About the OpenGov Foundation

The OpenGov Foundation is a fiercely apolitical non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to serving those who serve the people in America’s legislatures. Our mission is to create a 21st Century Congress where elected officials and staff can meaningfully engage at scale with those they represent, and where citizens can see, shape and understand the critical decisions that affect their lives, their families and their businesses.

Founded inside Congress and launched in January 2013, The OGF team and our open-source products have supported governing better— together— in more than 50 communities, states and countries, from the City of Chicago to the United States of America. We possess an unmatched experience in legislative transformation, open source software development, and change management, and accomplish our mission by partnering with legislatures and the communities they represent in order to bridge the real gaps that exist in our democracy.

At The OGF, we believe that when government reflects the views of the people, democracy works. We build the products, services and policy to make that possible.

Get Involved

There's lots of ways to be involved with OpenGov, from helping work on a particular set of laws to attending hackathons and working on code and design. Let us know what you want to do.

The Team

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Seamus Kraft

Executive Director, Co-Founder & President of the Board

Seamus 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 six-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. He is a 2014-2016 Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and a 2015-2016 Technology and Democracy Fellow in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

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 2016 the American Library Association honored Seamus with their James Madison award and 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.

 

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Aaron Ogle

Director of Product

A recovering software engineer, Aaron Ogle is a technology director with over 15 years of experience building and managing high-quality software projects. He loves using technology to address big, important problems in ways that meet the needs of people and strengthen the fabric of our communities and institutions, all undergirded by the belief that our vocations can be used to build for a better world.

Aaron is currently the Director of Product for the OpenGov Foundation, a nonprofit using technology to help reconcile constituents and their democratic representatives. He was formerly the Director of Civic Technology for the City of Philadelphia where he built and guided the team that is redesigning phila.gov to be simple, crisp, respectful, and delightful. Prior to joining the City, Aaron was CTO of OpenPlans, a non-profit that built open-source software for cities, primarily focused on urban planning and community engagement. He was also an inaugural fellow with Code for America.

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Seth Etter

Senior Developer

Seth has always spent an inordinate amount of time on the web. He eventually began teaching himself to build web and mobile applications which he is thankful to have turned into a career. He previously worked for private sector companies building software ranging from point of sale systems to performance management systems. In his free time he organizes Wichita community groups, including devICT, a software development meetup group, and Open Wichita, a civic hacking and open data initiative. These groups helped him find his passion for civic service which eventually lead him to working with The OpenGov Foundation.

Email him at seth@opengovfoundation.org or tweet to him at @sethetter.

 

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Tanner Doshier

Senior Developer

Tanner has always been an enthusiastic learner and found a passion for open source software since first getting into technology. Prior to joining the OpenGov Foundation, he worked in the private sector and on open source software at places like Red Hat and the GNOME Foundation.

He graduated summa cum laude from Wichita State University with a degree in Computer Engineering and minors in both Math and Physics.

Email him at tanner@opengovfoundation.org.

 

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Kunal Kothari

Fellow

Kunal is technologist with an interest in systems thinking and user-centered design, and is a Masters in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School studying the intersection of emerging technologies, business, and public policy.

Previously, he worked as a portfolio lead at Google.org, where he advised nonprofits and social enterprises on product design and strategy, created Google’s Design Sprint for Nonprofits efforts, and helped deliver $20 M in grant funding for organizations using technology to combat a range of social issues.

Kunal was formerly a Kiva Fellow working on new product strategy and growth, a sales engineer at Google, and a systems architect and engagement manager at Citrix.

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Board of Directors

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Seamus Kraft

Executive Director, Co-Founder & President of the Board

Seamus 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 six-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. He is a 2014-2016 Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and a 2015-2016 Technology and Democracy Fellow in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School.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 2016 the American Library Association honored Seamus with their James Madison award and 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.

 

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Phaedra Chrousos

Director

Chief Innovation Officer, Libra Group — Phaedra served under President Barack Obama as Founding Commissioner for the GSA’s transformative Technology Transformation Service (TTS). Prior to co-founding TTS, she served as Deputy Administrator of GSA’s 18F. Before her public service, she was co-founder and COO of Savoteur/Daily Secret, Vice-President of Vitals.com and co-founder/President of HealthLeap (acquired by MDxMedical).

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Laurent Crenshaw

Director

Director of Public Policy, Yelp — Laurent served from 2002-2013 in various legislative, communications and leadership positions in the U.S. House, including for 3.5 years as Legislative Director for Congressman Darrell Issa. He was the policy mind behind efforts to stop SOPA and PIPA, he was present at the creation of Madison and The OGF. Laurent also serves as a Director for Public Knowledge and on the American Library Association’s Public Policy Council.

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Jo-Marie St. Martin

Director

VP of Federal Government Relations, WR Berkley Corporation — Jo-Marie brings to The OGF a life-long love of Congress and a deep passion for strengthening and improving the institution. She is also one of the most successful, well-respected and influential Congressional and political leaders in Washington, D.C. She served for 21 years in the U.S. House of Representatives in numerous top legal and legislative roles throughout the House Republican Conference, including 15 years as the top legal counsel and Director of Legislative Operations for Speaker John Boehner. Prior to joining WR Berkley Corporation, she led the transition to Speaker Paul Ryan and served as Chief Counsel and Director of Legislative Operations for his first year in office. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Mary Washington and her Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee.

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Rich Hirshberg

Treasurer

Board of Advisors

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Karien Bezuidenhout

Internal Growth

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.

 

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Scout Addis

Design

Scout is an Experience Design Director for McKinsey & Company. 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 work on on projects in healthcare, financial services, startups, and government. Companies he’s worked for include Practice Fusion, Barclays Global Investors, Thomson Reuters, United Health Group, The United Way, NetApp, Zendesk, Mad*Pow, and Cooper. He served as a design advisor to the Tech and Digital teams for President Obama’s 2012 campaign and Libby Schaaf’s 2014 Oakland mayoral campaign.

 

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Aaron Bartnick

Aaron Bartnick served as the Chief Operating Officer for The OpenGov Foundation and 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.
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Anne L. Washington

Open Legal Data

Anne L. Washington is a digital government scholar who specializes in informatics and technology management. She is an Assistant Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. She is curious about the production, meaning, and retrieval of public sector information. The National Science Foundation has funded her research on open government data and she also writes about legislative technology and government innovation. Her expertise developed during ten years of service to Congress designing legislative information architectures. She completed a degree in computer science at Brown University and a Masters in Library Information Science (MLIS) degree at Rutgers University. Prior to completing her doctorate at The George Washington University School of Business, she worked for Apple Computers and Barclays Global Investors. She participated in the United Nations World E-parliament XML Working Group and also served on the E-Government Interest Group and the Government Linked Data Working Group as an invited expert to the W3C.

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Brandon Andrews

A communicator, social innovator, and entrepreneur Brandon works with Values Partnerships to lead a nationwide casting tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank. He is also leading an effort to support entrepreneurs through developing a network of capital, skill-building, and other resources. He also assists brands with corporate social responsibility, corporate communications, and public affairs.

In 2015, he worked with A+E Networks, iHeartMedia, and the United Way to develop the Shining A Light Concert for Progress on Race in America, Shining a Light Fund, and Conversations on Race in America documentary.

Previously, Brandon worked as a consultant assisting disruptive and social impact organizations with digital strategy, online advocacy, and navigating the federal system. He spent 5 years in the U.S. Senate where he handled technology, small business, and defense policy. During the 2012 campaign cycle, Brandon served as Political Action Committee Chair for the NAACP’s Washington, DC Branch where he led GOTV efforts and established the Branch’s digital presence.

Following the campaign, he worked on the digital team of the 57th Presidential Inaugural Committee and served as interim Executive Director of INSIGHT. In the community, Brandon currently serves as Director of IMPACT where he manages web content and civic engagement.

He was appointed to the D.C. Commission on National and Community Service by the Mayor of Washington, D.C., where he currently serves at Vice-Chair. He was also appointed to the DC Commission on Fashion, Arts, and Events.

Brandon provides commentary on policy, politics, and entrepreneurship. He has been featured on TVOne, CCTV America, BBC, NPR, Fox News, and other outlets. A former Division-1 track athlete, Brandon is a 2008 graduate of Oral Roberts University.

 

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Sponsors

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Knight Foundation

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Shuttleworth Foundation

Shuttleworth Foundation

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Rita Allen Foundation

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Consumer Technology Association

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Past Directors & Advisors

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Darrell Issa

Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board and 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 likeMadison 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 foundedDirected 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.

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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.

 

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Abhi Nemani

Vice-President of the Board

Abhi Nemani is a writer, speaker, organizer, and technologist. For the past four years, he helped build the national non-profit, Code for America, a technology 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.

 

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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.

 

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Lanham Napier

Director Emeritus

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.

 

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Tom Davis

Director 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.

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James Lacy

Director

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.

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Larry Brady

Director

For the past twelve years, Larry Brady has served in senior policy positions on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the United States House of Representatives. Since 2010, he has been Staff Director of the Committee. Previously, he served as a Senior Policy Advisor, as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Energy and Resources, and as a Professional Staff Member of the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management.

Prior to returning to government service, Mr. Brady served in senior management positions in the private sector, including Chairman and CEO of a public company, founder and director of Capitoline International Group, Ltd; a senior Vice President of Hill and Knowlton Public Affairs Worldwide; and Director of International Marketing for Sanders Associates, a Lockheed Corporation subsidiary.

During the Reagan Administration, Mr. Brady served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Administration, administering the government’s export and import trade regulatory functions, including the high technology export control program, as well as the U.S. laws designed to prevent unfair sales of foreign products into the United States. He dramatically increased the Department’s enforcement program to over one hundred agents and investigators. He also administered the U.S. government foreign trade zone program. He has represented the U.S. in trade negotiations in Europe, Japan and China and been a frequent witness before Congress on international economic and trade issues. Mr. Brady has completed all pre-dissertation requirements for his Ph.D. in International Economics and International Affairs.

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Jen Yu

Advisor

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. If you buy her a cookie, she will gladly take it.

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