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VoteAmerica team

Debra Cleaver, Founder & Chief Executive Officer (she/her)

Debra Cleaver is the founder and CEO of VoteAmerica, a national nonprofit leveraging research-driven campaigns to register and turnout the 100+ million Americans who are traditionally excluded by partisan outreach efforts. Debra is a serial founder whose organizations include Vote.org (2016), ElectionDay.org (2018), Long Distance Voter (2008), and Swing the State (2004). Debra is an alum of Pomona College and Y Combinator, and a former Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship.

Debra frequently speaks on issues impacting voter turnout, with appearances at SXSW, Harvard Law, the Harvard School of Government, and University of Michigan. Debra’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, C-SPAN, WIRED, Bloomberg, The BBC, Forbes, and more. When she’s not working, Debra is probably sleeping, since she has learned the hard way that her “passion projects” have a way of turning into national organizations.

Jordan James Harvill, Chief of Staff (he/him)

Jordan James-Harvill is the Chief of Staff to the CEO of VoteAmerica. An activist at heart, Jordan is a veteran of 15+ candidate and issue-based campaigns spanning local, state, and federal offices. Prior to joining the VoteAmerica team, Jordan served in various organizing, communications, and operations roles for a host of progressive political organizations: Vote.org, Organizer, Nicole Yelich Strategies, and the San Francisco Democratic Party. A proud alum of the California State University system (#MadeintheCSU), he resides in San Francisco, CA. Keep up with his political rants on Twitter @jj_harvill.

Daniel McCarthy, Vice President of Finance and Operations (he/him)

Daniel McCarthy is the Vice President of Finance and Operations for VoteAmerica. Daniel has more than 10 years' experience bringing operational excellence to mission driven organizations and is passionate about social justice issues and activism. He has served in leadership or as an advisor to three presidential candidates, a congressional candidate, a super PAC, two joint fundraising committees, six social welfare organizations, and numerous nonprofits throughout his career. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds both an MBA from Webster University and a Masters Degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois Springfield. Daniel lives in upstate New York with his husband, James, and cavalier king Charles spaniel fur baby, Jack. He spends his free time listening to NPR, volunteering, and traveling.

Nick Catalano, Director of Technology (he/him)

Nick Catalano is the Director of Technology of VoteAmerica. A digital organizer since the start, Nick began a blog at 16 supporting the Howard Dean for President campaign and requested his first voter file at 17 during his (unsuccessful) run for school board. Nick worked as the Technology Manager at the New Organizing Institute, Technology Advisor at the Obama Foundation, and Director of Technology and CTO at Organizing for Action, where he securely built and maintained some of the largest social media accounts, websites, and supporter databases in the world. He is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where he studied Political Science and Computer Science. Nick lives in Philadelphia and enjoys performing in musical improv. He can be found promoting the use of 2 Factor Authentication on Twitter at @NickCatal.

Ben (Fuzzy) Weissmann, Senior Software Engineer (he/him)

Ben “Fuzzy” Weissmann is a Senior Software Engineer at VoteAmerica. His career in political activism began at age 11 with a trip to the Massachusetts State House to berate a state representative who was planning to vote against marriage equality. Before joining VoteAmerica, Ben worked on the organizing technology team at the Elizabeth Warren campaign, building P2P texting software, election-day organizing tools, and workflow automations to support field and digital organizers. Previously, he served as first employee and architecture lead at Tulip as the company grew from 3 to over 75 people, and has held software engineering roles at Twitter and TripAdvisor. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lives in Cambridge, MA. Find him on the Internet at https://benweissmann.com.

Justin Jones, Director of Fundraising (he/him)

Justin Jones is the Director of Fundraising for VoteAmerica. His most recent roles include Chief Development Officer for the Democratic Party of Virginia and Communications Director for the successful Abigail Spanberger for Congress campaign. A California native, he is a former Legislative Staffer to San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, the first openly HIV-positive member on the board. He is the founder and past President of the United Democratic Club, where he raised nearly $1 million for the club's PAC in 2016. Beyond politics, he is a huge history buff and has an avowed green thumb. He and his wife, Sarah, reside in Richmond, VA with their rambunctious dog, Teddy Duke. Find him on Twitter: @justinsamjones

Amanda Crumley, Senior Communications Advisor (she/her)

Amanda Crumley is a Communications Strategist for VoteAmerica. She specializes in message development, political strategy, strategic communications, and business development. Over the course of her 28-year career, she devised communications strategy, managed political campaigns and advised candidates, elected officials, startups and other major clients in high-stakes winning elections, and advocacy and public affairs campaigns across the country.

As founder of Crumley Communications & Public Strategies, Amanda has advised a broad range of high-profile clients, including nonprofits, major corporations, labor unions, political campaigns and organizations, documentary filmmakers and startups. She’s also a longtime advisor to the civic tech startup Countable.us.

Crumley is a veteran of four presidential and multiple House, Senate and gubernatorial campaigns, and she spent more than four years in the Clinton White House. She has served as communications director for Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa, and as communications director on the winning gubernatorial campaigns of Governors Mike Easley (D-North Carolina) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia), and for gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides (D-California). In 2004, Crumley was the Deputy State Director for Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign in the winning battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Campaigns & Elections, the nation's leading magazine for political professionals, named Crumley as a “Rising Star of Politics” in 2002. The Arkansas Times named her a “Visionary Arkansan” in August 2014 for her work as co-founder and executive director of Southern Progress Fund, a political action committee dedicated to helping elect progressives in the South.

Eileen Lin, Director of Strategic Partnerships (she/her)

Eileen Lin is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at VoteAmerica. She focuses on creating strategic alliances with corporations, nonprofits and influencers to advance voter turnout. For almost 2 decades, Eileen has worked with Fortune 500 companies to design authentic partnerships for social, environmental and political causes. She joined VoteAmerica from The Nature Conservancy where she mobilized companies to support and implement nature-based solutions that build resilient, thriving cities. Previously Eileen led strategic stakeholder communications efforts for United Way Worldwide where she worked closely with multinational corporations to share the impact of their CSR initiatives in areas of education, income and health.

Eileen is an adjunct professor of corporate responsibility communications at George Washington University. She has a master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies from University of Virginia. Eileen is fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Japanese. She currently lives with her family in the Washington D.C. area with her husband, daughter and pup. Eileen is a foodie, dancer and a dog lover.

Rachael Firestone, Senior Principal Researcher (she/her)

Rachael Firestone is the Senior Principal Researcher for VoteAmerica. Rachael holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Political Science from The University of Alabama. She also completed Ph.D. coursework in political behavior and statistical methods at Vanderbilt University. Her background lies in executing projects at the intersection of politics and psychology for a variety of organizations. Her most recent projects include countering recruitment to violent extremism, voter evaluation of female candidates, and improving national survey measurement. She lives in Nashville, TN and enjoys spending time with her Doberman Pinschers, traveling, and hiking.

Amy Lam, Senior Software Engineer (she/her)

Amy Lam is a Senior Software Engineer at VoteAmerica. Amy is a product-minded developer with a focus on the frontend, having worked at U.S. Digital Response, BetterUp, and Fastly. Before moving to Silicon Valley, she had a previous career as a Mechanical Engineer at Boeing, earning her master’s degree from the University of Southern California and her bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Amy does open source programming as part of the Ember.js Core Learning Team and is a Mentor for Code2040. When she’s not making the web a better place, Amy enjoys playing dodgeball, walking her dog around San Francisco, and growing her houseplant collection.

Aisha McClendon, National Outreach Director (she/her)

Aisha McClendon is a Democratic strategist who built a respected career engaging communities that are often overlooked in state and national politics. A veteran presidential campaign operative, Aisha advised African American outreach efforts for Hillary for America during both the 2008 and 2016 races, served as a Constituency Director for Mike Bloomberg 2020 and National Director of African American Outreach for Beto For America. Hailing from Dallas, Aisha previously served as a Chief of Staff in the Texas State Legislator and helped launch efforts to engage Black women during Beto O’Rourke’s historic bid for U.S. Senate. Before returning back to politics full-time she was a fundraiser for some of the largest nonprofits in the DFW area. Aisha is also a proud daughter of Dillard University in New Orleans, LA.

Michael Snook, Product Manager (he/they)

Michael Snook is an organizer and technologist from Charlottesville, VA, where he started his work in activism knocking on doors and organizing volunteers on local elections, culminating in 2008 when he managed data, targeting and field strategy for Tom Perriello’s congressional race. In 2009 he entered the world of digital organizing as a founding staff member at BoldProgressives.org, where he worked on dozens of congressional and statewide campaigns and managed the organization’s national Get Out The Vote campaign for four years. From 2014 to 2019, Snook was the Director of Technology for an international community of digital-first activist organisations across 20 countries and five continents (www.the-open.net). After 5 years he is back in the US, living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tamara Sadler, Deputy National Outreach Director (she/her)

Tamara Sadler is the Deputy National Outreach Director at VoteAmerica. She’s a Texas-based political operative recognized for her ability to get things done by empowering communities through organizing, outreach, and education. Since 2003, Tamara has worked in the weeds of public policy, political campaigns, and management. Before joining VoteAmerica, Tamara was the Texas Chief of Staff for Mike Bloomberg 2020. She served over 16+ years as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives, tasked with carrying out comprehensive legislative agendas, stakeholder relations, and overseeing the day-to-day operations needed to serve diverse constituencies. Tamara currently lives in the Dallas Metro area with her husband and two sons, Jordan and Chance. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

William O’Malley, National SMS Program Manager (he/him)

William is a proud Baltimorean and Marylander who has a passion for civic tech and getting Gen Z involved in the electoral process. Before coming to VoteAmerica, Will worked in communications roles for the Iowa Democratic Party and Beto for America. Prior to that, Will worked at Hustle, one of the country's leading SMS platforms, where he aided dozens of progressive organizations, campaigns, and government entities in their peer to peer outreach programs. You can find Will chiming in on Maryland political twitter @WilliamPOMalley or paddle boarding on one of the many Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

Nancy Ozeas, Deputy Communications Director (she/her)

Nancy leads the development and implementation of growth, impact, philanthropic, partnership and board strategies for multiple organizations, clients have included: SoLa Impact, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Milken Institute and Smith & Company.

Prior experience includes leadership positions with the Clinton-Gore Administration and Office of the New York City Comptroller where Nancy oversaw the Comptroller’s legislative agenda and was primary liaison to the 64 Business Improvement Districts. As Chief of Staff of the Information Bureau at the U.S. Information Agency, Nancy developed a public-private partnership that established a technology and communications infrastructure designed to aid Kosovo war refugees. As Director of Strategic Communications for the State Department, she served on the interagency national security team, developing integrated communications strategies to explain and build support for U.S. foreign policy. Nancy returned to Kosovo as Vice President of International Medical Corps, an international relief organization, was Director of Communications at UCLA and Human Rights First, and Executive Director of Step Up Women’s Network, a nonprofit that supports women and girls in underserved communities. Nancy was also Special Assistant to former Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein.

Nancy is active in the LA community in the areas of homelessness, economic mobility, social justice and women’s issues and is a founding member of the LA Women’s Collective.

Annie Weinberg, National Electoral Director (she/her)

With over a decade of grassroots organizing and senior leadership roles on top campaigns, Annie has become a national leader in voter targeting, electorate expansion, campaign strategy, strategic planning and organizational coaching for candidates and movement organizations. After getting her start in environmental justice work, organizing around the fight against water privatization, Annie joined MoveOn full time in 2009, spearheading field organizing efforts across the Great Plains/Midwest states, building virtual trainings for their 8 million members, and eventually directing House candidate recruitment efforts. She went on to serve as the Chief of Staff for Congressional Progressive Caucus’ foundation, supporting progressive partnerships and strategies for their 78 member offices. In 2014, Annie took on the role of Electoral Director at Democracy for America, the 1.2 million member people-powered PAC - there, she grew the endorsement program sixfold, launched the “Transforming Cities” Initiative to invest in critical yet under-resourced municipal races, designed a program to train over 25,000 grassroots leaders in voter contact in the last presidential cycle, and built a team that delivered field, fundraising, media, and strategy resources for partner campaigns, helping to elect 618 progressives across the country, up and downballot, in all 50 states. She is a Movement School mentor and “victory professor”, teaching courses on campaign culture, electorate expansion and voter targeting, and has served as senior adviser to movement organizations like Showing Up for Racial Justice, Our Revolution, and ParentsTogether. Will also choreograph your flashmob.

Daniela Dusak, Voter Services Coordinator (she/they)

Daniela is a helper by nature and is here to provide information to folks through all parts of the voting process. They've previously worked with Vote.org doing administrative work and voter outreach.

Brenna Cully, National Text Out the Vote Program Manager (she/her)

Brenna is the National Text Out the Vote Program Coordinator with VoteAmerica. She got her start in politics in 2019 as the Deputy Director of Distributed Organizing on the Andrew Yang campaign. During the Yang campaign she ran the 1200 member volunteer texting team and helped to harness the passion of tens of thousands of volunteers around the country. Since then, she has helped multiple down ballot candidates launch distributed direct voter contact programs. Brenna also built a volunteer program to help Humanity Forward distribute over 6 million dollars in COVID Relief Micro Grants to families impacted by the pandemic. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her pets (cats Minerva and Filius and dog Neville), hiking in the beautiful PNW, and cooking overly complex meals.

Lauren Lau, National Text Out the Vote Program Coordinator (meow/meow)

Lauren Lau is a Program Coordinator on the SMS Team at VoteAmerica. Meow thinks partisan politics with two parties is an unfortunate dynamic that wields more power than it was ever meant to have. Also, that politics in general is no fun. Mleh!

Lauren lives in California and aspires to live in Alaska. Meow enjoys lots and lots of sunshine but also desperately appreciates the unadultured night sky, free from light pollution. Lauren loves reddit (for kitties! and banter!), misses tabletop gaming in person (since COVID), and manages the Email Response Team at Humanity Forward (bcuz am soo gud with werrrds!). Lauren will probably dedicate meow's life to spreading the Way (of Meow).

Jennifer Lauv, National SMS Program Coordinator (she/her)

Jennifer Lauv is the SMS Program Coordinator for VoteAmerica. She earned a Bachelor's in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at MIT, Jennifer held various leadership positions in many student organizations, including being the project manager for two sustainability programs and communications coordinator for a climate activism group. During her senior year, she was Fall Career Fair Week-of Logistics Co-Director for the largest career fair the institution holds annually and the Engineering Team Lead on her capstone project. Prior to joining VoteAmerica, she worked as a mechanical engineer at L3Harris and volunteered with the Yang2020 presidential campaign, where she helped scale up the volunteer texting program as the campaign gained momentum.

Fellows & Interns

Sage Weil, Distinguished Fellow (he/him)

Sage Weil is taking 2020 off from his day job to work with VoteAmerica on voter registration and turnout. In less troubled times, he is a Senior Distinguished Engineer at Red Hat, where he leads the Ceph open source project and developer community. Sage helped create Ceph, a scalable distributed storage system, as part of the dissertation at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007. In 2011, he co-founded Inktank, a start-up focused on productizing Ceph storage for the enterprise that was acquired by Red Hat in 2014. In his more formative years, Sage co-founded DreamHost (a Los Angeles-based web hosting company) in 1997 while a student at Harvey Mudd College, and created WebRing (a tool for organizing and finding web sites on the early web) in 1995.

Jeffrey Rodriguez, Democracy Fellow (he/him)

Jeffrey Rodriguez is a Research Associate Fellow for VoteAmerica. He has worked in student government advocating for equitable access for courses, interned at the Department of Education under the Teach To Lead Initiative, and interned for the Stanford Philanthropy and Civil Society as a research assistant researching how people give. Recently, he has focused on fundraising and managing funds for support programs for both students and workers impacted by COVID-19. He enjoys making mixed media art (photography, water color, and acrylic), reading about social justice, and laying in the sun.

Hamzah Daud, Partnerships Intern (he/him)

Hamzah Daud finds third person bios like these quite awkward, so he will use first person. Getting that out of the way, I’m an undergraduate at Stanford University majoring in international relations with a concentration in national security. I began in the world of politics and public policy at the age of 15 when I led a student coalition to renew the District of Choice program in the California State Assembly. Since then I’ve worked in different capacities on city council, state senate, and congressional campaigns. More recently, I've been doing research on presidential decision making, public opinion on the use of nuclear weapons, and the stopping power of international legal and ethical norms. I hope to one day become a constitutional lawyer focussing on first, fourth, and fourteenth amendment rights. I also have unhealthy obsessions with the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Formula 1, and Eminem.

Ryan Kang, Fundraising Intern (he/him)

Ryan Kang is a third year Economics undergraduate at Stanford University and a proud transfer student from the California community college system. Passionate about housing, elections, and health policy, his studies have focused on the economic inequalities of these issues while his work has focused on directly serving the vulnerable communities impacted.

He is here at VoteAmerica because of what Dr. King once called “the fierce urgency of now”—no one can stand on the sidelines of this election, just as no one can stand on the sidelines of change. And he is compelled to be a part of that change.

In his off time he enjoys playing guitar, piano, and singing terribly in the shower for his unfortunate neighbors.

Chris Massey, Fundraising Intern (he/him)

Chris Massey is a Fundraising Intern at VoteAmerica. He is an undergraduate at the University of Denver majoring in political science, where he has spent time studying political theory and has recently focused his research projects onto Latin American politics. He has worked as a canvasser for Jared Polis for Governor and mental health initiatives, such as Caring for Denver. Before interning at VoteAmerica, he was an intern at Vote.org. He is interested in a career in Law in the future. In his free time he likes to camp, hike, read books pertaining to history, and learn how to blow glass.

Leah Smart, Fundraising Intern (she/her)

Leah Smart is a Fundraising Intern at VoteAmerica. She is a senior at Harvard University concentrating in sociology. Her specific focus is on diversity initiatives in corporate settings leading her to work on two nationwide research projects in the tech and financial sectors to work towards creating a more equitable workplace. She has worked as a volunteer and canvasser for multiple elections in her hometown of Charlotte, NC since the age of 15, and prior to joining VoteAmerica, she was an intern for the Social Innovation & Change Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Finance Intern for the Democratic Party of Virginia. Leah will hopefully be attending graduate school after graduation. When she has time, Leah enjoys dancing, reading fantasy novels, sending messages with too many exclamation points and binge watching K-dramas.

Meghan Smith, Research Associate (she/her)

Meghan Smith is a research associate for VoteAmerica. She holds a master’s degree in Security Policy Studies from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mississippi. She has a background of working in policy and incident analysis, and has spent the majority of her educational and professional experiences working on topics of extremism, Middle East studies, Iranian geopolitics, and Islamism. Her most recent professional experiences have included the ‘Mpower Project, The U.S. Department of State and The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism. On her days off, Meghan enjoys spending time with her German shepherd, hiking, reading books pertaining to forensic psychology, kayaking, and finding exciting DIY projects to complete.