For the People

In a healthy democracy, governing institutions at every level provide equal voice and power to all Americans, leaders are accountable and responsive, and abuses of power are rare. Achieving this vision requires unrigging our institutions so that voters see themselves and their opinions represented in government and its policy decisions.


Representative and Accountable Institutions

Our governing structures are deliberately flawed, designed from the beginning to be exclusionary. These structures disproportionately empower certain groups, enable anti-democratic policies that often target communities of color, and undermine our system of checks and balances.

Combined with increased polarization, the result in recent years has been an uptick in government officials abusing their authority to entrench and exercise power in illegal and highly unethical ways, with little to no accountability. To respond, we must build institutions that protect bedrock democratic values and provide equal voice and power to all Americans.

Our Approach

Governance program strategies seek to strengthen the pro-democracy movement, defend against authoritarian threats, and advance long-term, structural change by shifting power to the people and away from a select few.

This work requires a long-term approach that recognizes that anti-democratic practices aren’t confined to specific geographic locations or people — abuse of power and lack of accountability in one part of the United States threatens democracy for the entire country.


Preventing Authoritarian Abuse of Power

To protect our democracy from authoritarian threats, we work to strengthen legal guardrails, build more resilient institutions, and bolster accountability measures to prevent future abuses.

See how we’re helping to prevent abuse of power at the federal level

State and Local Accountability

State and local government abuses of power disproportionately impact communities of color and other historically disenfranchised groups. We invest in organizers, advocates, and networks focused on these abuses and who have long been under-resourced in their fight for accountability.

See how we’re helping to prevent abuse of power at the state and local levels

Representative Institutions

In order to have effective and representative governing institutions in our multiracial democracy, they must be structurally transformed to be inclusive and reflective of our country’s diversity.

We seek to advance structural changes that give each person equal power — accounting for the historical lack of representation of communities of color, and increasing the responsiveness of government institutions to the needs of all communities.

See how we're helping to build a more representative government

Our Team

Rudy Mehrbani

Senior Director, Governance

Winny Chen

Associate Director, Governance

Nathaniel J. Turner

Program Manager, Governance

Anne Morley

Senior Program Associate, Governance

Sean Raymond

Senior Program Associate, Governance

Sarah Dickson

Senior Associate, Program Strategy and Learning for Elections and Institutions

Safa Syed

Program Associate, Governance

Maria W. Rapisarda

Team Coordinator, Governance

Other Areas of Focus

Democracy Fund strengthens and defends democracy through four core programs and a number of term-limited special projects.

See more of what we do

Free and Fair Elections

Since its founding, the American voting system has intentionally made it difficult for marginalized communities to equitably participate. The Elections and Voting program works with community organizations and leaders to build a voting system that is fair, trustworthy, and inclusive, with racial justice at the center.

Learn more about this work

Just and Inclusive Society

Political and climate crises are forcing people to relocate, with communities of color disproportionately affected. The Just and Inclusive Society program works to ensure migrant and refugee communities in the United States have the resources to build and lead an intersectional social movement that protects their rights and addresses global threats.

Learn more about this work

A Vibrant and Diverse Public Square

Reliable information is getting harder to find, leading to less informed voters and greater threats to democracy. To increase civic participation, the Public Square program invests in those who work to ensure communities have access to the information they need, online and offline.

Learn more about this work
Democracy Fund
1200 17th Street NW Suite 300,
Washington, DC 20036