American Public Square is a nonpartisan nonprofit that seeks to change the tone and quality of public discourse. We organize programs that feature expert panelists and audience members with opposing views talking to each other, civilly, about controversial topics. Though these discussions may not always change minds, everyone walks away with a better understanding of the other side, a key step toward respect, compromise, and resolution.

Our programs have featured national figures such as Kathleen Sebelius, Deval Patrick, John Danforth, Howard Dean, Kris Kobach, Julie Rovner, Ivo Daalder, Margaret Talev, Tanner Kolby, and David Frum; experts from groups such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Center for American Progress, MIT, Harvard, the Woodrow Wilson Institute, and UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza); community figures such as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Rep. Kevin Yoder, Colleen McCain Nelson, Valerie Nicholson-Watson, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, Mayor Sly James, Civil Rights attorney Arthur Benson, Councilwoman Jolie Justus, and the Rev. Adam Hamilton; and among others, thousands of residents from throughout the Kansas City Metro Area.

Allan Katz, United States Ambassador to Portugal (2010-2013) and University of Missouri–Kansas City Distinguished Professor, founded American Public Square in Kansas City in 2013.


Ambassador Allan Katz


Allan J. Katz is the Chairman and CEO at American Public Square. He served as Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Portugal from March 2010 until August 2013. Upon his return to private life, Ambassador Katz created Katz, Jacobs and Associates, LLC (KJA), and joined UMKC as a Distinguished    Professor with a joint appointment from the Bloch    School of Business Management and the College of Arts and Sciences.

He serves as Executive Committee Chair of the Academic and Corporate Board to ISCTE Business School in Lisbon Portugal. He is a non-executive Board Member of EDPR and a board member of the International Relation Council of Kansas City. He is a frequent speaker and moderator on developments in Europe and on American Politics. Ambassador Katz received his BA from UMKC  in 1969 and his JD from Washington College of Law at American University in Washington DC in 1974.

Claire Bishop

Claire Bishop is the Executive Director and COO at American Public Square. She is an experienced leader and a passionate believer in the power of community. A proud KC native, Claire has spent the last 15 years of her career in global marketing. She served travel and tourism clients as SVP Media at MMGY Global, and most recently served as the Vice President of Marketing at KC-based global organization Children International, where she led brand and marketing efforts.

Throughout her career, she has also committed personal time and energy to advancing the missions of organizations working within the Kansas City community—she serves on the Board of Directors of Literacy KC and The Pilgrim Center, and has volunteered with dozens of local organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, NP Connect, Harvesters, Community LINC, Cultivate KC, the KC Rep and more.

Claire earned her B.A. in Advertising & Communication Studies from the University of Missouri, KC.


Adam Erickson is the Program Coordinator for American Public Square. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow, and the former intern at American Public Square, Adam brings a range of experience to the organization.

Born in a small town in Southeast Kansas, Adam received his Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Kansas before moving abroad to work in community development. He returned home to pursue his Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Alana Muller

Alana Muller is the Community Development Director of American Public Square. In her role, she is responsible for providing strategic insights, community outreach for friend- and fund-raising purposes and project management.

Alana is also a networking speaker, workshop facilitator, coach and author of the book, Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking and a companion blog, She is the former president of Kauffman FastTrac (a division of the Kauffman Foundation) and was an executive with Sprint. Alana has a BA in mathematics  from Smith College and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

2019 Advisory Board
  • Bill Kort – Retired Investment Advisor
  • Denise Dowd – Children’s Mercy/Operation Breakthrough
  • SuEllen Fried – Reaching Out from Within
  • Wallace Hartsfield – MetropolitanMissionary Baptist Church
  • Jenny Isenberg – Eclectics Gallery
  • Mary Jorgenson – Community Volunteer
  • Sofia Khan – KC for Refugees
  • Janet Mark – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
  • Terry Matlack – VantEdge Partners LP
  • Mike McShane – EdChoice
  • Ramona Murguia – Attorney at Watson & Dameron
  • Sally Murguia – Community Volunteer
  • Sue Nerman – Kansas City Art Institute
  • Dan Rosenfield – Outfront Media
  • Cynthia Spaeth – Community Volunteer
  • Marvin Szneler – Community Volunteer
  • Ursula Terrasi – Terrasi Living & Scandia Home
  • Wim van Klinken – Community of Christ
  • David Westbrook – Children’s Mercy
  • Jerry White – Colliers International


2019 Board of Directors

  • Allan Katz – Chairman, CEO, and Founder of American Public Square, former US Ambassador to Portugal (2010-2013)
  • Irvin Belzer – Senior partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, General Council to the board of Directors
  • Peggy Dunn –  Mayor of Leawood
  • Rebecca Hall  – Program Officer at Hall Family Foundation
  • Ward Katz – Real Estate Investor
  • Bill Kort – Retired investment advisor
  • Leo Morton– COO of DebBruce Companies,, Chancellor of UMKC 2008-2018
  • Colleen Nelson – Editorial Page Editor at Kansas City Star, Vice President of Kansas City Star
  • Ann Regnier  – Community Volunteer
  • Paul Russell – Chairman of ej4
  • Alicia Starr – Community Volunteer
  • Joni Wickham  – Chief of Staff to Mayor Sly James