NEW PIONEERS, NEW FRONTIERS
We are an award-winning non-profit that leads crowd-funded transcontinental train journeys for diverse groups of young innovators to explore America’s new frontiers, grow as leaders, and launch projects that benefit and inspire their communities.
Our caravan of vintage rail cars is more than a means of exploring geographies of innovation -- it is an incubator of ideas and symbol of progress powered by millennial aspirations and a world-class coalition of partners. MTP participants come from every corner of the world and use our journeys to advance important, creative projects that directly relate to the defining issues of our time.
Over the past four years, we have led five cross-country journeys across the United States, and engaged with over 20 communities along the way. From small town train stations to the White House, MTP has been hailed as a game-changing innovation in the realm of next-generation leadership development, community engagement, and social entrepreneurship.
Building on the foundation of our previous journeys, we look forward to further establishing MTP as a civic/entrepreneurial right of passage for future generations.
We believe that journeys build leaders and that new frontiers exist. We use trains to explore opportunities and challenges across America. We come from all walks of life. We are friends. We are problem solvers. We travel because we love learning. Together, we have fun and do our best to create things that benefit, serve, and inspire others.
PATRICK DOWD, Founder and CEO
Patrick is founder and CEO of the Millennial Trains Project. Previously, he served as the youngest-ever Editor-at-Large for National Geographic Traveler magazine. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he served as Student Body President, he has worked as a U.S. Senate campaign speechwriter, J.P. Morgan investment banking analyst, and innovation consultant. As a Fulbright Scholar in India, Patrick produced a documentary on informal sector e-waste recycling and helped lead a circumnavigation of India by rail that inspired him to bring the Millennial Trains Project to America. A member of the Explorers Club, he is proficient in French and Hindi.
RICHARD PORTWOOD, DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH & Operations
Richard is a recent graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He is the co-founder of the Center for American-Russian Engagement of Emerging Leaders (CAREEL), a non-profit organization that facilitates and promotes greater understanding between emerging Russian and American leaders. He serves as a member of the Library of Congress' Open World Leadership Center's Young Professional Advisory Committee and has interned with the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the United States Senate Committee on Finance. Richard grew up in Park City, Utah and is a graduate of Utah Valley University, where he served as the Student Body President as well as the President of the Utah Student Association.
JENNY GOTTSTEIN, PIONEER GROUP LEADER
As the Director of Games at The Go Game, Jenny designs interactive experiences and high-tech adventures around the world. She joined MTP in 2014 to bring Zombie Apocalypse Disaster Preparedness Games nationwide, and was recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2015. Prior to working for The Go Game, Jenny produced music and art events in NYC, covered youth protests in Chile, interviewed the oldest working showgirl, sang on a trance song that was briefly popular in the Ukraine, and co-founded a company that reduces waste through parties (www.heyscoreswap.com).
MACEO PAISLEY, PIONEER GROUP LEADER
Maceo is a dancer, musician, US Army Veteran, and founder of Citizens Of Culture, an organization that uses culture as a tool for learning and connectivity to foster critical thought and creativity. He was a member of the 2015 MTP journey where he canvased the United States to investigate the creative economy. He is currently working on expanding his research on entrepreneurship and creativity with Loyola Marymount University School of Business in collaboration with another MTP alumni.
CHRIS DOWD, PIONEER GROUP LEADER
A Bay Area native, Chris is a sophomore at Tufts University studying Developmental Economics and National Security Studies. On campus, he mentors freshman entrepreneurs through the Compass Fellowship, was a member of the 2014 national championship Men's lacrosse team, and is an avid supporter of his school's divestment efforts. Last summer, Chris was on staff for MTP's central route across the country, organized a month long service expedition to Malaysia, and interned on a Massachusetts congressional campaign to unseat a 17-year incumbent.
RANDI GLOSS, PIONEER GROUP LEADER
Randi is a social entrepreneur, writer and activist committed to fighting and documenting injustices experienced by people of color. She engages this fight through GLOSSRAGS, a small business that specializes in creating one-off, limited edition designs that provide some sort of social commentary on issues at play within the world, be they social justice, institutions or popular culture. GLOSSRAGS’ advances its commitment to conscious consumerism by creating critically crafted designs that are catalysts for social activism and discourse and by protesting, marching and advocating for change.