Bill Samuels Bio
Bill Samuels is the host of “Effective Radio with Bill Samuels”, which airs every Sunday at 10 a.m. on AM970.
Bill has a lifetime of experience as a successful businessman, socially-responsible entrepreneur and CEO. At the same time, he has a rich history as an innovative political thinker, progressive leader and activist, most recently as chairman of the board of the nonprofits EffectiveNY and the EffectiveNY Howard Samuels Policy Center.
After law school, Bill started a trailblazing education company that focused on training workers 16 years and older the basic skills needed to get and keep a job. He built that company into a worldwide enterprise with operations in Brazil, Europe, Mexico and Asia, and took it public before moving on to other entrepreneurial ventures. Later, he founded ACTV, a cutting-edge interactive education and media company. Working with investors such as The Washington Post, the company developed some of the core intellectual property for interactive television and the World Wide Web, including two fundamental patents issued for the Internet, before being sold to an affiliate of Liberty Media in 2002.
Bill was also one of the founders of the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP), which for over 30 years was the premiere public interest organization focused on companies’ policies on the environment, women & minority advancement, corporate disclosure of information, labor relations, family benefits, and worker rights.
At the same time, Bill remained deeply involved in progressive politics, fundraising for Democratic candidates and speaking out on issues of both local and national importance. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, in response to the “swiftboating” of Democratic nominee John Kerry, Bill produced the documentary Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry to set the record straight about Kerry’s heroism.
After the 2004 election, Bill turned his attention back to state politics, working with Eliot Spitzer to raise money to help the Democratic Party regain the State Senate. He also founded the Blue Tiger Democrats, an innovative grassroots organization designed to reconnect the party to its core communities.
In the 2008 election cycle, Bill served as Finance Chairman for the New York Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, playing a key role in the Democrats gaining control of the State Senate for the first time in decades. Despite his high hopes for the new majority, Bill was deeply disheartened when the Senate Democratic Conference failed to make the dramatic reforms necessary to allow Albany to function effectively.
Bill resigned as Finance Chair and launched the New Roosevelt Initiative, a political action committee with the mission of defeating the corrupt Majority Leader of the State Senate Pedro Espada. Cultivating Gustavo Rivera as a challenger, Bill built a sophisticated campaign and field operation and shocked the political establishment by ousting Espada. With this success, Bill shuttered New Roosevelt.
Today, Bill continues his work in policy and government reform as Chairman of EffectiveNY. As he has done throughout his career, he balances his political and nonprofit activities with his business enterprises.
Bill is currently chairman of two companies: the Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles, a facility dedicated to helping people overcome addiction, and Resonant Software, a Silicon Valley-based provider of groundbreaking productivity software to financial services businesses. He is also managing member of the Carlyle Capital Group.
His philanthropic work includes serving on the boards of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Fund to Advance New York City and Amani Global Works, an organization which provides healthcare in Idjwi, one of the most impoverished and forgotten areas in Africa.
A graduate of MIT with a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering, Political Science and Economics, Bill also holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Marie, and daughter, Kitty.
Morgan Pehme Bio
Morgan Pehme is the co-host and producer of “Effective Radio with Bill Samuels” on AM970.
An award-winning journalist, filmmaker, commentator, and good government leader, Morgan is also the executive director of the 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) arms of EffectiveNY, the watchdog group and public policy think tank Bill Samuels founded.
Prior to joining EffectiveNY in February 2015, Pehme spent two and a half years as editor-in-chief of City & State, the must-read insider’s publication of New York State politics and government. In this capacity Pehme led the magazine’s newsroom to 11 New York Press Association awards, including 3 in which he shared personally, including Best Coverage of Elections and Politics.
During his tenure Pehme regularly appeared on television and radio as an analyst, most prominently on WPIX, where he served as the network’s on-air Election Day expert for the 2013 and 2014 cycles. He also co-created City & State TV, a Web-based video series, and served as its principal host, conducting one-on-one interviews with hundreds of leading figures in the arena of politics and policy.
Before helming City & State, Pehme was executive director of New York Civic, the nonpartisan good government group founded by former NYC Parks Commissioner Henry Stern. At NYCivic, Pehme created and produced “Candidate College,” an online video series designed to teach political neophytes how to run for office, and was recognized by City Hall newspaper as one of its 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.
Prior to his time at NYCivic, Pehme was an adjunct professor of journalism, film, television and advertising at St. John’s University from 2004 to 2010. An award-winning filmmaker, Pehme has co-written, directed and produced several feature films, as well as numerous commercials.
Pehme was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended the Dalton School, where he earned renown as a national scholastic chess champion. He is an honors graduate of Lake Forest College in Illinois with a dual degree in English literature and French. Presently, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Patricia, and daughter, Fiona.