Seth co-founded Democracy Works while receiving a Master's in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and previously worked there as a research associate (where he founded CFR's annual capture the flag game). He has also been a program administrator at the Institute for International Education and a berktern at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. While earning a BA in economics at Columbia University, Seth served as student body president, leading the council in successfully lobbying Columbia to reform its financial aid policies. In 2011, he was honored as one of Forbes magazine's '30 Under 30' in the field of law and policy. Seth is also a Draper Richards Kaplan entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow.
Kathryn Peters, Co-Founder & COO
Kathryn Peters is a co-founder of Democracy Works. Her belief in better democracy has taken her from campaign organizing in rural Missouri to a master's in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government to political rights monitoring in Afghanistan. Katy has also worked for the information management team for the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and the National Democratic Institute's Information and Communications Technology staff. In 2011, she was honored as one of Forbes magazine's '30 Under 30' in the field of law and policy.
Wes Morgan, CTO
Wes got his start building PCs in high school as a part-time job and has been geeking out ever since. He got involved in progressive politics in 2004 when he joined the online organizing team of the Public Interest Network. There, he worked with over 75 different non-profit organizations to help them craft and execute online fundraising and advocacy campaigns. In 2010, he began building voter registration and virtual phone banking tools used by tens of thousands of people in the 2010 election cycle. He currently lives in Denver with his wife and two boys. When not making the Internet safe for democracy, he enjoys brewing beer and spending time in the mountains.
Troy Hill, Senior Developer
Troy came to Colorado to work in technology and planned to stay only a couple of years. 14 years later, he's still loving Colorado and technology. He has worked for companies big and small, largely with a focus on building the backends of web applications. He's worked on sites in real estate, yellow pages, newspaper, and online conferencing. During the 2008 election cycle he got involved with the political scene, caucusing and volunteering for canvassing. On the days he's not behind a keyboard, he's often snowboarding, hiking, biking, camping, working on DIY projects, or frequenting craft coffee shops and micro breweries.
Junie François Pswarayi, Administrative Director
Brooklyn-born and raised, Junie recently returned to the great borough after attending the University of Maryland, College Park and residing for many years in Maryland and Washington, DC. She brings ten years of experience from the private and nonprofit sectors, including employers as diverse as Language etc, The Africa Society, and a renowned polling firm in Washington, DC. Her most recent endeavors before joining Democracy Works have been centered on devising marketing strategies, client cultivation, and implementing an accounting online system for a startup and consulting with a New York based interior design firm. Outside of work, you can find her trying something new with her husband, watching a scary movie, and encouraging voter participation, canvassing, and volunteering in her community.
Chris Shea, Senior Developer
Chris has been writing code since being introduced to an Apple IIe in elementary school, but waited to start programming professionally until after getting an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He’s worked for startups in Denver and New York, mostly hacking on civic data and using technology to connect people with their communities, making Democracy Works a perfect match. Chris has acted at the Curious Theatre Branch in Chicago and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, who would really like a dog.
Maria Bianchi, Project Manager, Voting Information Project
A graduate of Michigan State University, Maria's love of the political process has led her from DC, where she won the inaugural Washington Media Scholars Case Competition, to registering voters with the Oregon Bus Project, and to South Dakota as a campaign organizer. A Buffalo, New York native, Maria is excited to be back in the Empire State after spending two years teaching in rural Arkansas as a Teach for America Corps Member.
Monica Crane Childers, Director of Government Services
When not dreaming up ways to engage voters and empower the electorate, Monica is a wife and animal lover in the great state of Kansas. A proud Jayhawk, Monica credits her college experiences at the University of Kansas's Dole Institute of Politics for her love of politics and public service. That passion led her to a job in the Massachusetts State House, and she has since worked primarily in new media, first on campaigns and eventually for NGP VAN. Monica holds a Bachelor's in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas and was named the 2008 Rose Scholar in Communication Management at Emerson College, where she earned a Master’s degree in 2010.
Mike Ward, Program Director, TurboVote
Mike Ward is the TurboVote Program Director at Democracy Works. He comes to the organization with experience in the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, most recently working in human rights. He was born and (mostly) raised in the great state of New Jersey and is a newly minted member of the Brooklyn community. Mike spends his work days developing TurboVote partnerships between Democracy Works and colleges, nonprofits, for-profits, and government entities. He spends his off days doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but mostly aspiring (while not actually practicing) to become the greatest ultimate frisbee athlete that ever lived.
Brandon Naylor, Director of Communications
As the Director of Communications for Democracy Works, Brandon serves as the organizational spokesperson, manages strategic communications, and oversees media relations for the organization. Originally from Topeka, he graduated from the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!), where he was an intern at the Dole Institute of Politics. He then spent six years working for members of congress in Washington, DC, followed by a stint in the nonprofit advocacy sector. Most recently, Brandon spent time in the academic world as the Operations and Communications Coordinator for Washburn University. Having returned home, he now represents half of the 'Kansas satellite office.' He spends his time enjoying all four seasons, following Royals baseball, and maintaining a passionate love affair with noodles of all kinds.
Carmen Hicks, Research and Operations Lead
Carmen is a native of Kansas, but comes to us from Cambridge, MA. She is a graduate of both Boston University (BA, political science, ‘11) and Brandeis University (MPP, ‘14), where she studied poverty alleviation and voting rights for low-income populations and people of color. She was named a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in spring 2014, and has previously worked for MassVote, as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys reading horrible romance novels, going on long drives in order to spot yard sales near her cabin in Maine, and exploring our national parks with her hubby, Andrew. She also cannot pronounce French words to save her life and will be a Kansas Jayhawks fan until she dies. Carmen is working remotely from Boston.
Quinn Formel, Administrative Associate
As administrative associate, Quinn wears many hats. He handles Democracy Works finances, human resources, and office management. He hails originally from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and Claverack, New York and graduated from Tufts University. Quinn's previously worked for Formel Shipping (a family-run business) and MakerBot Industries, as well as in theater and television in various production capacities . Quinn and his fiancé, Jonna, live in Brooklyn, where he spends his free time performing stand-up comedy and singing regularly to his house plants.
Jill Brownfield, Partner Support Lead, TurboVote
Jill works with TurboVote’s partners to maximize their voter registration and engagement efforts, finding ways to more fully engage in the voting process. As a member of the implementations team, it’s her job to help partners design and execute sustainable voter initiatives that have a huge impact! Jill is a graduate of Stetson University with a BA in political science and she works remotely from California, though she’s a native Floridian. She’s a rugby player and an avid Cubs fan.
Emily Giffin, Partner Support Lead, TurboVote
Emily is a Partner Support Lead on the TurboVote team, helping college campuses across the country pair technology with civic engagement best practices. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism degree and welcomes any opportunity to discuss the always-exciting world of higher ed (read: reminisce about the good ol' days). Before joining Democracy Works, she was a part of the edtech team at Scholastic. Emily's based in our Brooklyn office and when she's not chatting with TurboVote partners, you'll most likely find her dancing, trying a new restaurant, or petting a stranger's dog.
Sean Duckett, Software Developer
Sean was raised in the Gulf Coast plains of Texas and earned a BS in computer science at Sam Houston State University. He then moved to Colorado with dreams of high-country bikepacking trips and found it, followed shortly by ski touring in the winter. At Democracy Works, Sean works on TurboVote and Ballot Scout, but he mostly enjoys building simple tools that amplify their wielders. Prior to joining Democracy Works, he worked with the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network to build and deploy an EMR system for use in hospitals nationwide. He's also helped develop trading analysis systems, been a systems administrator, and learned the art of dishwashing the day before Valentine’s Day. At the moment, he's learning about tree skiing, the planning of his wedding, brewing saison and cider, and reading the weather from the clouds.
Marla Brizel, Software Developer
Marla grew up in North Carolina a diehard Duke fan before moving to Chicago to earn a BA in political science at Northwestern University. She eventually made her way to Colorado to escape the Chicago winter and along the way discovered a love for programming. Before becoming a software developer, she held jobs in the financial and utility industries, as well as in constituent services for a US Senator. Marla is dedicated to the Denver startup community and can often be found speaking at local events and mentoring other aspiring developers. When she's not working, Marla is usually far away from her computer; skiing, trail running, searching for a perfect cup of coffee, or making friends with random dogs.
Franklin Smith, Data Lead, Voting Information Project
Franklin comes to Democracy Works with a background in data management and application support over 8 years in both the private and nonprofit sectors. As data lead for the Voting Information Project (VIP), he assists states with designing and generating VIP-formatted data feeds for elections. Originally from Macon, Georgia, he is a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech, where he earned his bachelor's degree. Franklin loves data, democracy, and life as a bike commuter. He's also currently learning to kick a soccer ball with his left foot.
Anjelica Smith, Campus Outreach Lead, TurboVote
Anjelica is a native Virginian but now happily calls Brooklyn, New York home. In her role as campus outreach lead, she focuses on growing and sustaining the TurboVote higher education program, equipping as many students as possible with the information and materials they need to vote in every election. Anjelica has bachelor's and master's degrees in communication from Virginia Tech, where she twice served as student body vice president. One of her most memorable student leadership experiences was collaborating with university and local government leaders to bring a polling place to Virginia Tech’s student center to better serve on-campus voters. A two-time TurboVote summer associate, Anjelica also served as a Governor's Fellow in the office of the Governor of Virginia and worked at the Congressional Budget Office. She ran four campaigns for elected positions in college, but secretly her favorite victory was being crowned high school prom queen.
Magda Kura, Product Director, TurboVote
Magda grew up in Poland but has spend time living across the United States and around the world, including Bosnia, Spain, and Belgium. After a career in international development and education, she worked in a state governor's office, where she led government efficiency and customer service technology initiatives. At Democracy Works, she is the TurboVote Product Director and is thrilled to improve the voter experience. Magda and her husband Camilo reside in New Jersey where they spend their time trying new cuisines, learning new skills, and discussing world events. Magda loves the outdoors—hiking, sailing, and rock climbing are her favorite activities. She also loves to travel, mostly to improve her skills as a potato connoisseur.
Katrina Hall, Software Developer
Katrina is a software developer joining the Democracy Works team from her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, as well as the Hackbright Academy, a San Francisco-based coding bootcamp. Her previous experience has been with the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and, more recently, startups TrademarkVision and 360fly. Her and her husband Justin are full-fledged board game experts and, chances are, they'll turn you into one, too. She is an avid reader, a fact readily evidenced by her Harry Potter tattoo.