- Andrew Slack | HPA Creator/Cofounder/Executive Director
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Andrew is 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 | Director of Campaigns and Operations
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Paul co-founded the Harry Potter Alliance with Andrew Slack in 2005 and currently serves on its board of directors. 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 is the singer/songwriter behind The Whomping Willows, and also serves on the Harry Potter Alliance Board of Directors. Matt is a native of Rhode Island and has been writing music for 15 years. He fell in love with the Harry Potter series in 2000, but he wasn’t introduced to the Harry Potter fandom until May 2007, when The Whomping Willows were invited to play at the Phoenix Rising conference in New Orleans. After realizing that Harry Potter fans are the nicest, most charitable and loving people on earth, Matt has devoted his life to everything Harry Potter, particularly the wizard rock community and the Harry Potter Alliance.
- Lauren Bird | Spokesperson & Digital Content Strategist
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Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from New York University, where she was an Honors Scholar focused on Documentary Filmmaking. She has spoken on various transmedia and fan activist panels, including Futures of Entertainment at MIT and TEDxWomen. When she’s not immersed in the fandom or defending the rights of wizards and muggles alike, Lauren enjoys creating art and seeking out adventure.