Staff

Dan Newman DANIEL G. NEWMAN

President and Co-Founder

Daniel was named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2010 for his work at MapLight. Prior to co-founding MapLight, Newman founded Say I Can, a speech recognition software firm, and he is the author of three books on speech recognition software. Dan received an M.A. degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, where he attended on a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and a B.A. degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University. He is also a 2011-13 Network Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He lives in Berkeley, California. Learn more about Daniel G. Newman.

 

Data


photo of Miriam Marks MIRIAM MARKS 

Data Director

Miriam leads MapLight's data projects, overseeing the integrity and accuracy of the organization's databases. She received an M.A. and B.A. with Honors in Public Policy and a minor in Economics from Stanford University. Miriam is also an alumna of the CORO Fellows Program and sits on the Board of Directors of CORO Northern California.

photo of Chad Outler CHAD OUTLER

Researcher

Chad tracks legislation as it travels through the legislative process, assembling evidence of support or opposition to bills on the part of companies and other interest groups. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Political Science. A native of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Chad now resides in Oakland with his wife Sara, two dogs, and two cats.

photo of Michael Ruvinsky MICHAEL RUVINSKY

Database Manager

Michael helps make sure that all of MapLight's data are organized, useful, accurate, and up-to-date. He has fifteen years' experience working with relational databases and analyzing data. Michael has a B.A. from Yale University.

photo of Laura Curlin LAURA CURLIN

Data Manager

Laura manages the bill research process and helps curate MapLight's data. Her previous experience includes work on the Transparency in Political Spending Act as a member of Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections. Laura received a B.A. from Brown University with concentrations in Political Science and Middle East Studies.

photo of Philip Minnitte PHILIP MINNITTE

Administrative Manager

Philip provides logistical and operational support to the President and staff of MapLight. His professional background includes experience with project management, human resources, and technical support, most recently in the educational publishing industry. Philip holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Boston University.

photo of Ashley Blum ASHLEY BLUM

Researcher

Ashley helps gather data on current legislation, tracking support and opposition for bills as they move through the legislative process. She received a B.A. with high honors in Government and minors in Russian Area Studies and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College. Ashley’s prior experience includes working as a paralegal for a commercial litigation firm in New York and interning for an environmental organization in Washington D.C.

 

Communications and Editorial


photo of Pamela Bershin PAMELA BEHRSIN

Vice President of Communications and Editorial Director

Pamela oversees all aspects of MapLight's editorial content including the design, analysis and publication of the organization's research findings. She also designs and executes MapLight’s strategic communications programs. Pamela has 24 years of communications experience in marketing communications, public relations, community outreach, and events. She has integrated numerous innovative, high-impact communications programs across various media platforms into forward-thinking public, private, and non-profit institutions. Prior to her communications experience, Pamela was a radio reporter. She has an environmental science degree in Global Environmental Politics from the University of California at Berkeley and completed a High Impact Leadership Program at the Walter A. Haas School of Business. Pamela serves on the board of the University of California at Berkeley, College of Natural Resources Alumni Association.

photo of Daniel Stevens DANIEL STEVENS

Political Writer

Dan analyzes data and writes data-driven news stories covering California and national politics. He previously worked as a researcher at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). He also worked in the U.S. Senate, where he tracked healthcare legislation. An Iowa native, Dan received his B.A. in Political Science from Middlebury College and the Corvinus University of Budapest.

photo of Michael Canning MICHAEL CANNING

Research Editor

Michael coordinates research on data-driven stories and helps set the editorial direction and practices of the organization. Michael received his B.A. in Political Science from American University. His previous experience includes working with nonprofits addressing food security and poverty, as well as experience managing campaign field operations.

photo of Sarang Shah SARANG SHAH

Data Editor

Sarang curates, analyzes, and fact checks data for the MapLight team. He also develops tools to process data, while staying up to date on campaign finance regulations. He has a background in public policy, theoretical physics, computational neuroscience, political organizing, journalism, and publishing. Sarang has attended the University of Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin(M.Sc.), and the Georgia Institute of Technology(B.S.), and was a George J. Mitchell Scholar.

photo of Bret Hendry BRET HENDRY

Communications Associate

Bret leads MapLight’s social media and internship programs, provides support on research and distribution of editorial content, and helps build strategic partnerships with partner groups and members of the media. He has previously worked on successful Congressional and state-level political campaigns and at an educational nonprofit, and interned in Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office. He received a B.A. with high honors from UC Berkeley in International Human Rights and completed political science coursework at the University of Granada, Spain.

 

Technology


photo of Leon Smith LEON SMITH

Technical Director

Leon oversees the implementation, configuration, and performance of MapLight’s databases, web applications, and internal IT operations. He has extensive experience in software engineering for the for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. Leon received a B.S. in Social Science from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton. He is an avid downhill skier and runner.

photo of Mike Krejci MIKE KREJCI

System Administrator

Mike works as part of the technical team to keep our website and databases current, user friendly, and able to respond to a large and varied audience. Mike is the former IT Director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics and also of Project Vote Smart. He has built and maintained comprehensive databases of information on the voting records, position statements, backgrounds, and campaign finances of tens of thousands of candidates for public office, along with managing Web sites and developing a set of APIs and other tools. He brings 20 years of experience in nonprofit political databases and Web needs, along with a wide variety of computer programming and application experiences.

photo of Kent Richards KENT RICHARDS

Web Developer

Kent assists with the development of MapLight's web operations. He has five years’ experience developing dynamic web applications and 13 years’ experience working with nonprofits. Kent has a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

photo of Justin Riddiough JUSTIN RIDDIOUGH

Web Developer

Justin supports Maplight's web operations. He has over fifteen years of experience in working directly with technology and end users, and seven years focused on web development. In 2012, Justin was bestowed the Nyan Cat Medal of Internet Awesomeness for supporting efforts to defend the internet. His recent efforts have focused on bringing an entrepreneurial spirit and lean methodologies to problem solving.

 

Development


photo of DeAnna Dalton DEANNA DALTON

Advancement Director

DeAnna leads MapLight’s fundraising and project management. Her previous experience includes working with nonprofits in Ecuador and Tanzania and leading a Stanford service organization. She received her B.A. degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

photo of Tierra Allen TIERRA ALLEN

Senior Development Associate

Tierra aids in grant writing and donor communications. She has previous experience at an urban charter school, working as a drama director, multi-subject tutor, curriculum developer, and department head. She graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in Theater & Dance and concentrations in English and Black Studies. She is also a freelance theater artist.

photo of Kaitlin Woolf KAITLIN WOOLF

Development Associate for Major Gifts

Kaitlin supports MapLight's efforts to cultivate prospects and steward existing donors. Her previous development experience includes more than five years working with small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations conducting funding research, writing grant proposals, and facilitating database maintenance. She received a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Washington College and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from The New School University.

Photo of Hamsini Sridharan HAMSINI SRIDHARAN

Development Assistant

Hamsini aids the development team by researching, writing, and editing donor collateral, grant proposals, and reports, updating MapLight’s online presence, and providing administrative support. She has previously worked with nonprofits focusing on fair trade and financial transparency. She received a B.A. with honors in Anthropology and International Studies from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University.

 Learn about MapLight's Board.