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What We Do

There are communities in all corners of rural and urban America, where individuals are working, thriving and leading with their neighbors using the resources they have at hand. These leaders are the vital agents of the civic and economic ecosystem that American democracy relies on, as they are proximate to the systemic problems that they and national leaders want to solve. However, access to established institutions and leadership programs are often out of reach to these local agents. Despite their creativity, immense local knowledge and earned community trust, they are rarely included in the decision making processes that affect their daily lives, and those of their neighbors. 

 

By creating access points to and with existing elite institutions and programs  -- and uplifting these local innovators -- Keepers Of The Commons aims to strengthen democracy across the United States. Since launching in 2017, Keepers Of The Commons has worked with non profit leaders, a Native American tribal council, small town police departments, veterans groups, small business owners, teachers groups and many more community actors.

Our Team

In 1997, with degrees from Yale, Cambridge and Georgetown, Richard went to work at the Justice Department, where he served as lead counsel for the United States in constitutional litigation involving sensitive national security and high technology issues. He then served as Senate Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and later to Senator Patrick J. Leahy. While on Senate staff, Mr. Phillips was responsible for advising Senators Kennedy and Leahy on matters involving civil rights, voting rights and voter protection, technology, free trade, intellectual property, and privacy.  He later served as Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund, a globalized organization dedicated to strengthening transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. In 2005, he returned to Philadelphia to and for 13 years he ran Pilot Freight Services, a global logistics company before seeking the company to a private consortium.  In 2018, Richard accepted a fellowship at the Yale Divinity School, where he works to place human dignity at the center of private enterprise and entrepreneurism. He has spoken to various groups of business and community leaders around the world on the concept of human dignity as the driving force and the ultimate goal of private enterprise.

Maia Comeau is a public affairs leader with over 20 years of experience in international government relations strategy, institution and network building, leadership development and international event planning in the US and Europe.  Maia served for twelve years at the German Marshall Fund of the United States where she founded both the Congressional Affairs department, in 2004, and the Richard G. Lugar Institute for Diplomacy and Congress in 2013. In 2016, she stepped out on her own and started Comeau&Company, where she advises countries, companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations on how best to develop a policy presence and network of influencers around the globe.  She began her career in DC at Bergner, Bockorny, Castagnetti, Hawkins & Brain. She is graduate of the 2016 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, led by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. She has been awarded fellowships with the Bucerius Young Leader Summer School on Global Governance; American Council on Germany; and the Draeger Foundation. She currently serves on the Boards of IMMAP, The National Civic League, Prosecutor Impact, The PA30Day Fund, and the Interactivity Foundation. She is a Senior Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and The Lugar Center. Maia is a former professional ballet dancer, a graduate of Penn State University, and the current owner of a historic farm in central Pennsylvania.

Lindsay Morris is a creative producer of events, campaigns, stories and strategies. In 2013, she moved from her native Australia to New York and became the Director of Engagement at Girl Rising. Since then, Lindsay has gone on to consult on a wide range of film projects including Playground, Bill Nye: Science Guy, and Gleason, which was hailed by Rolling Stone as "the most inspiring documentary of the year." Lindsay also served as Executive Director of The Nantucket Project since 2016. In 2020, she launched her own consulting firm to provide creative and strategic guidance to nonprofits of all kinds. Lindsay is also a co-founder of Frack Theatre, whose works have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and NewsWeek.