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.


Tom Ellington, Director of Local Government Relations

Tom Ellington served two terms as an elected member of the Macon, GA, City Council and has remained active in public service in a variety of appointed positions since then. He also holds an appointment as professor of political science at Wesleyan College, a small liberal arts college for women. In 2014, he was a Fulbright Korea senior scholar, teaching at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul. He has also held visiting appointments at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul and at Guangzhou University in China. He earned a Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland and most recently completed an MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2020, completing projects in Flint, MI, and Trenton, NJ.


Conor Ryan, Analyst

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. 


Ayenna Cagaanan,  Content and Digital Media Lead

Ayenna Cagaanan is the Content and Media Lead at CivicPulse. Prior to this role, she was an AmeriCorp VISTA member working on the communications team at the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Brown University. 

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Amy Eappen, Deputy Chief Financial Officer at IIE

Amy Eappen is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer at the Institute of International Education (IIE), where she has worked in various finance roles since 2011.  Prior to IIE, she worked as a budget analyst at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget and Director of Aftercare Services at the New York City Department of Homeless Services. Amy served as an Economic Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Honduras.  She obtained her M.S. in Management and Urban Policy from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at the New School and a B.A. in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs and Spanish from Miami University.


Abhi Nemani, Founder/CEO of EthosLabs

Abhi Nemani has worked for over a decade at the intersection of public service and technology. Abhi helped build the non-profit Code for America, growing it into a national leader in government tech, and then he was appointed as the first CDO of Los Angeles and CIO of Sacramento. Now, his consultancy,, connects entrepreneurs across sectors to develop new approaches for public policy, on issues ranging from criminal justice to public health. Abhi has taught public innovation at the University of Chicago, and he has been featured as a speaker at SxSW, TEDx, the World Bank, and numerous convenings around the world.

Nathan Lee, Managing Director of CivicPulse, is the third sitting member on our Board of Directors (see bio above). 


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.


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.

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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.


Andy Krackov, President of Hillcrest Advisory

Andy Krackov’s career has focused on the intersection of data and community-level action. His consultancy, Hillcrest Advisory, works with social sector organizations on the front lines of local change to help them communicate numbers effectively and tell stories with data. He managed statewide data projects for two foundations in California: the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and the California Health Care Foundation. His first professional experience – and his abiding passion – is journalism: Andy was a researcher and a reporter at U.S. News & World Report. Andy received his bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis and his master's degree in communication theory from Stanford. 


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.

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Ron Mester, Founder/CEO of Power Almanac

Ron Mester is the founder and CEO of Power Almanac, a contact platform designed to help organizations reach the right senior decision-makers at more than 21,000 local governments across the US. Early in his career, while a senior partner at the global consulting firm, Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson), Ron advised Fortune 1000 and public sector clients on strategy and organization issues, and also served 3 mayors as a member of the San Francisco Mayor’s Fiscal Advisory Committee. Ron’s longstanding interest in government started in a high school government class taught by the mayor of Torrance, CA, and then accelerated with a BA in political science from UC Berkeley and an MBA in public policy/management from the Wharton School. Ron also serves on the Advisory Board for CivStart.

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Vince Vu, Government Industry Advisor at Qualtrics

Vince Vu is the Government Industry Advisor at Qualtrics, focusing on state and local government. Vince advises government partners on innovation, research, and community engagement, including design, evaluation, governance, and change management. Prior to joining Qualtrics, Vince managed innovation and research teams in multiple government settings at the city, county, and state levels for the past decade. Vince has a masters degree in Public Policy, specializing in advanced policy analysis.


Kirsten Wyatt, Co-founder/Executive Director of ELGL

Kirsten Wyatt is the executive director and co-founder of ELGL. Previously, she served as Assistant City Manager of West Linn, Oregon.  Also at the city of West Linn, she was employed as the Assistant to the City Manager and the Finance Analyst. Prior to her tenure in West Linn, she served as a budget analyst for the Virginia Department of Education; as a graduate assistant with the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and as a communications consultant with Pacific Public Affairs.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.