Nicco Mele is currently the Director of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He is a leading expert in the integration of social media and Web 2.0 with politics, business, and communications. As the internet operations director for Governor Howard Dean's 2004 presidential race, Nicco and the campaign team pioneered the use of technology and social media that revolutionized American politics. Later that year, Nicco founded EchoDitto, a leading internet strategy consulting company which has consulted with leading political campaigns, Fortune 500 companies, and nonprofit groups. Nicco also co-founded GeniusRocket.com, launched ProxyDemocracy.com, and was named in 2003 by Esquire magazine as one of America's "best and brightest."
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 as 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.
Keesha Gaskins is the director for the Democratic Practice–United States program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Ms. Gaskins is a long-time organizer, lobbyist, and trial attorney. Prior to joining the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, she was senior counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice, serving as the director of the Redistricting and Representation program. Her portfolio included redistricting reform, voting rights, and elections, with a focus on voter suppression issues. Ms. Gaskins is a frequent lecturer and writer on issues related to women and politics, movement building, and democratic reform. She is the author of a number of articles and publications related to voter suppression, voting rights, and redistricting. Ms. Gaskins served as executive director for the League of Women Voters Minnesota, where she worked on a wide range of voting rights and civil rights issues. Prior to that, she was the executive director for the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus. She worked for a number of years as a trial attorney, most notably with the firm Bowman and Brooke, LLC. Ms. Gaskins also served as a special assistant appellate public defender for the State of Minnesota. Following law school, Ms. Gaskins served as a shared judicial clerk for the Honorable Alan Page and the Honorable Joan Ericksen at the Minnesota Supreme Court. She was also a 2008 Feminist Leadership Fellow with the University of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs - Center on Women and Public Policy.
Trey Grayson was elected as the Republican Secretary of State of Kentucky in November of 2003 in his first run for political office. Trey quickly became a national leader in elections, civics, business services, and government innovation. He served as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State in 2009-2010 and served on the 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Trey was selected for the inaugural class of the Aspen-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership and participated in the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program. He previously served as the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and is now President & CEO Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Chris Hughes has spent his career working at the intersection of politics and technology. He was a co-founder of Facebook, a digital architect for President Obama’s campaign, and the publisher of the digital and print magazine The New Republic. In 2016, he co-founded the Economic Security Project, a project to explore how to provide financial security for all Americans through cash transfers. Through its conferences, events, and investment fund, the Project seeks to understand how a basic income might work in the United States and what a political route forward might look like. Hughes also works on a range of progressive causes from his home in New York City. He is a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and an investor and board member in several New York- and California-based start-ups. He graduated from Harvard in 2006 magna cum laude with a degree in History and Literature.
Gale Kaufman, President of Kaufman Campaign Consultants, has led some of California’s most significant and successful issue-based initiative campaigns. She is widely recognized for her leadership on over 100 California State Senate and Assembly campaigns over the years, as well as her strong background in working with labor and business groups running winning independent expenditure campaigns. She has gained even more notoriety for her decisive victories on many prominent statewide ballot initiative campaigns. That is why Campaigns & Elections Magazine named her as one of the nation’s most influential political figures in 2012.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg is the director of CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) at Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. CIRCLE’s research topics range from youth voting, youth organizing, national service, to civic engagement, to name a few. CIRCLE’s research reaches a wide range of audiences including educators, policymakers, and parents, through outlets such as such as New York Times, NPR, Vox, Channel 1, C-SPAN, and NBC. Kei sees research as a powerful tool for addressing inequity.
Kate serves as a consulting user researcher for the newly-formed U.S. Digital Service, most recently working to modernize the experience of applying for an immigrant visa to the United States. She also completed an embedded ethnographic investigation of what motivates everyday people to take civic actions, and what holds them back, in collaboration with Google. Currently, Kate is an affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, at Harvard University. Kate is a graduate of Columbia University. She received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Alberto is the founding Executive Director of the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics & Public Service, located in the ASU College of Public Service & Community Solutions. He previously was Director of the Center for Civic Participation under the Chancellor’s Office for the Maricopa Community College District. Alberto serves as Board Secretary for the National Civic League; Vice Chair for Arizona Town Hall; and is past Board Chair for Kids Voting Arizona. He helped establish the Democracy Commitment, a national community college civic education initiative; and gives presentations and trainings nationally on issues related to public deliberation and on public engagement in policy development. Alberto previously served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Equal Opportunity, and as State Voter Outreach Director for the Arizona Secretary of State. He was an appointed member of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, and also served as Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
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.