Team and Partners

Steering Committee

Ann Doerr serves on the Board of Environmental Defense Fund and is Chair of Khan Academy. Ann started her career as an engineer and has held various engineering and management positions at Intel, Silicon Compilers, and Tandem Computers. Ann holds both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.

Jim Heerwagen guides and supports national and state initiatives aimed at improving government’s responsiveness to the people.. He initiated the 2016 Voters Right to Know ballot initiative in California. Jim has more than 25 years of experience in executive, investor, and advisor roles for early-stage technology companies. He was co-founder and CEO of IQVine, President and CEO of Sunvolt Nanosystems, Inc., President and CEO of NtechRA, Inc., and founder of Bridge Partners. He is on the Boards of Directors of California Forward, MapLight, the HealthTrust of Silicon Valley, and the Board of Visitors of the Duke University School of Engineering.

Lenny Mendonca is a director emeritus from McKinsey & Company where he founded the firm’s U.S. state and local public-sector practice and led the McKinsey Global Institute. He is a senior fellow at the Presidio Institute, Chair of Children Now, co-Chair of California Forward, and co-founder and Chair of Fusecorps. He is the Chair Emeritus of the Bay Area Council and the Economic Institute of the Bay Area and serves on the boards of Fidelity Charitable, New America, Western Governors University, The Committee for Economic Development, Common Cause, The College Futures Foundation, California Competes. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Advisory Boards of QB3 and The Public Policy Institute of California. Lenny and his wife founded and own the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and the Mavericks Beer Company.

Daniel G. Newman is the Co-Founder and President of MapLight, an organization whose groundbreaking database connects data on campaign contributions, politicians, legislative votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence never before possible to see. Dan has led MapLight from a 2005 startup to an established national resource for citizens and journalists. His 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. Dan is a national expert on money and politics issues and is frequently cited on NPR, PBS, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, and FOX Business News.

Ann M. Ravel served the Federal Election Commission under President Barack Obama from 2013-2017, serving as Chair of the Commission in 2015 and Vice Chair in 2014. Previously, Ms. Ravel served as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), appointed by Governor Brown, Jr. At the FPPC, Ms. Ravel oversaw the regulation of campaign finance, lobbyist registration and reporting, and ethics and conflicts of interest related to officeholders and public employees. During her tenure at the FPPC, Ms. Ravel was instrumental in the creation of the States’ Unified Network (SUN) Center, a web-based center for sharing information on campaign finance. Before joining the FPPC, Ms. Ravel served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Torts and Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice and Santa Clara County Counsel from 1998 until 2009. Ms. Ravel has served as an elected Governor on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, a member of the Judicial Council of the State of California, and Chair of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. Ms. Ravel is the daughter of a Latin American immigrant mother and an American father. She was raised in Latin America before her family settled in the San Francisco Bay area, which she considers home.

Leadership

Jay Costa serves as VRTK Political Director. He is also Executive Director of CounterPAC, an initiative that picks races where money is playing a particularly corruptive role, and challenge candidates to take a reform pledge that would bring greater accountability to their campaign practices. Jay has a deep background working for transparency and reform surrounding money in politics. He previously served as Program Director at MapLight, where he led the organization’s web and data projects, and as a National Coordinator for Rootstrikers.

Chevenee Reavis serves as VRTK’s Director of Strategy and External relations. She has more than 15 years of experience in the advocacy arena. Prior to VRTK, Chevenee has served as Chief Strategy Officer for KickStart International, and Director of Strategy and Global Advocacy for Water.org. Other social responsibility clients have included AB InBev, Fair Trade USA, Starbucks Coffee Company, the Global Health Council, Pfizer, State Street Bank, the Center for Disease Control, and Management Sciences for Health. Chevenee speaks about social innovation and strategic advocacy at forums including SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, Skoll World Forum, and the Clinton Global Initiative. She currently serves on the Board of the Numi Tea Foundation.

Partners

Research partners conduct VRTK’s research work to develop evidence on which to base disclosure policy that works.

  • Analyst Institute: a research institute that collaborates with political and social justice campaigns around the US to measure and increase the impact of their programs.  AI leads VRTK research into the efficacy of disclosure.
  • MapLight: a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that reveals and tracks the influence of money in politics in the United States.  Maplight manages VRTK’s project on political disclosure in the digital age.
  • Carnegie Mellon Dietrich College of Humanities & Decision Sciences: Professor of Psychology Daniel Oppenheimer is national authority on behavioral economics. He wrote Democracy Despite Itself: Why A System That Shouldn’t Work at All Works So Well. He drives VRTK research on the cognitive process behind disclosure’s impact on voter, campaign, and funder perceptions and behavior.
  • YouGov: an international internet-based market research firm. YouGov develops and fields VRTK research instruments.

Policy and Advocacy partners consult and work with us to help define and advocate for disclosure  that works for the people.

  • Campaign Legal Center: a nonpartisan organization focused on election law and democracy issues, supports strong enforcement of U.S. campaign finance laws, advocates for ethics reform, and fights partisan gerrymandering.  CLC develops VRTK model law, based on VRTK research evidence.
  • CAFWD: a nonprofit organization driven to make the promise of the California Dream attainable for all. Their mission is to inspire better decision making by governments to grow middle class jobs, promote cost-effective public services, and create accountability for results.