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Participant Biographies

Matthew Barron

Matthew Barron joined The Heinz Endowments in 2015 and is the program director for the Sustainability strategic area and the staff lead on the Democracy and Civic Participation initiative. His work addresses community and economic development, environmental issues, and efforts to protect and strengthen our democratic processes.

Before coming to the Endowments, Barron served in various roles in nonprofits and local governments, with a particular emphasis on issues of sustainability, civic design and planning, and policy analysis. As program director for The Buckminster Fuller Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., Barron ran an international design program called The Buckminster Fuller Challenge and a youth-focused design and sustainability workshop called The Design Science Lab. As a graduate researcher, he contributed to PlaNYC, New York City’s long-term sustainability plan focusing on food systems and stormwater management. After moving to Pittsburgh in 2010, Barron worked as policy director for then-City Councilman William Peduto and later served as policy manager for the City of Pittsburgh after Mr. Peduto was elected mayor.

David Becker

David Becker is the Executive Director and Founder of the nonpartisan, non-profit Center for Election Innovation & Research, working with election officials of both parties, all around the country, to ensure elections voters should trust, and do trust. A key element of David’s work with CEIR is managing the Election Official Legal Defense Network, providing pro bono legal assistance to election officials who are threatened with frivolous criminal prosecution, harassment, or physical violence. Prior to founding CEIR, Becker was director of the elections program at The Pew Charitable Trusts. As the lead for Pew’s analysis and advocacy on elections issues, Becker spearheaded development of the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, which to date has helped the majority of states update tens of millions of out-of-date voter records, and helped those states easily and securely register new eligible voters. Before joining Pew, Becker served for seven years as a senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He serves as CBS’ election law expert, and is the co-author, with CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett, of the book THE BIG TRUTH: Upholding Democracy in the Age of The Big Lie.

Jocelyn Benson

Jocelyn Benson is Michigan’s 43rd Secretary of State. Benson’s work overseeing Michigan’s 2020 and 2022 general elections, both of which drew record-breaking turnout and were more secure than any prior election in state history, earned her national recognition, including the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and the Presidential Citizens Medal. Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit and was the youngest woman in U.S. history to lead a top-100, accredited law school. She continues to serve as vice chair of the advisory board for the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she founded with former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Previously, Benson was an associate professor and associate director of Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.

Benson is the author of State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, and co-founder and former president of Military Spouses of Michigan. In 2015, she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2016, she became one of a handful of women to have completed the Boston marathon while 8 months pregnant.

Riley Berg

Riley Berg is co-founder of Country First, a cross-partisan political movement focused on addressing the toxic tribalism plaguing American politics. A former “Big Law” litigator, Berg brings to his non-profit work more than a dozen years of experience marshaling large teams to achieve complex, high-stakes goals in complex commercial litigation, regulatory actions, and government investigations. He has served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations, ranging from the national committee of the Boy Scouts of America to his local church’s vestry.

Brooke Bergen

Brooke Bergen is an experienced public interest attorney and social media content creator. Bergen was an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York where she worked to create compassionate and equitable outcomes for victims of violent crime and individuals affected by the criminal justice system. In the private sector, she represented survivors of childhood sexual abuse in civil litigation, and advocated for protections for survivors. Since 2020, Bergen has launched a successful social media brand for responsible outdoor adventure travel and the protection of America’s public lands. As a digital media consultant, she has worked with numerous brands, nonprofits, and small businesses to manage their social media presence. Bergen is Manager of Social Media and Special Projects at Keep Our Republic.

Mark S. Bergman

Mark Bergman stepped down in July 2021 as a partner of the international law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Mark, through 7Pillars Global Insights, LLC, now comments, briefs and convenes on a range of current political, geopolitical and regulatory topics, including countering disinformation/ extremism/ weaponization of hate and mitigating the effects of climate change and nature/ biodiversity loss. Bergman spent over 30 years handling capital markets offerings and other securities law matters and over 20 years handling cross-border transactions. He was involved in cross-border transactions across Europe and Asia, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa. Berman served twice in the firm’s Paris office, and in 2001 opened the firm’s London office, which he led for 20 years. He is now Of Counsel to Paul | Weiss. 

Bergman was a founding member of the Paul, Weiss ESG Practice Group, is also a member of Chatham House, a member of the Advisory Council of the International Crisis Group, a supporter of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to reversing the rising tide of polarization, extremism, weaponization of hate and disinformation worldwide). He is also a member of the Founder’s Circle of the Obama Foundation and a member of the Leadership Now Project (a membership organization of business and thought leaders taking action to protect and renew American democracy).

Kathy Bernier

Kathleen M. "Kathy" Bernier

Kathy Bernier served in the Wisconsin State Assembly 68th district and chaired the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and elections, vice-chaired the Committee on Family Law, and served on the Aging and Long-Term Care, Agriculture, Workforce Development, Tourism, and Mining and Rural Development committees. Bernier also served on the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Bernier was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate for the 23rd district in 2018, and did not run for reelection in 2022. In the State Senate, she chaired the Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform and Ethics.


Earlier in her career, she was elected to the position of Chippewa County Clerk. Bernier also chaired the Chippewa County Republican Party. While in the legislature, she was a board member of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. Bernier currently serves as Keep Our Republic Wisconsin State Director.

Christopher P. Borick

Dr. Borick is a nationally recognized public opinion researcher who has conducted over 300 large-scale public opinion surveys during the past two decades.  The results of these surveys have appeared in numerous periodicals including Time Magazine, The Wall St Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.  He has also provided analysis for the BBC, National Public Radio, PBS, MSNBC, CBS News and NBC Nightly News and had his survey results aired on, CNN, FOX News and C-Span.  During his career he has conducted surveys for a variety of government agencies and organizations including the Center for Disease Control, The Brookings Institution, PBS, The Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the Oneida Indian Nation, The U.S. Department of Labor, and Habitat for Humanity.  He is co-director of the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) and currently conducts surveys for the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He has served as President of both the Wisconsin Political Science Association and the Pennsylvania Political Science Association. Dr. Borick has published and presented over thirty articles and four books in the area of public policy and public opinion, and has held teaching positions at the State University of New York at Cortland, St. Norbert College, Lehigh University, and currently is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. He has won numerous teaching awards during his career, most recently receiving the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award at Muhlenberg College.

Tracey Brame

Tracey Brame is the Associate Dean of Experiential and Practice Preparation and the Director of the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project, and she is the Immediate Past President of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.

Professor Brame has a history of service to the community through public defender work in the District of Columbia, with the Federal Defender Office, and the State Appellate Defender Office in Detroit, as well as at Legal Aid of Western Michigan. Professor Brame started the Access to Justice Clinic at the Grand Rapids campus in 2006, overseeing it and the West Michigan Public Defender Clinic, and ran the Access to Justice Clinic in Grand Rapids.

She began her legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Julian Abele Cook, Jr. in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan after death penalty litigation experience as an extern with the Alabama Capital Resource Center, helping prepare an argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, and she drafted racial justice legislation for the state of Alabama. Professor Brame taught constitutional law courses, and has served as an adjunct professor at Grand Rapids Community College.

Nikole Bruns

Nikole C. Bruns

Nikole Bruns has decades of leadership experience in government, education, and nonprofit settings. From early work in shelters, director roles in detention and after-school programs to leading a 24-hour youth services center through the pandemic, much of her career includes work to improve outcomes for youth and families. Bruns was previously deputy and interim executive director for an office of the City and County of Denver which supported innovative ways to address crime prevention, behavioral health, and the needs of justice-involved citizens, and she managed special projects and strategic planning for Denver Public Schools. Bruns has served as a volunteer lobbyist and on multiple committees and councils working in justice reform, collaborative management, and process improvement across agencies and government bodies. She is currently serving as Chief of Staff for Keep Our Republic.

Ben Chang

Ben Chang is a Senior Program Associate at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. As part of the Elections & Voting team, Chang focuses on challenging and weakening authoritarian threats to our democracy. Chang has worked extensively at the intersections of policy, politics, and law. Prior to joining Democracy Fund in 2022, he worked as Voting Rights Advisor with the Brennan Center for Justice and as Of Counsel, Legislative Program with Government Accountability Project. Previously, Chang worked on impeachment matters for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). He is also a veteran of numerous political campaigns in the state of Texas.

Tom Corbett

Tom Corbett

Tom Corbett is executive in residence at Duquesne University School of Law. The former governor most recently served as an adjunct professor at the law school.

As the commonwealth’s 46th governor, Corbett held Pennsylvania’s highest office from 2011 to 2015. Corbett has a long and distinguished career serving citizens as assistant U.S. attorney, U.S. attorney, chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania attorney general, and governor. Corbett has also served as a key advisor to U.S. presidents and governors.

Corbett is a veteran of the Pennsylvania National Guard 28th Infantry Division from 1971 until 1984, rising from private to captain during his service.

Mo Cowan

William “Mo” Cowan

Senator William “Mo” Cowan (retired) is Chief Legal and External Affairs Officer for Devoted Health. A member of Devoted Health’s executive leadership team, Cowan is responsible for all legal, corporate governance, regulatory, and public affairs functions for this next generation, tech-enabled, all-in-one healthcare company. Previously, he led global government affairs and global litigation for a multi-national conglomerate. Earlier in his career, Cowan was a partner at a major law firm and was President and CEO of a national government affairs consulting group. In 2013, Cowan served as the interim U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts. From 2009-2013, he held senior leadership roles in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick.

Cowan serves on governance and advisory boards for the Massachusetts General Hospital, Duke University, MassChallenge, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Eastern Bank Corporation, Stackwell Capital, and Mass General Brigham. Cowan also is a founding member of the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund.

Charles B. Curtis

Charles B. Curtis

Charles Curtis served as the Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1994-1997. He is formerly the vice chair of the United States Department of State’s International Security Advisory Board, 2012 to 2017, and president emeritus of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Currently, he is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS.)

Thomas B. Edsall

Thomas Edsall has been a weekly contributor to the Opinion section of The New York Times since 2011. His column on strategic and demographic trends in American politics appears every Wednesday. Edsall covered politics for The Washington Post from 1981 to 2006, and before that for The Baltimore Sun and The Providence Journal. He has written five books: “The Age of Austerity,” “Building Red America,” “Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics,” “Power and Money: Writing About Politics” and “The New Politics of Inequality.” He lives in Washington, D.C.

Dick Gephardt

Richard Gephardt

Dick Gephardt served for 28 years in the United States House of Representatives, representing Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District, home to his birthplace St. Louis. He served as House Democratic Leader for more than 14 years, as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995 and Minority Leader from 1995 to 2003. Gephardt is President and CEO of the Gephardt Group, providing strategic counsel on federal government relations and domestic and international labor relations issues.

Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Green-Hawkins

Amanda Green-Hawkins served as a Councilmember on Allegheny County Council (2008-2015) where she represented 100,000 Pittsburgh residents, and led the passage of Countywide legislation that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression. In 2019, she was the PA Democratic nominee for Superior Court judge. 

Green-Hawkins is a voter-protection attorney and recently served on the Lawyers Steering Committee for the PA Democratic Party. She has received numerous awards for her leadership in politics and in the community, and was appointed to Pittsburgh’s Community Task Force on Police Reform. An alumna of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law, she is an Adjunct Professor teaching Labor Law in her most recent endeavor to pay it forward.

John Helmholdt

John Helmholdt

John Helmholdt joined SeyferthPR as president in 2022, after serving for nearly 15 years as executive director of communications and external affairs at Grand Rapids Public Schools. He previously co-owned the political consulting firm Strategic Communications Group, formerly Jones, Gavan & Helmholdt. He also worked as a lobbyist and political affairs manager for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and was legislative aide for State Representatives Scott Shackleton and Michelle McManus. Helmholdt’s community involvement has included work with Junior Achievement, the city’s SmartZone, NIA Centre, Grand River restoration, the city’s master plan, and advisory panels involving Montessori and preschool education. Helmholdt is the Michigan Senior Advisor for Keep Our Republic.

Mike Huebsch

Michael D. "Mike" Huebsch

Mike Huebsch was the Wisconsin State Assembly’s 76th Speaker. He served in the Assembly from 1995-2011. In 2011 he was appointed as the 15th secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration in the cabinet of Governor Scott Walker. Huebsch was appointed to the Public Service Commission in 2015 and served in that capacity until 2020. Currently, he is President of Huebsch Consulting Group llc.

Greg Jacob

Greg Jacob is a partner at O’Melveny. Before rejoining the firm in 2021, Jacob served as Counsel to Vice President Pence and Deputy Assistant to the President. He directly advised the Vice President on all legal issues relating to the Office of the Vice President, and advised the White House Coronavirus Task Force concerning the Defense Production Act and other legal issues related to bolstering the domestic supply chain.

Jacob first joined O’Melveny as a partner in 2012, after serving in several high-profile positions of increasing responsibility in the administration of President George W. Bush, including at the White House, Department of Justice, and Department of Labor. For his final posting in the Bush Administration, Jacob was appointed by the President and confirmed as Solicitor of Labor, the third-ranking official in the Department of Labor. In this position, he managed the department’s most important litigation under more than 180 federal labor and employment laws.

Jacob regularly advocates for children who are victims of physical or sexual abuse, providing pro bono services through the national nonprofit organization Child Justice. He received the Friend of Children Award in 2005 and the Shine the Light on Children’s Rights Award in 2009, and has won groundbreaking appeals increasing protections for abused children in Maryland and Hawaii.

John Jones

John Jones

John Jones serves as the 30th President of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He retired as chief judge of the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Before becoming a federal judge, Jones was a lawyer in private practice in his hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

In November 1994, then Governor-elect Tom Ridge named Jones as a co-chair of his transition team. In May 1995, Ridge nominated Jones to serve as chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Mary Landrieu

Mary Landrieu

Mary Landrieu represented the State of Louisiana in the United States Senate for three terms, from 1997 to 2015. Prior to serving in the Senate, she was elected twice to the Louisiana State Legislature from 1979 to 1987. In 1987, she was elected State Treasurer and served with distinction for two terms. Since leaving the Senate, Landrieu served on the CenturyLink (Lumen) Board of Directors (November 2015 – May 2020); and currently serves on the Boards of Directors for Tyler Technologies and Energy.

Daniel Lucich

Daniel Lucich is an attorney at Mosaic Law Group, with decades of experience in international affairs, strategic, political, and legal analysis, trade & investment, financial & regulatory policy and compliance, sovereign advisory, technology, and international capital markets. Lucich was formerly a senior advisor at the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners working on innovative cross-border transactions in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Trade and Investment and advised the Treasury Secretary on issues related to US investment policies, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the WTO, North American trade, bilateral trade agreements, agricultural negotiations, and sanctions.  He worked for several years as an attorney in private practice at major law firms in Washington, London, and Brussels.

J. Michael Luttig

Michael Luttig is one of the country’s best known conservative jurists who advised former vice president Mike Pence against overturning the electoral college vote after the 2020 election and was a key witness at the January 6 committee hearings. Judge Luttig served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 15 years, having been appointed by former President George H. W. Bush. He is a counselor and special advisor to the Coca-Cola Company and the board of directors of the Coca-Cola Company. Previously, Luttig was executive vice president and general counsel of the Boeing Company from 2006 to 2020. Before that, he served as assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice and as counselor to the attorney general of the United States. Luttig was assistant counsel to the president at the White House under former President Ronald Reagan and was a law clerk to then-Judge Antonin Scalia of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He also served as a law clerk and then special assistant to Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger.

Charlie Lyons

Charlie Lyons

Charlie Lyons is a co-owner of Clear Point Communications in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the firm, he was State Director for U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr., where he oversaw the Senator’s state operations and served as a senior advisor. He also served as the Senator’s transition director, managing the startup of his senate office. His prior government experience includes service as a senior aide to the Governor of Pennsylvania, where he served as policy director, executive assistant, and ultimately, chief of staff to the Governor. Lyons has been a consultant to state and local governments, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and businesses throughout the country. Early in his career, he was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. He has also staffed or consulted with numerous statewide and congressional campaigns. Lyons is Pennsylvania Communications Advisor for Keep Our Republic.

Judge Beverly Martin

Beverly Martin

Judge Martin is a native of Macon, Georgia. She stepped down from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and serves as the Executive Director of NYU Law’s Center on Civil Justice. Prior to her time on the Circuit Court, she was a judge on the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

Ambassador Deborah A. McCarthy

Deborah A. McCarthy

Ambassador (ret) Deborah A. McCarthy served as the U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania (2013-2016), Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Greece and at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua. In Washington, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Narcotics and Law Enforcement, Senior Advisor for Counter Terrorism and Special Coordinator for Venezuela. She was recently a Senior Fellow at Harvard University. Currently, she is the Senior Advisor for Cybercrime Negotiations in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the U.S. Department of State. She is also a non-resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Joel McCleary

Joel McCleary

Joel McCleary served as Deputy Assistant to the President during the Carter Administration. McCleary worked on issues related to Presidential emergency powers with former Ambassador William G. Miller, who was Staff Director of the senate Special Committee on National Emergencies.

He has led projects for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security regarding pandemic and biological defense issues and he conducted the first review of the former U.S. offensive biological and toxin weapons programs as well as prepared briefing materials for the U.S. Congress on the threats of assassination with CBR agents. McCleary served under Chairman John Mekalanos on the board of advisors for the Microbiology Department of Harvard Medical School. He is a managing partner of Four Seasons Ventures and a co-founder of Keep Our Republic.

Mary McCord

Mary McCord

Mary McCord served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2016 to 2017 and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division from 2014 to 2017. Currently, she serves as Legal Director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) and Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Mark Medish

Mark Medish

Mark Medish served at The White House as a Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council. Prior to that, he served as U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs under Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin. He also worked as a Special Assistant at USAID/State Department and as a Special Advisor at UNDP in New York. Earlier in his career, Medish worked on Capitol Hill as a junior staffer for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, as pro bono counsel to Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, and as clerk with Judge John M. Steadman on the D.C. Court of Appeals. He also was president of The Messina Group, and of Guggenheim International, LLC. 

He is vice chair of Project Associates, Ltd.,headquartered in London, with offices in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, New York, and Washington, is a founding partner of The Mosaiq Law Group, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he serves on several corporate and non-profit advisory boards including the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Institut für die Wissenschaften von Menschen. Medish is a co-founder of Keep Our Republic.

Pat Merloe

Patrick Merloe has championed democracy, honest elections, and human rights in the U.S. and globally for more than 40 years. As the former Director of Electoral Integrity Programs and Senior Associate for the nonpartisan National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Merloe engaged in over 100 elections in 65 countries, assisting the development of nonpartisan citizen election monitoring and related advocacy, co-leading international election observations, and advancing international norms and related networks. He has authored more than a dozen publications, taught courses at three U.S. law schools, and was the lead negotiator of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which is endorsed by 55 international organizations and recognized in UN General Assembly resolutions. Merloe serves on the nonpartisan Advisory Council of the Election Reformers Network (U.S.) and assists other democracy and elections efforts.

Kasi Meyer

Kasi Meyer

Kasi Meyer is a public relations and strategic communications expert originally from Southwest Michigan. Meyer is currently Vice President at Seyferth PR where she started as Client Services Manager in 2016. Meyer serves as Michigan Advisor to Keep Our Republic.

Joseph Sabino Mistick

Joseph Sabino Mistick

Joseph Sabino Mistick is an associate professor at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University and is the founder of the award-winning Urban Development Law Clinic, which he has operated since 1995. Mistick was executive secretary (deputy mayor) to Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff from 1989-1992, and served seven years as chairman of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment and vice-chairman of the Planning Commission. Mistick was appointed by Mayor Caliguiri to the original Pittsburgh Apportionment Commission. He also served on the original Allegheny County Apportionment Commission by appointment of the Democratic Caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He served as counsel to the Democratic Caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the 2012 reapportionment of the state legislature.

Mistick is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and has spent nearly fifty years in public service and the law, starting as a page in the Pennsylvania House when he was 15 and has served as an aide, on committees of State Senate, in local elected and appointed positions, and on boards and commissions. As a weekly Sunday columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review since 2002, Mistick writes on current affairs, politics and public policy. For over 20 years, he was the Democratic half of the political talk show Roddey Mistick, and is a frequent guest lecturer and public speaker appearing on Voice of America, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS NewsHour, Court TV and numerous local television and radio stations.

Molly Mitchell

Molly Mitchell

Molly Mitchell is a seasoned communications operative with experience in political and fast-paced startup roles, founding Mitchell Media after leading communications at Axios a fast-paced media startup, serving as Director of Media Affairs and as a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Committee. Previously she worked at public affairs agencies. Mitchell serves as National Communications Advisor to Keep Our Republic.

Ari Mittleman

Ari Mittleman

Ari Mittleman serves as Executive Director of Keep Our Republic. For nearly a decade, he held various senior roles with a U.S. Senator. Conversant in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, he has worked on peace and reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia, helping to deepen ties between these countries and the United States.

Dean Norris

Deon Norris

Deon Norris has over a decade of experience in assisting a diverse range of clients from the U.S. Government and Fortune 500 companies to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. His expertise encompasses accounting, audit, internal controls, process improvement, and tax-related matters, as well as project management experience and oversight of budgets over $30 billion, forging and executing pivotal financial strategies, and cultivating significant relationships with key stakeholders. Norris is a proud U.S. Army Paratrooper veteran, holds active CPA licenses in both Maryland and Virginia and is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is President and CEO of  Norris Accounting and Tax Services and serves as CFO for Keep Our Republic.

Jeff Polet

Jeff Polet is Director of the Ford Leadership Forum at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation after having spent 30 years as a college professor. He earned a PhD at The Catholic University of America and has published widely on a range of topics. Polet also writes for and edits the website

Trevor Potter

Trevor Potter is president at Campaign Legal Center. Potter is a Republican former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), was general counsel to John McCain’s 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns and an adviser to the drafters of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. He appeared frequently on The Colbert Report as the lawyer for Colbert’s super PAC during the 2012 election and is the author of several books and manuals on lobbying regulation and disclosure, campaign finance and federal election law. He has provided testimony and written statements to Congress on federal election proposals, campaign finance regulation and the effects of the January 6th attack on our democracy. Potter has taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University, and he has appeared widely in national broadcast and print media. During the 2020 election season, Potter was named to the cross-partisan National Task Force on Election Crises.

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is a longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, one of the capital’s legendary social hostesses, and founder of the religious website On Faith from The Washington Post. She writes for various publications and is the author of The Party: A Guide to Adventurous Entertaining, Regrets Only, Happy Endings, and We’re Going to Make You a Star, a memoir based on her experience as the first female network anchor in the United States.

Lee Rasch

Lee Rasch

Lee Rasch is the Executive Director of LeaderEthics-Wisconsin. He served as President of Western Technical College from 1989 to 2017. Throughout his career, he has actively promoted leadership development, continuous improvement, economic development and sustainability at the national, statewide and local levels. Rasch has written extensively and given numerous presentations on these topics.

Kevin Reilly

Kevin Reilly

Kevin Reilly is Senior Fellow with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He served as President of the University of Wisconsin System from 2004-2013, and as Chancellor of UW-Extension from 2000-2004 leading programs in continuing education, Cooperative Extension, distance education, small business development, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Television. Reilly served as Provost and Vice Chancellor of Extension from 1996 to 2000, and before moving to Wisconsin from the State University of New York System, he was Associate Provost for Academic Programs and then Secretary of the University.

Reid James Ribble

Reid James Ribble

A lifelong resident of the Fox River Valley, Ribble owned The Ribble Group Inc. in Kaukauna, WI for 35 years, before running for the WI-08 Congressional District. He defeated a Democratic incumbent for that seat in 2010, serving until 2017. Afterward, Congressman Ribble served as CEO for the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Raymond Sczudlo

Raymond Sczudlo

Ray Sczudlo is a partner with Outside GC, where he advises established and early-stage companies in the healthcare technology, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity areas. Prior to that he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC.

In his earlier career, Sczudlo was a partner in the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges where he specialized in banking, venture financing and corporate matters. During his time there he assisted the Polish-American Enterprise Fund and the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund in helping computerize the land registry system in Hungary, and financing private companies in Poland in banking, telecom, and mortgage lending to accelerate the transition to a market economy. His non-profit volunteer work includes service as a board member of the Children’s National Medical Center, including a three-year term as Chair, and a board member and Chair of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and of SafeKids Worldwide. Sczudlo is currently a board member of the Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

David M. Scanlan

David Scanlan is the 54th secretary of state of New Hampshire. A Republican, he assumed office as acting secretary of state upon the resignation of Bill Gardner in 2022. He was elected to a new two-year term as secretary of state by the New Hampshire General Court (state legislature) and previously served as deputy secretary of state, since 2002 as well as in the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1984 to 2002, becoming majority leader.

Courtney Simmons Elwood

Courtney Simmons Elwood served as the general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Trump administration between 2017 and 2021. From 2001 to 2007, she held a number of senior positions in the federal government, including as Associate Counsel to the President, Deputy Counsel to the Vice President, and Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General. Before and after that stint in the government, Simmons Elwood was a partner at the law firm Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, PLLC. She joined the firm in 1996, after clerking for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

David Skaggs

David Skaggs

David Skaggs served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1999 and the Colorado House from 1981-1987. He was founding board Chair of the U.S. House’s Office of Congressional Ethics, on which he served from 2008 to 2021. Skaggs is a Vice Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) board. He spent three years on active duty in the Marine Corps, including service in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division.

Chloe Squires

Chloe Squires

Chloe Squires advises political campaigns and nonprofits on fundraising and public relations strategies. She is a member of the board of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti and Piedmont Environmental Council.

Miles Taylor

Miles Taylor is a national security expert, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and democracy reform leader who served in a variety of top national security posts. He was the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). At Google, Taylor was the Head of Advanced Technology and Security Strategy, and prior to that, worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Homeland Security Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and in the Speaker’s Office. He started his career in the George W. Bush administration at the White House and DHS. In 2018, Taylor published a bombshell opinion piece in The New York Times as “Anonymous”, blowing the whistle on presidential misconduct. Taylor resigned and released “A Warning, a first-hand account of the instability inside the Trump Administration”. In 2020, he revealed himself to be the author and launched a campaign of former officials opposed to Donald Trump’s reelection. 

He is a former CNN Contributor and a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and the BBC. Taylor’s writings have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and more. Taylor advises an array of civic groups. He co-founded Forward, a U.S. political party focused on electing independent candidates; the Renew America Movement, a democracy-reform nonprofit; and the Washington Leadership Academy.

Christopher Trebilcock

Christopher Trebilcock

Chris Trebilcock is an attorney who represents clients in the Detroit, Michigan area, recognized by peers and selected to Rising Stars for 2008 – 2009, 2011 – 2014. Trebilcock litigates labor and employment disputes in federal and state courts and administrative agencies across the country on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, medium and small employers, including governmental agencies. He has worked in the U.S. Department of Labor’s national office and routinely advises candidates, elected officials, political action committees, and ballot question committees on all matters involving campaign finance, ballot access, recounts, and other election law issues.

Anthony Trombi

Anthony Trombi

Anthony Trombi is a professional communicator with expertise in Wisconsin politics and state news. He has worked with WisPolitics and various Madison media outlets. Trombi is the Wisconsin Communications Advisor at Keep Our Republic.

David Trott

David Trott

Dave Trott represented Michigan in the 11th district from 2015 to 2019. He was the chairman and CEO of Trott & Trott PC, which represents banks and lenders in homeowner foreclosure and bankruptcy litigation. Congressman Trott has served on the boards of the University of Michigan, On My Own, the Detroit Country Day School, The Community House, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Tom Vanaskie

Thomas Vanaskie

Tom Vanaskie served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He is a member of Stevens & Lee’s Litigation Department and chairs the firm’s Appellate and Mediation, Neutral Services and Alternative Dispute Resolution practice groups. In 2021, he was appointed by the President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association to serve as chair of a statewide task force to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of legal services and to make recommendations to mitigate the disruption of services resulting from future catastrophes.

Rex VanMiddlesworth

Rex VanMiddlesworth has more than 20 years of experience in senior law firm management and has opened and expanded new offices in Texas for several national law firms, most recently O’Melveny & Myers. He has tried cases in state court, federal court, before arbitration panels, and before state and federal agencies. VanMiddlesworth has also handled appeals in the Fifth Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, and various Texas Courts of Appeals, and has represented a number of cities and other governmental entities in constitutional and voting rights litigation. VanMiddlesworth is currently a fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative.

John W. Vaudreuil

John W. Vaudreuil

John W. Vaudreuil served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin from 2010 to 2017. He served as an Assistant US Attorney starting in 1980 and over the years handled thousands of criminal cases. In 1992, he was designated as a Senior Litigation Counsel by the Department of Justice, and in June 2002 he was named the Chief for the Criminal Division for the United States Attorney’s Office. He served in that position until his appointment as United States Attorney in 2010.

Dana Wachs

Dana Wachs

Dana Wachs served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2013 to 2019. Prior to his time in the Assembly, Representative Wachs served on the Eau Claire City Council from 2009 to 2012. Outside of public service, he has been a lawyer in Eau Claire for over 30 years and among his accomplishments is successfully arguing before the Wisconsin Supreme court for expanded medical malpractice.

Elsie Walker

Elsie Walker worked for the Dalai Lama Representatives to the US from 1985-1993 before joining an international NGO. She established and managed an economic development program in the Tibet Autonomous Region from 1994-2009. She then served as the  President of The Mountain Institute from 2008-2011 when she retired. Walker comes from a family of both Democrat and Republican public servants.

Don Wallace, Jr.

Don Wallace is Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and International Law Institute Chairman. former Chairman, International Law Section and member House of Delegates, American Bar Association, and former Vice Chairman, Republican National Lawyers Association.


Professor Wallace was the Regional Legal Advisor for the Middle East and Deputy Assistant General Counsel to AID in the Department of State from 1962-66, a founding board member of the International Development Law Organization in Rome, and has been the head of the International Law Institute since 1970. He chaired the Advisory Committee on World Trade and Technology to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress in the 70s, and is currently a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, a U.S. Delegate to UNCITRAL, and a correspondent of UNIDROIT and the vice president of the UNIDROIT Foundation in Rome. He has also been chair of the Section of International Law and Practice of the American Bar Association and a member of the ABA House of Delegates. Recent and current activities also include assisting Rwanda with the preparation of its constitution and commercial law, teaching in China, directing a research and exchange project with Russia, serving on boards involving academic activities in Egypt, in Indonesia, in Serbia and in Bulgaria, and the advisory board of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI), as well as on the roster of World Trade Organization (WTO) panelists.

Professor Wallace served as national chair of Law Professors for Bush and Quayle in 1988 and 1992, co-chair of Law Professors for Dole and Kemp in 1996, and a board of governors member of the Republican National Lawyers Association during the 2000 campaign.

Scott Warren

Scott Warren is a fellow at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently leading an initiative focused on exploring, researching, and convening a pro-democracy conservative agenda in the US, organizing convenings focused on bridging long-term and short-term fixes for democratic reform, and supporting cities in efforts to promote civic participation and democratic engagement. 

Warren is the founder of the national civics education organization Generation Citizen, where he currently serves on the Board of Directors, having served as the organization’s CEO for more than 11 years. In addition to teaching at JHU, Warren has taught courses focused on social entrepreneurship and democratic erosion at Brown University, Tufts University, Stanford University, and the University of California San Diego. He continues to write on subjects ranging from youth political engagement to African politics to sports, and has been published and featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Education Week, the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, San Diego Union Tribune, Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Providence Journal.

Austin Weatherford

As a Co-Founder of Country First, Austin Weatherford leverages his substantial experience in congressional leadership and public service advocacy to champion democratic values and encourage bipartisan reform solutions. Hailing from Texas, Weatherford dedicated 18 years to serving in the legislative branch, including a ten years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Weatherford has played a pivotal role on the January 6th Committee where he oversaw the scripting for two nationally televised hearings on the January 6th Committee.

At Country First, Weatherford’s leadership is marked by a steadfast commitment to nurturing a political environment where solutions and common ground are sought in the spirit of democratic integrity and progress. Country First plays a pivotal role in primaries across the country supporting leaders who tell the truth and uphold democratic values.

Tim Wirth

Tim Wirth

Tim Wirth served for 18 years in the United States Congress, representing Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District from 1975 to 1987, and as Senator from Colorado from 1987 to 1993. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education in the Nixon Administration, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs under President Clinton, was the founding President of the United Nations Foundation and currently sits on the UNF Board. Senator Wirth is a co-founder of Keep Our Republic.