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 Treasurer
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.
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.
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
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, Secretary
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 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.
Alexandra has worked for candidates and campaigns, party committees, and progressive organizations, with an emphasis on youth politics, over the past 15 years. Alexandra is the President and Founder of AL Advising, a philanthropic and non-profit consulting firm. She is a recognized political commentator and also travels internationally as a trainer for the National Democratic Institute. Alexandra is also the author of The Political Ladder: Insider Tips on Getting a Job in Politics, published in 2012. From 2011-2015, Alexandra served as Director of the Youth Engagement Fund at the Democracy Alliance. She also led the Young Democrats of America as Executive Director during the historic 2008 election cycle. From 2009-2010, Alexandra served as the Executive Director of Democratic GAIN, overseeing the professional organization for political operatives, having previously worked for GAIN as Training Director. She has also worked in various capacities for the John Kerry for President Campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY).
Andrea is Director of Digital Organizing + Fundraising at Mozilla, an organization fighting to protect the free and open Internet. Under her leadership Mozilla built a grassroots campaign strategy that helped win net neutrality protections in the United States. Andrea blogs about how Mozilla increase global online donations five-fold to $3.6 million at fundraising.mozilla.org. Before working at Mozilla, she led Change.org’s client services team for three years, providing strategic list growth support for organizations like Credo Action, Sierra Club, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Walk Free, ONE Campaign, and UNICEF. Prior to joining Change.org, Andrea was Senior Consultant at M+R. Way back when, she began her career in digital organizing after 13 states passed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage in 2004. She got mad, then got busy, and co-founded a state organization that to this day is still fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families in Ohio.
Angela is an online engagement specialist working at the intersection of technology, advocacy, and storytelling. She is the former managing director of HeadCount, where she led innovative initiatives in voter registration and civic engagement. Angela works with eBay’s Content Marketing division and is the co-founder and president of Donation Club, an early-stage progressive non-profit. She is a member of the New York County Democratic Committee, and works with progressive Democrat Paul Newell’s State Assembly campaign to drive voter engagement. She was a part of MoveOn.org’s Creative Team during the 2012 election cycle, supporting dozens of progressive campaigns with award-winning original content. Previously, Angela worked on Universal Music Group’s Global Digital team during the music industry’s transition from physical to digital products. She has worked with Ready for Warren, Bill de Blasio’s New York mayoral campaign, Occupy Sandy, Environment California, and United Students Against Sweatshops. She also volunteers with ACE New York and DataKind, and has provided fundraising support to City of Hope and The Grammy Foundation. Born in Tennessee, raised in Los Angeles, Angela has been a proud New Yorker for the last four years.
Bryan Whitaker serves as the Chief Innovation Officer of TargetSmart Communications, overseeing the company’s efforts to help make progressive organizations more efficient and effective with data-driven strategies. Prior to joining TargetSmart, Bryan was Chief Operating Officer of NGP VAN, the nation’s leading software provider to Obama for America and thousands of Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations in the United States and around the globe. In the 2012 cycle, Bryan was chief of technology for the Democratic National Committee and worked closely with Obama for America, State Democratic Parties, and other Democratic committees on their national technology and data infrastructure. He previously served as founding Director of Field Information Services at the Service Employees International Union in Washington, DC working with union affiliates and national progressive partners on technology, data, micro-targeting and analytics. Before going to SEIU, Bryan was an organizer for the Sierra Club in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and an aide to John Kerry in the 2004 elections in Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio.
Chris Melody Fields-Figueredo
Chris Melody is an organizer, coalition builder, and civil rights advocate. She currently works as the Associate Director of Voting Rights for ReThink Media, an arm of the Democracy Collaborative. Prior to ReThink Media, Chris worked for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she developed organizing and technology strategies to address critical civil rights issues. Chris co-leads Election Protection, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection program working to combat efforts to curb access to the ballot box, expand voting rights and create tools to educate and empower voters. She has served in numerous roles for different political and advocacy campaigns across the country. Born in Venezuela and raised in Texas, Chris enjoys being a thirty-something, rabble-rousing, infusing Latin American and Southern cuisines and finding ways to make references to Hamilton (aka she’s young, scrappy and hungry).
Christopher Mann, Senior Advisor
Christopher is an Assistant Professor of political communication in the Manship School of Mass Communication and Department of Political Science at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is also the Director of the Academy of Applied Politics at LSU and holds the J. Patrick Gebhart Professorship from the Manship School of Mass Communication. Christopher’s research focuses on several aspects of elections, campaigns, and voting, with a special emphasis on voting-by-mail. He has been published in The Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, Political Behavior, Public Opinion Quarterly, and other journals.
Eric Maland has spent more than two decades writing software, designing scalable systems, and building engineering teams at early-stage startups such as Amazon.com, Google, and Twitter. In 2014 he turned his focus to civic service and moved to the White House to help stabilize several systems across several federal agencies, including healthcare.gov and the visa system. Today, Eric is focused on understanding the role technology can play in having a positive impact on elections through the coming years.
Erie Meyer was a founding member of the United States Digital Service under President Obama, and served on the HQ team within the White House. This team was charged with using the best of product design and engineering to transform the way government works for American people. Previously, she served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. CTO at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she worked on the President’s Open Data Initiatives. Before joining the White House, Erie worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where she was a member of the founding Tech + Innovation Team. She helped to develop and launch a system to collect consumer complaints about financial products and services, such as students loans and credit reporting, and then to publish the complaint data. She also served as Editorial Director of the Digital Team, leading strategy to increase citizen participation in developing consumer finance regulations and to connect the public with better information about their rights as consumers.
Erie is a co-founder of Tech Ladymafia, a group of women living everywhere from San Francisco to Shenzhen, China, working on anything from DIY circuit boards to theoretical physics. She was named one of Forbes’ 2014 “30 under 30” for technology.
Gayle Karen Young
Gayle Karen Young is a culture-builder and a catalyst for human and organizational development. She comes from a rich organizational consulting background with both corporate and nonprofit clients. She was in process of becoming a monk when she became an executive instead, taking on the role of Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia and its sister free-knowledge projects) until early 2015, when she decided to return to private practice as a rogue provocateur. Gayle works to create dynamic organizational cultures in which people can thrive and thus make greater contributions. She acts as the interface between individuals and the systems within which they work, and fosters the development of both. From high-level strategic thinking to practical implementation, her skills include leadership development, change management, instructional design, training, strategic communications, team building, and personal and organizational transformation. Her clients have ranged from McDonald’s Corporation to Kaiser Permanente to Yale University to Ernst & Young.
Gayle is passionate about global women’s issues and supporting women in leadership. She has worked as a facilitator for the Stanford Graduate School of Business Interpersonal Dynamics course and their Women in Management program, and mentors for programs such as the Unreasonable Institute and Singularity University. She is keenly interested in the intersection of technology and human rights and supports futurist humanitarian causes.
Liba Wenig Rubenstein
Liba works at the intersection of mass and social media, cause marketing, civic innovation, sustainability, public policy, and digital activism. At Tumblr she leads partnerships, programming, and outreach for social impact and policy. Liba ran environmental sustainability at the old News Corporation, including a strategy to achieve carbon neutrality across the organization’s global operations of 100 companies on five continents. Before that, she founded Myspace’s Impact Channel for social and civic engagement and managed its Public Affairs team, launching first-of-their-kind initiatives around climate change, Darfur, social fundraising, and the 2008 US Presidential election.
Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold
Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold was the campaign manager for the CREDO SuperPAC. Mudcat is a veteran of over a dozen campaigns for state and federal office, and is a national field trainer for Democracy for America. He’s run campaigns for progressive champions like Lloyd Doggett, and was the field director for Mary Jo Kilroy and Darcy Burner. Mudcat has designed sophisticated voter outreach operations for MoveOn.org and the Sierra Club, and in 2009, he helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. He’s originally from Booneville, Mississippi.
Michael Moschella is Vice President at NationBuilder. In this capacity, he has worked with hundreds of leading political campaigns, nonprofits and major brands to create effective, modern organizing efforts. He has been at the forefront of the leadership development and civic engagement community for over a decade, and was recently named one of the 50 top campaign strategy influencers in America by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. Prior to joining the team at NationBuilder, Michael served as Chief Organizer and Political Director for the Truman National Security Project and the Center for National Policy. At Truman-CNP, Michael managed nationwide efforts to bring political, policy, and veteran leaders together around a shared vision for America’s role in the 21st century world. In addition to his work at Truman, Michael is a founder and current Secretary of the Board of Directors of New Leaders Council, which runs 30 highly selective civic leadership training institutes across the country.
Sarah is a leading figure in the Ruby software development community and a strong advocate for diversity in programming. She founded RailsBridge and Bridge Foundry, where her pioneering work lowered the barrier to entry to programming and moved us closer to a world where the people making technology reflect the diversity of the people using it. Her technical career spans companies as large as Microsoft and as small as a two-person startup. In addition to coding, she writes and speaks on a wide range of related topics, including programming techniques, hiring, and team dynamics. In 2015, she was awarded the Jim Weirich Fellowship and received the Ruby Hero Award for her work. She lives in San Francisco and enjoys obscure Japanese iPhone games.
Whitney is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the the Center for Civic Design. Their project list is amazing. Whitney’s work in civic design began with her appointment to the EAC Federal advisory committee writing the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), including the first usability requirements for voting systems. She brings her expertise in research methods, accessibility and plain language, and a passion for understanding the story behind the data to her work. She’s the author of three books: A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experience andStorytelling in User Experience (Rosenfeld Media, 2014 and 2011), Global UX: Design and Research in a Connected World (Morgan Kauffman, 2012). Her Masters of Social Research Methods from the Open University focused on how and why young people vote. She teaches UX research at Rutgers University.
Yobie is a Co-founder/COO, CTO, Advisor, Angel Investor, Entrepreneur, Conservation/ Environmental Activist, Coder and Biohacker, recently honored as a 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum (commonly known as the Davos Conference). Yobie currently works at the forefront of next-generation wearable device technology, as co-founder and COO of Avegant, and senior advisor to Skully. Both company’s signature products received the prestigious CNN Top 10 Technology Products award in 2014.
When not working on wearable devices, Yobie is a volunteer civilian advisor for NASA AMES Collaboration Labs and is a partner at Innovation Arts, a specialty innovation and technology consulting firm. Previously, Yobie was Global Chief Technology Officer at Citigroup ICG/GTS and Chairman of GTS Research Development Innovation & Learning Centres at Citigroup | Institutional Clients Group / Global Transaction Services, with a focus on projects such as Citi Commerce Server, the backend to Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Yobie was also the Founder & CEO and coder of a progressive e-commerce company, GoodStorm.com and served as GoodStorm Brand President and SVP of Business Development at Zazzle.com. Yobie was Partner of Ernst & Young LLP and Chief Knowledge Officer and Director of Enterprise Security Services at Cambridge Technology Partners’ Management Labs. In addition to advising Vote.org, Yobie serves as an investor and advisory to a wide array of tech-startups, including: Avegant, Skully, Nixie, Skyport, Zen Payroll, Steath IoT Security Company, Indie Bio, Wearable World, Wildlife Works.