National Office Staff
FairVote Senior Staff
Rob Richie, Executive Director | [email protected]
Rob Richie has been the executive director of FairVote since co-founding the organization in 1992. He has played a key role in advancing, winning, and implementing electoral reforms at a local and state level. Rob has been involved in implementing ranked choice voting in more than a dozen cities, cumulative voting in numerous Voting Rights Act cases, the National Popular Vote plan in 11 states, and promoting voter access proposals like voter preregistration and a lower voting age. He is a frequent media source and has been a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered and Fresh Air, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and NBC. Rob's writings have appeared in every major national publication as well as in nine books, including as the co-author of Every Vote Equal about Electoral College reform and Whose Votes Count about fair representation voting. He has addressed conventions of the American Political Science Association, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Secretaries of State, and the National Conference of State Legislatures. He serves on the Haverford College Corporation, and he and his wife Cynthia Terrell have three children.
Cynthia Terrell, Development Director | [email protected]
Cynthia Richie Terrell is a founder of FairVote and has served as a board member of several charitable organizations and Quaker institutions including the American Friends Service Committee and Sandy Spring Friends School. Terrell has worked in the area of voting system reform in this country and abroad, traveling in 1993 to New Zealand to support that country's successful referendum to adopt a proportional voting system. She now chairs FairVote’s Representation 2020 project which works to remove the structural barriers to women’s electoral success in the United States.
Before helping to found FairVote, Terrell worked extensively on political campaigns, working as campaign manager and field director for campaigns for the U.S. President, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, for governor and for state and city-wide initiative efforts, including a state equal rights amendment and a city campaign for fair representation voting.
Terrell has three children and is active in the Quaker community and in civic affairs in Takoma Park, Maryland. She graduated with a B.A. in political science from Swarthmore College in 1986.
Michelle Whittaker, Communications Director | [email protected]
Michelle C. Whittaker is the Communications Director at FairVote. She focuses on strategic messaging, constituency engagement, social media interaction, website development, and audio/visual resource development. Michelle joined the FairVote staff in April 2015. Prior to joining FairVote, Michelle worked as the Communications and New Media Director for the General Board of Church and Society, an international public policy program agency of The United Methodist Church, where she has won several awards for visual design and communications projects. Her experience extends into corporate finance as a technical writer and interface design specialist for Towers Watson, a financial consulting firm. She studied graphic and web design at The Art Institute Online and The Art Institute of Washington.
Outside of her work at FairVote, Michelle enjoys sports, art, music and food with her husband, Doogie, and daughter, London.
Andrew Douglas | [email protected]
Originally from Oklahoma City, Andrew graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in history. He earned an M.A. in international studies in 2012. His master's thesis, Balance of Power Theory and Mexican Drug Cartels, examined political interactions between Mexican drug trafficking organizations.Andrew Douglas is a policy analyst at FairVote, focusing on ranked choice voting and international elections. He has also contributed research to FairVote's Monopoly Politics and State of Women's Representation reports.
Andrew Spencer | [email protected]
Drew Spencer is a staff attorney at FairVote, where he has worked since 2012. While at Fairvote, Drew's work has focused on racial minority vote dilution, the Voting Rights Act, as well as ranked choice voting and related issues. In addition, Drew helped launch FairVote's podcast, FairVote Voices, with Elizabeth Hudler. He co-authored The Right Choice for Elections: How Choice Voting Will End Gerrymandering and Expand Minority Voting Rights, From City Councils to Congress, which was published in the University of Richmond Law Review's March 2013 issue, with Rob Richie. Drew has also appeared on RT with Krist Novoselic to discuss FairVote's reforms.
While in law school, Drew specialized in election law and policy and public interest issues. He served as Executive Note Editor for the Arizona Law Review and published an article on public financing of elections both in the Arizona Law Review and in Arizona Attorney Magazine.
Dania N. Korkor | [email protected]
Dania N. Korkor is the Legal Analyst at FairVote. She has focused her studies and professional experience on promoting democracy and encouraging the use of alternative dispute resolution to address conflict. Dania has significant experience working with federal, state, and local governments. She served as a policy intern at the State Department in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the Office of Near Eastern Affairs and also served as a legal intern at the Ohio Senate. Additionally, she worked for the Ohio Attorney General, a local Ohio mayor, and the Department of Defense.
Dania earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and Arabic language from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. In 2013, she graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs. While in law school, she specialized in Dispute Resolution. Additionally, Dania took courses regarding election law and disputed elections as well as serving as a research assistant to Professor Edward Foley, the Director of "Election Law @ Moritz." Dania was the Editor-in-Chief of the Ohio State Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal.
Grace Ramsey | [email protected]
Grace Ramsey is a ranked choice voting organizer and a member of the advocacy team at FairVote. Grace graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in political science. Before coming to FairVote, Grace was a communications intern with University of Minnesota College of Design, as well as a constituent affairs intern at the office of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. Most recently, Grace was an organizer with FairVote Minnesota, serving as chief scheduler and Deputy Field Director for FairVote Minnesota’s 2013 Rank Your Vote campaign. The campaign focused on educating voters, candidates, and the media about ranked choice voting in Minneapolis’ 2013 municipal elections. Through her work at FairVote Minnesota, Grace honed her passion for voter education and community building.
Austin Plier | [email protected]
Austin Plier is an advocacy fellow at FairVote, where he builds partnerships and conducts new media outreach for FairVote’s special projects, Promote Our Vote and Representation 2020. In just his first month at FairVote, Austin played a significant role in the creation of righttovoteamendment.com, an advocacy portal for establishing an explicit right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. Before coming to FairVote, Austin spent a semester in Durban, South Africa, studying the nation’s social and political transformation through the lens of youth political participation. In 2013, he was fellow with Organizing for Action. Originally from Wisconsin, Austin graduated from St. Norbert College in 2014 with a B.A. in political science and economics.
Cameron Ferrante | [email protected]
Cameron Ferrante is a legal fellow at FairVote. He obtained a B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 2010 and his juris doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts in 2014. Cameron has focused his legal career on the areas of voting rights and election law reform. While in law school, Cameron focused primarily on civil rights, public policy, and advocacy issues. He interned at the New York Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau and at the Brennan Center for Justice in its Democracy Program. Cameron also served as the Editor of Northeastern University Law Journal’s web publication, Extra Legal.
Claire Daviss | [email protected]
Claire Daviss is a research fellow at FairVote. She graduated in 2014 from Yale University with a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. While at Yale, she focused her studies on urban poverty, inequality, and political participation. Her senior thesis, titled “Public and Private Funding and the Political Activity of Community-based Organizations,” expanded upon current research on the political participation of individuals living in low-income communities. Claire has previously worked in several nonprofit, public service organizations. She served as an intern at MALDEF in San Antonio, TX, and at Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. in New Haven, CT. She also volunteered with the Texas Debate Collective, a nonprofit organization that teaches disadvantaged students the skills for competing in high school speech and debate.
Nathan Nicholson | [email protected]
Nathan Nicholson is a research fellow at FairVote. His work focuses on the National Popular Vote interstate compact, promoting fair voting systems in state and local government, and building the case for FairVote’s Reform 2020 vision by exploring the causes and consequences of the United States’ fragmented and inefficient electoral systems. Prior to joining FairVote, Nathan worked as an immigration staffer at a law firm in Ithaca, NY and worked on several campaigns for U.S. Congress and the New York State legislature. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in 2012.
Rebecca Hellmich | [email protected]
Rebecca Hellmich is a communications and advocacy fellow at FairVote. She graduated from Ithaca College in May 2014 with a B.A. in journalism. In summer 2013, Rebecca interned with the media criticism organization, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, where she wrote several blog posts as well as an article about the day jobs of news pundits for the magazine Extra! Rebecca also served as an intern for New York State Assemblywoman Sandra Galef as well as an Ossining Youth Court volunteer during her senior year of high school in Ossining, NY. She hopes that her work at FairVote will empower those whose perspectives are often marginalized in the mainstream media and politics.
Sarah John | [email protected]
Sarah John is a research fellow at FairVote. Her interests center on electoral system reforms—such as ranked choice voting and fair representation—with a particular emphasis on historical reform movements in the United States. Originally from Australia, Sarah has a PhD in political science from Flinders University. Her dissertation explored the development of campaign finance regulation in the US, Canada and Australia in the 1970s. She has presented papers on her work to many international conferences and has published in the Australian Journal of Political Science and the Australian Journal of Politics and History.
In an earlier life, Sarah earned a law degree and worked for the Australian federal government, including advisory and statistical work for the Australian Bureau of Statistics. From 2012 to 2014, Sarah taught undergraduate students in American politics and civics at California State University, Fullerton. Into the future, Sarah is interested in developing a wider understanding of reform and political change and looks forward to pursuing those perspectives in her work with FairVote.
Zack Avre | [email protected]
Zack Avre is an advocacy fellow and the resident cartographer at FairVote. He graduated from Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) in 2014 with a degree in geography, political science, and urban studies. Before joining FairVote, Zack served as an affordable housing advocate and a community and campaign organizer in the Twin Cities. He has worked extensively on voter registration and GOTV drives and helped to defeat a voter suppression ballot amendment in Minnesota during the 2012 election. Zack looks forward to offering a spatial perspective to FairVote’s work and hopes his time at the organization will inform his vocational interest in fostering more inclusive planning and policymaking. In his spare time, he can be found on a bike, on the basketball court, or at a punk show in DC.