Statement

Democracy Fund Announces Bipartisan National Advisory Committee

Democracy Fund
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March 29, 2016

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.

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Democracy Fund announced the formation of its bipartisan National Advisory Committee, which will provide advice on organizational initiatives and assess strategic opportunities to advance the Fund’s work to ensure the American people come first in our political system. Advisors include former White House and elected officials, as well as esteemed leaders from government, academia, and advocacy – reflecting significant political and demographic diversity.

The Democracy Fund’s inaugural National Advisory Committee includes:

  • Hon. Robin Carnahan, Senior Advisor and Head of the State and Local Practice at 18F 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 Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
  • Mindy Finn, a veteran digital and technology strategist, Senior Advisor to IMGE, and founder and president of Empowered Women, 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, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican Governor’s Association, 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 and award-winning author of over 100 works, many of which primarily focus on campaign criticism and the discourse of the presidency.
  • 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, 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.

Members of the National Advisory Committee serve a two-year term. The Committee meets twice a year, and its next meeting is in August 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Joe Goldman, President of the Democracy Fund, said:

“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 organization. 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 impactful in the long-term.”

About the Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy. Today, modern challenges—such as hyper partisanship, money in politics, and struggling media—threaten the health of American Democracy. Since its creation, the Democracy Fund has committed more than $30 million in grants to ensure our political system is able to withstand these new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

The Democracy Fund invests in change makers who advocate for solutions that can bring lasting improvements to our political system and build bridges that help people come together to serve our nation. Grants include projects to find workable solutions to the challenges facing our elections system, local media ecosystems, and Congress’ ability to solve problems in the face of hyper-partisanship. Learn more by visiting democracyfund.org.