Josh Silver, CEO, is a veteran election and media reform executive. He was the campaign manager for the successful 1998 Arizona Clean Elections (public funding) ballot initiative campaign and is the cofounder and former CEO of Free Press, the nation’s leading media and technology reform advocacy organization. He was the director of development for the cultural arm of the Smithsonian Institution.
Mansur Gidfar, Communications Director, is an ad man gone rogue for the cause. He has previously worked as a deputy editor at Upworthy and holds a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Colorado. He joined the fight against money in politics to combat the threat corruption represents to his friends, family, and country.
Izzy Goodman, Organizer, joins United Republic from a background in student organizing on public interest issues. In her previous work with MASSPIRG, Izzy has overseen hundreds of students on over six different issue-based campaigns ranging from large-scale youth voter registration and mobilization drives to state-level recycling campaigns. Now as a Campaign Coordinator, she is working to train activists from across the country to organize their congressional districts against corruption.
Steve Hoeschele, Campaign Manager, brings a background in grassroots field operations to the team, having staffed several campaigns and led a team of union member-organizers to engage in issue advocacy. He has also worked on election reform efforts with Common Cause and FairVote and served as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts state House.
Amelia Leonardi, Chief Operating Officer, oversees organizational development, staffing and financial management activities. Previously, Amelia had spent her career in the field of international education, serving as associate director for the Forum on Education Abroad and then director of operations for the Center for International Studies.
Joshua Lynn, Program Director, is a seasoned marketer and communications specialist. As a creative director, he had his work honored by the Rebrand 100 Awards, The Webby Awards, The American Package Design Awards and the Addys. Josh has launched and managed numerous international brands and has developed membership and consumer outreach campaigns for organizations ranging from credit unions to progressive communities.
Jasper McChesney, Graphic Designer, has been working with digital graphics since the time of 8-color displays. He holds a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he worked with big data sets and computer simulations. He now employs those skills to create infographics showing the corrupting effects of money on democracy.
Bliss Parsons, Organizer, is a recent graduate from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Environmental Policy. She has worked as an intern and campaign organizer with United Republic for the past year, and has shifted her focus towards democracy reform. Now as Campaign Coordinator, she is working to connect with activists across the nation and build coalitions of support through grassroots networking initiatives.
Carey Royce, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, has been raising funds and building organizational capacity for more than a decade. Her background is in arts management and educational fundraising, and she began her career in London working as a senior manager with fringe theatre companies. Carey is also an LGBT and immigrant rights activist: she was on the board of trustees for the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group and a volunteer with Stonewall Lobby Group. She relocated to the Pioneer Valley and has led successful fundraising campaigns for a number of local organizations.
Sam Shanky, Research Assistant will be attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst next fall. After spending his senior year of high-school studying abroad, he has worked as an assistant researcher with United Republic for the past 6 months, and looks forward to continuing to fight the corrupting influence of money on our political system.
Devers Talmage, Web Programmer, has been designing and developing websites and web applications for over six years. Before coming to United Republic, he helped design a first-of-its-kind social platform for Blue Redefined that helps connect disabled and hospitalized individuals, and also previously helped develop an industry-leading online television channel platform.
Todd Van Vuuren, Executive Assistant, brings to the organization over 11 years of executive and human resource management experience. A former AmeriCorps member, Todd is a volunteer at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Stonewall Center and the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking.
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