onnected congress, speaker
Rep. Eric Swalwell, CA-15
Tom Hallaran, IB5k
Steve Dwyer, Digital Director Democratic Whip Rep. Hoyer
Ted Henderson, Capitol Bells
Matt Lira, NRSC
Adam Conner, Facebook
Lorelei is the founder or director of five projects in Washington, D.C. with the purpose of system-level change in information flows between Congress and American citizens. She joined the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute to pilot Smart Congress — a de-centralized system of expert knowledge and civic participation methods to modernize Congress and increase evidence-based decision making. OTI’s mission is to build a peaceful, connected and open global public square for the 21st Century. Lorelei is a civil-military expert, and — during this time of transition — is looking at the governance implications of distributed power, including the limits of military force. She is examining the requirements of a security strategy for civil society, i.e. privacy, the right to be connected and how citizens can better spend their social capital for political power. Lorelei has degrees from Grinnell College and Stanford University.
Tim Cameron is the Director of Digital Media at the House Republican Conference where he formulates online strategy and manages email communications, website development, video production, graphic design, and social media for the House Majority. Tim also heads GOP Labs– a training and collaboration resource for Republican Congressional offices.
Tim specializes in email marketing, online engagement, data science, and UX design. These specializations stem from his obsessive use of metric-based assessments to continually improve performance online. Tim was recently named to Business Insider’s “Digital 50″ a list of the “top 50 people who are at the forefront of political innovation”.
Prior to joining the House Republican Conference, Tim was the Digital Director at CRAFT Media / Digital and was responsible for managing a team that won multiple industry awards under his leadership. Tim has also served as Director of Digital Operations at Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future where he led a number of highly successful campaigns including the famous “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” petition drive. His success was acknowledged by POLITICO & CBS News, who ranked American Solutions’ email list the fourth “Most Powerful Email Lists in Politics”.
Shannon Chatlos is Managing Partner and Political Practice Lead at SalientMG where she advises and implements marketing efforts and market growth strategies for tech industry companies and political technology products. Shannon also works with clients to develop impactful digital marketing, advertising, and campaign strategies. She has worked in the Political Technology industry since 2000 with a background in digital advertising, compliance software solutions, voter data, “Big Data” platforms, fundraising solutions, political field operations, as well as campaign and PAC fundraising.
During the 2012 election cycle, she was the Dir. of Business Development for conservative/Republican clients at Resonate where she implemented dozens of digital media campaigns using Resonate’s unique “big data” platform. Before joining Resonate, Chatlos held a 12 year position with Aristotle, where she worked with clients on both side of the aisle; she has worked with hundreds Federal and Statewide campaigns, Super PACS, and campaign organizations, assisting them with their technology needs. Shannon is also a board member at the Naval Academy Primary School and has been an active volunteer for non-profits, military organizations, and political campaigns since college. She holds a Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Georgia, and now lives in Annapolis, MD where she resides with her husband and two children.
Adam Conner is a Manager for Public Policy in Facebook’s Washington DC office, where he focuses on government and political outreach and has directed the company’s election efforts since 2007. In 2009 Politics Magazine named him one of their “Rising Stars,” in 2010 MSNBC named him to the BLTWY Power List: 35 people under 35 who changed DC in 2010, and in 2011 the Diplomatic Courier named him one of the “Top 99 Most Influential International Professionals Under 33.”
Prior to opening Facebook’s Washington DC office, Adam was the Director of Online Communications for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Chairwoman of the Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously served as the Deputy Director of Online Communications for Forward Together, the presidential exploratory committee for former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.
Adam holds a bachelor’s degree in political communication from the George Washington University and hails from Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Serenety Hanley has spent the last 14 years working in politics, technology and online grassroots activism.
Serenety had the honor of serving President George W. Bush as the first woman to hold the title of White House Internet Director, and as the first Director of the Office of Web Communications at the Environmental Protection Agency. Previously, Serenety was the first Director of Political Technology at the Republican National Committee where she developed and managed innovative and first-its-kind political technology projects, including:
In 2012, Serenety was named a 2012 Innovator of the Year by Campaigns & Elections for her work to include more citizens in the political process through new technologies. She has also been a guest lecturer at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and International Republican Institute on how to use social media for online activism. Most recently, Serenety was Vice President at Grassroots Targeting, where she specialized in digital strategies for clients ranging from congressional to gubernatorial.
She started her political career as a project manager at Targeted Creative Communications. Serenety is the proud mother of a rambunctious little boy, and a self-confessed tech geek. Adding to her geek credentials, Serenety recently joined Space Advocates and the Penny4NASA campaign as the Director of Grassroots Outreach and Engagement. She is passionate about increasing NASA’s budget so they can continue to develop technologies that will enable humans to explore further.
Lira previously served as Director of New Media in the 112th Congress and Digital Director for the VP Nominee at the Romney-Ryan campaign. He also served in this capacity for the Office of the Republican Whip in the 111th Congress and Chief Deputy Whip in the 110th Congress.
Lira has been on the cutting edge in how politicians communicate with voters, and is always looking for the next innovation. He has modernized the way that Congress interacts with the public, on both communications and policy platforms – including the recent CoSponsor.gov initiative. His previous experience includes positions with the House Republican Conference, Republican National Committee, and the McCain-Palin campaign.
Colin Delany is founder and editor of Epolitics.com, a website that focuses on the tools and tactics of Internet politics and online advocacy. Launched in July of 2006, Epolitics.com received the Golden Dot Award as “Best Blog – National Politics” at the 2007 Politics Online Conference, and Delany was He was honored as one of “Ten Who Are Changing the World of Politics and the Internet” at the 2010 World E-Gov Forum in Paris. Epolitics.com features three downloadable e-books, “Learning from Obama,” “Online Politics 101″ and “How Candidates Can Use the Internet to Win in 2010″ (currently being updated for 2012). A former staffer in the Texas Legislature, Delany has worked with advocacy groups and political campaigns to leverage the power of digital communications tools since 1996, and currently serves as the Director of Outreach and Online Communications at the National Women’s Law Center. He also occasionally plays bass in a rock and roll band.
Partner at Fission Strategy, Cheryl specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She is also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top black blogs online. Cheryl was recently named as an Affiliate of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Huffington Post listed her as one of the Top27 Female Founders in Tech to Follow on Twitter in 2011. Fast Company named her one of their 2010 Most Influential Women in Tech. She has over 15 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as Vice President and lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard’s West Coast region in San Francisco.
Cheryl has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, BBC, Current TV and CNN, among other media appearances. She is also proud to serve on several boards and advisory committees: Netroots Nation, BlogHer, Focus100/Digital Undivided, and Public Radio International. She received her B.A. from Yale University and has an International Executive M.B.A. from Georgetown University. In her spare time, Ms. Contee enjoys hiking, yoga, movies and tai chi sword.
Bradford Fitch has spent 25 years in Washington as a journalist, congressional aide, consultant, college instructor, Internet entrepreneur, and writer/researcher. He is currently the president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation.
Fitch began his career as a radio and television reporter in the 1980s. He began working on Capitol Hill in 1988 where he served for 13 years. He worked in a variety of positions for four Members of Congress, including: press secretary, campaign manager, legislative director, and chief of staff.
Fitch left Congress in 2001 to work for the Congressional Management Foundation. As Deputy Director of CMF, he served as a management consultant for Members of Congress, offering confidential guidance, conducting staff training programs, and writing publications on enhancing the performance of individual congressional offices and the institution. He served as editor of Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide for the 108th Congress and 109th Congress editions. In 2005 Fitch managed CMF’s Communicating with Congress project, and co-authored the report, How Capitol Hill is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy. He left CMF in 2006 to form a new company, Knowlegis, in affiliation with Capitol Advantage. Knowlegis is now a part of CQ-Roll Call Group, where Fitch served as a Vice President until 2010 when he returned to CMF.
Fitch is also the author of Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials (TheCapitol.Net, 2010); Media Relations Handbook for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits and Congress (TheCapitol.Net, 2004); “Best Practices in Online Advocacy for Associations, Nonprofits, and Corporations,” a chapter in Routledge Handbook of Political Management (Routledge, 2008); and articles on communications and advocacy. He has taught journalism and public communications at American University in Washington, D.C, where he served an adjunct Associate Professor of Communications. He received his B.A. degree in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and his M.A. degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University.
Executive Vice President, Impact & Innovation
Austen specializes in leveraging technology for social impact. He has a background in grassroots campaigning and social movement theory, both of which contribute to his current work at Fission Strategy overseeing the strategic design, development, and implementation of online campaigns, social media and mobile apps, websites, infographics, and much more for non-profit organizations and foundations.
He is well versed in the capabilities of existing action tools and CRM’s including Action Kit, Blue State Digital, Salsa, Salesforce, Nationbuilder, and Convio, and works with the amazing team at Fission to identify creative opportunities to expand the power of these tools through integrations with social networks and other technologies such as SMS campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Alongside the technical solutions, Austen leverages proven campaign and leadership development strategies in order to empower individuals and communities to create social change.
In his work he has envisioned and managed the development of tools such as NRDC’s 1-Click Petition Facebook App, the American Wind Energy Association’s Tweet Congress App, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s No Cost Birth Control Facebook App.
Prior to joining Fission Strategy, Austen worked with Joe Trippi & Associates, the Energy Action Coalition, Obama for America 2008, and Texas Campaign for the Environment.
Stephen has worked in a leadership office on Capitol Hill for over a decade. Over that time his responsibilities have included both policy and communications. He has successfully applied his expertise in technology and the internet in all of these areas. He earned a law degree from Georgetown Law and an undergraduate degree with majors in Computer Science and Philosophy from the University of Vermont. He currently serves as Digital Director for the Democratic Whip Rep. Hoyer.
Ted Henderson is the creator of Capitol Bells, the first of its kind mobile Congress app that notifies Members of Congress when it’s time to vote while letting their constituents virtually vote alongside them.
As an engineer and former congressional staffer, Ted believes building a virtual Congress will increase transparency, engagement, and accountability in the legislative process. Prior to starting Capitol Bells, Ted served as a Legislative Assistant to former Congressman Dale E. Kildee from Flint, Michigan.Ted holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College and a Master of Arts in Climate and Society from Columbia University.
Tom started his career as bio-informatician at Washington University’s Genome Sequencing Center, writing software to automate the genome sequencing and mapping pipeline. After leaving academe, Tom spent nearly a decade working on startups and online advertising companies in NYC. As a founding partner of IB5k, Tom has worked on several US House infrastructure projects, specifically leading IB5k’s implementation of the Communicating with Congress prototype to improve US House email systems and Correlate, IB5k’s analysis plug in for Constituent Management Systems. Tom’s work has been features in Wired, Fast Company, the New York Times and Campaigns and Elections Magazine. Tom is a part time urban farmer and lives in Brooklyn,NY with his wife and 3 year old Daughter.
As Partnerships Manager for Government & Politics, Sean Evins is part of a team driving creative use of the Twitter platform by elected officials, government agencies, and political campaigns all around the world. Prior to joining Twitter in 2012, Sean worked on the House Administration Committee for nearly four years where he focused on franking communications, member and committee services, and served as floor assistant to the Chairman and liaison to House Leadership. He has also held other positions within the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and the FBI, as well as with the Cook Political Report during the 2008 election cycle.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, he earned his M.A. in Government from the Johns Hopkins University in 2010.
Anton is a Political Advertising Strategist on Google’s Elections and Issue Advocacy team, advising government officials, candidates and issue organizations on digital tactics for fundraising, persuasion, mobilization and constituency outreach efforts. Prior to joining Google, Anton served in the external affairs department at America’s Natural Gas Alliance – where he engaged third party organizations on the benefits of natural gas in local communities. In the 2010 campaign cycle, Anton worked on several Republican senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns. He started his career in politics at the Republican National Committee.
A Troy, Michigan native, Anton holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.
Director, House Franking Commission
Jack has been working with congressional offices in the communications field for 26 years. He started working for the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards (Franking Commission) in 1986 when it was under the jurisdiction of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee. In 1994 the Commission moved under the Committee on House Administration.
In this role, Jack has worked with communicators on a House-wide basis to counsel them on how to adapt emerging communication techniques and technologies for official use. He has worked closely with all involved parties including the Committee on House Administration, the Ethics Committee, the CAO, and communication vendors to ensure legal and regulatory compliance with everything from mail, to telephone town halls, to micro-targeted advertising, and social media. — Jack.firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressman Eric Swalwell proudly represents California’s Fifteenth Congressional District, which includes a large portion of the East Bay. In November 2012, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, promising to bring new energy, ideas, and a problem-solving spirit of working together to Congress.
In the House of Representatives, Congressman Swalwell serves on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where he is the Senior Democrat on Subcommittee on Energy, and the Committee on Homeland Security. He is fighting for policies that will grow the innovation economy, strengthen the middle class and create good American jobs. Congressman Swalwell is a leader in technology. As the Representative from Northern Silicon Valley, he supports policies that will advance American innovation and bring Congress into the 21st century. He is active on social media, and was the first Member to “vine a vote” and Skype into a local city council.
Congressman Swalwell was raised in Dublin, where he still resides. He received his bachelors and law degrees from University of Maryland. Following law school Congressman Swalwell joined the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. For seven years he prosecuted thousands of cases and tried 34 jury trials to verdict, ranging from domestic violence, to elder abuse. In addition, he was elected to the Dublin City Council in 2010. As a Council Member he used a common sense bipartisan approach to pursue creative policies that fostered new jobs and balanced the city’s budget every year. He is the oldest of four boys and son to Eric Sr., a retired police officer, and Vicky, who works as a secretary.
Philip is currently working on the Hill this summer as a Legislative Fellow while organizing the Tech Series for Members of Congress – Connected Congress, and is currently a Masters in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School focusing on the intersection of business, technology, and governance. He was recently elected the Harvard-wide student president for the twelve graduate and professional schools at Harvard (the Harvard Graduate Council), and was first elected as a Harvard student president while living in California campaigning completely through online media. He has served as youth pastor, National Director for Digital Media Academy, and founded the brand design firm Redefine Design.
The goal of the Connected Congress Tech Series for Members is to bring thought leaders and in-the-trenches practitioners to the Hill to share directly with Members (and senior staff) how to better use technology to connect with constituents and with each other. Members will better understand what is currently available, how to more effectively use what is available, and where current trends are taking us in the future as a representative democracy.
Five sessions will be offered from July 31 – August 2. The sessions will involve ~4 speakers giving high-impact presentations 5-7 minutes, followed by a Q&A round table session for Members and Staffers (about 1 hour in total). Both sessions will involve the current and the future state of citizen engagement and how Members could/should be taking action. The series is bi-partisan – House and Senate.
Members of Congress and senior staff. All Members are encouraged to attend, participate in the presentations, and join in the discussion with fellow Members. Each Member is welcome to bring two senior staff members with them (such as Communications, Policy, Digital Staff, or Chief of Staff).
Connected Congress Tech Series for Members is being organized through a collaborative effort of amazing Hill staffers and a team of Harvard graduate students with the backing of the Harvard Center for Public Leadership and Harvard Graduate Council. Questions/ideas/want to get involved? Contact Philip Harding – email@example.com
Update: Limited space available. Please use the Member / Staff RSVP form below.