The 2024 presidential election is underway, and candidates for the Republican nomination will face off in a third primary debate this November.
Join JSA for a post-debate debrief as we bring together a panel of political experts to discuss and share insights into the candidates, the issues, the platforms, and more. The event will be moderated by JSA student delegates Samuel B., Northeast State Lieutenant Governor, and Siya C., Mid-Atlantic State Vice Mayor.
This live panel discussion is open to all of JSA Nation. Current JSA student delegates who attend the event will receive $10 off the 2024 Winter Congress registration.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023
Time: 4PM PT / 7PM ET
Location: Zoom (link will be emailed to registrants prior to Nov. 9)
Meet The Panelists
Dan Meyers is Deputy Managing Director of APCO's Washington, D.C. office and global headquarters as well as a senior director in the Washington-based public affairs and campaigns and advocacy practices. He is a former Republican political operative and White House representative and specializes in public affairs and policy advocacy.
Prior to joining APCO, Mr. Meyers spent nearly 10 years with DCI Group, an independent public affairs firm specializing in issue advocacy and strategic communications. As a vice president in the firm, Mr. Meyers managed full-scale federal, state and local campaigns, overseeing strategy, messaging, research and polling, field operations, finance and compliance, online operations and paid media advertising. During his time with the firm, he also managed external consultants and served as the client relationship lead for several accounts.
Before joining the private sector, Mr. Meyers’ experience included serving as a press advance representative for the White House during the George W. Bush Administration, a special assistant to the political director of the Republican National Committee during the 2006 midterm elections, and a special assistant and personal aide for Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid.
Mr. Meyers holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Capital University in Ohio and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Mr. Meyers also serves on the Board of Directors of the Junior State of America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic engagement organization for high school students across the US and territories.
Brandon Neal is a senior director and political strategist at APCO Worldwide and is based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Neal specializes in advocacy, corporate and political strategy, public/private partnership, business development, crisis management, transportation, technology and energy, and is a member of the firm’s Campaign and Advocacy Team. He currently assists with reaching the White House, Capitol Hill, third-party stakeholders and validators to join APCO’s advocacy efforts.
Prior to joining APCO, Mr. Neal was senior advisor to Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his presidential campaign, running his political operations. He also worked for the historic 2008 Obama for America Presidential Campaign, Obama Presidential Inaugural Committee, and served in the Obama Administration as senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and director of Small Business. Previously he has been a political director at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), political director/deputy chief of staff for Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), finance director for then Senator Barack Obama, political director at the Democratic Governors Association, and a national director at the NAACP National Office.
Mr. Neal is a member of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Advisory Board and is a political contributor for Bloomberg Radio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University and a Masters of Public Administration degree from American University.
Nina Verghese is a senior director and head of advocacy for APCO Worldwide’s Washington-based public affairs practice. Ms. Verghese brings over a dozen years of experience in grassroots advocacy and campaign management. Prior to joining APCO, she worked at Locust Street Group, a strategic communications firm based in Washington, D.C., where she designed and managed numerous federal, state and local multi-million dollar strategic advocacy, public affairs and communications campaigns.
Prior to joining Locust Street, Ms. Verghese also worked at Burson Cohn & Wolfe, as well as held a variety of political and campaign related positions, including serving as the national coalitions director for the Jon Huntsman for President Campaign, as well as Deputy Regional Political Director at the Republican National Committee. In addition, she worked at both the White House under President George W. Bush and at well-known polling firm The Tarrance Group.
Meet The Moderators
Siya C. is an outstanding member of the Junior States of America (JSA) in the Mid-Atlantic State, where she represents the New Jersey Region. A current senior at South Brunswick High School, Siya holds the position of JSA NJR Vice Mayor. In this role, she takes on the responsibilities of spearheading region-wide activism and fundraising, overseeing the Chapter of Internal Affairs, and helping coordinate conventions within the state.
Siya's journey with JSA began during her freshman year of high school, driven by a strong desire to engage in civic matters and participate in debate. Throughout her tenure with JSA, she has assumed various leadership roles, including her role as the NJR conference coordinator. Siya's dedication has earned her numerous awards, consistently being recognized with state Best Speaker awards at national-level conventions.
Beyond her involvement in JSA, Siya is a multifaceted student, contributing her talents to various other areas. She is an essential part of her school's varsity lacrosse team and an active member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Furthermore, Siya extends her passion for civic engagement to external organizations, notably her involvement with Generation Ratify, where she advocates for youth participation in civic engagement.
Siya's unwavering commitment to empowering young voices in politics is truly inspiring. Looking ahead, she has set her sights on attending college and pursuing a degree in economics.
Sam B. is a senior at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, Connecticut. He joined JSA his freshman year and has found it to be an endearing, welcoming community to belong to. He has an ardent passion for public sociology and serves as an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in many municipal organizations, including his district board of education. He previously took political science classes as a part-time student at Yale College and was an alternate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program.
When not buried in work, Sam always shares his time with friends and dog. He plays tennis and piano and finds joy in cooking and singing. He also loves to try new foods (or really do anything that involves eating). His favorite place in the world is Seoul, South Korea, where most of his family lives.