The Vote.org Team
Debra Cleaver, Founder + CEO
Debra Cleaver has been working at the intersection of technology and democracy since 2004. She currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Vote.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit digital voting organization that aims to use digital technology to remove barriers to voting and increase voter turnout. Under Debra’s leadership, Vote.org won the prestigious Knight News Challenge in 2015, and was accepted into Y Combinator’s 2016 Summer Cohort. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Mic, The Huffington Post, and Bustle.
Raven Brooks, Chief Operating Officer + Board Secretary
Raven spent a decade leading the growth of Netroots Nation from a volunteer-run effort to the country’s premier progressive gathering. Along the way he gained extensive experience fundraising, building and scaling a non-profit organization, and communicating and organizing in the digital age. He lives in Oakland, is a triathlete, and enjoys defying gravity through high intensity sports like skydiving.
Jake Levine, Software Engineering Lead
Jake has spent the last 20 years building, launching, and managing software products. Along the way he has accrued experience in startups and large corporations, both private and public. He’s worked for 15 of those years directly in product management, defining consumer and business facing products for companies like Myspace, Live Nation, AEG, and Idealab. He spent the last 5 years doing full-stack software development with Ruby on Rails, React Native, and Swift for companies like Creatabu.com, ProjectGreenlight.com and Conconapp.com. Jake is also a listed inventor on 2 patents and has 3 other patents pending. It is rumored that Jake once juggled three rubber chickens in the desert near Area 51, but all photo evidence has been classified. He is also one of the 2010 nominees for Best Ikea Hack of the Year. Jake graduated from University of Maryland with a BA in Journalism.
Sarah Jackel, General Counsel
Sarah is an experienced litigator who came to vote.org after 10+ years in private practice, where she represented companies and organizations in all facets of trial and appellate court litigation. A dogged advocate with a passion for effecting systemic change through litigation, Sarah maintained an active pro bono caseload during her time in private practice, taking on cases involving the rights of individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, race discrimination, wrongful conviction, and other civil rights. Sarah thrives on tackling novel legal issues and is dedicated to ensuring that everyone, regardless of background, has equal access to voting and can participate freely and fairly in the democratic process. Sarah earned her B.A. from Pomona College and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is a mother of two and lives in Oakland.
Adrienne Shaw, Development Director
Adrienne has been part of and led fundraising and development teams inside non-profits for 10+ years. As Development Director, she is responsible for identifying and securing funding for Vote.org. She has a passion for civic engagement, intersectional feminism, and democratic ideals. Adrienne holds an MA in American History, a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, and a BA in English from GMU- where she was first a member and later a coach for their speech team. She lives with her husband, daughter, and beagle mix in our nation’s capital.
Kamari Guthrie, Communications Director
Kamari has spent 10+ developing brand communications campaigns and strategies for various corporations and start-ups. At Vote.org, she manages all strategic communications functions to raise public awareness of Vote.org’s work and vision for the future and to ultimately increase public knowledge about voting issues. Kamari earned her B.S. in Public Relations from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, and a several years later landed on PR News’ short list of Top 30 Rising Stars Under 30. She currently lives with her husband in Washington, D.C. and often vacations with family in their hometown in St. George’s, Grenada.
Devorah Langsam, Software Engineer
Devorah has worked in technology as a Software Engineer for the last five years. She has worked in several fields of software engineering including flight simulation, e-commerce, fintech, and healthcare. She has experience working in large companies, as well as startups of various sizes. Devorah has been working as a Full Stack Developer for the last several years programming in Ruby on Rails, Java, and Angular. In her spare time, she enjoys learning to cook new recipes and biking. Devorah graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in mathematics and a M.S. in Computer Science. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the community service fraternity.
Meaghan Fenelon, Software Engineer
Meaghan started studying technology with the goal of putting it to good use by working for a cause she believed in. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in Computer Science where she participated in acapella, the local sorority Sigma Psi, student government, as a teaching assistant, and help desk technician. Outside of work, she is yearly volunteer at Cleveland Give Camp, has participated various local hackathons and the organization Open Cleveland. Meaghan previously worked as a full stack developer at IBM UrbanCode for two years. During this time, she worked with Java, Hibernate, Tomcat, Meteor, React, and Mongo.
Jacor Finlayson, Software Engineer
Mercedes Mack, Executive Assistant
Mercedes is committed to igniting civic engagement. Since 2008, she has worked in Congressional politics and nonprofits focused on social welfare, tech and nonviolence. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a B.A. in Political Science. While at Sonoma State she coordinated voter registration outreach efforts during the 2012 election cycle. Originally from Hawai’i, she is a proud first generation American. She is currently obsessed with all things bicycles, public transit, bridges, and modern romance. Fun Fact: Her first job was stuffing the Sunday inserts for the local newspaper…by hand!
2018 Board members
Julia Rhodes Davis, Chair
Julia Rhodes Davis is a builder of organizations and communities with an ambitious growth mindset and a passion for social justice. She is a seasoned leader who combines her experiences in executive leadership, technology, and community development to advance social and economic equity. Julia currently serves as Managing Director of DataKind, an organization that works at the intersection of predictive technology and social impact, where she has built an ecosystem of corporations, foundations, technologists, and social sector experts in service of leveraging the power of machine learning, AI, and data science in the service of humanity. When Julia’s not working with amazing change makers, she’s cooking, running or helping someone start a new project.
Christy Remey Chin, Treasurer
Christy Chin, Managing Partner at Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, is instrumental in finding, funding and supporting DRK entrepreneurs, as well as cultivating and engaging DRK’s network of donor partners.
Christy has devoted her career to advancing social entrepreneurship and championing high-impact philanthropy. She worked as a research associate at the Harvard Business School, supporting Greg Dees in his efforts that defined the field of social entrepreneurship. Christy later served for over four years as a Senior Program Officer at the Skoll Foundation, where she was an integral part of the ideation of the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, a highly selective award that drives large-scale social change. Prior to joining DRK Foundation, Christy was the Deputy Director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Philanthropy Workshop, a donor education program for high net worth individuals.
Christy currently serves on the boards of DRK portfolio organizations Accountability Counsel, Adventure Scientists, Education Opens Doors, Food Forward, New Story, and Transcend. Christy also chairs the board of Benetech, serves on the board of the National Venture Capital Association and on the advisory board of Ashoka U.
Christy received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and holds a BA in History from Colgate University.
Andrea Hailey, Director
Andrea Hailey is the Founder of Civic Engagement Fund. A recognized philanthropic and political leader, Andrea’s career spans over 40 federal and state campaigns. Her work in media strategy and fundraising garnered Pollie awards in 2008 and 2010, and she raised over a million dollars in under 60 days for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in 2007. A biracial millennial, she began her career in the office of Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Andrea currently sits on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America and serves on the leadership council of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture ambassadors program. She is also sits on the advisory board of Vote.org.
Civic Engagement Fund is an inclusive, values-driven organization accelerating innovative grassroots groups and building diverse coalitions that empower voter engagement in the United States. A non-profit holding both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status, CEF is a project fiscally sponsored by the Hopewell Fund and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, both under Arabella Advisors.
Swati Mylavarapu, Director
Swati Mylavarapu runs Incite.org, an organization that invests in both early stage technology entrepreneurs and early stage social entrepreneurs. Through Incite Ventures, she invests in early stage technology entrepreneurs who are building businesses that also address important social or environmental issues. Through Incite Labs, a foundation, she makes grants and investments to social entrepreneurs who are starting movements for catalytic social and environmental change. Incite Politics supports new efforts to build better elected leadership in America, such as The Arena.
Swati was previously a Partner on the venture capital team at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she focused on consumer digital and hardware investments. Before KPCB, Swati built the international business and product marketing efforts at Square, a financial services company that levels the playing field for small business. Swati also serves on the non-profit boards of B Lab and the Boston Review. Swati graduated from Harvard with an AB in Development Studies, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and a Truman Scholar. She also holds an MPhil in Economic History from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.