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YOUR PARTNERS IN CREATING IMPACT AND SAVING DEMOCRACY.

OUR TEAM

Betsy Hoover
Founder and Managing Partner
Betsy Hoover
Betsy Hoover
Founder and Managing Partner
Betsy has spent the past 7 years running Higher Ground Labs. She founded the firm in 2017 and has built the political tech ecosystem through their work. Prior to HGL, she worked throughout the political space including as a founding partner at 270 Strategies and as the National Digital Organizing Director on the Obama Campaign. Her political work sat at the intersection of technology and politics. She has been recognized by Business Insider as “at the forefront of political innovation”and was featured on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30: Law & Policy” list.
Gerard Niemira
Managing Director, Fund IV
Gerard Niemira
Gerard Niemira
Managing Director, Fund IV
Gerard has spent 15 years in the social good and political tech space working to scale electoral and social impact organizations by serving as VP of Product and Engineering at Kiva, as Senior Director of Product at Hillary for America, and as a political tech founder and political nonprofit senior exec. Most recently he served as Chief Product Officer at PDI.
Leah Bae
VP, Programs & Partnerships
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Leah Bae
VP, Programs & Partnerships
Leah has over a decade of experience guiding progressive organizations with their impact programs, digital campaigns, and community engagement strategies. She specializes in the intersection of tech and social impact, and has worked on campaigns in Canada, the US, and UK.
Tova Vance
COO
Tova Vance
Tova Vance
COO
Tova has twenty years of experience building people-centered organizations that deliver business results and social impact. She’s advised numerous boards and executives through transformative operational and cultural changes. Her experience as a senior leader and advisor spans startups, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies.
Sarah Eberhard
General Counsel
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Sarah Eberhard
General Counsel
Prior to joining HGL in 2019, Sarah was the COO and General Counsel at 270 Strategies and the the GC of After School Matters, a large not-for-profit in Chicago. Sarah spent the first 10 years of her legal career at Jones Day, with a focus on fund formation and securities law. Sarah earned her BA from Colgate and her JD from Northwestern School of Law.
Olivia Ellis
Program Manager
olivia ellis
Olivia Ellis
Program Manager
Olivia has spent the last five years orchestrating statewide organizing efforts across the U.S., notably contributing to Maura Healy’s gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts. Her expertise lies at the intersection of political campaigns and technology, backed by a strong background in tech implementation and management.
Ali Talib
Program Operations Manager
Ali Talib
Ali Talib
Program Operations Manager
Ali is a passionate campaign organizer and a civic engagement advocate with a proven track record of driving voter registration efforts. Prior to joining HGL, Ali was part of Civic Nation’s When We All Vote initiative serving as the My School Votes Coordinator. His previous experiences equipped him with skills in managing databases, virtual training programs, and external partnerships. He and his team received the 2nd Annual Anthem Award for Social Impact and has earned a certificate of Congressional Recognition for Public Service.
Shomik Dutta
Co-Founder and Board Member
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Shomik Dutta
Co-Founder and Board Member
Shomik is a veteran of both Obama Presidential campaigns and served as Special Assistant to the White House Counsel and as an Advisor to Federal Communications Chairman. BA from Williams College; MBA from Wharton Business School.
Hillary Lehr
Operating Partner
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Hillary Lehr
Operating Partner
Hillary Lehr is the CEO of Quiller, a Higher Ground Labs portfolio company, and an HGL Operating Partner. Prior to this new role, Hillary served as HGL’s Principal of Partnerships for four years, the VP of Client Success at Hustle, managed partnerships at Brigade and Causes.com, and spent five years innovating digital resources to scale nonprofit organizing campaigns. She earned BA and BS degrees from UC Berkeley and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard Kennedy School.
Andrew McLaughlin
Partner
Andrew McLaughlin Headshot
Andrew McLaughlin
Partner
Andrew has served as Deputy CTO of the United States, partner at betaworks, CEO of Digg and Instapaper, senior exec at Medium and Tumblr, head of global public policy at Google, and Chief Policy Officer of ICANN. B.A. from Yale University; J.D. from Harvard Law School.

OUR BOARD OF ADVISORS

Kat Atwater
Founder & CEO, Community Tech Alliance
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Kat Atwater
Founder & CEO, Community Tech Alliance
Beth Bafford
VP of Syndications & Strategy, Calvert Impact Capital
Bafford, Beth, Headshot
Beth Bafford
VP of Syndications & Strategy, Calvert Impact Capital
Julia Barnes
CEO, The Movement Cooperative
Julia Barnes headshot
Julia Barnes
CEO, The Movement Cooperative
Jeremy Bird
Chief Policy Officer, Lyft
Bird, Jeremy Headshot
Jeremy Bird
Chief Policy Officer, Lyft
Catherine Bracy
Co-Founder & CEO, TechEquity Collaborative
Bracy, Catherine Headshot
Catherine Bracy
Co-Founder & CEO, TechEquity Collaborative
Ben Brandzel
Founder, The OPEN Network
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Ben Brandzel
Founder, The OPEN Network
Gary Brown
President, Political Data Inc.
Photo Gary Brown CEO Political Data Inc 4-16-21
Gary Brown
President, Political Data Inc.
Tanya Brown
CRO, TargetSmart
Tanya Brown headshot
Tanya Brown
CRO, TargetSmart
Ron Conway
Founder, SV Angel
Conway, Ron Headshot
Ron Conway
Founder, SV Angel
Charlton Cunningham
Program Manager - Tulsa, Lightship Foundation
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Charlton Cunningham
Program Manager - Tulsa, Lightship Foundation
Charlton Cunningham is a community professional, with experiences in program management, ecosystem building, and curriculum development. Previously, he served as the Head of Programs at HBCUvc and as Executive Director at Startup Atlanta.
Addisu Demissie
Principal & Co-Founder, 50+1 Strategies and Campaign Manager, Cory 2020
Demissie, Addisu Headshot
Addisu Demissie
Principal & Co-Founder, 50+1 Strategies and Campaign Manager, Cory 2020
Jon Favreau
Founder, Crooked Media
Favreau, Jon Headshot
Jon Favreau
Founder, Crooked Media
Anthony Foxx
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
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Anthony Foxx
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Richard Frankel
Founder, Rocket Fuel and Co-CEO, Chatwin
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Richard Frankel
Founder, Rocket Fuel and Co-CEO, Chatwin
Michael Frias
Chief Executive Officer, Catalist
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Michael Frias
Chief Executive Officer, Catalist
Kate Gage
Executive Director, Cooperative Impact Lab
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Kate Gage
Executive Director, Cooperative Impact Lab
Kathleen Gasperine
First Vice President Social Impact Banking, Amalgamated Bank
Gasperine, Kathleen
Kathleen Gasperine
First Vice President Social Impact Banking, Amalgamated Bank
Julius Genachowski
Former FCC Chairman and Managing Director at Carlyle
Genachowski, Julius
Julius Genachowski
Former FCC Chairman and Managing Director at Carlyle
Josh Hendler
VP, Schmidt Futures
JoshHendler
Josh Hendler
VP, Schmidt Futures
Matt Hodges
Executive Director, Zinc Collective
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Matt Hodges
Executive Director, Zinc Collective
Ilyse Hogue
President, Purpose
Ilyse Hogue
Ilyse Hogue
President, Purpose
David Horne
Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
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David Horne
Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
Allen Kramer
Co-Founder, Mobilize
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Allen Kramer
Co-Founder, Mobilize
Raffi Krikorian
Managing Director, Emerson Collective
Krikorian, Raffi Headshot
Raffi Krikorian
Managing Director, Emerson Collective
Shrina Kurani
Managing Partner, SNØCAP
Shrina Kurani
Shrina Kurani
Managing Partner, SNØCAP
Martha Laning
Co-founder & President, stac labs
Martha Laning headshot
Martha Laning
Co-founder & President, stac labs