Meet the Team
Democracy for America staff and interns put their talents and skills to work each and every day to make the Democratic Party more progressive and move our country forward.
Chief Executive Officer
Yvette is a lawyer, MBA, and former Cincinnati City Council President Pro Tempore. She served as the Federal Electoral Manager for Democracy for America during the second half of 2018 helping to flip control of the US House with historic victories electing the most progressive and diverse coalition of candidates in America’s history. In January 2019, Yvette became the first woman to serve as a Chief Executive Officer at DFA as well as the first woman of color in executive leadership.
Yvette grew up in public housing in Cincinnati and was raised by her grandmother. She was the first in her family to graduate college, earning her BA in Political Science, a BS in Communications from Miami University, her JD from the University of Cincinnati, and her MBA from Xavier University in Ohio. Yvette's passion for service started in 2008 when she served as a member of the Ohio Voter Protection Team as a Legal Observer. She later served on the Steering Committee for the Women's Fund, which researched barriers to women in public service. Since that time, she has volunteered and supported local and state campaigns, serving as the Vice Chair of the State Central Committee for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Yvette was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 2011 and re-elected in 2013 for a four-year term. She served as President Pro Tem from 2013-2017. In 2017 she ran for Mayor of Cincinnati and earned the full support and endorsement of DFA members across the country. She made history as the first Black woman in Cincinnati's 200-year history to win a Mayoral primary but came up just short of victory in the general election despite winning 15 of 26 wards.
Active in her local community, Yvette has served on several boards and committees, including the YWCA, Urban League, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, and the UC Law Legal Access Program, among others. Yvette brings her experience, passion, advocacy, and commitment to changing the world to her role at DFA and advance the voices and power of progressives in our democracy nationwide.
Chief Political Officer
A native of Detroit, Christopher is a political operative who specializes in strategy, turnout, and messaging. Prior to joining Democracy for America, Christopher served as the National Political Director for the Collective PAC.
Christopher has served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney re-election campaign, and Executive Director of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, the nation's oldest legislative black caucus. Christopher began his career in politics in 2012 both interning for Congressman John Lewis and working on President Obama’s re-election campaign. Christopher holds a B.A. from Bowling Green State University in Film Production and a M.A. from American University in Strategic Communication.
Outside of his career Christopher is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Inc., charter member for New Leaders Council – Columbus chapter, father, and husband. Christopher’s lives by the quote “Perfection is unattainable but in chasing perfection I will catch excellence.”
Chief Financial Officer
Veronica graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2002 with a degree in Business Administration. After graduating, Veronica joined a small public accounting firm in Cincinnati. She went on to earn her CPA in 2007. After moving to Vermont in the summer of 2010, she decided to venture out into the non-profit side of accounting. She joined DFA in May of 2012 after getting more involved in politics.
Chief of Staff
Amanda comes to us from the political campaign world and has over 17 years of campaign and nonprofit experience. She started her career in grassroots organizing with a special focus in field planning and voter mobilization. As a Wellstone Fellow Amanda was trained in progressive organizing and building effective voter contact campaigns. She has worked for 3 state democractic parties in North Carolina, Georgia and Ohio. In 2017 Amanda served as Campaign Manager for Yvette Simpson’s Mayoral run. Amanda has worked for a number of campaigns and organizations including Obama for America, CREDO SuperPac, Resonance Campaigns and most recently the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Amanda grew up in Salisbury, NC where her love for activism was born while being involved in social justice causes with her family. She would go on to get her bachelor's in Political Science and continue to stay involved in progressive politics. Amanda has a strong passion for Southern organizing and pushing for more investment in Southern States. She believes that all people can make a difference if given the opportunity.
Grassroots Power Builder
Rev. Nelson Jerome Pierce, Jr.
In addition to his role at DFA, Rev. Pierce is the senior pastor of Beloved Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
From the preaching in the pulpit to marching with and protecting protestors, and from electing progressive candidates to organizing communities for change, Rev. Pierce’s life-long mission has been the liberation and well-being of all oppressed people. Rev. Pierce has worked to equip churches with holistic, progressive education around issues of sex and sexuality, has organized to stop the police killing of Black people, to expand voting rights, to protect worker rights, and a host of other causes to help Black people and all people to survive and thrive.
Ben joined the development team at Democracy for America in 2012. He began his career in fundraising in Oregon for numerous groups such as the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, the Human Rights Campaign, Sierra Club, Save the Children and local organizations such as Save Our Wild Salmon. After 2 years, he moved back to Burlington, VT and worked with TrueMajority.org as an Operations and Special Projects Manager for 5 years.
Ben graduated from the University of Vermont in 2003 with a degree in Environmental Studies and focused his thesis research on land conservation in a remote area of Costa Rica.
When he's not working, he devotes himself to his family & his other passion -- photography.
Molly joined DFA in 2020 as a Development Manager. Molly comes to us from the political campaign world where she served as Finance Director for three U.S. Congressional campaigns and Yvette Simpson’s Cincinnati Mayoral race. Molly also served as Campaign Manager for several local and statewide campaigns during her time living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In addition to her campaign experience Molly also served on Amnesty International USA’s Board of Directors after many years working and volunteering in the human rights community. She also worked at multiple non-profits including Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio.
Molly grew up in Detroit, Michigan but got her Bachelor's degree in Sustainability Studies while living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Her focus during her studies was on environmental racism, specifically regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. During Molly’s tenure in the political campaign world she discovered a passion for fundraising and relationship building. Molly’s passion for social justice coupled with her dedication to progressive causes makes her very proud to join such an amazing organization at Democracy for America. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two wild dogs.
Senior Electoral Manager
Christine Senteno has nearly 30 years of experience as an organizer. Her first presidential campaign was for Howard Dean who she met when they were both speakers as part of The American Dialogue at the Democratic National Convention in 2000. She served as a field director for Barack Obama in 2008 covering 19 offices in Pittsburgh and two counties Virginia during the 2012 campaign. She worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign overseeing dozens of organizers throughout Miami in 2016. During the 2020 Joe Biden Presidential campaign, she led Field teams in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia, not only helping to flip both Arizona and Georgia but creating and implementing safety protocols to do in-person canvassing during the COVID pandemic. She also continued this work during the 2020 Senate Runoffs in Georgia.
Her leadership has helped put the only Latino governor at the time in office – Bill Richardson of New Mexico, the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles in office, Antonio Villaraigosa, and the first African American lesbian in the Maryland State Senate (where she defeated a 21-year incumbent in Baltimore City).
When she wasn’t leading efforts in the Field, she has served as a Communications Specialist providing support for hard working union families on issues such as immigration, the Fight for $15 and the Affordable Care Act. She worked as a reporter covering the White House and Capitol Hill on topics such as public education, immigration, and the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. One of her works documenting her experience in Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is part of the Smithsonian Museum's archives. Christine also served as a public affairs specialist for an education research institution based at UCLA.
Before getting involved in politics, Christine was a union member and one of the first women conductors for Union Pacific Railroad. She attended Georgetown University and East Los Angeles College. She is a proud mother and grandmother. Born in Chicago, she is a die-hard White Sox fan and loves live theater, jazz and blues.
Web Development Director
Prior to DFA, Miles ran a one-man web design and development shop building online tools and websites for progressive organizations and candidates including the Courage Campaign, the California Labor Federation, and the Daily Kos.
With a degree in Fine Art, Miles developed one of the first paint systems for a PC, Time Arts Lumena. He went on to become Senior Software Architect at Macromedia for the multimedia authoring system, Director. His earliest gig was as the first programmer for the system that became America On-Line.
Miles served as president of his local DFA chapter and was a member of both his state and county Democratic central committees.
Director of Communications
Kait is a communications strategist with over 12 years experience working on political campaigns. A native of Chicago, she has worked on races up and down the ballot, including gubernatorial and Congressional campaigns, as well as Barack Obama’s successful reelection effort in 2012 and Bernie Sanders presidential run in 2016. Kait is also an alum of several progressive organizations, including Progressive Turnout Project and Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Kait graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Political Science and obtained a Masters in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. When she isn’t crafting buzz-worthy media content, she indulges her passions of interior design and writing.
Executive Assistant to CEO/Special Projects Manager
Her passion for people and community was realized at a young age while volunteering for various non-profit organizations whose focus was on poverty-stricken families. In 2008, she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Journalism on a full academic scholarship from the University of Kentucky. In 2010, she moved to Cincinnati, OH to work in the gospel Music industry as the Marketing and Promotions Director for I Hear Music, Inc. In 2016, she began supporting political campaigns, intentionally helping candidates buildmessages and engagement strategies to reach the residents in their community.
Digital Organizing Coordinator
Tre graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Political Science and as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, studied environmental political thought and its implications for United States border policies. While attending school, Tre organized numerous community engagement projects with non-profits, such as Oxfam and volunteered on various local and federal political campaigns. Prior to joining DFA, Tre worked as an organizer for the Endangered Species Coalition and the New Mexico Working Families Party.
When Tre isn’t advocating for progressive change he enjoys playing basketball, riding his bike along the Rio Grande and watching the occasional Netflix show.
Hannah is a political strategist and community organizer. Prior to joining DFA, she worked on political campaigns up and down the ballot, from Township Trustee to State Legislative, Congressional, and Presidential.
Hannah started her career as an intern and then Campaign Manager for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, flipping a State House seat by 13 points and electing the first Democrat and first woman in the history of the district. She went on to help pass a bond package by historic margins, build issue-based coalitions, and manage Alaina Shearer’s race for Congress in OH-12, earning more democratic votes than any candidate in the history of the district. She credits these victories to an emphasis on relational and community organizing.
Most recently, she stepped into a Digital Communications role to focus on refining her skills in digital microtargeting and messaging. Hannah grew up in Durham, NC, and currently lives in Columbus, OH with her many, many house plants.
Jim campaigned extensively for his brother Howard Dean from his first campaign for Lt. Governor of Vermont to his last campaign as Governor. Starting in 2002, Jim joined the early team for Governor Dean’s campaign for President and was responsible for a variety of campaign functions including fundraising, political organizing and resource support of several Dean for America state organizations.
After helping DFA successfully elect Howard to Chair the Democratic National Committee in 2005, Jim took over as Chair of Democracy for America where he was the key spokesperson and fundraiser, bringing DFA’s mission to all 50 states and keeping our member’s work and candidates in the national spotlight.
At the end of 2018, Jim passed the torch of leadership to the team of Charles Chamberlain (Chair) and Yvette Simpson (CEO); becoming a Special Advisor to DFA where he continues to use his vast experience and knowledge of our work and the progressive movement to help guide DFA moving forward.
Charles started as a volunteer leader of a local Democracy for America group in Miami. In July of 2006, he joined DFA staff in Burlington Vermont as Political Director, where he led powerful issue campaigns and game changing endorsements taking on Republicans, Wall Street, and corporate Democrats. In January of 2012, Charles became the Executive Director of Progressive Congress, now called the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, working directly with leaders in Congress on an inside-outside strategy collaborating with progressive movement groups, unions, and policy think tanks.
Charles rejoined DFA as Executive Director in August of 2013. Under his leadership DFA took on issues like the fight against income inequity, campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter, strategies like expanding the voting electorate by focusing on the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters, and endorsements like Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign for President. In January of 2019, Charles was promoted to DFA’s Chair in a multiracial co-leadership collaboration with CEO Yvette Simpson to focus on fundraising, collaboration, and progressive power building for members, leaders and electeds nationwide.
Before DFA, Charles spent over a decade grassroots organizing and directing statewide campaigns in 17 states for direct democracy initiatives and referendums working with the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Americans for Medical Rights, and others in fights ranging from funding early childhood development and protecting civil liberties to defending collective bargaining rights and raising the minimum wage. Charles currently lives on the west coast and is married to platinum recording artist Alejandra Lorenzo of the 80’s dance group Expose.
Mondale has been a part of more than 25 campaigns including local, state, federal, international, and advocacy. He is at his core a community organizer, with a track record of succeeding when and where most others see no light, this is a skill he honed as the middle of thirteen (13) children.
Before joining DFA, Mondale was the Executive Director of Conyers Institute of Public Policy, an organization that seeks to ensure equitable governance and inter-social treatment for persons of African descent, in countries where they are a minority population. Mondale also managed National Park Service contracts for the C Institute. Mondale is also a political columnist for two publications; an online magazine (The Village Celebration), where he is also a political contributor to magazine's weekly syndicated radio show, and a statewide newspaper (Arkansas Talks). He lectures on the "Culture and History of Black Politics" throughout the world.
Mondale graduated from Livingstone College, a Historically Black College and University (Salisbury, NC), with a BS in Political Science, and a concentration in African and Latin American Politics. In a perfect world, where equity was the norm, Mondale would spend his days building pallet furniture from ideas off of Pinterest.
Founder, Former Special Advisor
Governor Howard Dean
Governor Howard Dean founded Democracy for America in 2004 to empower the grassroots movement his supporters built for his campaign for President and continue the fight for a Democratic Party that focused on supporting progressive candidates and issues in all 50 states.
After DFA’s successful people-powered campaign to elect Governor Dean to lead the Democratic National Committee, Governor Dean stepped down from DFA and appointed his brother Jim Dean. From 2005 to 2009, Governor Dean spearheaded the DNC’s 50 State Strategy to support the base of the Democratic Party, helping Democrats up to flip control of both houses in Congress in 2006 and win the White House in 2008.
Upon leaving the DNC in early 2009, Gov. Dean returned to DFA as a Special Adviser where he lead the campaigns for the Affordable Care Act, a Public Healthcare Option, and, in 2013, launched DFA’s “Purple to Blue” campaign to flip control of targeted governorships and state legislatures nationwide. In December of 2016, Governor Dean retired from his Special Advisor role and is no longer involved in the strategic direction of DFA.