Staff

Decor

Daniel G. Newman

President and Co-Founder

Daniel, a national expert on government accountability and money in politics, has led Decode Democracy since its founding as MapLight in 2005. Newman has appeared in hundreds of media outlets, including CNN, CBS, MSNBC, FOX Business, and NPR. He led a ballot measure campaign establishing public funding of elections in Berkeley, California, and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. He is the author of Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy.

Daniel G. Newman,  Co-Founder and President, has led Decode Democracy from its origins as a 2005 startup to an established national resource for citizens and journalists.

Newman’s innovative use of technology to reveal influence in government earned him a position on Fast Company’s list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2010 and recognition as a World Affairs Council Civic Innovator in 2014. He has led the organization MapLight to several awards including a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism; a James Madison Freedom of Information Award; a Library Journal Best Reference Award; and a Webby Award nomination for Best Politics Website.

A national expert on money and politics issues, Newman regularly discusses MapLight’s research findings and his views on the broader trends of money in politics in documentary films and on national news outlets including NPR, PBS, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, FOX Business News, and more. He is the author of the innovative graphic novel Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy from Macmillan/First Second Books.

Previously, Newman was an entrepreneur and political organizer. He authored three books on speech recognition software and founded Say I Can, a speech recognition firm. He has served as a consultant to various political and nonprofit groups, including the Center for Voting and Democracy, Israel Venture Network, and the Mental Health Association of San Francisco.

Newman received an MA degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, where he attended on a National Science Foundation Fellowship and researched how people think about political and ethical issues. He holds a BA degree in biomedical ethics from Brown University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Newman was a 2011-2013 Edmond J. Safra Network Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, addressing the issue of institutional corruption.

Contact Daniel at dnewman@decode.org.

DeAnna Dalton

Deputy Director

DeAnna has led the organization’s fundraising and financial management for over a decade, and is also responsible for developing and overseeing the internal processes and infrastructure to support strategic planning and project management. Previously, she worked on the Berkeley ballot measure campaign to establish public funding of elections in Berkeley, California; founded and served as board co-chair of a nonprofit supporting the Berkeley animal shelter; and worked with nonprofits in Ecuador and Tanzania. She holds a B.A. in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University, with concentrations in Development and Human Rights.

Ann Ravel

Policy Director

Ann leads the development and promotion of Decode Democracy’s policies to tackle online disinformation in politics. She served on the Federal Election Commission from 2013 to 2017, holding the roles of vice chair and chair. Ann previously chaired the California Fair Political Practices Commission, acted as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice, and served as Santa Clara County Counsel for over a decade.

Ann also served as an Adjunct Professor in Campaign Finance Law at UC Berkeley Law School, and has written book chapters and Op-Eds in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, and others, as well as appearing on TV, radio, and other media on the subject of digital deception. Ann received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Laurie Moskowitz

Senior Advocacy Advisor

Laurie leads Decode Democracy’s advocacy and campaign work including The Coalition to Fight Digital Deception. Laurie is a 25-year veteran of both political campaigns and advocacy where she has put her management, grassroots, and partnership skills together for hundreds of candidates and non-profits including the Democratic National Committee, The ONE Campaign, and the presidential campaigns of Vice President Al Gore, Sen. John Kerry, Honorable Hillary Clinton, and President Obama. Laurie was also the Founder of Fieldworks, one of the nation’s premier grassroots communications and field-strategy firms.

Alec Saslow

Communications Director

Alec leads strategic communications and media outreach. Previously, Alec managed communications activities, including campaign strategy and media relations, for a variety of non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C. Alec is a Colorado native and holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Syracuse University.

Laura Curlin

Research Director

Laura Curlin oversees the organization’s research and data projects. Her work includes analyzing the money behind our political system, developing tools to make campaign finance data more accessible, and ensuring the accuracy of the databases. Her work is focused on federal and California campaign finance data, but has included research in a variety of states, counties, and cities. Previously, she worked to pass a public campaign financing ballot measure in 2016 as treasurer of the Berkeley Fair Elections Coalition. Her previous experience also includes work on the Transparency in Political Spending Act as a member of Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections. Laura received a B.A. from Brown University with concentrations in Political Science and Middle East Studies.

Nancie McCraw

Director of Engineering

An experienced engineering leader, Nancie oversees software development, technical infrastructure, and other engineering work. Nancie incorporates diversity, inclusion, and accessibility into the engineering and architectural vision of her teams. Nancie has extensive experience in the government space, including with the City of Asheville, North Carolina and supporting the National Centers of Environmental Information at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nancie and her spouse enjoy their home in the mountains of western North Carolina with their cats, and sometimes, sheep.

Tien Lu

Program Manager

Tien manages Voter’s Edge, a comprehensive online California elections guide, and produces content and communications about online disinformation for Decode Democracy. Her background includes a diverse range of experiences in social justice and arts nonprofits, from racial justice and arts activism to oral history and community engagement. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and an MA in Social Documentation from U.C. Santa Cruz.

Viviana Padelli

Disinformation Policy Manager
Viviana Padelli is the disinformation Policy Manager at Decode Democracy, where she works on policies to tackle online political deception. Viviana also curates Decode Democracy’s weekly newsletter, the Decoder, and the Legislative Hub. Before moving to the United States, Viviana worked as an economist at the EU Delegation of the General Confederation of Italian Industry, the DG for Competition of the European Commission, and the former UK Office of Fair Trading, acquiring extensive experience in anti-trust, state subsidies, taxation, financial regulation, and industrial policy. Viviana was also a visiting lecturer at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Born and raised in Italy, Viviana holds a BA in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in Milan, an MSc in Economics from Tilburg University, and an MPA from the Goldman School School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E).

Frank Bass

Contributing Editor

Frank Bass is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter whose career has focused on the intersection of government, politics and business. He is a pioneer in data-driven investigations who has worked at the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Al Jazeera. Bass has lectured extensively on four continents and is the author of three books. He lives in southern Vermont.

Chad Outler

Researcher

Chad tracks legislation as it travels through the legislative process, assembling evidence of support or opposition to bills on the part of companies and other interest groups. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Political Science. A native of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Chad now resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Sara, two dogs, and two cats.

Bergen Smith

Data Analyst

Bergen collects evidence of support and opposition to bills making their way through Congress from corporations and also works on various data projects surrounding campaign finance and democracy reform efforts. He graduated from California State University, East Bay with a M.S. in Economics and from Whitworth University with a B.A in Philosophy. Bergen is a Bay Area native who enjoys getting outdoors whenever he has the chance.

Phoebe Sanders

Administrative Manager

As Administrative Manager, Phoebe supports our in-office and remote work infrastructure, development, and human resources operations. They bring their experience in community-based workforce development non-profit program operations and administration to their role. Offline, you can catch them in the kitchen or digging in the garden with their dogs.

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