Washington, D.C.— The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) today announced senior staff and other key hires for the 2019-2020 cycle. The new staff members bring additional experience in fundraising, communications, operations, digital programming, data, and campaign support.
“What started as a part-time committee just three-years ago, DAGA is now a leading committee that continues to do things differently and find new ways to elevate, support, and elect Democratic AGs,” said DAGA Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum. “As Congress and statehouses across the country continue to face significant gridlock, the role of state AGs is only going to continue to grow—as will the importance of an emerging powerhouse committee behind them like DAGA.”
“The Democratic Attorneys General Association is making its voice heard with voters, party leaders, and other influencers by communicating the important role Democratic AGs play in our system of checks and balances,” said DAGA Co-Chair District of Columbia AG Karl Racine. “Thanks to that passion and dedication, more people are noticing the critical work this committee is doing to prepare Democratic AGs for leadership in the party and for the country.”
Sean Rankin will continue to serve as Executive Director.
National Finance Director Nick Veach
Veach returns to DAGA after driving the record-breaking fundraising in 2018 of $16.3M across all platforms. Previously at the Roosevelt Institute, Nick came to DAGA with more than 15 years in business development, management, and political fundraising experience. He played a significant role in Senator Tammy Baldwin’s historic 2012 election to the United States Senate and led a multimillion-dollar campaign effort with the Human Rights Campaign in 2016.
Director of Finance Operations & Membership Abigail Strayer
Strayer returns to DAGA after joining the team in February of 2018 to spearhead DAGA’s growing membership program and manage the finance team. Previously at the DLCC, Abigail came to DAGA with more than a decade of experience in political fundraising and membership. Under Strayer’s leadership, DAGA grew the committee’s Quarterly Policy Program membership to a record high.
Director of Data, Tech & Innovation Jason Bargnes
As the first DAGA employee under the revamped committee in 2016, Bargnes returns in a new role focused on expanding DAGA’s use of data and tech to reach voters in new ways. During the 2018 cycle, Jason led a first-of-its-kind volunteer to voter texting program that reached 12 million voters. Prior to joining DAGA, Jason worked for over a decade in management consulting and investment banking. Most recently, he worked as a Strategy Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton where his major clients included prominent financial services and healthcare organizations.
Political Director Farah Melendez
Melendez returns to DAGA with a promotion to Political Director. As the head of campaign services in 2018, Farah supported DAGA’s success flipping four AG seats blue, keeping eight open seats blue, and reelecting six incumbents. In DAGA’s first cycle recruiting, she played a critical role in electing the most diverse group of Democratic AGs in history. Prior to joining DAGA, Farah worked as the Delegate Director for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.
Director of Operations Hubert Pitroipa
Pitroipa joins DAGA most recently having served as Deputy Controller at the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-profit with a global mission of advancing democracy around the world. From 2014 to 2015, Hubert worked as Director of Finance for the Eastern Congo Initiative, an advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Director of Compliance and Human Resources Megan Mielnik
Mielnik brings more than 12 years of compliance and human resources experience to DAGA. She most recently served as the Managing Director of the Non-Connected division at Capitol Compliance Associates (CCA). Before joining CCA, Megan served as the Deputy Comptroller and Human Resources Manager at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
Policy Director Jennifer Song
Song returns to DAGA to continue elevating the work Democratic AGs do on core Democratic issue areas. Song, an attorney, most recently served as Special Counsel for Consumer Protection in the Executive Office of former California AG Kamala D. Harris. Jennifer also served as the Senior Staff Attorney at the California Monitor Program, a program created by former AG Harris to monitor the National Mortgage Settlement for Californians. She began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.
Communications Director Lizzie Ulmer
Ulmer returns to DAGA for her second cycle as Communications Director. Prior to joining DAGA, Lizzie worked as the Deputy Communications Director at Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America leading their strategic communications for national and state campaigns as well as building national profiles for organization leaders. Previously, she served in the Office of former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) before moving off the Hill to work at The Raben Group.
Other key hires include:
- Data Scientist Cindy Sui– Cindy comes to DAGA from the analytics firm Clarity Campaign Labs, where she was previously an Analyst and Data Scientist. At Clarity, she conducted polling, modeling, experiments and reporting for progressive candidates and organizations up and down the ticket, including prominent gubernatorial and US House races from 2015 through 2018.
- Digital Director Evan Degnan– Evan joins DAGA from Anne Lewis Strategies, where he directed overall digital strategy for a variety of key Democratic candidates and committees.
- Deputy National Finance Director Amanda Trump– Amanda has served in fundraising roles on local and state campaigns including most recently leading national fundraising efforts for Rich Cordray’s Ohio gubernatorial campaign.
- Press Secretary Brandon Richards– Brandon comes to DAGA from Better Markets, where he oversaw the digital communications efforts. Previously he worked in Congressman Boyle’s office.
- Deputy Political Director Jeremy Halbert-Harris– Jeremy served as Campaign Manager for Charlie Bailey, 2018 Democratic candidate for Georgia AG, and Deputy Campaign Manager for Stacey Evans’ Gubernatorial run.
- Research Manager Eve Zhurbinskiy– Eve previously helped take back the House as a Research Analyst at the DCCC.
Scott Freda of Berger & Montague is the 2019-2020 DAGA Finance Chair. In 2017, DAGA launched the 1881 Initiative, a program designed to support and elect women running for AG. This cycle, Anne Andrews of Andrews & Thornton will serve as the 1881 Initiative Finance Chair to help bolster the program.
In 2018, DAGA broke fundraising records, raising $16.3 million across all platforms—more than double 2017’s record of $7.6M. Democrats now hold 27 AG seats nationwide, representing the majority of the U.S. population (58 percent) and states responsible for the majority of U.S. GDP (63.1 percent). They are the most diverse group of Democratic AGs in history.