Need a Great Speaker? Bring an Elect Her Facilitator to Your Event
Elect Her facilitators bring their vast knowledge of women in politics and experience working on political campaigns to every Elect Her workshop.
If the half-day training is not a good fit for your college or university, bring one of our expert facilitators to your campus for a keynote speech or workshop for a fee of $500.
For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional travel costs may apply.
Elect Her Facilitator Speakers Bureau Members
Liz Berry is the associate director of government affairs and communications at the Washington State
Association for Justice, the oldest and largest civil justice advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. Berry was legislative director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and worked as a political consultant. Berry is the president of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, the state’s only multi-partisan organization dedicated to recruiting, training, and electing women to public office. She serves on the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee and is an advisory board member of Running Start, an organization that encourages girls and young women to pursue careers in politics.
Berry is a frequent lecturer on campaign strategy, barriers for women’s political leadership, and a leader of candidate trainings for a wide variety of organizations and academic institutions. A native of Phoenix, Berry graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, law, economics, and government. Berry lives in Seattle.
Sara Blanco has always been interested in women’s empowerment and has become especially passionate about women’s political leadership since joining the Running Start team. Blanco began at Running Start as an intern in 2012, after graduating from Swarthmore College with a degree in English and a minor in gender and sexuality studies. She was hired as operations manager in 2013 and became the director of operations in 2014. With Running Start, Blanco has had the opportunity to speak to audiences large and small about women in politics and appreciates the small nonprofit experience of wearing many hats and doing every kind of work. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in of public policy at George Washington University, where she is a fellow in the 2015–16 Women’s Leadership Fellows program, which “prepares high-potential women to be successful public service leaders through professional development, mentorship, and networking.”
Blanco lives in her hometown of Arlington, Virginia; she is a member of the Women’s Information Network and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and has co-written an unpublished novella.
Clare Bresnahan works and lives in Washington, D.C., where she has dedicated her career to increasing women’s and girls’ representation through advocacy, political engagement, and social change efforts. She currently serves as the executive director for She Should Run, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization expanding the talent pool of our nation’s future elected women leaders. Bresnahan joined She Should Run in 2012 to direct the organization’s research and programs addressing the unique barriers women in politics face. She currently oversees the operations, marketing, outreach, and strategic development for She Should Run.
Bresnahan started her career at the Girl Scouts in 2008. She led the Girl Scouts’ legislative and public affairs strategies for advancing the girl perspective in youth policy issues and developed grassroots and national partnerships. Under her leadership, the Girl Scouts launched one of its largest advocacy efforts to promote healthier, balanced images of women and girls within the media and entertainment industry, the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls.
Bresnahan recently earned her master’s degree in public management at Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 2008 from American University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, law, economics, and government. While Bresnahan loves the national work she leads in D.C., she is a proud native of the Midwest’s Queen City, Cincinnati.
Lindsay Bubar is a Los Angeles-based political consultant who is best known for her work recruiting, training, and advising women and progressive candidates as they run for office. Bubar has worked with a broad range of clients, including Wendy Greuel for Mayor, social justice advocate Sandra Fluke, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Emerge California, and Carolyn Ramsay for Los Angeles City Council. Working to ensure we have full gender equality in politics, Bubar has been on the board of the National Women’s Political Caucus, LA Westside, for more than five years, helping to elect pro-choice women throughout Los Angeles County. Bubar is also on the advisory board of Running Start, an organization dedicated to bringing young women into politics.
Bubar serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and as a project partner for the Truman National Security Project. She is the former political director of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats, was named one of California Forward’s Forward Thinkers, and previously worked for the California League of Conservation Voters and the National LGBTQ Task Force. Bubar was raised in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in psychology, business, and advertising. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, David Graham-Caso.
Tasha L. Cole
Tasha L. Cole is the vice president of resource development of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. Cole has more than 10 years of experience in fundraising development, targeting and attracting new donors, and expanding donor commitment. Cole’s work and exposure to national politics has translated into a valued network of activists, coalition groups, corporate executives, community leaders, newsmakers, and elected officials at every level of government.
Cole transitioned her communications background into a career in politics and fundraising as constituency outreach director with the Democratic Party in Florida, where she worked on a number of statewide and presidential campaigns and three national Democratic conventions, including as the director of political affairs for the 2008 Democratic convention. Most recently, she worked as the chief of staff to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL). Before that, Cole served as communications director and later senior adviser for Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL).
Cole has a broad knowledge of congressional and third-party organizations and operations, having served as a consultant in congressional affairs and resource development to a number of organizations, including the CBCF and the Memorial Foundation. Cole is an Emmy-winning TV journalist with a bachelor of science degree in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University. Cole is based in the Washington, D.C., area.
Kate Farrar is a brand-new business owner as the founder and principal consultant of K.C. Farrar Consulting LLC, which provides strategic planning, program development, and fundraising to nonprofit organizations. She previously served as vice president of campus leadership programs for AAUW, where she guided the strategy and management of AAUW’s campus workshops, college/university relationships, and science, technology, engineering, and math programs for girls. In that role she was a co-founder of the Elect Her program with Running Start.
Farrar has proudly spent her post-college career as an expat in London, a lobbyist “for good,” a national park employee, an intense graduate student, a giddy presidential campaign organizer, and a women’s org nonprofiteer. She also serves as president of the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, the only nonpartisan PAC in the country that supports young women running for office. Farrar earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University. She lives in Connecticut.
Jessica N. Grounds
Jessica N. Grounds has devoted her life to empowering women to become leaders in public life. Most recently she served as the director of Women Ready for Hillary, the grassroots organization that built early support for Clinton’s 2016 presidential run. Before that, Grounds was the executive director of Running Start, a nonprofit that she co-founded, which inspires girls and young women to run for elected office. She currently serves as the organization’s co-chair of the board of directors. Grounds is also the founder and principal strategist for Solid Grounds Strategy, a firm that advises political candidates and helps companies train and develop women leaders. In 2010, she co-founded Women’s Campaign Consortium, a collaboration of female campaign consultants dedicated to serving women candidates.
Grounds was previously the president of the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee and currently serves on its board of directors. From 2004 to 2009, she worked for Stones’ Phones, a Democratic campaign strategy firm. She has advised female candidates, including many of the youngest female members of Congress. Grounds was the training lead for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign for the Iowa caucuses. Grounds has lectured on campaign strategy and barriers for women’s political leadership and led candidate and leadership skills trainings for audiences from around the world.
Grounds completed a graduate program in women, policy, and political leadership at the Women and Politics Institute at American University. She also holds a master’s of science in leadership from Georgetown University. Grounds grew up in San Diego and graduated from Pepperdine University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Wes McClelland.
Danielle Hagen is a media and communications strategist who has extensive experience in designing and implementing strategic and award-winning media relations and social media programs for local, regional, and national public relations campaigns. Hagen has served as media relations and communications counsel and spokeswoman for elected officials and private and public sector agencies. In 2011, Hagen represented Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) during the primary season as deputy communications director.
Hagen has vast experience in the health care, hospitality, tourism, consumer products, and technology industries and has counseled top-tier Fortune 100 brands. She has been recognized for her work in Forbes Woman, and her client work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Washington Post, to name a few outlets.
Hagen taught public relations and effective public speaking at the University of Cincinnati, where she also earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications. She currently is an adviser for the Inside Washington Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Hagen is the recipient of the 2014 Emerging Leaders Award, given by the Washington Women in Public Relations, and was honored with the 50 Communications Champions Award, given by the University of Cincinnati. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Christine Hernandez is committed to empowering college women to lead. She is the associate director of women’s leadership and student involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, where she advises the student government association and a variety of leadership and orientation programs. Before her work at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Hernandez was the manager of college and university relationships at AAUW. During her time at AAUW, she oversaw the significant growth of the college and university membership program and strengthened relationships between AAUW branches and local colleges. Hernandez also helped to plan the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and directed the National Student Advisory Council, Campus Action Project grants, and the AAUW student organization program.
Hernandez earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Fullerton; a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania; and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from George Mason University. She has one daughter, Alexandra (Allie), who Hernandez hopes will grow up to see more women role models as we work toward greater political parity. She lives in the Los Angeles area.
Tara Andrews Huffman
Tara Andrews Huffman is an experienced and versatile attorney who has dedicated her life to advancing justice. For almost 15 years, Huffman has worked with national experts on the cutting edge of justice policy and practice.
In 2014, Huffman was appointed director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program at Open Society Institute — Baltimore, where she guides the foundation’s grantmaking in support of justice reforms. Huffman is also owner and CEO of Joy Full Coaching LLC. In this capacity, she combines her training and skills as a lawyer, licensed minister, and certified coach to challenge her clients where it matters most and rally them to bold action in pursuit of their purpose.
Huffman is board president of the YWCA Greater Baltimore, where she works to build a community where everyone is able to reach their full potential in life regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. From 2009 to 2015, she served on the Baltimore City Elections Board, a governor-appointed position. Huffman is a graduate of the Maryland Advocacy Leaders Program and Baltimore’s The Leadership. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bowling Green State University and her juris doctor from the University of Maryland. Huffman lives in Baltimore.
Maggie Humphreys is a public affairs and communications specialist based out of Seattle, where she works for MomsRising. Humphreys manages the organization’s family economic security agenda, helping moms on the ground champion common-sense policies like family leave, paid sick days, equal pay, and fairness for pregnant workers.
Before joining MomsRising, Humphreys served on the public involvement team at PRR, a national communications firm focused on human-powered change. At PRR, Humphreys’ work focused on public transit planning, transportation demand management, and regional trail development. She also previously worked at the Economic Opportunity Institute, managing statewide and national communications strategies.
A young and forward-looking advocate, Humphreys is a proud alumna of the Institute for a Democratic Future class of 2014 and a board member of Graduate Washington, Washington state’s only student-driven higher education political action committee. Humphreys graduated from Franklin University Switzerland with a degree in international relations and minor in economics.
Chonya Johnson is a savvy entrepreneur, widely known for her work in politics as a government affairs consultant, legislative aide, and district director to several members of Congress. Johnson has a genuine passion for helping people excel. Since 2004, she has helped countless young people and individuals pursue their career and educational dreams through her signature the Leader Within program.
Johnson has authored four books on leadership and advocacy and is involved with the National Executive Youth Leadership Summit. She launched three programs in spring 2013: the Inside Track to Ultimate Success System, America’s Ultimate Advocate, and the National Society for Executive Youth Leadership.
One of Johnson’s proudest political accomplishments is that she was a Washington Post-endorsed candidate for the Board of Education in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in 2010. She is an official member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Circle of Champions, American Society for Training and Development, Jack and Jill of America Inc., and other notable organizations where she frequently volunteers her services. She is a proud wife and mother. Johnson lives in the Houston area.
From her work as a registered lobbyist to her role as a Peace Corps volunteer, Krysta Jones has led social change from the halls of Capitol Hill to the rural vecindades (neighborhoods) of Paraguay. In 2006, Jones founded Virginia Leadership Institute Inc., which has trained more than 200 black political candidates and leaders. In her role as national director of social action of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., she organized several advocacy days on Capitol Hill and inspired thousands of minority women to take active roles in their community. Jones is currently the national programs manager for Zeta Phi Beta and previously served as director of outreach for Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Rep. Donald S. Beyer (D-VA). From 2000 to 2002 she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, where she helped create student governments and increase transparency by working with local leaders and the community radio station.
Jones is a past chair of the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women and a member of the governor’s Commemorative Commission Honoring the Contributions of the Women of Virginia. She is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, the Sorensen Political Leaders Program, Leadership Arlington, and the National Urban Fellows America Leaders of Change. Jones was also named one of Arlington, Virginia’s Top 40 Under 40 and was featured in Ebony magazine. She earned her master’s degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University and her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.
With a background in both women’s issues and higher education student affairs, Jessica Kelly is committed to working with women leaders on college campuses. She currently serves as program manager for AAUW’s campus leadership programs. There Kelly manages Elect Her, growing the program from 11 campuses in 2011 to 50 campuses in 2016.
Before coming to AAUW, Kelly worked for the women’s studies program at Southern Connecticut State University, organizing academic conferences and leadership opportunities for students at the university and the surrounding community. Upon moving to Washington, D.C., she was program coordinator for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center at George Washington University, where she advised and counseled LGBT students, managed leadership and community-building programs, and facilitated educational workshops on LGBT issues for the greater GW community.
Kelly earned a master’s degree in higher education administration from George Washington University, a master’s degree in women’s studies from Southern Connecticut State University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Connecticut. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Mollie Lam is the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund senior manager. She manages AAUW’s case support program, making recommendations to the LAF Committee and working with plaintiffs to challenge discrimination and harassment in education and the workplace. Lam also manages Campus Outreach Grants and Case Support Travel Grants, collaborating with AAUW branches to promote awareness about the legal rights of workers and students.
Lam earned her bachelor’s degree in history with a concentration in cross-cultural studies from Carleton College. She earned her juris doctor from Washington University in St. Louis. An attorney with a background in discrimination law, advocacy, and the federal court system, Lam previously served as law clerk to Judge Michael J. Melloy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Kristin Lang is AAUW’s college/university (C/U) relations manager. In this role, she fosters collaborations between states, branches, chapters, and C/Us. Lang also provides leadership for the National Student Advisory Council, Campus Action Project grants, and AAUW student organizations.
Originally from Iowa, Lang has a bachelor’s degree in theater and English, with a minor in women’s studies, from the University of Iowa. She also has a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the University of Vermont. Most recently, Lang worked at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where she developed the college’s first women’s leadership retreat. She has extensive experience in advising, program development, and event planning. Lang is passionate about the intersections of identity and leadership, inclusive programming, and empowering student leaders. She lives in Baltimore.
Pamela O’Leary is the director of sponsor development for Upward. She has been an adjunct instructor at American University and Trinity Washington University. O’Leary is the former executive director of the Public Leadership Education Network. She currently serves on the advisory council for Running Start and as an appointed commissioner on the San Mateo Planning Commission and the San Mateo Commission on Aging.
In 2013, O’Leary was invited to participate as an expert at U.N. meetings in Geneva and New York for the System-wide Action Plan for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. At the U.S. House of Representatives, O’Leary proposed and led efforts to successfully pass a resolution condemning rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
O’Leary has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, National Journal, Washington Post, and Forbes Woman. She was profiled in Joanne Cleaver’s book The Career Lattice as a case study of a high-achieving millennial. O’Leary has a master’s degree in applied women’s studies from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in San Mateo, California.
Melissa Richmond is the vice president of Running Start. One of her earliest memories is aspiring to be the first woman president. Richmond’s love of politics came from her foremothers, including Priscilla Mullins, who traveled on the Mayflower at the age of 18, and Richmond’s namesake, Melissa Burton Coray Kimball, who completed the longest infantry march in the history of the U.S. Army at age 18 and helped blaze a popular Gold Rush trail.
Richmond worked for Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) in a variety of capacities over the years, starting at age 16 as an intern for the deputy chiefs of staff and leading up to being assistant to the national finance director and senior adviser at Romney for President in 2008. In 2012, Richmond was director of donor relations and then the deputy director of internal operations at Romney for President in 2012. Richmond was a political science major at Brigham Young University and graduated from George Washington University’s law school. Richmond lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her rescued dog, Lady.
Paige Robnett is the senior program associate for AAUW’s campus leadership programs. She coordinates programs that promote women’s leadership, including more than 80 campus-based student organizations, AAUW’s National Student Advisory Council, and annual Campus Action Project grants. Robnett has a bachelor’s degree in communication and women’s studies from Denison University and is proud to be a part of an organization that promotes equality and advancement for women and girls. She has experience in communications, event coordination, and campus programming and has a passion for community outreach, student engagement, and women’s advocacy. In her free time she enjoys playing pick-up basketball and exploring her current home — Washington, D.C. — on her bike.
Katie Shorey is program director for the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, where she manages internal and external communications, organizes consumer education campaigns, and coordinates special events for coalition members and stakeholders. Before that, Shorey served as program manager for Clifton Consulting LLC, where she created professional development trainings and management leadership tools for clients. She was formerly a program associate for the Partnership for Public Service, supporting the Excellence in Government Fellows Program. Shorey also interned with U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office, EMILY’s List, and Running Start.
Shorey earned a bachelor’s degree in government from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She is a proud alumna of WeLead, a bipartisan leadership training program run by American University’s Women and Politics Institute; Running Start’s Star Fellowship Program; FemEx; and Fryeburg Academy. Shorey currently resides in Portland, Maine, and is active in economic development initiatives to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
Rebecca Thompson is the executive director of Good Jobs Now, a grassroots, membership-based organization that fights for economic and social justice for low-income residents of Detroit. A native Detroiter, Thompson has more than 10 years of experience in grassroots and electoral organizing, advocacy, leadership development, and community engagement.
Thompson is the founder and principal strategist of Rebecca Thompson Consulting LLC, a boutique consulting firm specializing in changing the face of political leadership across the country. She recently ran for state representative in Michigan, and her race was named the most competitive house Democratic primary in the state. Thompson has trained social change agents and community leaders from around the world to run for elected office and to create sustainable change in their communities.
Previously Thompson served as the senior director of engagement at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, where she oversaw the organization’s community engagement, public policy, and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining the United Way, Thompson was the director of Young People For (YP4), a national leadership development initiative that works to identify, engage, and empower the newest generation of progressive leaders. She has also served as the program manager for the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council and as the legislative director for the U.S. Student Association. She is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and lives in Detroit.
Ada Waelder works in U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) office as a legislative correspondent on energy, environment, and marine issues. Before holding this position, Waelder worked for Cantwell in Seattle, overseeing the service academy nomination process as well as the state intern program.
Waelder graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science and a minor in gender and sexuality studies. She ran in three elections for the Associated Students of the University of Washington, successfully winning the positions of student senate speaker and vice president. During her tenure as VP, Waelder helped bring the Elect Her program to the UW campus for the first time. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Over the past 12 years, Susannah Wellford has founded two organizations designed to raise the political voices of young women in America. In spring 2007, Wellford founded Running Start to inspire young women and girls to political leadership. Running Start furthers the work begun by the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, which Wellford co-founded in 1999. A nonpartisan organization, WUFPAC is the only political action committee in the United States devoted to helping young women of all parties run for elected office.
After earning her juris doctor from the University of Virginia in 1998, Wellford worked for several years at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand lobbying for state and local governments, foreign governments, corporate entities, and trade associations before Congress and the executive branch. Before law school, Wellford worked for Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Task Force. Wellford is a 1990 graduate of Davidson College. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her twin sons, Ben and James.