Nathan Lee, Managing Director

Nathan Lee is the Managing Director and Founder of CivicPulse. In addition to running CivicPulse, Nathan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Nathan’s scholarly research has covered a variety of topics and disciplines, and you can find out more information about his research on his website. Prior to CivicPulse and RIT, Nathan worked as a policy analyst at the White House National Economic Council, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the California Public Utility Commission. Nathan received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University, a Master of Science in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. 


Michael Hotard, Director of Analytics

Michael Hotard is a current policy researcher and former government employee who is interested in how the social sector can use data to create effective policies and programs. Prior to joining CivicPulse, he monitored workforce development grants at the US Department of Labor and most recently was a program manager at the Stanford Immigration Policy Lab, overseeing the organization's research portfolio related to unauthorized immigration and public health. Michael received a Master’s in Applied Economics from the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University and also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan. 

Sara Guenther, Director of Research 

Sara Guenther is the Director of Research at CivicPulse. She has over a decade of research experience, and has designed and fielded surveys in the US and internationally. She is particularly interested in the politics and process underlying science-based policymaking and implementation. Prior to joining CivicPulse, Sara was a research scientist and taught research methods at Montana State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. For more about her research, visit her website


Lindsey Washburn, Director of Operations

Lindsey Washburn spent the last twelve years in global health with the International Council of Ophthalmology. During this time, she developed a passion for effecting change through policy. Lindsey has worked with the World Health Organization and Ministers of Health and now focuses her work on improving local government. She serves on a local public safety committee and encourages others to get involved with their local government through her website KnowYourLocal. Lindsey received her Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.


Brytan Mendes, Senior Analyst

Brytan Mendes recently graduated from McGill University with a major in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. His primary research interests include conflict, wargaming, and interactive civic media. He has worked as an advisor to the Royal Military College of Canada, received the Defence Research and Development Canada Award for Excellence in Wargame Design, and his work has been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies. He is also developing a virtual reality learning experience on the biology and geology of the Galapagos with Colgate University. Read more about his work on his website


Benedicte Adair 

Benedicte is an MS/BS student at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She also works with Dr. Lee on a variety of research projects at RIT. As someone with both a passion for STEM and an understanding of its social consequences, she spends a lot of time exploring the intersection of practical engineering and public policy. Her work at CivicPulse involves data analysis and coding for a range of projects. 

Henry Moshfeghi 

Henry is currently a senior at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California. He will be attending Carleton College in the fall of 2021 and is intending to major in Political Science/International Relations. Henry's work at CivicPulse involves coding for a range of projects, including the Diversity Dashboard.  

Conor Ryan 

Conor is a recent Summa Cum Laude graduate of Elon University with a Political Science major and minors in both History and Literature. Conor is a current MPA candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a background in planning and a focus on local government administration. His work at CivicPulse involves data visualization and mapping for a range of projects. 

Noah Schechter

Noah is a freshman at Stanford University. He plans on majoring in International Relations with concentrations in International Security and Comparative International Governance. His work at CivicPulse includes coding and data analysis for a range of projects, including the Diversity Dashboard.


Daniel Butler, Professor at UC San Diego

Daniel Butler is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.  His surveys state and local politicians to learn about representation. He is author of Representing the Advantaged (2014, Cambridge University Press). His work has also been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and other journals.  He received his PhD from Stanford in 2007.


Nick Carnes, Associate Professor at Duke University

Nick Carnes is the Creed C. Black Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University. From 2012 to the present, Carnes has co-organized national surveys of state and local officeholders as a part of his research on why so few working-class Americans (people employed in manual labor, service industry, and clerical jobs) go on to become politicians and how their virtual absence from our political institutions affects public policy.


Jonathan Chu, Lecturer at Stanford University

Jonathan Chu is a political scientist, and co-founder of CivicPulse, who researches issues of democracy, governance, human rights, and foreign policy (Ph.D. Stanford University). He is also an expert on survey and experimental methodology. He is currently a lecturer Stanford University and affiliated research at Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West. In addition to his academic work, Jonathan contributed to public service in relation to agencies like AmeriCorps and USAID. Read more about his research on his website.

Kevin Kearney, City Manager of Bradbury, CA

Kevin Kearney is City Manager of Bradbury, California, where he is responsible for managing day-to-day operations and overseeing all city administration and functions.  In 2017, the California City Management Foundation recognized Kevin as a "Rising Star" in the city management community for his accomplishments as one of the youngest city managers in California. Kevin is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California and has earned degrees and certifications from Harvard University, University of California, Irvine, and Cal Poly Pomona. He is a Certified Public Manager through the University of California, San Diego.


Megan Mullin, Associate Professor at Duke University

Megan Mullin is Associate Professor of Environmental Politics at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, with secondary faculty appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Sanford School of Public Policy. She is a scholar of American political institutions and behavior, focusing on the ways that political systems respond to local environmental conditions. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Jessica Trounstine, Professor at UC Merced

Jessica Trounstine is Professor of Political Science at University of California, Merced. Trounstine studies local politics in the United States in both historical and contemporary contexts. Trounstine’s work is focused on understanding the process and quality of representation, inequality, elections, and public services. She is the author of Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities (Cambridge University Press) and Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers (Chicago University Press) as well as numerous articles.  Website: