UPDATE (October 2016): Mindy Finn has stepped down from the Democracy Fund’s National Advisory Committee. We are grateful for her thoughtful contributions and partnership.
Here at the Democracy Fund, we believe that we need diverse points of view to make democracy work better. Many of the challenges facing our republic are complex and generational. Finding innovative solutions requires voices from from all walks of life and from across the political spectrum. We also know that the Democracy Fund is only one part of a wide community of people who care deeply about achieving the promise of effective, representative government.
We had these beliefs in mind when we formed our new National Advisory Committee, which we are announcing today.
We are very fortunate to have an esteemed group of advisors – which includes leaders from government, academia, and advocacy. They bring a wealth of experience to our work and reflect significant political and demographic diversity. The Democracy Fund’s inaugural National Advisory Committee includes:
- Hon. Robin Carnahan, Senior Director at Albright Stonebridge Group and former Secretary of State of Missouri.
- Hon. Tom Davis, former U.S. Representative from the state of Virginia, former Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and former Chair of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
- Mindy Finn, a veteran of three presidential campaigns, has operated at the intersection of media, politics and tech for some of the world’s most well-known public figures and brands including President George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Twitter, and Google.
- Juleanna Glover, Senior Advisor at Teneo Intelligence who has served on the senior staffs of then President-elect George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, presidential candidates Steve Forbes and John McCain, and then Senator John Ashcroft.
- Hon. Charles Gonzalez, former U.S. Representative from the state of Texas who served as Chairman of Latinos for Obama and as the National Co-Chair of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
- Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Professor of Communication and the Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, award-winning author of over 100 works, and founder of Factcheck.org.
- Brett Loper, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for American Express and former Deputy Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
- Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, tenured professor of law at George Washington University, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Obama Administration, and the author of the book Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression.
- Hon. Deborah Pryce, former U.S. Representative from the state of Ohio and the highest-ranking Republican woman in the history of the House. She currently serves as a Senior Political Advisor at Ice Miller Whiteboard LLC.
- Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of Change.org, the world’s largest platform for social change with over 125 million users, one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and a thought leader on the intersection of technology, business, and social change.
- Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), a national membership organization of Latino policymakers and their supporters, and former Vice President for Community Education and Public Policy of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
- Ernie Wilson, an American scholar and Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He has served in several senior policy positions in the public and private sector including as Director of International Programs and Resources on the White House National Security Council and Director of the Policy and Planning Unit, Office of the Director, U.S. Information Agency.
Over the course of the advisors’ terms, we look forward to engaging them to bring creativity and expertise to our existing work and new opportunities as they arise. Our advisors have the independence to tell us what we need to hear—not just what we want to hear. We expect them to hold different points of view and understand that they are unlikely to agree with all positions taken by the Democracy Fund. But we don’t have all the answers to these issues, and we believe that considering a variety of opinions and perspectives will only help make our efforts more successful over time.
More information about our advisors is available here.