Board of Directors
Top leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists committed to electing Democratic pro-choice women.
Before Ellen Malcolm founded EMILYs List 30 years ago, no Democratic woman had ever been elected to the Senate in her own right. In 1985, Ellen and a small group of friends decided to change that by developing a new political strategy. To give women candidates credibility and the resources to win, they decided to raise early money and called their organization EMILYs List (Early Money Is Like Yeast, it “makes the dough rise”). They created a new concept in political fundraising — a donor network that encouraged members to contribute to the candidates EMILYs List recommended.
They gathered in Ellen’s basement, rolodexes in hand, to send letters to friends asking them to join. From that simple beginning, EMILYs List has grown into a 5-million-member community and is widely recognized as one of the most powerful political organizations in the country. Ellen served as EMILYs List’s president for 25 years.
Ellen is a veteran Democratic activist and fundraiser who began her career as an organizer at Common Cause and later served as press secretary for the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1980, Ellen went to work at the White House as the press secretary for President Jimmy Carter’s special assistant for consumer affairs. After leaving the White House, Ellen earned a Master’s in Business Administration from George Washington University.
Like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, Ellen is a recipient of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Margaret Sanger Award — the organization’s highest honor — which is “presented annually to recognize leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.” Ellen has been named one of the most influential women in America by Vanity Fair, one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year, one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Women in America, and one of Time magazine’s 50 Women Who Made American Political History. In 2014, Ellen was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Association of Political Consultants.
In 2003, Ellen helped create America Coming Together (ACT), a nationwide organization dedicated to empowering and mobilizing voters. Ellen served as ACT’s president in 2003 and 2004, helping to raise over $145 million for a sophisticated and personal voter contact effort in key states. She was also instrumental in the creation of America Votes, a coalition of progressive groups (including EMILYs List) that works together to register, educate, and mobilize voters.
Hillary Clinton — whose historic 2008 campaign for president Ellen co-chaired — once told The New York Times that Ellen Malcolm is “probably the most influential fundraiser and adviser we’ve seen. I don’t know anybody who can match her track record.”
Ellen is the author of When Women Win: EMILYs List and the Rise of Women in American Politics.
Today, Ellen Malcolm continues her work to level the playing field for women seeking elected office and to inspire and create opportunity for women and girls across the country in her role as Chair Emerita of the EMILYs List Board of Directors. She is also former Chair of the Board of the National Partnership for Women & Families and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Park Foundation.
Rebecca is an entrepreneur in both business and philanthropy. Most recently, Rebecca co- founded Ethiopia Education Initiatives, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to provide world class educational opportunities for talented Ethiopian students and impact education in Ethiopia more broadly. EEI’s first project is the Haile-Manas Academy, a premier co-ed secondary boarding school for four hundred students in central Ethiopia. Rebecca serves currently as Executive Director of EEI.
Rebecca is Senior Advisor at Foros, an independent strategic and M&A advisory boutique firm she helped found in 2009. Rebecca advises the firm on strategy, operations and human resources, and also supports client teams that advise emerging growth companies. Rebecca served as the firm’s Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations from the firm’s founding through October 2020.
Rebecca began her career on Wall Street in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Before joining Davis Polk, she was a litigation attorney at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C.
Rebecca is the author of Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia, a memoir about her return to Ethiopia after her family’s forced exile following the 1974 revolution and twenty-five years in the United States.
Rebecca serves as a Board Member of The Brearley School, an independent K-12 girls’ school in New York City. She is a former Trustee of Freedom House, the human rights organization.
Rebecca received a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. from Williams College. After law school, she clerked for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Karla Jurvetson is a physician, philanthropist, and political activist who lives in Silicon Valley. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human biology with honors and with distinction from Stanford University, a medical doctorate from the University of California, and completed her psychiatry residency at Stanford Hospital.
Karla has served as a trustee for a variety of nonprofit boards, including Peninsula Open Space Trust and the San Francisco Ballet. She has been honored by Silicon Valley Social Venture with the SV2 Social Impact Award and by Gentry Magazine as among the top philanthropists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Internationally, she is a supporter of the Jane Goodall Institute, Conservation International, and One Acre Fund. Karla currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Nueva School, where she was one of the founders of Nueva Upper School and co-chaired the school’s $50 million capital campaign.
Karla also has been a long-time political activist, starting as a college student when she did grassroots canvassing for Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and continuing through Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the 2018 midterms. She also has become a prolific fundraiser for progressive women candidates and has supported efforts to increase voter turnout among women and people of color, address voter suppression, and increase the representative diversity of the House and Senate.
Yolanda H. Caraway has over thirty years of policy-making, project management and national and international political experience. Often sought to coordinate major activities for the Democratic Party, as well as private organizations, her list of professional achievements showcases years of organizational ability and management expertise.
Ms. Caraway has played a major role in shaping the goals and objectives of the National Democratic Party and has been called upon throughout her career to coordinate various party efforts. From 1982-1985 she served as Director of Education and Training for the DNC under the late Chairman Chuck Manatt and in 1985 Caraway was appointed Sr. Advisor to Chairman Paul Kirk and Executive Director of the Fairness Commission, the committee responsible for developing the rules for the 1988 convention. In late 1985, she joined the National Rainbow Coalition as Chief of Staff to what became Jesse Jackson’s historic second bid for president. In 1988 she was appointed an At-Large DNC Member and served in that capacity until 2009. 1989, she played a pivotal role in the historic election of the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown to Chair the Democratic National Committee. She later became Chairman Brown’s Senior Advisor at Party Headquarters and managed the Site Selection process for the 1992 Democratic National Convention. Since 2008, Ms. Caraway managed the backstage and podium operations for the Democratic National Convention.
Since founding The Caraway Group in 1987, she has led her team in the counseling of a number of well-known Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and high-profile individuals in every aspect of communications strategy. She is a nationally recognized public relations and public affairs strategist who is known for policy-making, political management and public relations work in government and the nonprofit and private sectors.
Ms. Caraway has worked with major U.S. companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Airbnb, AT&T, MGM MIRAGE, Mitsubishi and Texaco. She has also counseled government and nonprofit agencies such as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, the Center for American Progress, the NATO 50th Anniversary Summit, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Foundation Project.
In 2009, Ms. Caraway was appointed to the Council on American Politics, a group of nationally renowned political leaders addressing current affairs and working toward the growth and enrichment of The George Washington University School of Political Management. Ms. Caraway is a member of the Corporate Directors Group and the American College of Corporate Directors, is a member of the advisory board of Head and Heart Philanthropy and is on the board of the Color of Change PAC and Emilys List.
Ms. Caraway is a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee of the Cannabis Trade Federation, a national coalition of cannabis-related businesses that represent all aspects of the industry; and is an avid supporter of medical marijuana.
On October 2, 2018, Yolanda Caraway became a published author – co-writing “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics” with Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore, for which they won the 2019 NAACP Image Award for the Literary Non-Fiction category. The book has received critical acclaim and has led to the authors speaking at numerous corporations, universities and non-profits. Ms. Caraway is represented by McMillan Speakers Bureau.
Yvette Nicole Brown is an actress, writer, producer and host best known for her series-regular roles on the television shows: Community, The Mayor and The Odd Couple. She has also appeared on shows as varied as Drake & Josh, Psych, Will & Grace, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Girlfriends, Mom, The Office, Dear White People, House M.D. and Boston Legal among many others. She starred in the critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award winning BET miniseries The New Edition Story.
Yvette also has a burgeoning film career. In addition to past appearances in films such as Dreamgirls, Tropic Thunder, Repo Men, Little Black Book and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, in 2019 she completed the indie, Broken Diamonds, took a pivotal elevator ride with Iron Man and Captain America in Avengers: Endgame and starred as “Aunt Sarah” in the Disney+ live action remake of Lady and the Tramp.
She’s happy to continue her partnership with Disney+ currently as the host of the hit kids’ game show The Big Fib and in mid 2021, by starring on the new dramedy entitled Big Shot alongside John Stamos. In addition to acting, Yvette is also in demand as a host. She has guest co-hosted: The View, The Talk, The Chew, The Real, The Talking Dead and Access Hollywood.
In the live space, Yvette has served as host and moderator of the season six premiere of The Walking Dead at Madison Square Garden for an audience of 15,000 people, moderated film and tv panels for 8,000 fans at a time in the famed Hall H at San Diego Comic Con and was the sole host of the launch of Disney+ for an audience of 8,000.
She has also appeared on just about every game show known to man, winning thousands for many grateful contestants and her favorite charities.
Her extensive voiceover career includes previous series regular roles on ELENA OF AVALOR, POUND PUPPIES, DC SUPER HERO GIRLS, SUPERMANSION and CROSSING SWORDS. In addition to upcoming series regular roles on: CHICKEN SQUAD & FIREBUDS (both on Disney), MY DAD: THE BOUNTY HUNTER (on Netflix) and FAIRFAX (on Amazon).
Her guest and recurring voiceover resume includes roles on: FAMILY GUY, THE TOM AND JERRY SHOW, SPIDER-MAN, AMERICAN DAD, THE LOUD HOUSE, STRETCH ARMSTRONG, LEGO BLACK PANTHER and LEGO STAR WARS: THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES among others.
Yvette is also an extraordinarily talented singer. In her teens she was signed to Motown Records and was featured on the Motown album “The East Coast Family Vol.1,” which included the Top 20 single, “1-4-All-4-1.” As a part of the East Coast Family, a group of talents discovered by Michael Bivins of New Edition and B.B.D. fame, Brown appeared on MTV, “Showtime at the Apollo,” VH1 and BET.
She is also a 2020 NAACP Image Award Nominated writer for ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, the Romantic Comedy she penned that is currently streaming on Netflix.
Lastly, Yvette believes in philanthropy and civic engagement and she proudly sits on the National Boards of DONORS CHOOSE, EMILYS LIST, MPTF NEXT GEN and SAG-AFTRA.
Monica Dixon is the Chief Administrative Officer and President of External Affairs for Monumental Sports and Entertainment.
Monica spent her career providing strategic and management consulting for high-profile individuals and institutions, including the White House, national advocacy organizations, and candidates for federal office. Monica has been a top strategist to the Vice President, CEOs, Corporations, Board of Directors, and campaigns and issue-based organizations on matters of management, strategic communications, and public affairs.
Those who Monica has advised include the Clinton White House, where she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore and as an Assistant to the President; the U.S. House Democratic Caucus, for which she served as Chief of Staff; as a Strategic Consultant to the Senate Democratic Leadership, as a Voter Communication’s Director of the leadership political committee; Americans Coming Together, a national advocacy group; and for Forward Together, a committee chaired by Senator Mark Warner, for which she was Executive Director.
As President of Dixon Consulting, Monica advised a number of companies, campaigns, and candidates. Previously, Monica served as COO of Washington 2024, the local effort to bring the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to the nation’s capital.
A native of South Dakota, Monica began her political career working on Tom Daschle’s first U.S. Senate election in 1986. Her early years on Capitol Hill included working on the staffs of U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Jay Rockefeller, and the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Monica serves as the Co-Chair of the Local Advisory Board of College Track, an organization supporting first generation students with limited resources chart their court to and through college. She also serves as the Chair of CARE Action Board. CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE Action supports the mission of CARE by advocating policymakers on behalf of women and girls around the world. Monica is a trustee of Martha’s Table, a community led organization providing national accredited education programs, healthy food access and physical and meatal health services. Monica serves on the Board of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the DC Policy Board, the Downtown BID Board and as an Advisor to One Village, a platform for informing and inspiring cancer patients by democratizing access to community and services.
Wendy Greuel is a progressive leader with more than two decades of experience advocating for working families. She currently serves as a consultant providing leadership for the Discovery Cube Los Angeles, a new children’s science museum focused on promoting STEM proficiency, early learning, healthy living, and environmental sustainability. Wendy also serves as Executive in Residence and Strategic Advisor at the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and California State University Northridge.
A former Los Angeles City Controller, Wendy was elected in 2009 and served as the city’s auditor and general accountant through 2013. She provided oversight of City of L.A.’s more than $6 billion budget, and rooted out fraud, waste, and abuse top fiscal watchdog. She worked to close a massive backlog of untested rape kits and made sure women- and minority-owned businesses got their fair share of contracts. Prior to being elected Controller, Wendy served as a member of the L.A. City Council where she pushed the city to build a strong reserve fund, dramatically reformed the city’s business tax to help small businesses thrive and led an effort to preserve more than 1,200 acres of land for open space.
A native Angeleno, Wendy is a product of its public schools and a graduate of UCLA. She began her professional career working for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley on policy issues including childcare, senior care, homelessness, housing, public health, and education. As a senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration, she was responsible for the oversight and supervision of HUD’s Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego offices. and she assisted in the development of the nationally recognized Federal Plan to Break the Cycle of Homelessness.
Wendy has worked in the film industry as an executive for DreamWorks Studios, was instrumental in the creation of a new non-profit, WorkPlace Hollywood, to help diversify the entertainment industry. She is also a part-owner of her family’s wholesale building supply business. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Discovery Cube L.A. Board of Directors, the Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Commission, and on the boards of Emerge CA, the East Valley YMCA, the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment, Pico Union Project, the L.A. County Women and Girls Initiative, The Trusteeship, and is a member of the L.A. Kings Business Advisory Board.
Maya Harris has been an influential voice at the intersection of politics, public policy and civil rights for over two decades. A lawyer, policy advocate and writer, Maya served as a senior advisor to two historic U.S. presidential candidates (Clinton 2016, Harris 2020), directed the global Democracy Rights & Justice program of the Ford Foundation, and led the largest ACLU affiliate in the nation. While a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Maya authored the groundbreaking report, Women of Color: A Growing Force in the American Electorate, documenting the prominence of women of color, especially Black women, in influencing political outcomes. She was an on-air political and legal analyst for MSNBC, has published commentary in numerous media outlets, and been profiled in The New Yorker, Washington Post, and O The Oprah Magazine, among other publications. Maya is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received her law degree with honors from Stanford Law School.
Andy was born and raised In Omaha, and was educated in the public schools and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. After living in Texas for 25 years, and working as a university librarian, she returned to Nebraska in 2005. She has a master’s in library science from Texas Woman’s University, and an MBA from the University of Texas Arlington.
Since 2005, Andy has served as a director of the Holland Foundation, a private charitable foundation dedicated to supporting the arts, education, and social services. She currently serves as the president of the Holland Foundation. Andy also serves as the president of the Holland Children’s Institute (a 501c3) and the Holland Children’s Movement (a social welfare organization), of which she has been a director since 2013. These two affiliated organizations have the shared vision of making Nebraska a national beacon of economic security and opportunity for all children and families.
Andy is active in politics and community affairs, having served on the board of Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska for six years; two of those as chair. For four years she acted as the finance chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, and served on the Hillary For America’s National Finance Committee in 2016. She has received awards from the Nebraska Democratic Party, and other organizations primarily for fundraising.
She currently serves on the boards of Girls Inc. of Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor’s Board of Counselors, and the Tri-Faith Initiative, a project in Omaha in which a church, a mosque, and a temple are locating their respective houses of worship on a shared commons.
María Teresa Kumar is the founding President and CEO of Voto Latino and an Emmy-nominated contributor with MSNBC. She is the host of Changing America for MSNBC.Com. Fast Company named her among the most 1000 creative minds in business worldwide for her unique use of technology, media and celebrity to make transformative change. In 2013, Elle named her one of the 10 most influential women in Washington, DC. A dynamic community leader, María Teresa was named by Hispanic Business among the 100 most influential Latinos in America and by PODER Magazine as one of the 20 most influential Latinos under 40. The Hispanic Heritage Foundation granted her the prestigious Leadership Award for her work serving the Latino community. The Women’s Media Center also recognized her with an Emerging Journalist award. Campaigns and Elections named her one to watch in shaping the 2014 mid-term elections. Under her leadership, Voto Latino has won numerous awards including two Webby Honoree awards, and several Promax awards for best in ethnic marketing. Voto Latino has become a key factor in national elections by directly registering a quarter million new voters and influencing millions more through viral, celebrity-driven campaigns.
María Teresa serves on the national boards of EMILYs List, Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Latino Leaders Network, and is a Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. She was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She is a co-chair of the Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet which explores the future of connected education. She is a frequent guest analyst on NPR and PBS, a recent panelist on Bill Maher’s HBO show, an opinion writer for national publications, and a sought after speaker at major conferences including Google’s Women Global Leadership conference, Intel, General Electric, SXSW, NetRoots Nation, Personal Democracy Forum, Harvard Law and TEDx. María Teresa has been profiled in numerous outlets including HBO’s Celebrity Habla, PBS’s The Graduates, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Americas Quarterly, Washington Post and Capitol File. She started her career as a legislative aide for then Democratic Caucus Chair Vic Fazio, and graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School and the University of California at Davis.
Judith L. Lichtman is Senior Advisor at the Partnership for Women & Families. She has been a guiding and influential force in the women’s movement for more than 30 years. She stepped down as President of the National Partnership For Women & Families in 2004. Her commitment, vision, and talent as an attorney and advocate have made a profound difference for women and families across the United States.
Judith often says: “I went to law school because being a lawyer gave me a license for activism.” Under Judith’s leadership, the National Partnership has been at the forefront of every major piece of civil rights legislation related to women and families for 30 years. Founded as a small volunteer group, the National Partnership has grown into a national organization with thousands of members and has become one of the country’s most influential strategic forces, shaping national policy through its advocacy, lobbying, litigation, and public education. Judith’s vision and the National Partnership’s strength and direct leadership have resulted in the passage of some of the most important legal protections for American women and families, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. In 1996, the National Partnership helped shape key provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that make it easier for women and their families to get and keep health coverage. More recently, Judith has led efforts to promote patient protections and to bring paid family and medical leave to California.
Judith has been recognized by civic and legal organizations, business and labor leaders, and others for her strategic abilities, political savvy, effectiveness in creating powerful and diverse coalitions, and her tireless commitment to building a truly just society.
Jennifer is the Managing Partner at Gonring Lin Spahn. She specializes in public affairs, with extensive experience in federal, state and local government relations, community outreach and fundraising. An expert in managing issue advocacy campaigns, Jennifer provides counsel to Fortune 100 corporations, private companies, prominent individuals, philanthropic foundations, and non-profit organizations seeking to build coalitions and achieve their policy goals. She also leads political fundraising for the firm, amassing tens of millions of dollars for Democratic candidates each cycle.
Jennifer previously worked at DreamWorks SKG where she directed the company’s government, political and community affairs. She was also responsible for special fundraising events and political giving on behalf of the studio and its principals.
Jennifer was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Exposition Park and California Science Center Board, where she currently serves as Vice Chair. She is also a member of the Getty House Foundation Board of Directors.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in South Pasadena, California, Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and English. Her husband, Allan Edmiston, is a partner at the law firm Loeb & Loeb LLP. They reside in Los Angeles with their two sons.
Sarah Min promotes the advancement of mission-driven organizations. She identifies and reaches audiences through people-centered strategy to help bolster a mission, whether it be for a business, a nonprofit or a candidate. Applying her knowledge and expertise in business strategy, content, marketing and consumer engagement, Sarah helps to activate people and grow a support base in multiple arenas.
Sarah spent much of her career executing big content-driven visions for startups and brands, operating effectively across the organization as the hub among business, technology and creative teams. As an objective, experienced observer, Sarah delves into organizational dynamics to understand the voice of an organization and recommends cultural shifts to fit with the new business model. Her sense of culture trends and understanding of customer behavior are rooted in her decade long career as managing editor of iconic magazines such as Domino, Vibe and Glamour, corporate development experience at media conglomerate Bertelsmann, as well as serving as an independent consultant for clients including HBO and Penguin Random House.
In her business leadership roles, Sarah managed rapid expansion as President of McSweeney’s and EVP of Corporate Development and Marketing at ScrollMotion, where she helped to produce among the first consumer apps in iTunes as well as helped raise a series C round of funding. She brings her organizational experience to serve on the board of directors of The High Line, Color of Change and her family foundation, which builds political and economic power for women and people of color.
Sarah holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Joyce Newstat is a public policy and civic leader, philanthropist, and civil and human rights advocate. Her groundbreaking work includes advancing marriage equality for the LGBTQ community and combating antisemitism and extremism through Holocaust education.
Newstat has over thirty years of experience as a senior policy and political adviser, and is responsible for elevating a diverse array of qualified candidates to public office at the local, state, and national level. She has led successful policy transition teams for elected leaders, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; for Vice President Kamala Harris, when she was elected Attorney General of California, and for current San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Newstat also directed the creation of a diverse personnel and appointments talent bank for Governor Newsom as a member of his transition team.
Newstat has been at the forefront of developing and implementing landmark policies promoting LGBTQ equality and gender equality. As Director of Public Policy for then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, she co-led the city’s groundbreaking marriage equality policy. She helped set strategy with the City Attorney, County Clerk, and County Assessor, for Mayor Newsom’s issuance of marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples in San Francisco in 2004, making it the first American city to do so. This policy achievement became the cornerstone for a series of legal challenges leading to the historic decision by the United States Supreme Court establishing marriage equality a decade later.
Newstat is also an experienced communications and public affairs professional. She served as Vice President for Policy and Communications for the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, and earlier in her career, developed government relations policies for UC San Francisco.
Newstat has been engaged with numerous political and civic causes including the LGBTQ Victory Institute, LPAC, Groundspark, the Horizons Foundation and the California Partners Project.
She is currently a Trustee of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, a Board Member of the UCSF Foundation, Member of Futures Without Violence Courage Museum Advisory Council, Member of JFCS Holocaust Council, Member of CA Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education and Board Director of Emily’s List.
Newstat holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Albany and earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Golden Gate University Law School.
She lives in San Francisco with her spouse Susan Lowenberg.
Deborah Simon has enjoyed a career that has spanned three decades and two Industries. First, as Senior Vice President of Simon Property Group then in the motion picture industry as a Music Coordinator and then Music Producer.
She returned to the shopping center industry by becoming a Leasing agent for Simon Property Group rising in the organization to a Senior Vice President and having success in opening and leasing the Forum Shops among other shopping centers across the United States.
After the company went public she decided to pursue her dreams of philanthropy being one of the Founders of the Simon Youth Foundation, which helps at risk youth obtain their high school diploma. Currently there are 42 Academies across the United States. She continues to Chair this Foundation.
Serving as President of the Board of Regents of Mercersburg Academy, she is one of those responsible for chairing the Capital Campaign at the Academy which raised over $300,000,000 for the boarding school.
She is also on the board of Directors for The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation, the Juilliard Board of Trustees, Board of Directors of the Planned Parenthood Foundation, and she serves as a Centennial chair for the ACLU. She also serves on the advisory board of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Her passions run from the arts to educating youth and social action. She graduated from Mercersburg Academy and attended the University of Southern California.
Donald Sussman has worked in hedge fund investing for more than thirty years and is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of the Paloma Funds. Mr. Sussman was named to the Institutional Investor-Alpha Hedge Fund Hall of Fame in 2013. He was the recipient of Hedge Funds Review’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and Institutional Investor’s Alternative Investment News Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Mr. Sussman is a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Investment Committee of Carnegie Hall. Mr. Sussman attended Columbia College and received a B.S. and an MBA from New York University as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science.
At the age of 26, Michael D. Tubbs became the youngest Mayor of any major city in American history. As Mayor, Tubbs was lauded for his leadership and innovation. Under his stewardship, Stockton was named an “All-America City” in 2017 and 2018, saw a 40% drop in homicides in 2018 and 2019, led the state of California in the decline of officer involved shootings in 2019, was named the second most fiscally healthy city in California and one of the top most fiscally healthy cities in the nation and was featured in an HBO documentary film, Stockton on My Mind. Tubbs raised over $20 million dollars to create the Stockton Scholars, a universal scholarship and mentorship program for Stockton students. He is the Founder and Chair of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. Tubbs has been named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and The MIT Media Lab, a member of Fortune’s Top 40 under 40, a Forbes 30 under 30 All-star Alumni, the “Most Valuable Mayor” by The Nation, the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center, and 2019 New Frontier Award Winner from the JFK Library. Before taking the helm as Mayor, Tubbs served as a Councilmember for the City of Stockton District 6, was a high school educator, and a fellow for the Stanford Design School and the Emerson Collective. The author of the memoir The Deeper the Roots, Tubbs currently serves as the Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and is the founder of End Poverty in California (EPIC).
Senior Leadership Team
Meet the team who powers EMILYs work to elect Democratic pro-choice women to office.
Laphonza Butler is the president of EMILYs List. As a leader in Democratic politics, campaign strategy, and the labor movement for two decades, she has dedicated her life to empowering women and supporting them in finding their voice, and using it to make meaningful change.
Prior to joining EMILYs List, Butler served as Director of Public Policy and Campaigns in North America for Airbnb. She also was a partner at SCRB Strategies, a political consulting firm where she was a strategist for candidates running up and down the ballot and a senior advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign.
With nearly 20 years in the labor movement, Butler has served as the president of the biggest union in California, and the nation’s largest homecare workers union, SEIU Local 2015. She was elected to this position at just 30 years old, one of the youngest to take on this role. As president, Butler was the leading voice, strategist, and architect of efforts to address pay inequity for women in California and a top advocate for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour – the first state in the nation to do so, benefiting millions of working women in low wage jobs. That effort also gave hundreds of thousands of home workers access to paid time off. She also served as an SEIU International Vice President and President of the SEIU California State Council.
Throughout her career, Butler has been highly regarded as a strategist working to elect Democratic women candidates in political offices across California and nationally. A long-time supporter of Kamala Harris in her California runs, Butler was a key leader in Vice President Harris’s presidential campaign. She served as a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in California during the primary and general elections. Most recently, Butler was a campaign operative behind the campaign to make the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors all-women for the first time in its history with the election of Holly Mitchell.
She has been a member of the University of California Board of Regents and a member of the board of directors for the Children’s Defense Fund and BLACK PAC.
Laphonza grew up in Magnolia, MS, and attended one of the country’s premier HBCUs, Jackson State University.
Angelique Cannon is the vice president of development and has worked in politics, campaigns, and fundraising for 20 years. Recently, she served as the national finance director for U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign.
During the 2018 election cycle, Angelique served as the national finance director for Senate Majority PAC and Majority Forward. In 2017, she served as senior advisor to Tom Perriello’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia and at Urban Institute. Angelique was the deputy national finance director for the Mid-Atlantic region for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary for America.
Prior to joining the Clinton campaign, she served as the national finance director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for four years (2011-2014), where she developed and executed a $145 million finance plan. In 2010, she served as the major gifts director at EMILYs List.
During the 2008 election cycle, Angelique served as national finance director for former Virginia Governor Mark Warner’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate. In 2006, she worked with Warner as deputy national finance director of his leadership PAC, Forward Together PAC. Angelique has also served as director of development for Third Way, national director for Senator Patty Murray’s 2004 reelection campaign, finance director for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s gubernatorial campaign in Maryland, and as deputy national finance director for Senator Harry Reid.
Angelique is from Augusta, GA and is an alum of Howard University. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children.
Sarah Curmi is the Vice President of State and Local Campaigns at EMILYs List, where she oversees the team that recruits and advises women running for down-ballot statewide, state legislative, and local offices.
Sarah joined EMILYs List as a Regional Director in 2015, working with candidates and elected officials in more than 10 states over three cycles, and then served as a Senior Director, overseeing staff in the western half of the country. Throughout her tenure on the State and Local team, she has served as a key thought partner in the program’s strategic development and expansion.
Prior to her work with EMILYs List, Sarah served as the Chief of Staff to former Michigan State Senator Rebekah Warren, where she directed all legislative operations and political affairs. She was also the Caucus Director for the Michigan Senate Democrats, where she managed candidate recruitment and oversaw the campaigns for Democratic nominees across the state.
Growing up in a politically-active family, Sarah started volunteering on campaigns at an early age, and was elected to her hometown school board at just 18 years old. She has managed several state legislative campaigns, and worked on races up and down the ballot throughout her career.
Sarah is passionate about effecting change at the state and local level because she has seen the profound impact these elected officials have on our daily lives, and the desperate need for more diverse representation in city halls and state capitols all over the country.
She is a proud Michigander and single mom by choice. She graduated from the University of Michigan and lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan with her daughter Mia.
Callie Fines serves as the CFO for EMILYs List where she ensures the financial wellbeing of the organization and its compliance with election laws and regulations. Her span of responsibility encompasses all accounting, auditing, financial, budgeting, and federal and state compliance and election reporting activities.
Callie joined EMILYs List over 20 years ago. Additional roles over her tenure at EMILYs List have included Director of Finance and Compliance, and Compliance Coordinator. Her progression through the ranks has afforded her the opportunity to understand every aspect of her functional area from a hands-on perspective. This includes preparing monthly FEC reports for EMILYs List, conducting research and filing reports in all states where EMILYs List was active as a non-federal entity, and working closely with all EMILYs List recommended campaigns.
Before joining EMILYs List, Callie oversaw accounting and compliance for the PAC of a large trade association.
Callie earned her B.A. in political science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is a native Washingtonian and now lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband, two children, and golden retriever.
Cayana Mackey-Nance is the Vice President of Digital at EMILYs List where she oversees the Digital Fundraising, Social Media, Run to Win, and Design teams.
Cayana joined the EMILYs List team after working on several high profile campaigns. She most recently led one of the strongest digital programs in the country as Val Demings’ Digital Director. Cayana led Senator Reverend Warnock’s digital team as Deputy Digital Director in his first historic senate campaign. Her digital experience also includes working with Daily Kos, Organizing Corps 2020, and Cory Booker’s Presidential primary campaign.
Before working in electoral politics, Cayana worked in marketing and development for several nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity International and Candid, formerly known as The Foundation Center.
Cayana is an alumni of Baylor University and Lee University where she studied Public Relations. Although she currently lives in Washington, D.C with her husband Jibril, her life and career was based in the South. She will always call Atlanta home and is passionate about building electoral power in Southern states.
Jessica Mackler is one of the country’s top political strategists. She has run numerous top-tier federal campaigns and directed more than $100 million in spending by campaigns, advocacy organizations, and independent expenditures.
Politico Playbook named Jessica to its 2018 “Women to Watch Power List,” noting, “she has honed her political chops over a long career in Democratic politics.”
Before coming to EMILYs List in 2021, Jessica ran two high profile independent expenditure operations – for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) in 2020 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2018.
Jessica was critical to Democrats winning the House majority in 2018 with an historic pickup of 40 House seats. She served as the DCCC’s first female Independent Expenditure director. In this role, Jessica led a team of 38 and directed nearly $90 million in paid media spending across 59 congressional districts.
Jessica served as the President of American Bridge 21st Century, the largest opposition research and rapid response organization in Democratic politics in the 2016 cycle. She previously spent a decade working on Democratic campaigns across the country, including as a campaign manager for the 2012 Nevada Senate race.
This is Jessica’s 2nd tour of duty at EMILYs List – she began her career here as a political researcher. She later co-founded one of the only women-run opposition research firms, working with a number of clients who helped Democrats regain majorities in Congress and win governors’ offices in 2006.
Jessica is a native of Sonoma County, California, and a graduate of UC San Diego. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and two sons.
Christina Reynolds joined EMILYs List after nearly two decades of experience as a communications and research strategist. A lifelong fighter for progressive causes, she has managed large-scale press operations from the campaign trail to the White House.
Christina spent most of her career in campaigns and politics, serving as deputy communications director at Hillary for America, White House Director of Media Affairs and Special Assistant to President Obama, director of rapid response at Obama for America, research & policy director at the DCCC during the 2006 midterms, senior roles in several presidential and Senate campaigns, and deputy research director at the DNC. She also worked in strategic communications and public affairs at the Global Strategy Group and the Glover Park Group.
A proud Tar Heel and Marine brat, Christina studied journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the co-author, with EMILYs List former President Stephanie Schriock, of Run to Win: Lessons in Leadership for Women Changing the World.
Denelle Robinson is the Chief Administrative Officer at EMILYs List, overseeing all operations and human resource functions as well as leading the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. She most recently served as the Human Resources Director where she was responsible for the human resource function as well as overseeing the internship program.
Prior to joining EMILYs List, Denelle served as HR Manager for a variety of clients with responsibilities of recruitment, payroll processing, benefits administration, employment law and relations, and many other human resources tasks, at Raffa, P.C., a consulting firm in Washington, DC. Prior to that, Denelle worked for the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington, DC, as the HR Director, where she oversaw the payroll, benefits and human resources function from 2007 through 2014.
Denelle holds a BBA degree from Georgia Southern University, is certified as a professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute as well as the Society for HR Management.
An avid rollerskater and swing style dancer, Denelle lives in Maryland with her husband and son.
Johanna is the Vice President for Training and Community Engagement where she oversees partnership, community engagement and training programs which help to expand and diversify the pipeline of women running for public office.
During the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, Johanna served as the Programs and West Coast Director for State and Local Campaigns at EMILYs List. She worked tirelessly to increase the number of Democratic, pro-choice women in both chambers of California’s state legislature. In 2016, she led the effort to flip New Mexico’s House and Nevada’s state Assembly, laying the groundwork for the state’s historic gain as the first women-majority state legislature in the country.
In 2002, Johanna founded Hope Road Consulting, a full-service political consulting and public relations firm, which she led until 2015. One of her stand-out achievements was to manage Vote Hope 2008, the largest independent expenditure in support of Barack Obama for President.
An immigrant of Nicaragua, Johanna lives in San Francisco with her husband Jerry, son Sebastian, and her parents. Johanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and La Raza Studies from California State University, San Francisco.
Melissa Williams is the Executive Director of Women Vote, EMILYs List’s independent expenditure arm. In this role, she oversees the organization’s efforts to research, persuade, and mobilize women voters; and works to strengthen partnerships with progressive allies nationally.
Melissa also serves as the Executive Director of EMILYs List Action, an affiliated organization of EMILYs List. EMILYs List Action works to combat disinformation targeting women in leadership across the country. In this role, she leads the organization’s strategic vision, research, and outreach with allies and partners.
This is her second stint at EMILYs List, first joining staff in the 2012 cycle to run the House and Gubernatorial IEs. Prior to joining EMILYs List, Melissa was the National Political Director for the Sierra Club where she oversaw the electoral program, running independent expenditures, membership communications, and coordinated campaigns nationwide. Melissa has worked on independent expenditure and membership programs for a number of progressive organizations and labor unions. She holds degrees in Government and Women’s Studies from Harvard University. She also holds an M.S. in International Political Economics.