youth in San Diego, served as a keynote speaker at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and headlined an event there with Nobel Laureates Muhammad Yunus and Tawakkol Karman. Andrew has also been a featured speaker at MacArthur’s Digital Media Learning Conference, SXSW, Harvard, MIT, Ashoka’s Changemaker conference, and has written for the LA Times and CNN.A Phi Beta Kappa of Brandeis University, Andrew spent years performing comedy across the US and in online viral videos, studied at an acting conservatory in London, volunteered at a spiritual center for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, and has taught workshops in creative writing and modern mythology to kids of all ages.
- Paul DeGeorge | Executive Director
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Paul co-founded the Harry Potter Alliance with Andrew Slack in 2005 and currently serves as its Executive Director. In 2002, Paul and his brother Joe started the band Harry and the Potters, now cited as the founders of Wizard Rock, a genre of music based on Harry Potter. They have spent much of the last decade touring the country, performing in libraries, and promoting the powers of love, reading, music, and enthusiasm. Paul also founded the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club, a subscription-based CD club that has raised over $50,000 for lit-based charities. He was profiled in the 2008 documentary We Are Wizards as a pioneer in the creative subculture spawned by the Harry Potter phenomena. His heros are Bruce Springsteen, Ian MacKaye and Wayne Coyne and his high score in Ms. Pacman is 261,370. He lives in Lawrence, KS where he and his wife own an art gallery and shoppe called Wonder Fair
- Acacia Ludwig | Creative Director
Growing up in a family of artists and surrounded by the vibrant world of Chinatown, New York, Acacia Ludwig strives to embody a deep and sincere love for artistic expression, good storytelling, and social justice for all people. While she has had stints in acting and modeling, Acacia’s most dedicated work is in music and design. As a musician, Acacia has had the honor to collaborate with some of the world’s greatest rock musicians while living in LA, NYC, and her current home of Woodstock, New York. As a designer, Acacia has created a countless array of logos and web sites for a variety of bands and social justice organizations. She has been working with the HPA since 2007, literally shaping the face of the organization with her artwork and attitude.With a passion for humor, people who hear Acacia’s laugh either find it warm and infectious or just scarily loud.
- Matt Maggiacomo | Chapters Director
Matt joined the HPA in 2007 as a founding member of its Board of Directors. His service to the HPA began just as he was in the process of quitting his day job in favor of touring the country in his wizard rock band, The Whomping Willows. Since making these wizardly commitments, Matt has been unable to pry himself from the Harry Potter fandom. He even married Lauren Fairweather of The Moaning Myrtles. Matt has been working as the HPA’s Chapters Director since July 2013. He has had the good fortune of being part of an incredibly talented team that has presided over unprecedented program growth. Chapters have expanded from 120 in seven countries to 288 in 26 countries in just over a year — and the growth continues at a rate that will render this bio outdated in a matter of a day or two. Matt enjoys being a cat lady in his spare time.
- Lauren Bird | Spokesperson & Digital Content Strategist
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Lauren began her involvement with the HPA as a volunteer in 2010 and has since taken on the professional role of Spokesperson and Digital Content Strategist. She received her Bachelor’s in Comparative Literature, with a concentration in Documentary Filmmaking, from New York University and has spoken on numerous panels including Futures of Entertainment at MIT, TEDx Women, and San Diego Comic-Con. Lauren produces the HPA’s online videos, which have been featured on sites such as Upworthy, Mashable, and the Huffington Post. She also writes the horoscopes for the W.A.N.D. Beyond her wizard activist duties, Lauren can be found on YouTube answering the age-old question, “Will It Waffle?“