Our Team

Founders

Andrew Rasiej - Civic Hall Labs Co-Founder and Founder and CEO, Civic Hall

Andrew Rasiej Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Civic Hall. He is also the Chairman of the NY Tech Alliance (formerly the NY Tech Meetup) a 60,000-plus member organization of technologists, venture funders, and marketers that represents start-ups and more mature companies using technology to transform themselves, New York City, and the world. He is the founder of MOUSE.org, which focuses on 21st century public education, and a senior advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington DC organization using technology to make government more transparent. Andrew lives and works in New York City, and can be followed on Twitter @rasiej.

MICAH SIFRY - Civic Hall Labs Co-Founder and Co-Founder and Executive Director, Civic Hall

Micah SifryMicah is co-founder and editorial director of Personal Democracy Media, Micah L. Sifry is a writer and community organizer. He is the co-founder and executive director of Civic Hall. In addition, he is a senior technology adviser to the Sunlight Foundation, which he helped found in 2006, and also serves on the board of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. He is the author or editor of eight books, most recently A Lever and a Place to Stand: How Civic Tech Can Move the World (PDM Books, 2015), with Jessica McKenzie; The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014); and Wikileaks and the Age of the Transparency (OR Books, 2011). In 2012 he taught "The Politics of the Internet" as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Follow him on Twitter @mlsif.

Staff

ELIZABETH STEWART – FOUNDING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Elizabeth StewartFor the last fifteen years, Elizabeth’s career has focused on strategy, fundraising, and cross-sector partnerships that advance social innovation. She is cofounder of Impact Hub Los Angeles, a for-profit social enterprise that offers physical space, professional and cultural programming, and community for a diverse array of Angelenos working to create positive impact. As the founding CEO, for four years she advised a variety of social and civic startups ranging from clean tech to community-oriented technology enterprises, and advanced the field of impact investing in Los Angeles. During that time she launched Civic Innovation Lab in partnership with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and Microsoft, a three-part lab harnessing citizen ingenuity to solve pressing civic and social issues culminating in a city accelerator program. Prior to Impact Hub LA, she founded Causemopolis, a boutique consulting firm focused on economic development and environmental sustainability in cities. She has also worked abroad in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America on poverty reduction and women’s empowerment programs. Elizabeth holds a BA in International Relations and an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, where she pioneered the Graduate Leaders in Sustainability Certificate. Her board service includes Liberty Hill Foundation, Advisors in Philanthropy LA, and Concerned Capital. She is one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People for 2013, and was profiled on Forbes.com as “a woman changing the LA entrepreneur landscape.” Find her @elizinmotion.

Ganesh Rishi – CTO

“GaneshGanesh Rishi joins Civic Hall Labs as Chief Technology Officer after leading numerous technical teams and vendors in developing and successfully delivering award-winning solutions for organizations in both the for-profit & non-profit sectors. At Pfizer, he was responsible for the tech delivery of patient digital marketing initiatives for some of the largest brands in the world. Solutions ranged from the development of responsive websites, chatbots, business to business applications, digital asset management systems, digital analytics, and social platforms built on open source platform & cloud architecture. As part of the Emerging Technology team, Ganesh evaluated startups and innovative products for local and global commercial markets. In the nonprofit arena, he managed technical delivery for the Natural Resources Defense Council's website redesign and led the selection of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s enterprise content management system. As web engineer, Ganesh focused on backend development and web security. Ganesh is also passionate about cryptocurrencies, VR, 3D printing, IOT, and maintaining user rights and privacy in the digital space.

ERIKA STRONG - HEALTH LAB DIRECTOR

“ErikaOver the past ten years, Erika's work in community-based project planning, development, and management has centered on addressing the links between community health inequities and systemic racism and poverty. Throughout her time working in both the government and justice-based nonprofits (including Color Of Change and the Vera Institute of Justice), she witnessed the growing gap between the technology needed for effective social change and the individuals accessing and designing those products. In the Health Lab, Erika works in partnership with community health practitioners, city stakeholders, and civic technologists to design, develop, and launch projects and pilots working to improve the civic determinants of health in NYC. Erika is an experienced anti-racism trainer and organizer, and an enrolled member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. She holds a Masters of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice from the University of Washington School of Public Health.

MEL PETERSON - PROGRAM MANAGER

“MelMel Peterson is passionate about working collaboratively across sectors with diverse groups, individuals and organizations, to tackle the many issues that arise with today’s rapid social change and technological innovation. Mel comes to Civic Hall Labs from New York Cares, New York City’s largest volunteer management organization, which mobilizes more than 63,000 New Yorkers in service each year. At New York Cares, she managed its Community Partner base of over 1,300 nonprofits, schools and government agencies. Prior to New York Cares, Mel attended Columbia University where she majored in psychology and co-founded the Alternative Break Program, which seeks to foster student leadership development and commitment to civic engagement by supporting student-driven, solution-based civic engagement projects on academic breaks.

SAVANNAH BADALICH - PROGRAM MANAGER

“SavannahSavannah is a community organizer and digital strategist utilizing media, technology, and culture change to address hate-based violence and discrimination. She comes to Civic Hall Labs from Breakthrough, a global human rights organization working on gender-based violence, where she managed the fellowship program, action incubator project, and digital organizing strategy. The digital campaigns she led were featured as a success story by Facebook. Savannah is a graduate of sunny UCLA, where she studied globalization and gender studies. While at UCLA, she was at the forefront of the campus sexual assault movement and created a national sexual violence prevention organization – 7000 in Solidarity. She provided consultation to universities and advised the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Savannah also attends Columbia University’s graduate program in human rights focusing on the normalization and enculturation of hate violence on online platforms. Find her @sbadalich.

RACHEL MURRAY - PRODUCT MANAGER

“Rachel A lifelong fascination with how we can use design to collectively build resilient, humane, people-centered products and systems has led Rachel M. Murray on a long journey to Civic Hall. She brings expertise working as a user experience designer and product manager across all parts of the product development life cycle helping individuals, Fortune 500 companies, startups, agencies, management consultancies and government help their communities. She primarily uses ethnography, strategy and participatory design to generate insights which are translate into engaging products and services that end pain and create joy, working with teams and communities to build out proposed interventions. A native of Toronto Canada, Rachel holds a MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design and an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Ethics, Society and Law from the University of Toronto. She is excited by many possibilities of the future, including the promise of civic design, placemaking and participatory design, building transdisciplinary design practices and the work of resistance movements to create social change.

NICOLE CHI - PROJECT COORDINATOR

“Nicole Nicole is dedicated to bridging the technology gap in the social impact sector and empowering people across sectors to co-create better solutions for social good. In her previous role at Skaled, she helped 30+ international technology startups across different industries build and implement the right processes, teams, and technology to scale their businesses rapidly and sustainably. She pioneered Skaled’s approach to account-based marketing, which aims to add greater value to prospects throughout the sales process. Over the past few years, Nicole has also worked for small nonprofits such as Libraries Without Borders, Generation Enterprise, and Root Cause, where she saw the possibility for greater use of technology to not only scale impact, but also improve the day-to-day of the hardest working nonprofit professionals. Nicole is a Humanity in Action fellow (2015) and graduated from Amherst College, where she studied Economics and Political Science with a focus on International Development.

ALEXIS HENRY - PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

“Alexis Alexis Henry is a New York City native who comes to Civic Hall Labs with years of experience in policy, advocacy and education. She began her career as a public school teacher before moving into the policy realm to advocate for issues of educational equity. Throughout her career, Alexis has always had a passion for digital solutions to everyday problems. In the Health Lab, Alexis leads outreach and engagement work for the ReferNYC pilot. You can follow her @civictechnologi.

NICK MASERCOLA - COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

“Mel Nick has always been interested in figuring out how to tell the best story, from writing full-length plays to crafting the perfect tweet. Now he uses his writing and marketing skills to turn brands, companies, and products into characters worth listening to. His work stretches from non-profits (such as the Let’s Win Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance) to larger corporations (including Finn Partners, The John Theurer Cancer Center, and more) to indie-Kickstarter projects. He is excited to join the team and use his skills to tell the important, impactful stories that will emerge from Civic Hall Labs and the partners we work with.





Board of Directors

Andrew Rasiej - Civic Hall Labs Co-Founder and Founder and CEO, Civic Hall

Andrew Rasiej Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Civic Hall. He is also the Chairman of the NY Tech Alliance (formerly the NY Tech Meetup) a 60,000-plus member organization of technologists, venture funders, and marketers that represents start-ups and more mature companies using technology to transform themselves, New York City, and the world. He is the founder of MOUSE.org, which focuses on 21st century public education, and a senior advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington DC organization using technology to make government more transparent. Andrew lives and works in New York City, and can be followed on Twitter @rasiej.

MICAH SIFRY - Civic Hall Labs Co-Founder and Co-Founder and Executive Director, Civic Hall

Micah SifryMicah is co-founder and editorial director of Personal Democracy Media, Micah L. Sifry is a writer and community organizer. He is the co-founder and executive director of Civic Hall. In addition, he is a senior technology adviser to the Sunlight Foundation, which he helped found in 2006, and also serves on the board of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. He is the author or editor of eight books, most recently A Lever and a Place to Stand: How Civic Tech Can Move the World (PDM Books, 2015), with Jessica McKenzie; The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014); and Wikileaks and the Age of the Transparency (OR Books, 2011). In 2012 he taught "The Politics of the Internet" as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Follow him on Twitter @mlsif.

ALLISON FINE, BOARD SECRETARY

Allison Fine is among the nation’s pre-eminent thinkers and strategists on networked leadership. Over the past ten years, she has written three books, keynoted conferences around the world, and coached hundreds of organizations. Her particular expertise is in developing efforts that combine the power of personal relationships with the scale of social media to enable efforts to grow exponentially. She is the author of Matterness: Fearless Leadership for a Social World, the award-winning Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, and co-author of the bestselling The Networked Nonprofit. She serves on the boards of the Sunlight Foundation, NARAL, and Civic Hall.

YVETTE ALBERDINGK-THIJM

Yvette Alberdingk-Thijm Yvette is a human rights activist who envisions a world in which millions of people have the skills and the tools to, safely and effectively, participate in the fight for human rights. She serves as the Executive Director of WITNESS.org, a global team that enables activists using video and participatory technologies to fight effectively against injustice and realize rights for their communities. Linking on the ground needs to systems changes, WITNESS also advocates for scalable solutions that optimize human rights uses of consumer technologies and online platforms. YAT is an advisor/board member of FoundationCenter.org, Accessnow.org, Majal.org, and is a co-initiator of BK@24FPS.

MICHAEL BASSIK, BOARD TREASURER

Michael BassikMichael A. Bassik is a leading digital strategist, agency executive and political entrepreneur. He is managing director and president of Global Digital Operations at MDC Partners, a fast-growing, influential marketing and communications network, where he supports the growth and development of the network's strategic communications, media, and digital agencies. Michael is also co-founder of DSPlitical, a leading political technology and advertising network, and co-founder of The Dutch Sprinkle Company, an innovative food company based on New York City’s Lower East Side. Michael was named an Advertising Age “40 Under 40,” PRWeek “40 Under 40,” POLITICO "Player to Watch" and Campaign Magazine "Rising Star." He is the recipient of the AAPC's Award for Excellence in Digital Media Digital and Yahoo's Purple Chair. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NPR and other leading outlets. His testimony before the Federal Election Commission helped bring about free speech protections for political blogs and digital publications. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and American University’s Washington College of Law.