The EMILY’s List Creative Council is an initiative to reach new, diverse groups of voters who will support pro-choice Democratic women running up and down the ballot.
Creative Council Members
Paul Bernon, chair
Paul Bernon is a co-founder and partner at Burn Later Productions, a Los Angeles-based film finance and production company. He has produced such films as “Drinking Buddies,” "The Intervention," “Results,” and the Peabody Award-winning “Best Kept Secret.” He is also a managing partner at Rubicon Real Estate, which owns and manages commercial and residential properties across the United States. He was formerly a finance co-chair for the campaigns of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Uzo Aduba is an actress and singer whose acclaimed portrayal of Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix television series “Orange Is the New Black” earned her the distinction of becoming the only actress ever to win Emmy Awards in both the comedy and drama genres for the same role.
Erika Alexander is a two-time NAACP Award-winning actress whose work includes roles on “The Cosby Show” and “Living Single,” as well as numerous independent films and stage productions. She is also the author of a science fiction graphic novel featuring an African American woman lead, and she is an advocate for women and girls.
Sara Benincasa is a comedian and author of the books “DC Trip,” “Great,” and “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom,” a book based on her critically-acclaimed solo show about panic attacks and agoraphobia. She is currently adapting “DC Trip” as a film, and adapting “Agorafabulous” as a TV pilot.
David Bernon is a partner at Burn Later Productions, overseeing the Los Angeles office and all creative affairs. Prior to joining Burn Later, he worked with Overnight Productions, New Line Cinema, and Sony Pictures Classics. In addition to producing, David is an actor.
Ashley Nicole Black is a writer and actress best known for her work on "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," "The Simpsons Movie," and "The White Bag."
Jay Carson is a senior advisor to Bloomberg Philanthropies, co-principal of Bloomberg Associates, and a consultant for “House of Cards.” Previously he served as Chief Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles and was the press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Stockard Channing is a film, theater and television actress best known for her roles in "Grease," "Six Degrees of Separation," and "The West Wing."
Natasha Case is the CEO and co-founder of Coolhaus, an architecture-themed gourmet dessert company, and a board member of Ludlows Cocktail Co. and the Opportunity Fund. Previously she worked at Walt Disney Imagineering and in 2013 was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30: Food & Beverage."
Laura Dawn is a renowned singer-song-writer and political activist. She served as the National Creative and Cultural Director of MoveOn.org, where she created national campaigns including the notable 10 Weeks: Don't Get Mad, Get Even! ad campaign and live event.
Abby Disney is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and philanthropist whose work includes “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” “Women, War & Peace,” and “The Armor of Light.” She is the founder of two nonprofits, the Daphne Foundation and Peace is Loud, and co-founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation, USA. Abby also co-founded Fork Films, which aims to create and support media that uplifts women’s voices and their role in advocating social change.
Lea DeLaria is an award-winning comedian, actress, and jazz musician who serves as the first openly gay comic on American television. Most notably, Lea DeLaria plays Carrie "Big Boo" Black in the hit Netflix series "Orange is the New Black."
Gabrielle Demeestere is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York whose most recent film, “Yosemite,” stars renowned actor James Franco. She has directed and produced short films for Calvin Klein, Vita Coco, and Moxie Pictures’ “I Love New York” campaign.
Jorjee Douglas is a makeup artist who has worked on a number of shows and movies, and worked closely with Zooey Deschanel. Douglas is also a singer-songwriter; she is a founding member of cabaret troupe The Citizens Band.
Lena Dunham is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and actress who has received Emmy nominations and won Golden Globe awards for her work as a creator, writer, and star of the HBO series “Girls.” She is author of the New York Times best-selling memoir “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's ‘Learned,’" and co-creator of the publication Lenny Letter.
Clea Duvall is an actress, director, producer, and writer who has starred in “Argo,” "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles,” and “Carnivale.” She made her directorial debut at Sundance with “The Intervention.”
Lisa Edelstein is an actress and playwright who is most recognized for playing Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the Fox medical drama series "House." Currently she stars on Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.”
Stacey Bendet Eisner is the CEO and creative director of global clothing line and lifestyle brand Alice and Olivia. She also co-founded the Kindness Project, a philanthropic initiative that focuses spreading positivity throughout the world.
Freya Estreller is the founder and CEO of Ludlows Cocktail Co., an all-natural gourmet spirits company, and co-founder of Coolhaus, an architecture-themed gourmet dessert company.
Sarah Sophie Flicker is a co-founder of the political cabaret troupe The Citizens Band. She is a filmmaker, writer, and activist, and she serves on the leadership team of the reproductive rights organization Lady Parts Justice.
Shruti Ganguly is a producer and director, and she serves as vice president of television and video for NYLON Media Inc. She has produced and directed both feature-length and short films that have been showcased at Sundance, SXSW, Venice, and Telluride.
Audrey Gelman is a contributing editor at Marie Claire, and the former head of millennial strategy at strategic consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker. She worked on Scott Stringer’s 2013 campaign for city comptroller, and worked with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Rock the Vote in 2014. Gelman has also appeared on the acclaimed television series “Girls.”
Ari Graynor is an actress and producer whose work includes portraying Caitlin Rucker on HBO's critically-acclaimed and award-winning series “The Sopranos.” Her film credits include “Mystic River,” “Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist,” "The Sitter,” and the upcoming film “The Disaster Artist.” She has starred on Broadway in David West Read's play “The Performers,” and her stage work includes many on and off-Broadway productions.
Tina Huang is an actress whose work includes recurring roles on “Rizzoli & Isles” and “General Hospital.” She has also starred on stage in a production of “Immortal Heart” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Steve Kerrigan is a leader in national Democratic politics and Massachusetts government and charities. He served as the CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee for the 2012 convention, a co-chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, and an advisor to Senator Ted Kennedy. He is the president of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, an organization providing support, programs, and services to the families of military service personnel who have fallen in service to the United States since September 11, 2001.
Jenni Konner is a writer and producer, currently working as showrunner and an executive producer of acclaimed HBO series “Girls.” She is also a co-creator of the publication Lenny Letter.
Jessica Lacy is a partner at ICM Partners and head of their International and Independent Film division who has helped broker distribution deals for such films as “Café Society.” Previously she was a literary agent for ICM.
Padma Lakshmi is an author, food expert, actress, model, and executive producer who has hosted the Emmy Award-winning television program “Top Chef” since 2006. She is a co-founder of The Endometriosis Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization focused on increasing awareness, education, research, and legislative advocacy against the disease.
Stacy London is an American stylist and fashion consultant, well-known as the former host of the TLC program “What Not to Wear” and current host of “Love, Lust or Run.” She is also the author of The Truth About Style.
Jon Lovett is a screenwriter whose work includes writing for “The Newsroom” and co-creating “1600 Penn.” He is a former speechwriter for President Obama whose work included writing the president’s annual White House Correspondents Dinner remarks. He was also a speechwriter for then-Senator Hillary Clinton in her Senate office and on her 2008 presidential campaign.
Zerlina Maxwell is currently the director of progressive programming for Sirius XM, where she oversees the editorial direction of Sirius XM Progress Channel 127. Prior to that, she was the director of progressive media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, pitching coverage to progressive media outlets and curating daily messaging for online influencers. She also acted as a campaign spokesperson for the presidential debates. After the 2016 election, Zerlina launched Signal Boost with her campaign colleague Jess McIntosh. The e-newsletter is an amplification engine and how-to guide for activists trying to navigate a radically changed world under President Trump.
Moby is a distinguished DJ, singer-songwriter, musician, and photographer. He is most famed for his award-winning electronic music and his passion for animal rights.
Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper is an actor and musician from New York City. He splits his time between New York and Los Angeles doing Off-Broadway and regional theater contracts, concerts, and independent films. He has voted in every single election since his 18th birthday.
Raeshem Nijhon serves as the executive producer and co-founder of Fictionless, and is a two-time CLIO Award winner, a Shorty Award winner, and a 2014 United Nations Foundation Global Accelerator Delegate.
Maren Olson works for the Creative Artists Agency’s Film Finances & Sales Group. Previously she served as president of independent film production company Traction Media, where her work included the film “Short Term 12,” a 2013 SXSW Grand Jury and Audience winner.
Shonda Rhimes is the first African American woman to create and executive produce a Top 10 network series, “Grey's Anatomy.” She is the founder and owner of the production company ShondaLand, as well as head writer, executive producer, and showrunner of the award-winning hit television series “Scandal,” “Private Practice,” and “How To Get Away With Murder.”
Rowan Riley is vice president of development and production at Burn Later Productions, with a focus on identifying and developing projects, analyzing film-related investments, and working with writers and directors at all stages of production. Prior to arriving at Burn Later, Rowan was in the production department at Anonymous Content and has also spent time in the film finance group at Creative Artists Agency. She is a fellow of the Sundance Producing Lab and member of Cinefamily’s Advisory Board.
Jane Rosenthal is a leading film producer of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including the renowned comedy franchise "Meet the Parents." She is a co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Film Institute.
Yosi Sergant is an artist, community organizer, and publicist who helped organize the 2008 “Hope” poster campaign with Shepard Fairey for then-Senator Barack Obama. He served in the White House Office of Public Engagement and was appointed Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts. He co-founded “TaskForce,” a socially-conscious creative public relations agency.
Lindsay Shookus is an award-winning producer for the iconic sketch television program “Saturday Night Live,” where she also oversees casting. She was previously an associate producer on the critically-acclaimed, award-winning television program “30 Rock.”
Laurie Simmons is an award-winning artist, photographer, and filmmaker who has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Jose Museum of Art in California, and many other major art galleries. She is dedicated to challenging the objectification of women, and uses ventriloquist dummies, finger puppets, and dolls in order to create domestic scenes for her photos.
Brad Simpson is a film and television producer whose work includes “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” and “The People v. O.J. Simson: American Crime Story.” He is a partner of the production company Color Force.
Jocelyn Hayes Simpson is the senior vice president of production for Groundswell Productions, and has produced such films as “The East” and “Lola Versus,” as well as the “This American Life” documentary TV series. Previously she worked as a producer for Killer Films.
Rachel Sklar is a writer, social entrepreneur, and founding editor at Mediaite and the Huffington Post. She is the co-founder of Change the Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunities for women in tech and new media, and TheLi.st, a network and media platform for professional women.
Sam Slater is a co-founder and partner at Burn Later Productions. He is also a principal of Tremont Asset Management LLC, executive director of The Slater Foundation, a member of the board of directors for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and previously served on the finance committees for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Helen Stickler is an Emmy-nominated writer, producer, and director of commercials and documentary films best known for her MTV/Kaiser Family Foundation PSA “Roll On” promoting safe sex and Stoked: the Rise and Fall of Gator.” #Ponygate
Julia Stiles is an award winning and acclaimed actress. She has held various roles, including starring in "Save the Last Dance," "10 Things I Hate About You," and many others. Most recently, Stiles stars in the web series "Blue" and will reprise her role in the Bourne film series in 2016.
Massy Tadjedin is a writer and director whose work includes “Leo,” “The Jacket,” and her directorial debut “Last Night,” an independent film starring Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, and Sam Worthington.
Lucy Teitler is an actress, writer, and playwright whose work has been produced off-Broadway at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Atlantic Theater, and the Gene Frankel Theatre. She was a staff writer on NBC’s series “Quarterlife,” and her prose has been published in VICE, the New York Observer, and New York Magazine.
Isabel Teitler is a producer and director known for co-producing the feature films "What Maisie Knew" and "Rob the Mob." Most recently, she directed "In and Around My House" and served as apprentice editor for the 2016 film "Keeping up with the Joneses."
Peter Trinh is an agent in the International and Independent Film department of ICM Partners and was named one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders” in 2012 by Variety. He has ushered through distribution deals on such films as “Safety Not Guaranteed” and “Robot and Frank.”
Cleo Wade is an artist, speaker, and poet whose work has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and many other publications. She is a founding member of Chez Conversations, a women’s arts collective, and is on the board of the National Black Theater in Harlem.
Sara Ziff is a renowned fashion model, filmmaker, and labor activist. She founded and serves as the executive director of the nonprofit organization the Model Alliance.