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

Chairman and CEO

klassie alcine

President at Kc common good

Claire Bishop

Executive Director and COO

kat miller

Kat Miller is our Summer Intern.

Kat is a graduate student studying Public History at UMKC. This program prepares students for careers in museums, historical organizations, parks, archives, and other cultural institutions.
Kat is working with the staff at APS this summer on key projects and we are glad to have her on the team!


Program Coordinator

Alana Muller

Community Development Director

2019 Advisory Board
  • Bill Kort – Retired Investment Advisor
  • Kimberly Beatty – Metropolitan Community Colleges

  • Monica Curls – Terracon
  • Denise Dowd – Children’s Mercy/Operation Breakthrough
  • SuEllen Fried – Reaching Out from Within
  • Wallace Hartsfield – Metropolitan Missionary 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
  • Ramon Murguia – Attorney at Watson & Dameron
  • Sally Murguia – Community Volunteer
  • Sue Nerman – Kansas City Art Institute

  • Becky Pruett – Community Volunteer
  • 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