2006 Annual Personal Democracy Forum Conference | Speakers
Speakers from all segments of the political, business, blogosphere and technology worlds will include:
Jerome Armstrong, co-author, Crashing the Gate
David All, Rep. Jack Kingston's office
Jed Alpert, Politxt
Matt Bai, New York Times Magazine
Michael Bassik, MSHC Partners
Britt Blaser, ORGware
Adam Bonin, Cozen O'Connor
Andrew Boyd, Billionaires for Bush
Merrill Brown, MMB Media LLC
Douglas Busk, Singlepoint
Will Carlin, VShift
Chris Casey, NGP Software
Bobby Clark, ProgressNowAction
Jason Calacanis, Weblogs Inc.
Cheryl Contee, Issue Dynamics, Inc.
Henry Copeland, BlogAds
Susan Crawford, OneWebDay
Peter Daou, The Daou Report
Jay Dedman, videoblogger
Chuck Defeo, Salem Communications
Sanford Dickert, Rawlings Political
Becky Donatelli, Campaign Solutions
David Donnelly, Public Campaign Action Fund
Steve Effros, Effros Communications
Shayna Englin, M+R Strategic Services
Allison Fine, author
Mindy Finn, Senator Rick Santorum campaign
Eve Fox, M+R Strategic Services
Jonathan Garthwaite, Townhall.com
Julie Barko Germany IPDI
Justin Germany, Campaign Solutions
Gina Glantz, SEIU
Joe Green, Essembly.com
William Greene, RightMarch.com
Mary Katherine Ham, Townhall.com
Mary Hodder, Dabble
Heather Holdridge, Care2
Aldon Hynes, Orient-Lodge.com
Dina Kaplan, BlipTV
Timothy Karr, Free Press
Josh Koenig, Trellon
Mike Krempasky, RedState.org
Jo Lee, CitizenSpeak
Elana Levin, Drum Major Institute
Joshua Marshall, TalkingPointsMemo
Bill McIntyre, Grassroots Enterprise
Juan Melli, BlueJersey.net
Kathy Mitchell, Consumers Union
Ryan Montoya, OneAmerica
David Moore, Participatory Culture Foundation
Markos Moulitsas, DailyKos
Justin Oberman, MOpocket
Chris Nolan, Spot-on
Nathaniel Pearlman, NGP
Chellie Pingree, Common Cause
Dorrian Porter, Mozes.com
Juan M. Proaño, Plus Three
Laura Quinn, Idealware.org
Laura S. Quinn, Idealware.org
Christopher Rabb, Afro-Netizen
Ari Rabin-Havt, Senator Harry Reid's office
Benjamin Rahn, ActBlue
Sheldon Rampton, SourceWatch.org
Ben Rigby, MobileVoter
Joe Rospars, Democratic National Committee
Patrick Ruffini, Republican National Committee
Liza Sabater, CultureKitchen
Scott Sala, Urban Elephant
Nancy Scola, NancyScola.com
Sam Seder, AirAmerica Radio
Jonah Seiger, ConnectionsMedia
Stuart Shapiro, DemNet
David Sifry, Technorati
Ben Smith, Politicker
Roger Simon, Pajamas Media
Eliot Spitzer, NY Attorney General
Matt Stoller, MyDD.com
Zephyr Teachout, Berkman Center
Joe Trippi, ChangeforAmerica
Michael Turk, National Cable & Telecommunications Association
Gur Tsabar, Room Eight
Dan Weaver, MobileAccord
Christopher Wolf, Proskauer Rose LLP
Celia Viggo Wexler, Common Cause
Jerome Armstrong, Internet strategist, Netroots.com [back to top]
Jerome Armstrong, a pioneer of the political blogosphere, founded one of the first political blogs, MyDD.com, in 2001. An architect of the netroots strategy that used blogs and meetups for Howard Dean's campaign, Jerome works as an internet strategist for advocacy organizations and political campaigns with his company, Netroots.com. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
David All, Communications Director, Rep. Jack Kingston [back to top]
David All is the Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who is the vice-chairman of the House Republican Conference and chairman of the GOP's Theme Team. Always skeptical of bias in the mainstream media, Congressman Kingston launched his blog in 2005 and has since been labeled the "King of the Blogosphere" by his colleagues and major news outlets. As Kingston's key staffer for new media strategies, David engages both conservative and liberal bloggers to better understand the blogosphere, assists Republican staff in developing their blog and Internet outreach strategy, and encourages Republicans to reach out to younger audience through alternative mediums. Prior to joining Kingston, David had the opportunity to serve his native state as the Deputy Communications Director for U.S. Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio.
Jed Alpert, CEO, Rights Group, LLC [back to top]
Jed Alpert, is CEO of Rights Group, LLC, a mobile entertainment and marketing company with clients including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Visa International, Samsung, Pepsi, and Collegehumor.com. Its Politxt/Patriotxt division is the leading provider mobile services to campaigns and advocacy organizations including People for the American Way, SEIU, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, One America Committee, Family Justice and the ACLU.
Jed was previously President of Sunshine Amalgamedia, Inc., a technology-driven entertainment company with operating divisions in interactive content, including Interactive TV; exhibition (Sunshine Theater NYC); television development and production; and feature film production. At Sunshine, Jed developed an innovative syndication sponsorship model commissioning top young directors to make short films for multiple distribution networks with nationally branded sponsorship. Sunshine partners, clients, and customers have included Microsoft, Oracle, Scripps Howard, and others. Additionally, while at Sunshine, he oversaw the production of feature films and developed television.
During his tenure practicing law at Rudolph and Beer, and as an associate at Paul Weiss, Jed's clients included films such as Slingblade, Hurricane Streets, Sunday, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Cruise, Next Stop Wonderland, Three Seasons, and Star Maps. He represented companies such as Open City Films, Rhino Entertainment and Sonic Net. Further, he produced numerous feature films including Sunday, winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. He has also served on the board of a number of film festivals and arts organizations, including Genart, The Newport Film Festival and Thread Waxing Space. Jed holds a BA from Connecticut College and a JD from Cardozo School of Law.
Matt Bai, contributing writer, New York Times Magazine [back to top]
Matt Bai writes on Washington and national politics for the New York Times Magazine. His coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign included cover stories on the Republican machine in Ohio and the future of Democratic politics, as well as a cover profile of John Kerry that was featured in “The Best American Political Writing 2005.” Since joining the magazine as a contributing writer in July 2002, he has profiled such figures as Karl Rove, Gary Hart, Lincoln Chafee and Howard Dean, and he has written on such topics as the Democrats’ rural problem and the fiscal crises in the states.
Bai is currently at work on a book about Democratic politics, which will be published by Henry Holt in 2007. His personal essay in the anthology “I Married My Mother-in-Law… and Other Tales of the In-Laws We Can’t Live With—And Can’t Live Without,” published by Riverhead Books in 2006, was also featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Before joining the New York Times Magazine, Bai, 37, spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek, where his work included the magazine’s cover story on the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. In 2001, Bai was a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, where he led a seminar on the next generation of political journalism. His international experience includes coverage from Iraq and Liberia.
Before joining Newsweek, Bai was a city desk reporter for The Boston Globe, where he covered breaking news and law enforcement. He began his career as a speechwriter for for UNICEF. He is a graduate of Tufts and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, where the faculty awarded him the prestigious Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. He lives with his wife and son in Washington.
Michael Bassik, Vice President, MSHC Partners [back to top]
At MSHC Partners, no small measure of pride is taken in the fact that each member of our team boasts some unique and/or odd skill. However, when Michael Bassik came to us in 2004 he brought with him the unique distinction as being the first – and probably only – member of our staff to have ever appeared on stage at Carnegie Hall (making his New York City debut playing viola with his high school orchestra). In fact, Michael came to MSHC Partners possessing a wealth of unique skills – singing, dancing, sleeping late – that we have yet to figure out what to do with.
In the meantime, Michael is MSHC Partners' Vice President of Internet Advertising and oversees the creation and development of our online banner, blog, and search engine advertising. A true political junkie who got his first fix accompanying his parents to the polls, Michael comes to us from America Online, Inc., where had directed political advertising strategy since the 2000 election cycle.
MSHC Partners was the first traditional consulting firm to successfully offer Internet marketing services to political clients. Under Michael's leadership, MSHC has executed more than one hundred different online ad campaigns and delivered over 1.5 billion impressions on behalf of advocacy and non-profit organizations, and candidates at all levels of the ballot, including John Kerry and the Democratic National Committee. MSHC currently boasts more than fifty percent market share of the entire online political advertising industry.
A native of Great Neck, NY, Michael graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (where he was the student body president in his senior year) and has worked for some of the most powerful figures in media and politics, including President Clinton and former New York Times Editor-in-Chief Howell Raines. He is currently a third year law student at American University’s Washington College of Law and is a Senior Contributing Producer to PoliticsTV.com.
Britt Blaser, CEO, Open Resource Group LLC [back to top]
For 33 years, I've been forming companies and organizing projects to seize opportunities dimly glimpsed by others. The first half of my career was in real estate development in Colorado, in mountain resorts and along the Front Range. This work required the formation of partnerships, financing and quasi-governmental agencies to deliver utilities and, in one case, to develop an interchange on a federal highway. Developments included a community shopping center, large-scale land developments and the invention of a solar home design for which I was awarded U.S. Patent 4420036.
In 1986-92 I was the angel investor and later President and CEO of Dynamac Computer, the first authorized Macintosh clone. In 1992-4, I co-founded the Trust Company of Washington in Seattle. For the last decade I've advised clients on a range of increasingly technical projects.
Classically educated and descended from a family of writers, I've explored many corners of the American experience: Patrol Leader, Colorado Outward Bound School (climbed five of Colorado's 14,000 ft. peaks); USAF combat pilot in Vietnam (awarded 2 Air Medals and 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses); ski instructor; Trustee and Development Director, Colorado Academy (Colorado's largest independent school); Trustee, Colorado Children's Chorale; Author, Xpertweb peer-to-peer reputation protocol; Senior advisor for Internet strategy for the Howard Dean Campaign; Senior architect for web strategy, Spirit of America; Widely read blogger at "Escapable Logic..
Now based in Manhattan, I recently founded and serve as CEO of Open Resource Group, LLC, a developer of a comprehensive content management system for spontaneous community-forming. The architecture and user orientation is based on lessons learned from the Howard Dean campaign and the Spirit of America project. Our clients are communities that want to grow and organizations seeking to inspire and support a dynamic community around their efforts.
Adam Bonin, Attorney, Cozen O'Connor [back to top]
Adam Bonin is an attorney with Cozen O'Connor in Philadelphia, PA, where he represents clients in election law and other matters. His advocacy on behalf of leading liberal bloggers led to a major victory on behalf of online free speech before the Federal Election Commission in March 2006, securing significant new rights for speakers on the Internet to engage in unrestrained political speech and advocacy.
Andrew Boyd, activist and author [back to top]
A pioneer of viral activism, Andrew was one of the driving forces behind Billionaires for Bush and the Million Billionaire March. He founded, and for several years directed, the arts and action program at United for a Fair Economy. His writing has appeared in the Nation, the Village Voice and several anthologies on recent social movements. Andrew is the author of The Activist Cookbook, a source book on creative direct action, as well as two ironically serious (or is it seriously ironic?) books published by W. W. Norton: Daily Afflictions and Life's Little Deconstruction Book. Last year he was chief "idea girbil" at Working Assets. This year he's wholesaling hazmat suits: www.quarantinewalmart.com
Merill Brown, founder, MMB Media LLC
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Merrill Brown is the founder and principal of MMB Media LLC, which provides clients with management and strategy consulting, corporate, editorial and program development, business analysis and marketing services. Since the founding of MMB Media, clients have ranged from companies in the news, information and wireless businesses to a large foundation. Brown was recently appointed National Editorial Director of News for the 21st Century: Incubators of New Ideas (News 21), part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.
Before establishing the firm, Brown served as Senior Vice President, RealOne Services from August 2002 through August 2003 and was responsible for all facets of the RealOne programming business including programming, subscription sales, marketing, advertising sales and technology.
Brown became the first Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com in August 1996 after serving as acting managing editor for the July launch of the service. During his tenure, the fledgling company grew to become one of the most visited news offerings on the Web, maintaining a position as the No. 1 online news provider since 1999. Prior to joining MSNBC in May 1996, Brown was a media and communications consultant whose work included strategic development work at Time Inc., NBC, U S West and a score of other media ventures (1995-96).
Brown was one of the initial strategists responsible for creating the Courtroom Television Network (Court TV). As a founder of the cable network, Brown worked on all facets of the network's operation leading up to its July 1991 launch. As senior vice president, corporate & program development, he oversaw program planning, advertising, promotion, marketing, public relations and development of day-to-day management of the cable network (1990-1994).
Brown was associated with the Washington Post from 1979 to 1985, serving as a financial reporter (1979-1982), New York financial correspondent (1982-1984) and director of business development, Washington Post Company (1984-1985). Brown has also made numerous television appearances, including the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (1980-1990), as a regular media analyst for CNBC and FNN (1988-1990) and on dozens of other major broadcast and cable news programs. Brown serves on the boards of Backfence.com, Smashing Ideas, Inc., the Center for Citizen Media, Nowpublic.com ,The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, the International Women's Media Foundation, The Media Center, a division of the American Press Institute, and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
Douglas Busk, General Manager, Singlepoint [back to top]
With over 10 years’ experience in high tech fields, ranging from interactive marketing to wireless strategy, Doug Busk brings a diverse background to his current role as General Manager of the SinglePoint division of Wireless Services Corporation. Previously, Doug was Associate Director of Messaging for Verizon Wireless, where he led product management of intercarrier, premium, international, and B2B SMS-based initiatives as well as Instant Messaging product lines. Upon joining Verizon Wireless in 2003, Doug headed up Wi-Fi and EV-DO-related development. From 2001-2003, Doug drove product development and management of third-party revenue at Cingular. From 1997-2000, Doug led CIMStudio, the in-house advertising creative unit of nationwide city site network Cox Interactive Media.
Will Carlin, VShift [back to top]
Will Carlin is part of the management team now leading VShift, an interactive strategy, marketing and design firm. VShift operates the I Stand For platform, which runs the websites of prominent advocacy groups and democratic campaigns.
Will is an experienced consultant, manager and entrepreneur, active in the New York interactive industry for 15 years. Will is the former Managing Director for OgilvyInteractive where he was responsible for overseeing all of its New York operations. He joined Ogilvy after serving as Managing Partner for the New York office of marchFIRST. Will also co-founded a multimedia company, worked as a financial analyst and, prior to his professional career, was a sixth-grade school teacher.
A communications and process specialist, Will has taught classes at both NYU and Columbia Business School in presentation skills and interactive development processes. He graduated with Honors from Yale, received an MBA with High Honors from Columbia Business School and studied advanced pre-med for two years at Harvard.
Before entering Columbia Business School, Will was a world-ranked squash player on the men’s professional touring circuit, won the U.S. National Championship in squash and was the United States’ #1 ranked player in 1990 and 1995. Will also served on both the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the US Olympic Committee.
Chris Casey, Director of Online Campaigns, NGP Software [back to top]
Chris Casey brings more than 10 years of experience with campaigning online to NGP Software. Since his first online campaign with Senator Edward Kennedy in 1994, Chris has continued to work with Democratic candidates to further develop the art of the online campaign. He was a member of the Web team at the last three Democratic National Conventions. Chris worked in the U.S. Senate for eight years, helping to bring Congress into the Information Age. He was employed by Senator Edward Kennedy, the first member of Congress to establish a home page on the Web, and later joined the Democratic Technology & Communications Committee where he helped Senators use the Internet to communicate with their constituents. Chris left his Senate job in 2000 to become a full-time consultant, and for four years his company, casey.com, designed and managed award winning online campaigns for his Democratic clients. Chris is the author of the book, The Hill on the Net: Congress Enters the Information Age (AP Professional, 1996), and he regularly shares his thoughts on many topics in his blog at www.casey.com.
Jason Calacanis, CEO, Weblogs Inc. [back to top]
Jason McCabe Calacanis is CEO and co-founder of Weblogs Inc., a network of close to 100 blogs. Weblogs, Inc. was founded in January of 2004 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL in November of 2005. The company produces widely read blogs including Engadget, Joystiq, Blogging Baby, Luxist, and Gadling.
Prior to forming Weblogs Inc., Calacanis was the CEO and founder of Rising Tide Studios, a media company that published print and online publications including the Silicon Alley Reporter, which chronicled the internet industry, and produced of high-profile industry specific conferences. After the industry consolidated, the flagship publication became Venture Reporter, now owned by Dow Jones, and shifted from an advertising model to a database subscription model.
Calacanis was born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn and received a B.A. in psychology from Fordham University in Manhattan. He is a 5th Degree in Tae Kwon Do, has run in eleven consecutive New York City Marathons, consulted on the script and appeared in Wayne Wang's film Center of the World about the life of a cyber surfer, serves on the board of directors of Bay Ridge Preparatory School and is a commentator on the new media industry. He is currently bi-coastal, residing in Santa Monica and New York City.
Bobby Clark, Deputy Director, ProgressNowAction [back to top]
Bobby Clark is the Deputy Director of Denver-based ProgressNow Action. ProgressNowAction.org launched its unique new Internet platform in the fall of 2005 with the goal of providing tools to engage, connect, and empower progressive activists across Colorado. In just 7 months, ProgressNowAction.org has grown to nearly 30,000 members and has become a model for building sustainable local progressive networks. As one of the earliest staff members on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, Bobby helped pioneer use of the Internet to fundraise online and utilize social networking to build a support base. A graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and the University of Oklahoma, Bobby also has helped found three Internet startups and has consulted to dozens of political campaigns at the state and national level. Bobby resides in Denver with his partner, Shaun, and their two dogs, Buddy and Lady.
Cheryl Contee, Assistant Vice President, IDI [back to top]
Cheryl Contee, Assistant Vice President at IDI, specializes in helping Fortune 500 companies, major non-profit organizations and leading trade associations manage their brands and their campaigns online. Cheryl comes to IDI with extensive non-profit and business online content development, marketing, communications and fundraising experience. Cheryl consistently creates award-winning sites and is a pioneer in the field of blogger relations including blog creation/management, blog advertising, blog training and blogger outreach. Clients include: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Verizon, BellSouth, The U.S. Holocaust Museum, Amnesty International USA and many others. Cheryl received a degree at Yale University with a major in Ethics, Politics and Economics and has an International Executive MBA from Georgetown University.
Henry Copeland, CEO, Blogads.com [back to top]
Henry Copeland leads Blogads.com. Launched in 2002, Blogads handles advertising for 300 leading political blogs including DailyKos, HughHewitt, Talkingpointsmemo, Atrios, Redstate and PoliticalWire. Having drunk the blog Kool-Aid early and often, Copeland believes blogs are bigger than the Beatles. In previous lives, Copeland was a Wall Street bond trader and a business journalist in post-Communist Europe. Copeland graduated from Yale University in 1984.
Susan Crawford, Associate Professor, Cardozo Law School [back to top]
Susan Crawford is an Associate Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School (http://www.cardozo.yu.edu) in New York City, teaching cyberlaw. Ms.Crawford received her B.A.and J.D. from Yale University. She was a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (Washington, D.C., now WilmerHale) until the end of 2002, when she left that firm to enter the legal academy. Prof. Crawford writes about communications policy, digital copyright issues and Internet governance, and is a member of the ICANN board of directors. She is planning OneWebDay, a holiday for the internet scheduled for September 22, 2006.
Peter Daou, writer, The Daou Report [back to top]
Peter Daou is the founder and editor of Salon’s Daou Report. In 2004, Peter directed online rapid response and blog outreach for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. He currently serves as an online communications consultant to leading political and public policy institutions including the United Nations Foundation, Media Matters, AARP, The Patriot Project, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Foundation. In addition to the Daou Report, Peter guest blogs at the Huffington Post and administers News Unfiltered (in partnership with U.S. Newswire) and UN Dispatch, a blog about the United Nations.
Jay Dedman, Videoblogger [back to top]
Jay Dedman most recently worked as a community organizer at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), a community TV station. He is also a videoblogger, moderating an active videoblogging group online at groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging.
He began as a writer and producer of local news in Cincinnati and Atlanta. After working at CNN International, he became discouraged with the coverage and worked as a freelance journalist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was where he first tried to use the Internet to publish video showing how people live in a country at war. Returning to New York, he continued his experiments with putting video on the web until he found that blogging was the perfect distribution method. He has worked hard to build strong communities around video, having helped create FireAnt.tv. Jay can be found online at momentshowing.net.
Chuck Defeo, General Manager, Townhall.com [back to top]
Chuck DeFeo has been an innovator in using the Internet and new technologies to increase participation in the political process for over a decade. As General Manager for Townhall.com, he works to move conservative talk radio listeners online and be a part of Townhall's growing conservative online community.
Prior to joining Salem, DeFeo served as eCampaign Manager for Bush-Cheney '04, where he developed the online strategy and managed Internet operations for President Bush's re-election campaign. He served in a similar capacity with the Republican National Committee during the 2002 Election. The campaign has been widely recognized for its pioneering grassroots activism tools with Party for the President, organizing neighborhood walks online and emailing maps and directions to the polls to millions of supporters.
DeFeo spent much of his career serving as a legislative and technology aide to Senator and Attorney General John Ashcroft; from creating the first online petition for a member of Congress in 1996 to working to set up the CIO's office for the Department of Justice. He has also assisted numerous Congressional, Senate, State and Presidential candidates with their online strategies. DeFeo currently serves as a contributing editor for Personal Democracy Forum and is a member of MeetUp.com's Politics and Governance Advisory Council.
Sanford Dickert, Rawlings Political [back to top]
Sanford Dickert has been crossing the line between politics and private industry for a number of years - leveraging online technology, word-of-mouth marketing and community building solutions to build higher-quality relationships between candidates and constituents. Sanford first exposure into politics in 2003, when he joined the John Kerry Presidential Campaign as the Chief Technology Officer where he lead the planning and implementation of the campaign's internet technology, online voter relationship and contribution strategies during the primary season. After founding (Rawlings Political, Sanford has continued his work providing effective solutions for a number of Gubernatorial, Sentatorial and Congressional campaigns. In the commercial sector, he has worked with Fortune 500 firms, leading venture funds and promising start-ups through product marketing and development strategies to help investors and management teams better understand and execute on customer focused solutions through the effective use of technology and relationship marketing through his firm, Contagious Conversations.
Sanford holds a BSc in Computer and Electrical Engineering with Distinction from Purdue University and a Masters, Engineers and Doctorate (ABD) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he was active in university and community governance for over eight years. An investor, board member and mentor of early stage companies in Europe and the US, Sanford is a frequent and sought after speaker on online community and network building and has been a guest lecturer at the CASS Business School in London, George Washington University and the Cooper Union in New York. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at The Cooper Union in New York City teaching product design and social dance and his thoughts on the future of relationship marketing in politics can be found Political Gastronomica and discusses social software and the impact on society at Social Engineer.
Rebecca Donatelli, Founder, Campaign Solutions [back to top]
Rebecca Donatelli founded Campaign Solutions in 1998 bridging her extensive business and political background to form one of the leading Republican Internet consulting firms. She pioneered the use of online donation software to be the first firm to help political candidates raise money via the Internet. She was the online fundraising consultant to John McCain in 2000 and continues to work with Straight Talk America. With hundreds of political campaigns behind them, Campaign Solutions continues to be at the leading edge of Republican electoral politics.
In 2004 Mrs. Donatelli also co-founded Connell Donatelli Inc., a firm specializing in online search and banner advertising.
David Donnelly, National Campaigns Director, Public Campaign Action Fund [back to top]
David Donnelly is Public Campaign Action Fund's National Campaigns Director, and the Director of its Campaign Money Watch project to hold elected officials accountable for the special favors they do for their political contributors. He also led efforts to educate voters former Majority Leader Tom DeLay in his district, and in that capacity founded the Daily DeLay weblog, the precursor to the organization's "Paid for by…" weblog. In late 2004 and 2005, David led the online effort to put members of Congress on record on the "DeLay Rule," which citizens forced the Republican congressional leadership to repeal. Before joining PCAF, David managed two successful "Clean Elections" initiative campaigns – in Maine and in Massachusetts, and provided strategic advice to reformers in Vermont, North Carolina, and Connecticut leading to the legislative passage of public financing laws in those states as well. A book David co-wrote in 1997, Are Elections for Sale?, is in its second printing (Beacon Press).
Steve Effros, President, Effros Communications [back to top]
Steve Effros launched his consulting company, Effros Communications, in July 1999, after 23-years as the head of the Cable Telecommunications Association (CATA), one of the major national trade associations for the cable television industry. Steve helped found the organization in 1976 to represent the legal and public policy positions of small and mid-sized cable operators. Over two decades, the "small" operators got big, and the "mid-sized" operators consolidated into the major corporations we know today. CATA and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) merged in June of 1999 and Steve took on a long-term senior advisory role to the NCTA.
As President of Effros Communications, and through his own law offices, Stephen R. Effros, PC, Steve has been retained as a consultant to major cable and Internet companies on strategic analysis, planning and communications issues. He speaks on telecommunications issues nationwide and overseas, and writes a weekly commentary for CableFax Daily, one of the leading cable television trade publications. Prior to his long-time career representing the cable television industry in Washington, Steve spent five years as an Attorney-advisor at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where, in 1972, he helped craft the early government regulations for cable television. Prior to his legal career, Steve worked as a news editor and writer at both the ABC and NBC radio and television network news departments in Washington, DC, and as a staff writer at The New York Times.
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Elizabeth Edwards shares her husband's deep commitment to improving the daily lives of all Americans and making sure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to succeed. A passionate advocate for children and families, as well as an accomplished attorney, she has been a tireless advocate for many important causes.
Elizabeth is the daughter of a decorated Navy pilot. In her early years, she attended school in Japan, where her father was stationed with a reconnaissance squadron, flying missions over China and North Korea. As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Elizabeth majored in English. She went on to study American literature but then switched to law, graduating from UNC Law School in May 1977. She met John in law school, and they got married the Saturday after they took the bar exam.
Like her husband, Elizabeth has an impressive legal background. Following law school, she clerked with U.S. District Court Judge Calvitt Clarke, Jr. in Norfolk, Virginia. Later, she worked for the North Carolina Attorney General's office and then was a bankruptcy lawyer in Raleigh, North Carolina. Elizabeth also taught legal writing as an adjunct instructor at UNC Law School for two years, and in 1997-98, she was a member of the first group of Public Fellows at the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC.
Both Elizabeth and her husband are strongly committed to strengthening communities and expanding educational opportunities for all children. She volunteered with the Parent Teacher Associations at her children's schools, and has been active in their youth soccer leagues in several roles.
In 1996, John and Elizabeth helped establish the Wade Edwards Foundation, and helped build a free computer lab - the Wade Edwards Learning Lab - for high school students in Raleigh. Recently, the foundation opened a similar computer lab in Goldsboro. Elizabeth volunteered at the lab in Raleigh nearly every day, until the family came to Washington following her husband's 1998 election to the U.S. Senate. The Wade Edwards Foundation also runs a statewide short fiction contest for North Carolina's high school juniors, awarding scholarships and grants to high school English students.
The country got to know Elizabeth when she campaigned extensively across the country during her husband's presidential and vice-presidential campaigns. The day after the general election in 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctors believe her treatment went extremely well and the prognosis continues to be very positive. At every step, she has proved that she is a fighter and that she will beat breast cancer. John and Elizabeth have had four children, including their eldest daughter, Catharine, who lives in New York; seven-year-old Emma Claire, and a five-year-old son, Jack. Their first child, Wade, died in 1996.
Shayna Englin, Senior Vice President, M+R Strategic Services
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Shayna Englin, Senior Vice President, recently joined M+R's eCampaigns division after two years at Mindshare Interactive Campaigns where she built and managed their Fundraising Practice. Her background includes a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard's JFK School of Government, a slew of Democratic campaigns, and work with a number of national and local nonprofit organizations. Shayna recently merged her personal and political interests by helping her husband, David Englin run a successful campaign for a seat in the Virginia State Legislature. She and David also have a funny, smart, and fiercely dedicated campaigner -- their 6-year-old son, Caleb. Contact Shayna for help winning any online campaign or to find out which Teen Titan is best suited to managing phone banks at email@example.com.
Allison Fine, author and social entrepreneur [back to top]
Allison is a successful social entrepreneur and writer dedicated to
helping grassroots organizations and activists implement and sustain
social change efforts. Allison was the Founder of Innovation Network,
Inc. (InnoNet) and served as Executive Director and President from
1992-2004. InnoNet is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to
helping nonprofits better plan and evaluate their services and
programs. Allison served as the C.E.O. of The E-Volve Foundation in
2004-2005. Wiley & Sons will publish her first book, Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, in 2006.
Mindy Finn, Director of New Media & Political Technology, Santorum 2006 [back to top]
Mindy Finn is the Director of New Media & Political Technology for Santorum 2006, the re-election campaign for Sen. Rick Santorum, one of the most watched political races in the country. She directs all web-based media, niche message voter e-contact and engagement, and the use of technology for mass communications and correspondence. Finn most recently served as deputy director of the Republican National Committee’s eCampaign, the division responsible for fostering the Republican Party’s goals through the use of email and the Internet. While at the RNC, Finn played an integral role in launching the GOP’s new Web site, which features the latest tools and opportunities for every American to become involved and help spread the Party’s message. Prior to the RNC, Finn served as deputy webmaster for Bush-Cheney '04, where she facilitated the message, voter turnout, and finance email programs, promoted volunteer action on GeorgeWBush.com and directed the online chat series with key surrogates and campaign staff, including First Lady Laura Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Mindy is well-known for her work in leveraging technology to promote democracy at the legislative, campaign and political committee level. She has been a key player in elevating the presence of the Republican Party online. Web efforts she has worked on have gone on to earn Pollie and Golden Dot awards.
Eve Fox, Vice President, M+R Strategic Services [back to top]
Eve Fox is a Vice President with M+R Strategic Services' (www.mrss.com) eCampaigns division in their Washington, DC headquarters. Fox plans and implements creative and effective online advocacy, fundraising, messaging, and recruitment programs on behalf of a number of non-profit organizations including Oxfam America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Public Campaign, Save Our Environment, and Defenders of Wildlife. Fox also created and manages the ProgressiveExchange (www.progressiveexchange.org) an online community of people using the Internet to further a variety of progressive causes. Prior to joining M+R, Fox worked in women's health and environmental advocacy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Garfield, Community Manager, Hipcast [back to top]
Steve Garfield is one of the most active and pioneering folks in the video podcasting/blogging space. Garfield has spent countless hours getting perhaps the first elected official making media, Boston City Councillor John Tobin.
Steve talks at a variety of events including the recent Podcast Academy, is a correspondent for Rocketboom, and hosts a couple of helpful and entertaining videoblogs. He's recently been featured in Wired and RollingStone and is a tremendous asset to the medium as a whole.
Garfield recently joined Hipcast as their Community Manager, and will be building a destination to teach folks about audio and video podcasting and everything surrounding it.
Jonathan Garthwaite, Editor-in-Chief, Townhall.com [back to top]
Jonathan Garthwaite is editor-in-chief of Townhall.com where he oversees editorial operations of the biggest conservative opinion, news, and community site on the Web with over 115 partners, 60 columnists, podcasts and millions of active readers. Garthwaite has served as Townhall.com's Editor since 1998. In addition to that he worked at The Heritage Foundation in several Internet-related capacities including Director of Online Communications, where he managed Heritage's web presence at heritage.org and developed Heritage's Intranet at heritage.net. Prior to Heritage, Garthwaite did internships with the Leadership Institute, Colorado State Representative Mark Paschall. Garthwaite received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University.
Julie Barko Germany, Deputy Director, Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet [back to top]
Julie Germany serves as the Deputy Director of The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. She worked as a writer, editor and program manager for international initiatives in Korea, Ukraine, Haiti and the United States. Julie is a founding member of Young Champions, a non-profit that works with youth health issues.
She served as the principal author and editor of the Institute's The Politics-to-Go Handbook: A Guide to Using Mobile Technology in Politics and The Political Consultants' Online Fundraising Primer, and co-authored Putting Online Influentials to Work for Your Campaign and Under the Radar and Over the Top: Online Political Web Videos in the 2004 Campaign. Julie has been interviewed by local, national and international media, including Fox News, New York Times, Washington Post, ABC (Spain), Le Monde, CNet and UPI.
She is a graduate of Messiah College, where she studied at Keble College, Oxford University and in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was a Pew Younger Scholar of Literature at the University of Notre Dame. She received an M.A. from The George Washington University, where she was a University Fellow.
Justin Germany, Account Executive, Campaign Solutions [back to top]
Justin Germany is an Account Executive at Campaign Solutions where he specializes in web video. In his tenure at Campaign Solutions Germany has shot, edited and produced web videos for Lynn Swann for Governor, Governor Matt Blunt, Straight Talk America and Jerry Kilgore for Governor among others.
Germany joined Campaign Solutions after serving as the videographer and editor for the Bush-Cheney eCampaign. His work served as a nexus between digital documentary and political message that showcased the President on the campaign trail.
That work resulted in over twenty videos seen by more than a million people on the Bush-Cheney '04 website. The New York Times took note of Germany's editing and shooting style describing a movie he filmed and edited for the President's rallies as, "the video stands out...edgy, unpresidential style, with grainy pictures, speeded-up-action and off kilter camera angles shouting out "You got a problem with this?" to anyone under 25." Footage he shot was also used for TV ads and convention videos, additionally he won two Pollie awards and a Golden Dot for videos he shot and edited for the campaign.
Germany graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University in 2002 and a Masters of Arts in Political Management from the George Washington University in 2003.
Gina Glantz, Senior Advisor to the President, SEIU [back to top]
Gina Glantz, former National Campaign Manager for Bill Bradley for President, is currently the Senior Advisor to the President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
In 1985, Ms. Glantz co-founded the consulting firm of Martin & Glantz, with offices in California and Washington, D.C. Martin and Glantz, now known as Fowler Hoffman, is a national consulting firm specializing in grassroots organizing and communications strategies to affect public, opinion leader and policy-maker attitudes and actions. Clients included: The Ford Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, American Express. Ms. Glantz worked as a campaign manager, field director, and political consultant at the Congressional, state and Presidential level during the 11 years prior to the creation of Martin & Glantz. She served as a senior advisor to Governor Howard Dean during the 2004 Presidential primaries and as National Field Director of the Mondale-Ferraro Committee in 1984. From 1979 through 1982, Ms. Glantz served as the Chief of Staff for County Executive Peter Shapiro of Essex County, New Jersey. From 1974 through 1976, she served as District Administrator to Congressman Andrew Maguire (D-NY), and earlier in her career was an advertising account executive in New York City.
She has served on the California League of Conservation Voters and local World Affairs Council and Planned Parenthood boards. She currently serves on the board of America the Bay Area Economic Forum, Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL).
Ms. Glantz is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in 1965. She is married with two children and proud grandmother of an adorable one year old.
Joe Green, CEO, Essembly.com [back to top]
Joe Green is the founder and CEO of essembly.com, the first social networking site devoted to non-partisan political discussion and action. Essembly allows users to present their opinions and vote on those of others, compare their ideologies to their friends, connect with like-minded people, and organize.
Joe is currently completing his senior year at Harvard College. He was an early collaborator on facebook.com, which was started by his roommate Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook is the dominant social networking site for college students, and the 7th most trafficked site in the US. Joe also served on the Curricular Review Committee while at Harvard, and was featured in the book Harvard Rules. He was the chair of the Harvard Political Union, and wrote his honors thesis on the politics of white working class men, for which he conducted extensive interviews in Louisville, KY.
Joe has worked on four political campaigns. He interned on L.A. United, the San Fernando Valley anti-secession campaign, during his first summer of college; and for John Kerry leading up to the New Hampshire primaries the following summer. He took a semester off from school in 2004 to work as a field organizer for John Kerry in Northwestern Arizona and spent the last two weeks on the campaign managing GOTV for Southern Las Vegas and Henderson. While at school and at home in Santa Monica, Joe worked on the campaign to elect Julia Brownley to the California Assembly.
Joe was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, and attended the public schools. He first became interested in politics while serving on the Santa-Monica Malibu Board of Education.
William Greene, President, RightMarch.com [back to top]
Dr. William Greene, whom the Washington Times called a “conservative internet guru,” is founder and president of RightMarch.com, an online conservative organization formed as a “rapid response force” to enable its members to take effective action against activities by online liberal groups like MoveOn.org. RightMarch has been responsible for over three million activist messages sent from conservatives to Congress, the President and other leaders. He heads up the RightMarch.com PAC as well, which targets federal races where they can support staunch movement conservatives against liberal Republicans and Democrats. Greene is also president of Strategic Internet Campaign Management, Inc.; in 2004, SICM was instrumental in raising nearly half a million dollars online in less than three months for the upstart U.S. Senate candidacy of Dr. Alan Keyes in Illinois, and in 2005, SICM was responsible for raising over a quarter of a million dollars for the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation. Greene was formerly VP Internet Marketing & Development at ConservativeHQ.com Inc., a conservative online activism and fundraising company headed by political direct mail legend Richard A. Viguerie; prior to his work there, he was the Director of Internet Marketing at The Grizzard Agency of Atlanta, a top ten direct marketing agency, as well as Internet Manager at Jesus Fellowship, Inc., in Miami, which was in the vanguard of Internet use for religious nonprofits with sites like Churches dot Net and the Christian Internet Broadcast Network (citv.com). Initially, Dr. Greene was in academia, teaching political science and international relations at Florida International University (fiu.edu) in Miami for a number of years. Greene has appeared on Bill Moyers’ NOW, NPR’s “Fresh Air” and “Morning Edition,” CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” & “NewsNight with Aaron Brown,” MSNBC Live, the CBS Sunday Morning News, and dozens of local television news and radio talk shows around the country.
Mary Katharine Ham, Managing Editor, Townhall.com [back to top]
Mary Katharine Ham is an editor and blogger with background in both the mainstream media and conservative politics. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2002 with a degree in Newspaper Journalism. She was a sports and features reporter and copy editor at a North Carolina newspaper, where she won two North Carolina Press Association awards, for features and sports columns. After that, she headed to The Heritage Foundation as the editor of The Insider magazine and InsiderOnline.org. She served as a columnist and associate editor of Townhall.com before joining Salem Communications in 2005. While with Salem, she has blogged at HughHewitt.com, and now serves as Managing Editor of Townhall.com.
Allison Hayward, Attorney [back to top]
Allison Hayward is an attorney and writer in the Washington DC area. She specializes in campaign finance and related issues. She also blogs at www.skepticseye.com and writes for the Personal Democracy Forum.
Previously she served as counsel to former FEC Chairman and Commissioner Bradley A. Smith. Prior to that, she was in private practice with the Sacramento firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk and the Washington DC firm Wiley, Rein and Fielding. Her writing has been published in National Review, the Weekly Standard and in law journals. Her forthcoming book, "Struck Dumb: The History and Consequences of Campaign Finance Reform" will be published this summer by AEI Press.
Mary Hodder, CEO, Dabble [back to top]
Mary Hodder is CEO of Dabble, an early stage startup developing video web services. She is an information architect and interaction designer, developing extreme usability methods, and creating usability for web service companies with social media sites. She has worked with companies in open source, photo sharing, blog aggregation and search, legacy media and was at Technorati before leaving to start her company. She has written reports on blog search and recently one on New Media for the American Press Institute. She is a blogger at Napsterization, involved in issues with 'live web' spam control, weighting of blogs and topic communities, tagging, video blogging, and user generated content. She was an original author at bIPlog (the first UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism blog, on the topic of intellectual property, security and privacy). She has a Master's in Information Science from the School of Information at UC Berkeley.
Heather Holdridge, Director of Political Advocacy, Care2 [back to top]
Heather serves as the Director of Political Advocacy for Care2 (http://www.care2.com), the largest online progressive community with over 5.7 million members. She is working to connect Care2’s audience to non-profits doing political work and campaigns in 2006. Care2’s members are interested in leading healthy lives and making a difference in the world, supporting progressive advocacy on issues as varied as women’s rights, environmental issues, human rights, animal rights, and consumer issues, among others.
Prior to Care2, Heather was a partner and Online Organizing Director for the Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group, working with clients across the progressive spectrum to develop online campaigns and communications strategies. She specialized in customizing content for the Web, and working to develop viral interactive media. Her work included the development and growth of the Creative Multimedia department at CTSG, including executive producer and co-writer for media that have won Pollie awards and the popular Republican Survivor series for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2004.
Aldon Hynes, Blogger, Ned Lamont for Senate campaign [back to top]
Aldon Hynes was born in Maine, grew up in Massachusetts, went to school in Ohio and worked in New York for many years before settling down in Connecticut. In New York, he worked as an IT Executive on Wall Street. In 2003, he became very active in Gov. Dean's presidential bid and worked with many groups on the state and national level. When Gov. Dean ended his bid, Aldon's wife decided to run for State Representative. She was one of the first Dean Dozen candidates and Aldon was her campaign manager. Aldon received credentials from the Democratic Party to cover the National Convention as a blogger. Aldon was Blogmaster for John DeStefano's Gubernatorial campaign and is now working on Ned Lamont's U.S. Senate campaign.
Dina Kaplan, Co-Founder, BlipTV [back to top]
Dina Kaplan is the co-founder and Director of Business Development for blip.tv. Dina oversees all business operations for the company, including media partnerships, distribution deals, PR, marketing, site and channel sponsorships and investor relations.
Before blip.tv, Dina was a news reporter, most recently with WNBC, the NBC affiliate in New York City. She spent the prior two and a half years covering politics and investigative stories for WAVE3 News, the NBC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky. Dina also reported for News12 Long Island and News12 New Jersey.
Dina won an Emmy for Spot News last summer and in prior years has won Society of Professional Journalists Awards for Deadline Reporting, Service Reporting and Feature Reporting and Associated Press Awards for Best Feature and for Breaking Spot News.
Before reporting, Dina spent four years at MTV News, producing stories about politics, technology and a range of musical acts from Ozzy Osbourne to The Wu-Tang Clan to Jewel. She also helped coordinate MTV's Choose or Lose coverage of the 1996 Presidential Election. She helped to register more than 50,000 college students around the country via the Choose or Lose bus.
After graduating from college, Dina worked at the White House as Director of Research for the White House Counsel's Office and then as Special Assistant to the Director of Presidential Personnel. During college, Dina worked at Rock The Vote, setting up a volunteer network of representatives that registered college students to vote around the country. Dina graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Economics, Government, Philosophy and History. She sits on the National Board of Wesleyan University and is a Founding Board Member of the Women’s Media Center.
Timothy Karr, Campaign Director, Free Press [back to top]
Timothy Karr is Free Press's campaign director. Karr oversees campaigns and outreach efforts, including campaigns on public broadcasting and noncommercial media, fake news and propaganda, journalism in crisis, and the future of the Internet. Before joining Free Press, Tim served as executive director of MediaChannel.org and vice president of Globalvision New Media and the Globalvision News Network. He has also worked extensively as an editor, reporter and photojournalist for Time, Inc., the New York Times, Agence France Presse and Associated Press. Tim critiques, analyzes and reports on media and media policy in his popular blog, MediaCitizen.
Josh Koenig, Lead Developer, Trellon [back to top]
Josh Koenig is an open source developer, blogger and political organizer. He was a co-founder of the DeanSpace project (precourser to CivicSpace) and Music for America, a national non-profit promoting progressive politics and participation to the Millennial generation. He specializes in the Drupal content management platform, big ideas, bold statements, and building networks for change.
Mike Krempasky, Vice President, Edelman [back to top]
Mike Krempasky joined Edelman in August 2005 as Vice President, focusing on internet strategy and communications, marketing, and advocacy for Edelman clients. He was responsible for the development and launch of the first blog for the largest corporation in the United States.
Mike combines an expertise in blog communications and direct marketing with a background in grassroots political organizing. Before coming to Edelman, Mike was the Political Director of American Target Advertising, a full-service creative direct response marketing agency where he helped companies and organizations develop and use technology to enhance traditional fundraising and advocacy programs.
Mike is the co-founder of RedState.org (http://www.redstate.org), a Republican community blog. Mike is also a Director of the RedState.org corporation, a political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission. He has been a blogger since 2001, and in that capacity, testified before the FEC earlier this year on the regulation of political speech on the internet and became one of the first bloggers called to offer expert testimony before a Committee in the House of Representatives.
He is the co-founder of The Online Coalition (http://www.onlinecoalition.com), a bipartisan association of bloggers and online professionals formed earlier this year to support freedom of speech and political participation online. Mike is a frequent lecturer at technology and internet seminars.
Jo Lee, Co-Founder, CitizenSpeak [back to top]
VJo co-founded and directs CitizenSpeak, a non-profit that offers a free and easy-to-use email advocacy service for grassroots organizations. Described as MoveOn for the rest of us, CitizenSpeak enables civic organizations and individual activists to quickly launch powerful email advocacy campaigns to educate representatives and targeted decision-makers about their causes. Activists across the country have created accounts on CitizenSpeak raising awareness and building constituencies in their communities about issues such as education, discrimination, economic injustices and the environment. Jo brings more than 15 years of marketing experience to CitizenSpeak. As a director of marketing and sales, Jo has held critical roles in numerous international high technology public companies. She currently also co-directs In the House PR, a public relations firm that specializes in Web 2.0 communications for high tech and alternative energy companies.
Elana Levin, Communications Manager, Drum Major Institute [back to top]
Elana Levin serves as Communications Manager at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a New York-based think tank generating ideas that fuel the progressive movement. DMI is noted for using the lens of the middle class squeeze to analyze national and local policy. As Communications Manager Elana has worked to innovate how think tank messages are disseminated. She runs the highly regarded DMIblog (www.dmiblog.com), a blog dedicated to building a conversation over public policy by tapping the collective wisdom of experts, organizers, activists and the netroots at large. As a former community organizer who worked on local New York issues, Elana also serves on the steering committee of Blogging Liberally, a network of New York-area progressive bloggers started by the founders of Drinking Liberally, a weekly cocktail hour for progressives and also hosts the Williamsburg Brooklyn chapter.
Joshua Marshall, Publisher, Talking Points Memo [back to top]
Joshua Micah Marshall is the publisher of Talking Points Memo, TPMCafe, and TPMmuckraker.com. He also writes a weekly column for the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.
His articles on politics, culture and foreign affairs have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers such as The American Prospect, The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Post, The New York Times, Salon and Slate.
He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, FOX and MSNBC and is a frequent guest on radio stations across the country. Marshall graduated from Princeton in 1991 and holds a doctorate in American history from Brown. He lives in New York City with his wife Millet and their dog Simon.
Bill McIntyre, Vice President, Grassroots Enterprise [back to top]
Bill McIntyre is the Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs at Grassroots Enterprise. Bill brings considerable strategic communications experience and grassroots implementation expertise to Grassroots Enterprise.
Prior to GRE, Bill was a senior executive with Burson Marsteller’s Direct Impact grassroots firm, where he conducted numerous national grassroots communications programs for Fortune 100 corporations and national associations, earning accolades in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
He also served as chief national spokesman for the National Rifle Association where he regularly determined communications strategy and appeared on network news programs. A former journalist, Bill is an award-winning reporter and columnist. He received his BA degree from Columbia University in New York City.
Juan Melli, Blogger, BlueJersey.net [back to top]
Juan Melli is a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at Princeton
University. A local activist in Princeton, he led his county's Democracy for America group and helped organize the Filibuster Frist protest at Princeton University. In September of 2005, Juan started bluejersey.net - a statewide blog for New Jersey progressives with more than a dozen front page contributors from around the state. In its six months of existence, Blue Jersey has already had 100,000 unique visitors, and is the largest progressive blog in the state. It is cemented as a landing point for activists, elected officials, political insiders, media figures and even some of its very own trolls. The Blue Jersey podcast has featured guests such as Senator Bob Menendez, Congressmen Rush Holt, Frank Pallone and Steve Rothman.
Ryan Montoya, CTO, OneAmerica [back to top]
Ryan Montoya is a technology and Internet strategist by vocation and rancher by avocation. He is the founder of two technology firms. He served as Trip Director for Elizabeth Edwards during the 2004 campaign and Director of Scheduling for vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman and Director of Advance (NH) for Vice President Gore during the 2000 campaign. He was a Presidential appointee in Clinton Administration. Ryan holds a master's and bachelor's degrees in International Relations/Security.
Kathy Mitchell, Internet Advocacy Manager, Consumers Union [back to top]
Kathy Mitchell is the Internet Advocacy Manager for Consumers Union of the U.S., handling email and web activity for national, multi-state campaigns on hospital infection, food safety, financial privacy, prescription drug price and safety and much more. She manages recruitment and retention to ensure rapid growth of an activist base in every state, including the creation of animations and other viral projects. With more than 15 years experience working political campaigns, lobbying, and developing strategy for improving the marketplace through political action, she has helped Consumers Union pass good consumer bills all over the country using web based communications tools.
David Moore, Outreach Coordinator, Participatory Culture Foundation [back to top]
David Moore is the Outreach Coordinator for the Participatory Culture Foundation, a non-profit organization that released the free and open-source Democracy internet TV platform (www.getdemocracy.com). David previously worked as an organizer on political campaigns, most recently as Deputy Field Director of ACT-Ohio in 2004. He lives in Brooklyn and can be reached at email@example.com.
Markos Moulitsas, Founder, DailyKos.com [back to top]
Markos Moulitsas served in the U.S. Army for three years and later earned two bachelors degrees from Northern Illinois University and a law degree from Boston University. After moving to California to work in the tech industry, Markos started DailyKos.com in May 2002. His blog has had a meteoric rise and now gets more than a million unique visitors each day, making it one of the most popular blogs in the nation. Markos lives in Berkeley, California.
Chris Nolan, Founder, Spot-on.com [back to top]
Stand alone journalist Chris Nolan is the founder of Spot-on.com, a San Francisco-based web site showcasing independent, intelligent and insightful commentary and analysis from all parts of the political spectrum. The site, founded in 2003 and the on-line home of six writers, attracts more than 50,000 readers each month.
With more than 20 years reporting experience, Nolan's work is well known to tech-savvy and politically astute readers. Her weekly syndicated column, "Talk is Cheap" appeared in The New York Post, Upside and Wired.com. Debuting in 1997 at the beginnings of the Internet stock boom, the column covered a wide variety of topics and was well regarded for its humor, insight and news value. She has spoken frequently on politics and media as well as on the impact of stand alone journalism – a phrase she has coined to describe the work that experienced and professional journalist are doing on the web.
She has consistently led her peers in breaking important stories and her reporting on Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone led to his conviction on obstruction of justice charges. Nolan's work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, Fortune, Business 2.0 and Conde Nast Traveler.
Before moving to San Francisco, Nolan lived and worked in Washington, D.C., and covered Congress and the FCC for a series of television industry trade magazines. She hold a B.A. degree from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Justin Oberman, Founder, Digitisms [back to top]
Justin Oberman is a new media viral communication consultant and founded of Digitisms for that purpose. He specializes in consulting with corporations, non-profits, political campaigns or movements and individuals to effectively harness the power of the blogosphere as well as establish and maintain the important task of blogger relations. He has been doing that for the past two-and-a-half years. His clients have ranged from large corporations such as AOL and Lucent Technologies, individual bloggers with great ideas like Whatwoulddumbledoredo.com and social networking startups like Queen-Bees.com
Justin’s recent specialty and long time passion, however, is mobile technology of which he also consults the above institutions on (it is a new media) as well as writes about it at his popular mobile technology weblog Mopocket.com. Known as a mobile maven of sorts, you can also read Justin at MobileACtive an organization dedicated to the use of mobile technology for social activism of which he is an original member and at the Personal Democracy Forum where he is the http://www.personaldemocracy.com/blog/423 target=”_blank>Mobile Technology and Politics Correspondent and Associate Editor.
Justin lives in New York City where in his spare time he is also a high school policy debate coach. He has a BA from Brandeis University, a Masters Degree in Philosophy from the Graduate Faculty at the New School and 2-3 start up ideas written on napkins in his back pocket. For more information or to get in touch with Justin simply send the text message "joberman" to Mozes (66937).
Nathaniel Pearlman, President, NGP Software [back to top]
Nathaniel Pearlman is the founder and President of NGP Software, Inc., the leading provider of campaign technology solutions for Democrats and their allies.
Nathaniel was in the political technology business before the internet arrived on the scene. He still owns the Apple II Plus on which he completed his first paid programming contract. He earned a degree in computer science from Yale University and taught American Politics and Statistics while a graduate student at MIT.
In the early 1990s, Nathaniel designed and programmed several nationally-known political software packages. In 1997 he started NGP Software, Inc., as a one-man firm in his attic. NGP has grown rapidly and now has thirty-plus employees and more than 700 clients, including Democratic candidates running for everything from city council to President -- as well as PACs, labor unions, state parties and consulting firms.
In addition to the company’s signature fundraising and compliance product, NGP Campaign Office®, NGP also offers Web-based solutions that manage contributions, volunteers, events, and voter contact/GOTV efforts. NGP also provides customized Web site design and consults on innovative online campaigns and up-to-date IT needs.
In spring 2004, Nathaniel was named a "Rising Star of Politics" by Campaigns & Elections Magazine. Nathaniel lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Connie and his daughter, Ella. He welcomes visitors to his intermittent blog, www.politicalmammal.com.
Chellie Pingree, President, Common Cause [back to top]
Chellie Pingree has been the president and CEO of Common Cause since March 2003. As leader of Common Cause, she oversees a 35-year-old public interest organization with 300,000 members and supporters whose goal is to engage people in their democracy, and to make government at all levels more open, honest and accountable. Pingree was instrumental in expanding Common Cause’s agenda to include media reform, arguing that access to information and news is crucial to citizens’ participation in their government. She has commented on issues as diverse as the ethics of Tom Delay, the problems with the 2004 elections, the corruption of no-bid contracts for Iraq, and the need to preserve the filibuster for major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Lehrer News Hour, NBC Nightly News, and All things Considered. Her leadership in the fight against media concentration earned her a profile in Broadcasting and Cable Magazine.
Prior to leading Common Cause, Pingree served for eight years in the Maine Senate, with the last four years as majority leader. She also was a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2002. In the Maine Legislature, Pingree was known for successful legislative battles regarding health care, economic development and the environment. She authored legislation that created a landmark program known as Maine Rx, which lowered the cost of prescription drug prices for seniors. In 2001, she was named the Consumer Health Advocate of the Year by Families USA.
Dorrian Porter, CEO, Mozes [back to top]
Dorrian Porter is the founder and CEO of Mozes, a Palo Alto based mobile services company. Dorrian co-founded HigherMarkets, an on-demand software company in March 2000. He later became CEO and led it to its acquisition by a Nasdaq listed company in 2002. Dorrian worked with the combined company until July 2005, where he helped significantly grow the business and shape the company's product offerings. Previously, Dorrian practiced law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California where he represented a wide range of technology companies. Prior to joining WSGR, he worked in Canada as an associate at McCarthy Tetrault, an analyst at Harrowston, Inc. (now TD Capital) and at the Canadian Parliament, including the Prime Minister's Office. He received a law degree and an MBA from the University of Toronto and Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa. To obtain Dorrian's contact information, you can use Mozes by sending the text message "dorrian" to 66937.
Juan M Proano, President, Plus Three [back to top]
Juan M. Proaño is co-founder and President of Plus Three, which was formed
in 2001 to improve the way progressive organizations build constituent
groups and fundraise by giving them immediate access to the widest array of
contributors, while reducing the cost of each dollar raised. During the last
10 years Juan has developed a level of expertise in the areas of product
development, strategic marketing and software integration that have produced
industry leading technologies and best practices in the fields of database
marketing, email delivery technologies and one-to-one communications tactics
for GOTV and fundraising efforts. In addition, he has guided the growth of
Plus Three, most recently leading the acquisition of the PIRT group from
Juan's extensive work with Plus Three customers the Democratic National
Committee (DNC), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, John Kerry for
President and the NAACP has established him as an expert in online
fundraising, constituency management and the political landscape. His
leadership was instrumental to the creation of the DNC Demzilla database
that enabled the Democrats to raise more than $85 million online in 2004 and
surpass the Republican National Committee's fundraising efforts for the
first time. Juan frequently provides leadership training, sharing his
expertise in using technology in elections at national events, such as the
Democratic National Convention, Democratic GAIN and the DNC Latino
Leadership Conference. He also provides political and technology commentary
and has appeared in national publications including the National Journal,
Newsweek and TIME.
In 2005, Juan was named one of the Top 100 Hispanic Entrepreneurs by
Hispanic Trends magazine and was named to the board of directors for the
National Equity Center, a non-partisan organization established to promote
diversity and democratic values by cultivating, training, and empowering a
generation of citizens with the leadership, community organizing, academic,
research, and advocacy skills necessary to eliminate existing local and
national civil rights and social justice disparities.
Laura Quinn, Founding Partner, QRS Newmedia [back to top]
Laura Quinn, a proven technology entrepreneur in the political marketplace, is a founding partner of QRS Newmedia, Inc., which specializes in communication technology design and integration services. Founded in 1996, QRS clients have included the Democratic Presidential campaigns in 1996, 2000 and 2004, as well as a wide of range of progressive political campaigns, organizations and non-profits, and other corporate and academic institutions. From 2001 through 2004, while led by Ms. Quinn as President and CEO, QRS designed and managed a $10 million technology renovation for the Democratic National Committee. This overhaul included construction of a national voter file, new website and bulk email systems, new Internet marketing strategies, renovation of DNC HQ telecommunications and IT infrastructureincluding design and construction of new television and radio studios. All aspects of the project were delivered on time and on, or under, budget. During the same period, QRS also managed installation of building-wide telecom systems and new television and radio facilities in the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign.
In 2004, Ms. Quinn and a small group of investors launched Copernicus Analytics, a data mining firm focused on providing improved donor and voter analytics for progressive political clients. Prior to these business endeavors, Ms. Quinn served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications in the Office of the Vice President at the White House, as Director of the Democratic Technology and Communications Committee for the Democratic Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, as Legislative Staff for Economic Policy for U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, and as Communications Director for the 1992 Clinton-Gore Campaign at the Democratic Convention in New York City. She is a staff veteran of eight Democratic Presidential campaigns and several statewide Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns.
Laura S. Quinn, Founder, Idealware [back to top]
Laura directs Idealware's research and writing to provide candid information about nonprofit software, including reviews of donation tools, constituent management databases, outreach solutions, and more. Prior to founding Idealware, Laura worked with Alder Consulting to help nonprofits create internet strategies, select appropriate software, and then build sophisticated websites on a limited budget. She has also selected software, designed interfaces and conducted user research for multi-million dollar software and website implementations with such companies as Accenture and iXL. Laura is the coordinator for the NTEN 501 Tech group in New York City and is a frequent speaker and writer on nonprofit technology topics.
Christopher Rabb, Founder, Afro-Netizen [back to top]
A native of Chicago, Chris Rabb is a consultant, social entrepreneur, and progressive commentator on the confluence of race, politics and technology.
In 1999, Rabb founded Afro-Netizen, an e-newsletter that grew from 100 to 10,000 subscribers in 18 months. By late 2003, Rabb entered the blogosphere and less than a year later, he became one of the 37 "credentialed" bloggers at the Democratic Convention -- the only one of whom whose readership was majority people of color.
Rabb, is a Yale graduate, has earned an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from University of Pennsylvania, co-founded an intellectual property-based product design firm, was a stand-up comedian, and soon to be elected as a Democratic committeeperson in his ward.
Rabb has served as a legislative staffer in the U.S. Senate and White House Conference on Small Business, as well as the vice president of entrepreneurial programs at a nationally-recognized, urban business incubator.
Rabb established and currently manages the Yale Black Alumni Network and is a 2001 recipient of the German Marshall Fund's American Marshall Memorial Fellowship. He is a long-time director and executive committee member of the Afro-American Newspaper Company of Baltimore, Inc., one of the oldest, continuously family-owned and -operated newspapers in the country. He lives in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of northwest Philadelphia with his wife, Prof. Imani Perry, and their sons, Freeman Diallo and Issa.
Ari Rabin-Havt, Director of Internet Communication, Senator Harry Reid [back to top]
Ari Rabin-Havt serves as Harry Reid’s Director of Internet Communication.
In this role he is responsible for all of Harry Reid's online outreach and serves as a spokesperson to the blogosphere. Previously Ari was Deputy Director of Internet Communications for John Kerry’s Presidential race. Ari also co-founded Click Back America/MoveOn.org Student ACTION. He has previously worked at the polling firm of Penn Schoen and Berland Associates and in Representative Ted Strickland's (OH-6) office.
Benjamin Rahn, President, ActBlue [back to top]
Benjamin Rahn is president of ActBlue, a Democratic PAC that enables anyone -- individuals, local groups, and national organizations -- to fundraise online for the Democratic candidates of their choice. As of the end of April, ActBlue has sent $3.8 million to Democratic candidates and committees in the '05-'06 cycle.
Sheldon Rampton, Research Director, Center for Media and Democracy [back to top]
Sheldon Rampton is the research director for the Center for Media and Democracy (www.prwatch.org). A graduate of Princeton University, he has a diverse background as newspaper reporter, activist and author. Prior to joining the Center for Media and Democracy, he worked for the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua (www.wccnica.org) as outreach coordinator for the NICA Fund, a project that since 1992 has channeled millions of dollars in loans from socially responsible U.S. investors to support economic development efforts in low-income Central American communities. Since joining CMD, he has collaborated with John Stauber as co-author of four books:
· Toxic Sludge Is Good For You! Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry (1995)
· Mad Cow U.S.A. (1997)
· Trust Us, We're Experts! How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future (2001)
· Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq (2003)
· Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America Into a One-Party State (2004)
A fifth book, The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies and the Mess in Iraq, will be published by Tarcher/Penguin this fall.
Rampton also designed SourceWatch (www.sourcewatch.org), CMD's online "encyclopedia of people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda," and oversaw the development of Congresspedia (www.congresspedia.org), a wiki-based information resource on members of the U.S. Congress sponsored by CMD and the Sunlight Foundation (www.sunlightfoundation.com).
Ben Rigby, Co-executive Director, Mobile Voter [back to top]
Ben graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with Honors, Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to co-found Akimbo Design, a web design firm that created and managed the consumer Web sites for The North Face, Beringer Vineyards, California Pizza Kitchen and completed award-winning projects for Nokia, Sony Pictures, MGM, Calvin Klein, and Macromedia. His company produced three Web design books, won dozens of awards, and had work featured in major media publications such as Newsweek, the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today.
In 2002, Ben took a position as CTO of DFILM - a youth entertainment company creating web and mobile applications. At DFILM, he managed the launch of a youth-focused communication platform in partnership with KPN, the largest wireless operator in the Netherlands. He also launched a viral application that is consistently used by 300,000 unique users per month and has been licensed by Yahoo!, Sam Adams, IBM, the Sierra Club, and Old Navy.
In 2004, Ben founded and is currently co-executive director of Mobile Voter, a non-profit non-partisan organization seeking to facilitate the process of civic participation through mobile technology. Mobile Voter has conducted innovative youth-focused voter registration campaigns over the past two years - in the effort to make registering to vote as easy as calling a friend.
Joe Rospars, Internet Director, Democratic National Committee [back to top]
Joe Rospars has been a principal writer and Internet strategist for Howard Dean since 2003, and has worked with various organizations in every area of an organization's online presence, from message development to online brand building to grassroots organizing.
During Dean's presidential campaign, Joe conceived and implemented strategies that reshaped American politics and brought hundreds of thousands of Americans into the political process for the first time. After the campaign, Joe founded Blue State Digital with three technologists from the campaign. Blue State Digital provides strategy and technology for Democratic campaigns and political organizations like
Democracy for America, Senator Ted Kennedy, the Center for American Progress and Representative Bernie Sanders.
In 2005, when Howard Dean was elected Chairman of the Democratic Party, he asked Blue State Digital to transform the party's Internet operation. As part of the project, Joe led a reorganization of the party bureaucracy and oversaw the creation of an entirely new department to focus on Internet strategy, grassroots organizing and fundraising. As the youngest member of the party's senior leadership, he led a
transformation of the relationship between the DNC and ordinary Democrats and doubled the party's online fundraising numbers.
Blue State Digital was recently named one of the "Fast 50" companies in the world by Fast Company magazine. The recognition of those 50 leaders, creative thinkers, innovators, and technology pioneers seeks to "remind the world of all the good that's created when passionate people with big ideas and strong convictions are determined to make a difference."
Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee
[back to top]
Patrick Ruffini is never far from the place where politics meets technology. Since October 2005, he has been eCampaign Director for the Republican National Committee, where he oversees GOP.com and the integration of the Web into all aspects of strategic communications, grassroots, and fundraising. Before that he was webmaster for the Bush-Cheney '04 presidential campaign, proudly serving as part of the team that executed the most sophisticated online strategy in political history. At the campaign, Ruffini was responsible for day-to-day website operations, designing creatives to crisply communicate the President's message, and developing special features surrounding major events like the Conventions and Presidential debates. Ruffini also designed and served as chief writer for the campaign's official blog, and managed the campaign's outreach to the blog community.
Both before and after his work on the Bush campaign, Ruffini maintained a political blog which launched in July 2001, back when such sites were still known as "me-zines." Ruffini graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000, with a B.A. in Diplomatic History and Political Science. He currently lives in Falls Church, Virginia.
Liza Sabater, Founder, The Daily Gotham [back to top]
Liza works as a new media advisor and strategist. She consults with artists, creatives, cultural institutions and advocay groups on how to use social networking technologies to develop their communications strategies into online platforms for social convergence.
She is the founder and lead writer of CultureKitchen.com, the only bilingual blog of the Top 100 progressive blogs in the United States and The Daily Gotham, New York's fist community blog dedicated to grassroots news and activism; as well as other blogs.
Liza's fluency in three different languages (Spanish, Portuguese and French) has made it possible for her and her blogs to appear in major media publications like The New York Times, The Daily News, El Diario/ La Prensa, Le Monde and O Jornal do Brasil as well as in radio, TV, conferences and think tank forums from countries from around the world.
Scott Sala, Publisher, Urban Elephants [back to top]
Scott Sala currently publishes the group blog Urban Elephants, a CivicSpace-powered community site for New York City Republicans. He formerly blogged at Slantpoint.com, a general politics site with a Rightward slant and a NYC flavor. In 2004, he was one of the officially-credentialed bloggers at the RNC Convention in NYC. In May 2005, Urban Elephants was launched to focus solely on local & state New York politics. UE is the sole NYC-based site for independent online collaborative Republicanism.
Nancy Scola, Contributing Editor, Personal Democracy Forum [back to top]
Nancy Scola is a former staffer for the Committee on Government Reform in the U.S. of Representatives, where she covering technology policy and online communications. Before that, she developed research techniques in the non-profit sector for an organization focused on the development of urban neighborhoods. And before that, she was a grad student in anthropology. She blogs on technology, politics, culture and more at nancyscola.com. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Sam Seder, Co-host, Air America's "The Majority Report" [back to top]
Sam Seder is host of Air America Radio's "The Majority Report" with Janeane Garofalo Monday through Friday, 7-10pm EST.
A New York based writer, director, actor, and talk-show host, Seder co- wrote, produced, directed, and acted in the feature length comedy Who’s the Caboose?, recently aired on the Trio Network. Seder also co- wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the Trio six-part mini-series sequel to Caboose, entitled Pilot Season.
Raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, Seder’s interest in politics first manifested itself in a position serving the Worcester Charter Commission. He later interned in Washington for Congressman Brian Donnelly and was responsible for maintaining the Congressman’s supply of Busch beer and Merit Ultra Lights.
On Air America's "Majority Report," Sam co-hosts, with Markos Moulitsas, the weekly series "Fighting Dems," which profiles military veterans running for Congress as Democrats. Seder is also the co-author, with Stephen Sherrill, of the upcoming HarperCollins book "FUBAR: America's Right-Wing Nightmare."
Jonah Seiger, Managing Partner, Connections Media LLC [back to top]
Jonah Seiger has deep roots in the Internet world. In 1994, he helped found and served as Communications Director for the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a leading non-profit organization focusing on civil liberties and democratic values online. While at CDT, The New York Times described him as “a trench warrior in the battle to democratize cyberspace,” in reference to his role in the landmark Supreme Court case establishing broad First Amendment protection for the Internet.
In 1997 Seiger co-founded Mindshare Internet Campaigns, LLC and built the company into one of the country’s leading providers of Internet services for public affairs. Seiger previously worked on Internet-related policy issues with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and with Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA) on the House Subcommittee for Telecommunications and Finance from 1993 to 1994. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Connections Media LLC, an Interactive agency focused on political, public affairs, and corporate communications campaigns.
An Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, Seiger teaches a course on political communications strategies for the Internet.
Seiger currently serves on the boards of the New Democrat Network, the Media Access Project, and the Academy of Hope, an adult literacy center in Washington DC. He holds a B.A. in psychology and religion from the University of Michigan.
Stuart Shapiro, President, iConstituent [back to top]
Stuart Shapiro is President of iConstituent, which is the parent company of Constituents Direct and DemNet, the leading e-communications companies that specialize in Internet and email systems for the US House of Representatives, the United States Senate and numerous other state legislatures and politicians. Shapiro, is one of the pioneers of constituent e-communications as one of the first people to use e-mail as a form of mass marketing constituent communication for elected officials. Shapiro is a founder of several Internet communication ventures, including Woodstock.com, Firstlook.com, and Killerfonts.com. Mr. Shapiro partnered with Danny Goldberg and Todd Rundgren to launch ArtistEnt and Patronet, one of the first artist music subscription services. Shapiro is credited with producing the 72 hour live Webcast of Woodstock99, at the time, the largest Internet live music event in history.
Shapiro’s diverse background as an author, producer and director include the DVD and book titled, “This is Today”, a history of NBC’s Today Show, and “Flash Frames”, a book and DVD-ROM featuring the best of Flash art from the Internet. Shapiro created, directed and produced the award winning series, “Night Flight”, which series ran for 8 years on the USA Network. He also produced numerous feature films including, Mondo New York, Comedy’s Dirtiest Dozen which helped launch the careers of Tim Allen and Chris Rock, and Only The Strong, the soundtrack of which he produced which contained the original now famous Mazda song, “Zoom Zoom Zoom”. Shapiro is a graduate of Union College, Institut Americain in France, and Worcester Academy.
David L. Sifry, Founder, Technorati [back to top]
David Sifry is a serial entrepreneur with more than 19 years of software development and industry experience. Before founding Technorati, Dave was co-founder and CTO of Sputnik, a Wi-Fi gateway company, and prior to that was cofounder of Linuxcare, where he served as CTO and VP of Engineering. Dave also served as a founding member of the board of Linux International and on the technical advisory board of the National Cybercrime Training Partnership for law enforcement. He has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. Dave can often be found speaking on panels and giving lectures on a variety of technology issues, ranging from wireless spectrum policy and Wi-Fi, to Weblogs and Open Source software. Dave's blog is Sifry's Alerts, which can be found via a simple blog search at www.technorati.com.
Roger L. Simon, CEO, Pajamas Media [back to top]
Before he took the New Media plunge as co-founder and CEO of the blog aggregation Pajamas Media, Roger L. Simon made his living writing novels and screenplays. In books, he is best known for his series of eight Moses Wine detective novels, which have been translated into over a dozen languages and won prizes from the Mystery Writers of America and the Crime Writers of Great Britain. The first Moses Wine book was The Big Fix, made into a film starring Richard Dreyfuss for which Simon wrote the screenplay. This brought him to Hoillywood. Among his other screenplays are Bustin' Loose (with Richard Pryor), Scenes from a Mall (with Bette Midler and Woody Allen) and the Paul Mazursky-directed Enemies, A Love Story, for which Simon was nominated for an Academy Award for adaptation. Roger also directed the independent feature Prague Duet, starring Gina Gershon. He has taught screenwriting at Robert Redford's Sundance Institute and at the American Film Institute. He is a former president of the PEN Center USA West and a former member of the board of the Writers Guild of America. He blogs at www.rogerlsimon.com.
Ben Smith, Columnist, New York Daily News [back to top]
Ben Smith is a political columnist for the New York Daily News and writes The Daily Politics, one of the city's leading political blogs. He also started the New York Observer’s politics blog, The Politicker, and a New York group politics blog, Room Eight. Smith has also written for The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Newsday, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General, New York State [back to top]
NY Attorney General and New York Democratic gubernatorial canidate.
Eliot Spitzer took office in 1999 and through a series of innovative actions has redefined the role of Attorney General.
He began his career in public service as a clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet and later served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan under Robert Morgenthau from 1986-1992, rising to become Chief of the Labor Racketeering unit where he successfully prosecuted organized crime and political corruption cases. He also spent time in private practice with Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, and Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. He was also a partner at Constantine & Partners.
Since taking public office he has investigated conflicts of interest by investment banks, illegal trading practices by mutual funds and bid rigging in the insurance industry. He has recovered billions of dollars for small investors and other consumers in these cases and was the catalyst for industry-wide reforms.
He was named "Crusader of the Year" by Time magazine; the "Sheriff of Wall Street" by 60 Minutes; and "The Enforcer" by People magazine. Reader’s Digest magazine called him America’s "Best Public Servant."
Matt Stoller, Blogger, MyDD.com [back to top]
Matt Stoller is a blogger at MyDD.com. He focuses his writing and work on progressive coalition building and the acquisition and use of political power. In 2005, he worked as the blogger for Jon Corzine for Governor and Simon Rosenberg for DNC Chair. He also co-created the web campaign Thereisnocrisis.com to fight against the privatization of Social Security. In 2004, he worked on a radio and blog project called 'The Blogging of the President', credentialled bloggers for the Democratic National Convention, and co-created the web campaign enjoythedraft.com. He is the co-author of a report titled 'The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere' from the New Politics Institute. In 2003, he worked on the Draft Clark movement. Stoller began blogging in 2002.
Zephyr Teachout, activist and internet consultant [back to top]
Zephyr Teachout is a teacher, activist, and internet consultant to new media organizations. In the past year she has worked with Current TV and the War Tapes, two nonpartisan projects engaged in enabling citizen-created video. She was the Director of Online Organizing for the Dean campaign, and headed up Baobabs Citizen Labs, which experimented in using open source software for on-the-ground college organizing in the 04 Presidential Election. Before she got interested in the power of technology (through the Dean campaign), she was a luddite death penalty defense lawyer in North Carolina, where she ran the Fair Trial Initiative. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Vermont.
Michael Turk, Vice President, National Cable & Telecommunications Association [back to top]
As Vice President of Industry Grassroots for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Michael Turk is working to build a robust grassroots activist base for the cable industry. Using experience gained in more than 12 years of campaign politics and Internet activism, Turk is employing traditional grassroots organizing and sophisticated web based tools to carry the cable industry’s message to Congress and state legislatures.
Before joining NCTA, Turk served as the eCampaign Director at the Republican National Committee overseeing the Internet operations and online activism for the GOP. The eCampaign combined the party’s communications, activism, and financial support initiatives and delivered them online – providing an online component to every offline activity.
Prior to that, Turk was the eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 04 and oversaw the most sophisticated online campaign in history, marshalling the resources of 7.5 million Internet activists to communicate the President's message and turn out the largest vote for President in generations.
Turk has lived at the intersection of politics and technology - crossing from the political, to the commercial and into government. Beginning in 1994 with the creation of one of the first state party websites on the Internet, he has served as the e-Government Portfolio Manager for Government-to-Citizen projects at the Office of Management and Budget; redeployed the Department of Energy’s internet presence at energy.gov; and worked with Grassroots Enterprise - an Internet focused public affairs firm - as a technology and activism consultant.
Christophr Wolf, Co-Chair, Hands Off the Internet [back to top]
Christopher Wolf, a litigation partner at Proskauer Rose LLP in that law firm's Washington, DC Office, is co-chair with Mike McCurry of "Hands Off the Internet", a public policy advocacy group. MSNBC has called Chris "a pioneer in Internet law." He was involved in the earliest matters involving the Internet, helping to make new law for new technologies.
He successfully represented The Washington Post in a high-profile challenge by the Church of Scientology to reporters' use of the Internet. He represented the recording and software industries in the first successful lawsuits against online piracy. And he was among the first lawyers to litigate domain name disputes,
jurisdictional issues and the limits to online and e-mail marketing. A recent case involved a trademark law challenge to the use of Google "adwords" for marketing purposes. Chris also teaches Internet Law, most recently as an adjunct professor at the School of Law at Washington & Lee University.
Joe Trippi, Trippi & Associates [back to top]
Joe Trippi, heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the man who “reinvented campaigning,” was born in California and began his political career working on Edward M. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980. His work in presidential politics continued with the campaigns of Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Richard Gephardt and most recently Howard Dean.
As a campaign manager, Trippi has run presidential, Senate, gubernatorial and mayoral campaigns. He was selected by former Vice President Walter Mondale to manage Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses in 1984 and later went on to run several key states for the Mondale for President campaign. In 1988, Trippi was the Deputy National Campaign Manager for Richard Gephardt’s presidential campaign.
In 2004, he was National Campaign Manager for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, pioneering the use of online technology to organize what became the largest grassroots movement in presidential politics. Through Trippi’s innovative use of the internet for small-donor fundraising, Dean for America ended up raising more money than any Democratic presidential campaign in history, all with donations averaging less than $100 each. Trippi’s innovations have brought fundamental change to the electoral system and will be the model for how all future political campaigns are run.
Trippi began his work in media consulting at the Democratic media firm of Doak, Shrum and Associates, where he was involved in developing the strategy and producing the media for the successful campaigns of Jerry Baliles for Governor of Virginia and Bob Casey for Governor of Pennsylvania. Trippi was also instrumental in the re-election campaigns of U.S. Senator Alan Cranston of California and Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles.
Joe Trippi has been profiled in GQ, Wired, Fast Company, The New Republic and The New York Times Magazine. He is an MSNBC political analyst and former Harvard University fellow. He currently heads the Washington, DC political consultancy, Trippi & Associates.
In addition to his work in politics, Trippi works with a number of high-tech companies including Wave Systems, Progeny Linux Systems, and Smart Paper Networks.
Trippi is the author of, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything,” the story of how his revolutionary use of the Internet and an impassioned, contagious desire to overthrow politics as usual grew into a national grassroots movement and changed the face of politics, and indeed many aspects of American life, forever.
The father of three, he lives with his wife, Kathleen Lash, and their terrier, Kasey, on the eastern shore of Maryland.
Gur Tsabar, Co-Founder, Room Eight [back to top]
Gur hearts New York City politics because there's just so much blah blah blah to blog about. And with Room Eight, Gur has made it his biz to help the average unelected Jane and Joe get their triple-blah heard as well. Because more than anything else, Gur believes that the blah should not just flow downwards, and that with the blogosphere the people finally have at their disposal an effective tool for holding an oft-run-a-way establishment accountable.
And speaking of running, Gur recently ran an innovative civic engagement campaign to represent the residents of the 2nd Council District along Manhattan's East Side. In doing so, Gur garnered support from the most diverse constituencies, including resounding endorsements from The New York Times, Daily News, Amsterdam News and Town & Village.
For six years prior, Gur worked behind-the-scenes at New York's City Hall; first as Chief of Staff to former Council Member and Education Committee Chair, Eva Moskowitz and then as a Senior Policy and Communications Advisor to former City Council Speaker and Mayoral candidate, Gifford Miller. Gur graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and then spent six years working in the private sector as a hedge-fund analyst and freelance writer.
Dan Weaver, Co-Founder, Mobile Accord [back to top]
As Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Mobile Accord, Inc., Mr. Weaver is responsible for the firm’s overall strategic positioning. He oversees all facets of the firm’s day to day operations, manages new product development, and directs the company’s information systems and systems engineering. Mobile Accord provides widespread access to the mobile marketplace with innovative turnkey mobile business applications. As solution, Mobile Accord allows nonprofit organizations to communicate with supporters and accept charitable contributions via SMS technology. Mr. Weaver and Mobile Accord Co-Founder and President James Eberhard are using their collective expertise to help guide and develop mobile charitable giving in the U.S. to instill consumer confidence and achieve regulatory compliance while maintaining the integrity of the mobile and nonprofit spaces. He has also been called upon to speak about wireless technology at a variety of fundraising and technology conferences including NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference, IPDI’s Politics to Go, and Politics Online.
Prior to starting Mobile Accord, Mr. Weaver worked as a corporate foreign exchange trading professional for San Francisco-based Commonwealth Foreign Exchange where he advanced from his position as an Account Executive in Commonwealth’s Los Angeles office to a Senior Trading Specialist in their San Francisco headquarters. There he managed spot and hedging strategies for a corporate portfolio that totaled nearly $100 million in annual FX trading volume.
Celia Viggo Wexler, Vice President for Advocacy, Common Cause [back to top]
Celia Viggo Wexler is vice president for advocacy at Common Cause, a nonprofit nonpartisan citizens group with 300,000 members and supporters that works to make government at all levels more open, honest and accountable. She plays a key role in Common Cause's work on media issues and campaign finance issues.
Ms. Wexler, who joined Common Cause's national office in 1996, had served for five years as legislative director of New York Common Cause.
Ms. Wexler, who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Toronto, worked for 15 years as a journalist before joining the staff of Common Cause, and earned awards for consumer and labor reporting. She also taught journalism at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, where she earned a graduate degree in communications.
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