June 11, 2012

At the end of 2013, a San Francisco resident was looking through his city’s municipal code and found a law that prevented him, or any of the city’s more than 850,000 residents, from storing his bike in his garage. So he left a comment directly on sanfranciscocode.org asking for a change. His local representative saw the comment, and now that law is off the books. Not only that, but the same representative is now using sanfranciscocode.org to clear other unnecessary laws from San Francisco’s books and improve outdated laws that need updating.

That’s modern government. That’s what we do.

We are The OpenGov Foundation. We bridge the gap between citizens and government and build the tools that power lawmaking for a modern democracy. We work at the vanguard of the open government movement, developing software, events, and coalitions that push governments across the country to be more accessible and responsive.

Open government isn’t just a buzzword–it’s real change. Open government is being able to easily find the laws you need, when you need them. It’s being able to seamlessly tell your representatives when laws don’t make sense. And it’s empowering lawmakers to make those changes.

You have a right to know what’s going on in your government, and a responsibility to get involved. We make it easy for you to do both.

Join us today.

The Team


SEAMUS KRAFT Executive Director, Co-Founder & Vice-Chairman of the Board
Seamus HeadSeamus Kraft is a communicator and civic activist building new means for successful democracy in the digital age. Since February 2013, he has built The OpenGov Foundation into a dedicated four-person team producing cutting-edge civic software used by elected officials and citizens in governments across the US. Seamus is also a co-creator of the Free Law Founders, a coalition of leaders from New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC working to open the processes and information of government to access and innovation for all. Prior to creating The OpenGov Foundation, Seamus served as Digital Director and Press Secretary for The US House Oversight Committee, where he built one the most successful digital communications operations in government from the ground up. Seamus’s work both in and outside of government has been viewed by millions of people worldwide; in 2012 TechCrunch named him among its list of the “20 Most Innovative People of 2012”. A native of Marblehead, MA, he received his undergraduate degree in classical political philosophy from Georgetown University in 2007.
AARON BARTNICK Chief Operating Officer
Aaron HeadAaron Bartnick oversees day-to-day operations for The OpenGov Foundation, including branding, outreach, fundraising, and internal project management. Prior to joining The OpenGov Foundation, Aaron served as Deputy Campaign Manager for now-Congressman Seth Moulton, where he helped grow the organization from a single staffer to a 50-person team en route to Massachusetts’ first successful primary challenge of an incumbent since 1992. Aaron has previously served in operational roles at startups, law firms, and political campaigns. Hailing from Chester, NY, he received undergraduate degrees with honors in history and political science from Brown University in 2011.

CHRIS BIRK Lead Developer and Board Member 

Chris HeadChris is a geek at heart, graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Computer Science. He previously worked for a series of startup web development companies before diving into Madison with The OpenGov Foundation. He was part of the inSourceCode team that first built Madison and KeepTheWebOpen.com, while bringing an innovation mindset to how the U.S. Congress uses technology. He has a fancy for working with open source projects and is constantly staying up to date on new toys and tools. Chris is originally from Carmel, Indiana.

BILL HUNT Senior Developer
Bill HeadBill has been a web developer for almost as long as the web has been around. In that time, he has worked for a variety of start-ups, client service firms, and government agencies, including as the technical lead for several award-winning teams. As an oldschool web geek, he likes to work with the whole stack, from servers to sass and everything in between. Before joining OpenGov, he was a major contributor to The State Decoded project that puts the law online the right way. Bill is also The OpenGov Foundation’s resident tea-enthusiast. Tweet him cool .*rc hacks @krues8dr or drop him a line at Bill@OpenGovFoundation.org.





Board of Directors

DARRELL ISSA Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board U.S. Congressman (CA-49)

Darrell is a lifelong technophile with a passion for open, accountable government. First elected to Congress in 2000, he led the successful opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Issa launched OpenGov in March 2011 to expand development of free software solutions like Madison that help citizens access government, empowering them to collaborate with elected officials and each other to deliver better policy.

Before serving the people of California’s 49th Congressional district as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, Issa founded Directed Electronics Incorporated and served as Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association. Issa received the 1994 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

ABHI NEMANI Board Member 

Abhi Nemani is a writer, speaker, organizer, and technologist. For the past four years, he helped build the national non-profit, Code for America, atechnology organization dedicated to reinventing government for the 21st century. Abhi led CfA’s product strategy as its teams tackled local government challenges ranging from transparency and business licensing to food stamps and the criminal justice system. He also led the organization’s efforts to scale through building multiple new programs: a first-of-its-kind civic startup accelerator, an international volunteer corps, and a collaborative network for hundreds of government innovators. Abhi’s work at CfA has been featured in the New York Times, Government Technology, and Forbes, and he has been featured as a speaker at SxSW, the World Bank, and various universities and conferences around the world.

Prior to CfA, Abhi worked for Google, developing social engagement strategies, the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, managing multiple local government transparency research teams, and the Center for American Progress, focusing on connecting a national network of public-minded students.

Abhi is a Truman National Security Partner, a member of the Board of Advisors of Significance Labs, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Urban Development Initiative.  He graduated magna cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a honors degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), and studied political philosophy and rhetoric as the University of Oxford.

Lanham is the former CEO of Rackspace, the service leader in open cloud computing and user-first “fanatical customer support.” He joined the company in 2000, growing its team of Rackers from fewer than 100 to more than 4,500 and its revenue to more than $1 billion in 2011. Under his leadership, Rackspace has developed the groundbreaking OpenStack open source cloud operating system. That makes Rackspace and OpenGov, as he puts it, “like brothers from another mother.”Lanham earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Lanham also serves as part-time advisor to General Catalyst.
TOM DAVIS Board Member and Former U.S. Congressman (VA-11)
Tom serves as a Director for Deloitte & Touche, working to bring effective, common sense solutions to government.  He was first elected to office in 1979, representing Mason District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.  In 1991, after spending 12 years as the Mason District supervisor, Tom defeated the incumbent chairman of the county board, taking the top elected office in Fairfax County, Virginia.In 1994, Tom successfully took on another incumbent, this time winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 11th Congressional District of Virginia.  He was the first freshman in 50 years to be given a subcommittee chairmanship, taking the gavel of the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia.  He is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of political minutia, often teaching members of Congress on the electoral history of their own districts.  He has also twice won the Political Trivial Pursuit challenge sponsored by the Hotline and National Journal.After the 2002 election, he was named chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, gaining national prominence once again by chairing hearings on the use of performance enhancing substances in professional sports.  Other notable accomplishments include his hard-hitting but objective report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina; his sponsorship of legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco; and passage of the National Capital Transportation Amendments Act, which authorizes much needed capital reinvestment in the Washington Metro system.Tom is a cum laude graduate of Amherst College and earned a JD degree at the University of Virginia Law School.  He is married to Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and has two step daughters, Nicole, and Ashley who are George Mason Graduates.
JAMES LACY Treasurer and Board Member 

Jim Lacy is co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP, and serves as legal counsel to The OpenGov Foundation. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a manager and director of nonprofit organizations, and has acted as legal counsel to charitable organizations and other nonprofits since 1979.






Board of Advisors

JOE TRIPPI Message and Media


Founder and President of Trippi & Associates, and heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the man who “reinvented campaigning”, Joe Trippi is widely recognized as one of America’s most influential political strategists. During his 34-year career, Trippi has run and consulted on numerous presidential, Senatorial, congressional, mayoral and gubernatorial races. Most recently, Trippi was a senior strategist and media consultant in Jerry Brown’s successful run for California Governor.


Trippi is known for his innovation in the world of political strategy. In 2004, as the National Campaign Manager for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, he pioneered the use of online technology to organize what became the largest grassroots movement in presidential politics. Trippi and his team also created the empowerment messaging and the online community tools that President Barack Obama used in his campaigns, and which has now become the basis for movement politics all around the world. He also has an extensive international resume, serving as advisor to successful campaigns for Prime Minister in Greece, Great Britain, and Italy.

Trippi is the author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything, the story of how his revolutionary use of the Internet combined with an impassioned, contagious desire to overturn politics-as-usual grew into a national grassroots movement – and changed the face of American politics forever.


KARIEN BEZUIDENHOUT Internal GrowthKarien Shuttleworth

Director of the Shuttleworth Foundation, Karien is an advocate for openness and supporter of social entrepreneurs. She has played various roles within the Foundation, facing new challenges and learning every step of the way. She now focuses on the Fellowship Program – engaging with issues of openness and social change, identifying potential investments and working closely with Fellows towards realizing their vision.

Karien studied business and economics at the business schools of the University of Stellenbosch and University of Cape Town. She is a native of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.


MAGGIE McKINLEY Academic Partnerships
Maggie McKinley is Co-Principal Investigator of the “Language of Lobbying” Project at the University of Chicago. She received her JD from Stanford Law School and her BA in linguistic anthropology from UCLA. Previously, she served as Manager of Research at the UCLA Ethnography of Autism Project, Principal Policy Producer at the Sloan Center on the Everyday Lives of Families, and practiced civil litigation on behalf of unions and labor federations at Bredhoff & Kaiser in Washington, DC. Following law school, she clerked for the Northern District of California and the Ninth Circuit. Her work has been published in the Stanford Law Review and was awarded the Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award for excellence in writing in the area of personal freedom. In August of 2014, Maggie will begin her tenure at Harvard Law School as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law.


JEN YU Design

Jen Yu

As a multifaceted creative with roots in film, animation, illustration, product and interactive design, Jen Yu has led wildly successful design and experience teams in the last decade. These places include Disney, Adobe, Slide (acquired by Google), Jawbone, and Frog Design, to name a few. She is also deeply involved with social entrepreneurs, having worked with TEDActive in 2011 on the Social Networks Project Leadership team, served on the board of the International Game Developers Association in Asia, and worked as a design mentor for Startup Weekend.

She led the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) experience design team in building Plan X, the U.S. Defense Department’s foundational cyberwarfare program.  Jen is currently the Chief Creative Officer of a Y Combinator startup in San Francisco.



Scout is the Managing Director for Mad*Pow’s West Coast office in Oakland, California. He is always looking for ways to do things better, faster, and easier and that’s what makes him successful at uncovering the best solutions for large-scale design challenges. From Fortune 500 companies to angel-funded startups, his leadership, consulting, and designs have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in revenue and cost savings.
Scout‘s passion for complex domains and solving new problems has drawn him to healthcare, financial services, startups, and government. Most recently, he was the Director of Design at Practice Fusion, the leader in cloud-based electronic health records, where he manged the company’s “design first” approach to product development. Some of the other companies he’s worked with include Barclays Global Investors, Thomson Reuters, United Health Group, The United Way, NetApp, Zendesk, and Cooper. He served as a design advisor to the Tech and Digital teams for President Obama’s 2012 campaign and Libby Schaaf’s successful 2014 Oakland mayoral campaign.

Our Funders

For a full list of our funders, please click here.


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