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

Ambassador Allan Katz


Ashley Beard-Fosnow

Ashley Beard-Fosnow

Executive Director
(816) 235-5066

Jeff Fendorf

Jeff Fendorf

Program Manager
(816) 235-5064

Alana Muller

Alana Muller

Community Development Director
(816) 235-5065

Monte Holman

Monte Holman

Communications Director
(816) 235-6238



Mary Bloch, Co-Chair

The Honorable Peggy Dunn, Co-Chair

Mr. Irvin V. Belzer

Mr. Curt Crespino 

Dr. Denise Dowd

Ms. Deena Essa

Dr. Tamara Falicov

Mr. Adam Fichman

Mrs. SuEllen Fried

Mr. Nick Haines 

Mr. Wallace Hartsfield

Mr. Irvine O. Hockaday Jr.

Mr. Ron Jones

Ms. Sofia Khan

Mr. Ward Katz 

Mr. William B. Kort 

Ms. Janet Mark 

Mrs. Marti McLarney

Dr. Michael McShane

Mr. Ramon Murguia 

Mrs. Sally Murguia 

Ms. Sue Nerman 

Dr. Nicholas C. Peroff 

Mrs. Ann Regnier

Mr. Steve Roling 

Mr. Daniel Rosenfield 

Mr. David Smith

Mr. Marvin S. Szneler 

Ms. Ursula Terrasi

Mr. Wim Van Klinken 

Dr. Wayne Vaught 

Mr. David Westbrook 

Ms. Joni Wickham

Mr. Phil Witt