Heather is the Strategy and Learning Manager for the Elections Program at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Heather manages the research agenda, develops and tracks metrics on the changing field of election administration and policy, and uses that knowledge to inform program strategy.
Heather is a social scientist with experience using data to illuminate key stories and make important decisions about public policy. She joined Democracy Fund in 2020 after managing a survey research team at the Pew Charitable Trusts that provided consulting, research design, and project management for public opinion initiatives across Pew’s diverse portfolio of international and domestic policy programs. Prior to that she was a research officer for Pew’s Election Initiatives project where she led research and authored reports on civic participation, voter registration reforms, changes in the system of election administration, and innovations in the dissemination of voting information. Previous work in the elections field included staffing the Committee on Elections and Ethics in the Texas House of Representatives and voter outreach and GOTV consulting for political campaigns.
Heather has a Ph.D. and master’s degree in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland, where she was also a researcher in the Center for American Politics and Citizenship and taught courses on research methodology, lobbying and interest groups, and the U.S. Congress. Her scholarship focused on the way that federalism shapes policymaking and political incentives in the United States. Her peer reviewed publications have appeared in Publius: The Journal of Federalism and the Policy Studies Journal. She has a BA in Political Science and a BFA in Ballet from Texas Christian University.