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.
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.
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.
Jennifer Lauv, Data Analyst (she/her)
Jennifer Lauv is the Data Analyst 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.
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.