In Chicago

Oct. 18th

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Who should come?
This conference is for anyone that wants to reshape the future of politics in America. We are ALL NewFounders. This is past calling reps and resistance. We're going to directly bridge you into teams solving critical problems based on your skill set, so you can work alongside leaders as a leader to make the change we need.

Come with any background--all you need is a desire to build a better democracy!



Alex Niemczewski

Alex Niemczewski is CEO and co-founder of BallotReady, an award-winning nonpartisan online voter guide to every race and referendum on the ballot. Previously she founded a research consulting firm and taught coding at the Booth School of Business and The Starter League. She has a background in workforce development and is an alum of The University of Chicago.

Ari Wallach

Ari Wallach is the founder and CEO of Synthesis Corp., a New York City based strategic consultancy that lives at the intersection of innovation, technology and purpose driven culture. Synthesis works with governments, NGOs, foundations, and corporations at the C-suite level to discover new ways to drive sustainable innovation, rethink business models and improve top-line metrics. Clients include organizations such as CNN, Ford Foundation, UNHCR, VW, Pew Research Center and the US State Department.

Ayesha Qazi

Ayesha Qazi is a science educator at Northside College Preparatory High School and a teaching fellow for Science Education for Excellence and EQuity for Chicago (Project SEEEC) supported and funded by National Science Foundation. She is the Green Ambassadors Coordinator at the Field Museum of Natural History and helps facilitate a seven week summer program called Green Ambassadors. Ayesha completed her undergraduate and graduate study at University of Illinois at Chicago in Biological Sciences and Science Education.

A’shanti F. Gholar

A’shanti F. Gholar is the Political Director for Emerge America, the only organization dedicated to recruiting, training, and empowering Democratic women to run for public office. For 15 years, A’shanti has been a grassroots organizer and activist for women, communities of color, and progressive causes. She has experience in building coalitions, program development, and community and political engagement. Prior to coming to Emerge America, A’shanti served as the National Deputy Director of Community Engagement and Director of African American Engagement for the Democratic National Committee. A’shanti has also served as the Manager of National Partnerships for United Way Worldwide, as a political appointee in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor, and as the Director of Public Engagement for the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee in Charlotte, NC. A'shanti can be reached via email at

Betsy Hoover

Betsy has deep experience with political technology. Her political career began in 2007 as an organizer on the first Obama Campaign. In 2012, she served as the National Digital Organizing Director, sitting at the intersection of field, digital, and technology. In 2013, Betsy co-founded 270 Strategies - a public engagement firm that works with political campaigns, causes, and companies all over the world. She started HGL because she is still recommending the same tools to clients now that she used as an organizer 10 years ago.

Betsy is an organizer first. She has been recognized by Business Insider as “at the forefront of political innovation" and was featured on Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30: Law & Policy" list for her work on the president's re-election campaign.

Brady Kriss

Brady happily finds herself wedged into the center bit of the Venn diagram of technology, tech policy, customer advocacy, community organizing, and democratic participation. In 2011 and 2012, she worked for the Obama for America campaign, first as a call center coordinator, and then as Director of Support, leading a team of interns and volunteers providing tech support for the myriad products put out by the campaign's Tech and Digital teams. In 2016, she organized volunteers to create Open Source tools to support progressive candidates with DevProgress. Brady lives in San Francisco with her family, which includes a dog. Maybe. Could be a gremlin. Brady is still looking into it.

Carmen Perez

Carmen Perez is something of a Renaissance woman in modern-day activism. She has dedicated 20 years to advocating for many of today's important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing.

Catherine Vaughn

Catherine leads flippable’s strategy and business development. Catherine recently led Ohio’s out-of-state volunteer team for the Hillary Clinton campaign. She has a background in consulting (McKinsey, Bridgespan) and international development. Catherine holds a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.

Colleen Chen

Professor Colleen Chien is nationally known for her research and publications surrounding domestic and international patent law and policy issues. She has testified before Congress, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the US Patent and Trademark Office on patent issues. From 2013-2015 she served in the Obama Administration as White House Senior Advisor, Intellectual Property and Innovation, working on a broad range of patent, copyright, technology transfer, open innovation, educational innovation, and other issues. She frequently lectures at national law conferences and has published several in-depth empirical studies of the patent system, including of patent-assertion entities (PAEs) (a term she coined), patent litigation, and the secondary market for patents. Her work has been featured in popular outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, as well as in academic publications including the Texas Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review.

Professor Chien is a recipient of the American Law Institute Early Career (“Young Scholar”) Medal and has been named a Eric Yamamoto Emerging Scholar, one of the 50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property and one of Silicon Valley’s “Women of Influence.”

Prior to joining the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 2007, Professor Chien prosecuted patents at Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco, as an associate and then Special Counsel. She has been a Fellow at the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences, and Visiting Senior Scholar at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law and Technology. She also did stints as a strategy consultant at Dean and Company, a spacecraft engineer at NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab, and an investigative journalist at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (as a Fulbright Scholar). She lives in the east bay with her husband and their two sons.

Corliss King

Multi-faceted, solutions-driven, and highly focused project management professional with an impeccable 10+-year track record of strategically focused experience in the design, implementation, and management of business, project, and IT related projects. Hands-on experience leading all stages of system development efforts combined with the desire to drive for effective and efficient work while applying both reactive and preventive leadership to achieve quality results. Critical thinker and adept negotiator, expert in managing people, technology, and processes. Outstanding program leader with the demonstrated ability to coordinate and direct all phases of project-based efforts while managing, motivating, and guiding teams.

Cortney Tunis

Cortney Tunis is the Executive Director of Pantsuit Nation, an online community of 4 million people that puts the power of storytelling at the heart of politics. Members come together to listen, to build trust and resilience in the face of hate and fear, and to share resources to effectively resist the current administration. Pantsuit Nation amplifies the voices of those who are under threat in order to increase awareness, spark action, and drive social change. Before joining the Pantsuit Nation team, Cortney worked in nonprofit executive search, student affairs and library systems in higher ed, and in museum education at history and contemporary art museums. She has a B.A. from Williams College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.B.A. from Boston University.

Donnie Fowler

Donnie Fowler is an American entrepreneur and political activist. He has worked in the technology, telecommunications, and political world for more than 25 years (including time in the Clinton White House, at the Federal Communications Commission, as vice president at Silicon Valley’s TechNet, and as a founder of two companies that cross the technology and public spaces).

Doug Hattaway

Doug leads and advises project teams to create research-based strategies, content and campaigns. He is passionate about adapting insights and innovations from the social sciences to enhance the power of strategic communications. He has nearly three decades of experience working with high-profile leaders in politics, government, business, nonprofits and philanthropy. He worked closely with leaders such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and successful candidates for the U.S. House, Senate and governor. He was Gore’s spokesman for the 2000 presidential campaign and Florida recount, which was called the “political story of the century.” He has traveled to dozens of countries to work with government leaders, political parties and nonprofit organizations in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Early in his career, he worked as a press secretary to a senior member of Congress and as a freelance foreign correspondent in South America, the Caribbean and Europe. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a master's degree in English from Florida State University. For fun, he hangs out with his two awesome sons, barbecues almost anything that’s edible, and enjoys open-water swimming, mountain biking, adventure travel and other hazardous pursuits.

Emily Baum

Emily has been on all sides of the funding conversation -- as a company founder, a coach to startups, and now a funder herself as Managing Director of Reboot Democracy. In the wake of the 2016 election, Reboot Democracy was created to bring innovators in technology and politics together to spur the development of tools that will revolutionize our democratic system. Emily served as a design thinking and lean coach/mentor for the Citrix Innovators Program at the Citrix Startup Accelerator, and holds degrees in Neuroscience and Musical Theatre from USC. She graduated from The MMM Program at Northwestern University in 2013 with a Masters of Engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering, an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management, and a certificate in Design Thinking & Innovation from the Segal Design Institute. Emily is also CEO and founder of Keyrious, a successful luxury wearable tech startup, but put that life on hold in order to focus full-time on the challenges of the current political moment.

Erin Mazursky

Erin Mazursky is the Founder and Executive Director of Rhize, a new venture that is re-designing and the function and experience of democracy towards more participatory, just and flourishing communities through the innovation of collective action. Erin brings over a decade of experience in movement-building, technology, human rights and advocacy to her work, having worked with social and political movements around the world, including in Turkey, India, and Albania.

Before starting Rhize, Erin worked at Purpose, a social enterprise that incubates and launches global social movements. There, Erin helped to lead some of Purpose’s biggest projects, most notably with the American Civil Liberties Union and CARE International, which integrated movement-building, technology and citizen advocacy to increase the social impact. Prior to this, Erin worked for President Obama’s 2008 election campaign and went on to serve as the Youth Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she helped author the first global policy on youth development and made youth a central part of the Agency’s broader development efforts.

Erin began her career as a youth advocate herself as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of STAND, a leading organization in the anti-genocide advocacy movement that became one of the largest student organizations in the country, with over 800 high school and college chapters nationwide, and continued her anti-genocide work as the Coalition Manager and Board Member of the Save Darfur Coalition. Erin served on the 2008 Presidential Inaugural Committee after having worked on President Obama’s general election campaign in Florida. Erin is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a 2010 Fellow at the New Leaders Council, an Aspen Ideas Festival Fellow, a fellow at the Impact Center’s Women’s Executive Leadership Program and a Security Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.

Erin Vilardi

Erin Vilardi is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VRL as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including the Yahoo! Business and Human Rights division and Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she developed the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis. She has worked with a diverse range of clients including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi serves on the Advisory Boards of Girl Meets World, the New American Leaders Project, and and is on the Leadership Teams of Vision2020 and Political Parity. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor. She has appeared on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership. Get in touch:

Gentry Lane

Gentry Lane is the CEO of Societas Analytics, a civic behavior/political data strategy and analysis firm. She is also the founder of the Rebel Action Network, a national network of first-time grassroot activists. A serial social-impact entrepreneur Lane has been recognized for her business acumen here and in her adoptive home of Paris, France.

Heidi Sieck

Award-winning, transformational C-Level civic entrepreneur with lifetime commitment to political organizing and foundational systems intervention - particularly elevating women to positions of leadership.

Innovative creator of companies, organizations and social movements using digital communication and technology.

Inspirational keynote speaker presenting on women in leadership, civic technology and political innovation.

Twenty-five years of experience in organizing, working with federal, state, and local elected and appointed officials in government and private-sector technology organizations.

Certified PMP with successful portfolio of multi-million dollar technology and facility projects.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) trained Section Chief and certified Incident Command System (ICS) and Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government (COOP/COG) trainer.

Jen Tolentino

Jen Tolentino is Rock the Vote’s Director of Policy & Civic Tech. She manages the continued development of its online voter registration platform, coordinates external voter registration partnerships, and spearheads all voting rights, election administration and technology policy work.

Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Jen spent two years working on the Voting Information Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts. During her tenure at Pew, Jen led the state and local government outreach, working with election officials to make critical voting information available online and accessible to voters. She has also spent time engaging advocates across the country on preservation issues at the National Trust, worked as a graduate student researcher to former Gov. Michael Dukakis, and served as a Post-Secondary Coach with For Love Of Children.

Jen is based in Los Angeles and a native Californian, receiving her BA in English from UC Riverside, and her MPP from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Jonathan Zucker

Jonathan Zucker, founder of It Starts Today, is a progressive campaign finance attorney and political technology entrepreneur who has been at the heart of some of the most innovative campaign finance initiatives of the last fifteen years.

Jonathan was the first employee of ActBlue, where he served as the first COO and second CEO between 2005 and 2008. During his tenure, ActBlue grew from $870k in total donations to over $85 million. Before joining ActBlue, Jonathan was the national director of operations for finance at the Democratic National Committee, overseeing the infrastructure of the DNC’s record-breaking $100-million major donor program during the 2004 election.

After leaving ActBlue, Jonathan founded Democracy Engine: a donation-processing platform that's all about executing complex political contributions (in compliance, of course, with applicable laws and regulations). In 2011, he joined as co-founder and COO, since 2013 he’s been serving as senior strategist and counsel to Crowdpac, and in 2014, he co-founded and

Before getting into political technology, Jonathan took on the roles of field organizer, fundraiser, administrator, and attorney for a variety of progressive organizations, including the Interfaith Alliance, Human Rights Campaign, Color of Change, Genderpac, Democratic Leadership Council, and the Gill Foundation.

Jonathan has authored, commissioned, and/or consulted on several groundbreaking Advisory Opinions from the Federal Election Commission. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Yale University.

Jon Carson

Jon Carson is the CEO and Founder of Trajectory Energy, a solar development company founded in 2017 that focuses on landscape-integrated, community supported utility scale solar. Prior to founding Trajectory, Jon spent 2 years at SolarCity, serving a year each as Senior Director on the Policy and Electric Markets team and as the Senior Director of the Solar Ambassador program.

Prior to joining SolarCity in December 2014, Jon was the Executive Director of Organizing for Action, a grassroots advocacy movement built by millions of volunteers and focused on building local capacity and training the next generation of progressive organizers. Carson was previously the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Assistant to the President from January 2011 through January 2013. Before leading OPE, he served as the Chief of Staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) from 2009-2010. Prior to joining the Administration, Carson was the National Field Director for President Barack Obama's campaign in 2008 and worked on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition team. Prior to the Obama campaign, Jon worked on political campaigns across the country.

Carson served in the Peace Corps in southern Honduras for two years, building water systems for rural villages and teaching land surveying. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and received a Master’s Degree in Geography from the University of California-Los Angeles. He lives in Highland Park, IL, with his wife Rebecca and their three children.

Josh Silver

Josh Silver is the co-founder and director of Represent.Us, the nation's largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign, bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to fix our broken political system. In just five years, Represent.Us has grown to more than half a million members – and passed dozens of Anti-Corruption Acts and Resolutions around the country, including the nation’s first statewide Anti-Corruption Act in South Dakota. A veteran election and media reform executive, he was the campaign manager for the successful 1998 Arizona Clean Elections ballot initiative, and the co-founder and former CEO of Free Press, a leading media and technology reform advocacy organization.

Silver has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and featured in outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, NPR, and CBS SundayMorning.

Julie Menter

Julie Menter is a Principal at New Media Ventures, a national network of early stage investors supporting startups that create progressive political change.

Throughout her career, Julie has searched for opportunities to make a positive impact on the world around her. As a strategy consultant, first with the Boston Consulting Group and then with Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, she has worked with large companies and non-profit organizations to redefine what good business means.

Julie is also a co-founder of the GreenerMind Summit: a 3-day retreat for change makers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She is originally from France where she received her MBA.

Kathyrn Poindexter

Campaign Greenhouse founder Kathryn is an award-winning political consultant who has spent more than fifteen years working on campaigns of all shapes and sizes. Most recently she was the Director of Political Strategy at the Analyst Institute, helping the progressive community share, understand and take advantage of evidence from field research in campaigning. In 2016 Kathryn (also known as KP) was recognized as one of the American Association of Political Consultants' top 40 under 40 political professionals.

Kelly Dietrich

Kelly is the founder of the National Democratic Training Committee, The NDTC PAC provides any Democrat running for office free access to online campaign training. There is no litmus test and the NDTC does not make endorsements. We just want to train as many good Democratic candidates as possible. Trainings are all available 24/7 and available online. While they can be used for any level of campaign, we are focused on helping smaller, local campaigns who cannot afford access to professional staff and consultants.

Kipp Mueller

Kipp Mueller runs The Resurgent Left. He is a plaintiff employment attorney living in Los Angeles, and holds a BA from Berkeley and a JD from Columbia. Originally from Sacramento, Kipp has consistently dabbled in politics but finally took the dive in the wake of Trump's victory in 2016.He now seeks to help Democratic state and local candidates (primarily women/POC) with their campaigns, looking to help rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up.

Leslie Danks Burke

In 2016, Leslie Danks Burke took on a long-time incumbent Republican State Senator in the vast, rural, conservative, 58th district of New York, where only 32% of voters are registered Democratic. She garnered 45% of the vote. While not enough to win, pulling 13 points over the base registration against a sitting incumbent happened few places in a tough year for Democrats. Leslie and her team credit this outcome to their "Front Porch Politics," a relentless outreach to voters in all corners.

Leslie and her team promptly founded Trailblazers PAC to rechannel the momentum from this groundbreaking campaign to benefit 2017 localoffice candidates across New York State and Pennsylvania. With a strict focus on races at the county level and below, Trailblazers PAC has already trained over 450 candidates and supporters this year, and is winning races where none were contested before. To qualify for the nonpartisan PAC’s innovative matching funds program, candidates must develop a hyper-local base of support and demonstrably work toward clean government.

A 2002 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Leslie was born and raised in Denver Colorado, where her parents have farmed corn and wheat for the past 25 years. She has been active with scores of local and national political campaigns, always with Tip O'Neill's admonition that "all politics is local." She is a past Planned Parenthood board member, and in 2013 founded a Democratic Women network for candidates and their supporters across rural NY.

Leslie is a proud hockey mom and Girl Scouts leader. Her favorite activity is spending time outdoors with her family.

Michaela Bethune

Michaela Bethune is Head of Campaigns at – the largest tech company exclusively for young people and social change. DoSomething activates over 5.5 million young people to make positive change, online and off, in every US area code and in over 131 countries. Michaela leads the department responsible for the creation, execution and evaluation of over 300 cause campaigns, tackling issues ranging from climate change to the school to prison pipeline. Through these campaigns, members have clothed over half of America's teens in homeless shelters, cleaned up 3.7 million cigarette butts around the world, and created Happy Ramadan cards to send to every single mosque in America.

Nayla Hale

Nayla Hale is a 2017 graduate from Kenwood Academy located in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago IL. Nayla has held numerous leadership positions despite her young age including, president of the debate Kenwood’s debate team, President of Community Service for the organizing club FOCUS, captain of the Blackstone Bicycle Works cyclocross (bicycle racing) team, KenPals mentoring program. In 2015 Nayla created a non-profit organization called Impact! whose focus is teaching students the importance of community service, political literacy, activism and civic engagement. She is a featured speaker for Illinois Humanities and has been selected by CPS to meet with Gov. Rauner and other key leaders around youth and education. Throughout her career as a student in Chicago she participated and organized a variety of protests and political demonstrations around education equality and civil and human rights. She has also lobbied Congress with unions around political action and labor issues representing the youth perspective.

After graduating from Kenwood with honors from the National Honors Society, Nayla went on to attend Howard University in Washington DC. There she is majoring in International Business which she plans to use to be a better advocate for economic and human rights issues on a global stage. More specifically Nayla's goals are to become the youngest U.S. Senator ever elected, to expand her non-profit Impact! Across the globe and give young people of color the space and opportunity to be their greatest selves.

Neal Sales-Griffin

Neal Sales-Griffin is the CEO of CodeNow, a Y Combinator-backed nonprofit that hosts coding workshops for students from low-income backgrounds in six cities across the US. Before heading CodeNow, Sales-Griffin was the CEO of The Starter League, an institution determined "to teach everyone to code," with an innovative cirriculum and strong alumni connections. He also serves as a coordinator to the non-profit International Game Developers Association (IGDA®). Sales-Griffin lends his mentorship to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.

Sales-Griffin earned his B.S. in Education and Social Policy (with a concentration in Learning and Organizational Change), and his Minor in Business Institutions from Northwestern University in 2009.

Nick O’Neill

Nick O’Neill is a cofounder of 5calls, a civic action tool. Post the last election, Nick wanted an easy way to register dissent on a regular basis once Trump began trying to put various elements of his platform into effect. With about two months’ worth of help from his wife, Rebecca Kaufman, and several friends, O’Neill created 5 Calls, a website aimed at making complaints to members of Congress as easy as possible. Users type in their Zip codes and indicate which decisions or policy moves they oppose—a Trump cabinet pick, his Supreme Court nominee, the Jan. 27 ban on immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries—and the site returns the local representative’s phone number and a script for the call, written by Kaufman.

Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson is a Chicago native, born and raised, and current resident of the Southside's Englewood neighborhood. Nicole's interests and professional commitments address an intersection of education, youth development, policy, and civic engagement.

Currently she serves as the Data & Communications Manager with Teamwork Englewood. Teamwork is a nonprofit organization, located in the Englewood neighborhood, intended to connect residents to resources, build capacity among community based organizations, and manage the oversight of the Englewood Quality of Life Plan. Nicole is developing a community driven zoning advisory council, and evaluates the progress of the organization's outreach programs. She is also on the Host Committee of the United State of Women, birthed from the White House Council on Women.

Prior to this role, Nicole served as the Policy & Program Manager for Chicago Votes. During her successful run at Chicago Votes, she drove the organizations’ last leg of voter registration, facilitated election season “Get Out The Vote” townhalls throughout the city, and helped plan and execute the “Parade to the Polls” with Chance the Rapper, Social Works, Prime Fortune, TurboVote, Ballot Ready, and Boost Your Voice. Nicole is also a former 3rd grade Chicago Public Schools Mathematics teacher.

Nicole completed her graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, and National Louis University, and undergraduate at the University of Michigan.

Nolan Love

As a pre-med student at Johns Hopkins, I learned both the power of personal education and the wisdom of deferring to experts when necessary to make optimal decisions. As a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, I came to fully understand the value of our right to vote after witnessing violent riots erupt during unfair elections. And during my 15 years as an Internet developer in San Francisco, I have been crafting technology to improve connectivity and collaboration. PollVault is an expression of these values, and a celebration of democracy as it was intended to be: well-informed and all-inclusive.

Peter H. Hanna

Peter Hanna is an accomplished privacy, data protection, and intellectual property lawyer, and has broad and extensive experience advising clients on the most complicated issues at the intersection of technology and law. He has testified before lawmakers and presented on significant data privacy and security trends, issues, and implications throughout the United States and abroad. Combining a background in electrical engineering with broad experience counseling clients across different industries and practice areas, clients seek Mr. Hanna’s expertise and leadership to help navigate some of the most challenging legal issues arising in the technology sector today.

In addition to his private practice, Peter is actively involved in the community, serving as the President of the ACLU of Illinois Next Generation Society, and is a founding director of the Digital Privacy Alliance.

Raffi Krikorian

Technology is more and more integrated with our political process every day. It is a major force in our democracy. My goal at Twitter was to make our infrastructure rock solid so that engineers could focus on the user. At the DNC, I want to do the same — I want us to be a resource for our state parties so they can focus on their voters. You can reach me at

I'm the former Director of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center, and was responsible for the first ever launch of Self-Driving Ubers. We first deployed the self driving fleet on September 14, 2016 in Pittsburgh, PA. You can see some of my work here, here, and here.

I'm also formerly the VP of Engineering - Platform at Twitter. Platform was in charge of reliability and efficiency: we built everything from the custom storage engines, to the compute / scheduling engines that ran in the datacenters, the core business logic of Twitter (the Tweet service, User service, Timeline service), to the APIs that power the third party ecosystem as well as the Twitter clients. During the World Cup of 2010, Twitter was down repeatedly due to load - during the World Cup of 2014, Twitter survived record traffic with nearly five 9s of uptime.

Previously, I was a co-founder in (which was named by Business Week as the "Best Idea"​ in 2008), I was the Author of "TiVo Hacks"​ (published by O'Reilly in 2003), and used to teach at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Rita Bosworth

Rita is the founder and visionary behind Sister District, and she oversees all aspects of the Project. This is her debut into political activism, and she is committed to restoring control of the government to the majority of Americans, where it belongs. Rita holds a B.A. from University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She is a public interest attorney in San Jose.

Ross Morales Rocketto

Ross Morales Rocketto is a Principal at the Smoot Tewes Group where he manages large-scale advocacy and electoral efforts. In that role, he currently serves as the Senior Digital Advisor with For Our Future, which is currently working to mobilize and empower people and community-based organizations to drive real change and advance a shared progressive agenda. Ross has spent more than a decade managing issue and electoral campaigns as well as consulting with large institutions ranging from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies to startups and nonprofits. He also spent time working at Deloitte Consulting’s innovation center, where he helped worked with the White House to develop policy solutions to support the growth of social enterprise and impact investing. While at Deloitte, Ross also worked in various roles for clients including managing the day-to-day communications operation for a multi-billion dollar government agency. In 2012, Ross managed a successful campaign to convince the Office of Personnel Management to extend healthcare to Wildland firefighters that was featured in the Washington Post, Denver Post, and on NBC’s Nightly News. He also worked multiple election cycles across the country in Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Texas. In 2007, Ross worked in Iowa for Governor Bill Richardson’s campaign for president, after serving as Deputy Field Director for Julian Castro’s 2005 campaign for mayor of San Antonio. A proud native of Houston, Ross attended undergrad at Trinity University and earned his master’s in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. Ross currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife Jess and his dog (Nacho) and two cats (Mister President and Baby Kitty).

Saikat Chakrabarti

Saikat Chakrabarti is a cofounder of Brand New Congress. BNC was launched by volunteers and former staffers from Bernie 2016 to build on the tools, tactics and networks they developed together on the Bernie campaign and elect a Brand New Congress that works for everyone. Previously, Saikat helped to shape and implement the national volunteer organizing strategy on the Bernie Sanders campaign as the Director of Organizing Technology. Before joining the political revolution, Saikat helped start the product team at Stripe, a company building payments infrastructure for the internet, and he co-founded Mockingbird, a real-time collaborative tool for making wireframes for websites and web applications.

Sam Frank

Sam Frank comes from a history of progressive organizers. His grandfather, Angelo Geocaris, stood side-by-side with Chicago titans Harold Washington, Abner Mikva, and Newton Minow to fight the political patronage problems that plagued Chicago in the late 20th century. Today, Sam fuses technology with time tested organizing practices to help movements leverage digital tools to engage and drive action from their audiences. Inspired by the successful digital organizing efforts of the Bernie Sanders Campaign, Sam joined the Progressive Coders network, a group of tech volunteers who built much of the campaign's digital infrastructure. His technology nonprofit, Blue Boost, builds tools and advises progressive organizations on how to interact with the vast landscape of internet to bring about positive change in the world. Currently, Sam is working with Lawyer's for Good Government, organizing thousands of lawyers across the country to fight for civil, voting, and personal rights in our current era of growing authoritarianism.

Shawn Riegsecker

Shawn Riegsecker is a founding board member of The Centrist Project, America’s first “Unparty” which aims to strategically elect independent candidates who can break though political gridlock and serve as a voice for all those in the sensible center. His passion area is education and since 2013, he has been an advisor for Connecting Learning Assures Successful Students (C.L.A.S.S.), an Indianapolis-based non-profit that uses the intersections of research-based disciplines like neuroscience, cognitive psychology, technology and physics to design curriculum and instruction. He is the founder and CEO of Centro, a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations and the record holder for most consecutive times voted as the #1 Best Place to Work in Chicago by Crain’s. Shawn is also a startup angel investor and a frequent speaker on the importance of progressive company culture as the key to building happy and financially strong organizations.

Steve Marciniak

Originally from the Chicago area, Steven Marciniak graduated from the University of Illinois in Fall 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Management-Entrepreneurship. Shortly after graduation, he was introduced to a lobbyist at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce who was in need of a better solution for tracking legislation. Steven instantly recognized not only the business potential, but also the significance of government transparency and involvement, and founded TrackBill. The following year was an uphill battle where he found himself on food stamps, sleeping on a friend's couch, and selling his plasma to get the company off the ground.

In February 2013, TrackBill moved to St. Louis as one of five startups, out of 120, to gain acceptance into the Capital Innovators accelerator program. After successfully completing the three-month curriculum, TrackBill caught the attention of Arch Grants and became one of 20 companies, out of 707, to receive funding from the global startup competition. Cultivation Capital and Serra Ventures then swooped in with additional capital, bringing the total amount raised to over $1.4 million.

Currently, TrackBill serves over 250 organizations nationwide, from Fortune 50 companies to small non-profits. This year, the team expects revenues in excess of $500,000.

Stephanie Schriock

Since Stephanie took charge in 2010, EMILY’s List has seen unprecedented growth, helped elect record numbers of women to the House and Senate, and recruited and trained hundreds of pro-choice Democratic women to run for office, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who Stephanie personally recruited to run. Of the more than $500 million the organization has raised to support women candidates since its founding in 1985, more than half has been raised under Stephanie’s leadership — and EMILY’s List is now more than five million members strong (and counting).

Originally hailing from the mining town of Butte, Montana, Stephanie has now been fighting to elect Democrats for more than 20 years. In 2004, she served as the national finance director for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, where she was at the center of the team that created the online fundraising model that ushered in the era of digital fundraising, laying the groundwork for President Barack Obama’s and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s future presidential campaigns.

In 2006, Stephanie returned to her home state of Montana to serve as Senator Jon Tester’s campaign manager, and after helping Democrats take back the Senate, served as his chief of staff. In 2008, she joined Al Franken’s historic Senate campaign as his campaign manager, leading the campaign to Election Day and then solidifying her reputation as a major force in Democratic politics by successfully managing the eight-month recount and legal fight that followed. Today, in addition to serving as president of EMILY’s List, Stephanie is also the president of American Women, a research organization affiliated with EMILY’s List which seeks to increase public awareness of the issues impacting women and families, and she regularly appears on MSNBC. Called “one of the absolute stars of American politics now,” Stephanie was named by ELLE Magazine to its “10 Most Powerful Women in Washington” list, alongside Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in 2015.

Symone Sanders

Symone Sanders (born December 10, 1989) is an American who served as national press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, during the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign, 2016. She left the campaign in late June 2016 abruptly but said she was not let go and that leaving the campaign was her decision.[1] She was 26 years old at the time. She is currently a Democratic strategist and political commentator on CNN.[2]

Traci Feit Love

Founder, President & Executive Director of Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) and the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation. Organizer, Rise Above Conference 2017. Working to mobilize lawyers, law students, and legal activists in defense of the individuals, communities, and democratic principles under threat since the November 2016 election.

Yasyf Mohamedali

Yasyf is a Master's student at MIT, and leads the engineering team at Hi From The Other Side. In addition to finding ways he can use technology to bridge divides and connect people, his academic interests are focused on exploring how software can make venture capital more efficient. Yasyf has spent time as an engineer at Square and Facebook, and as Chief Software Architect at Foxtrot ("a 21st century approach to last mile logistics”). He also spent a year Managing Partner of the Boston Dorm Room Fund team, a student-run venture fund backed by First Round Capital. Hailing from Vancouver, he’s spent the past few years exploring new technologies and bringing together his academic and real-world engineering experiences to form a passion for entrepreneurship and technology startups.


Complex challenges require innovative solutions, and the next wave of leadership is rising to the challenge.

NewFounders is powering the inaugural NewFounders Conference, hosted in the center of the country - Chicago, Illinois - on October 18.

This is not your ordinary conference.

For the first time, innovators and trailblazers on the cutting edge of UX, technology, design, data and electoral politics will converge to discuss and promote critical infrastructure that can vastly transform politics as we know it.

We will be examining how to build on innovations, rather than throwing them out every political cycle, how to challenge the idea of top-down organization, how to help activists build change, how to re-connect people and politics with simple tools, how to use and share data among races, and how to enable new leaders to run the best campaigns they can and win. We will also be showcasing game-changing tools and testing in the areas of Activism, Voting, Elections and Campaigns.

Don’t miss a visionary look at the future, from the builders of the future.

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Meet the Team

Genevieve Theirs

Eloise D. Bahrmasel

Nora Shepard

Jeremy Abrams

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