Our Team

David Nevins, Chairman of the Board

DavidNevins.pngAs one of the initial driving forces behind the Bridge Alliance and as chairman of the board, David Nevins brings business acumen, vision and a tireless this-must-and-can-be-done zeal to the burgeoning movement to bridge divides to transform the political process. As a business leader, Nevins excels at building bridges between people and organizations from the right, left and center for civilized conversation and then action.

He co-founded the Bridge Alliance because, as he says, “No matter how well managed and how well funded anyone organization is, significant political reform will not happen without an alliance to further collaborative interactions. Together we can and will raise the collective impact of all.”

He is a member of the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows, with a focus on the Aspen Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, he established and continues to work with The Nevins Democracy Leaders program at Penn State University. Nevins graduated with honors in economics from Penn State in 1969 and received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He continues as President of Nevins Real Estate Management.

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Debilyn Molineaux, President and CEO

DebilynMolineux.pngDebilyn Molineaux co-founded the Bridge Alliance to harness the exponentially growing field of organizations into a “game changing” movement that shifts the underlying dynamics of power, politics, and participation in our country. She works with the staff, board members and other leaders of Bridge Alliance members in advancing the common mission of all 80+ organizations. Debilyn brings a passion to her work that is contagious to all around her.

Hailing from a conservative, agricultural community, Debilyn started her career as a small business owner, working with community businesses to promote and grow their own operations through advertising and marketing. After engaging other women business leaders, Debilyn was inspired to become more active in the political process.

Her own personal experiences -- as a small business owner, a local candidate for office, and an elected president of a national organization -- have given her enormous insight into the challenges facing citizens who want to get involved and organizations that want to scale their impact.

In addition to Bridge Alliance, she co-founded Living Room Conversations and the National Conversation Project. Debilyn continues to bring her insight to entities seeking to grow their participation and efficacy. She serves as an advisor to many leaders and organizations.  

Debilyn is an ontologically trained coach and is especially adept at guiding organizations in new ways to bring out hidden talents of volunteers and staff who become valuable assets. 

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Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson, Jr., Chief Program Officer

Willis_headshot.pngA third-generation educator, Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson is a spiritual entrepreneur, Senior Minister of Living Tree Church and adjunct faculty at Methodist Theological School of Ohio. Johnson formerly served as senior minister of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri, a predominately African-American intergenerational urban parachute church plant. 

Rev. Dr. Johnson is respected for his leadership and strategies around social and racial justice issues.  Recognized as a scholar-practitioner, Johnson authored Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community, and is a sought after thought-leader who empowers individuals and communities towards prophetic response—healing, justice and reconciliation. With some 19 years of professional ministry experience in Indiana, North Carolina, and Missouri, Johnson’s skills extend far beyond the pulpit. Trained in education and nonprofit management, he has served in volunteer and paid leadership positions for multiple nonprofit organizations. He counsels bishops, General Board agencies, annual conferences, and local churches across the country. Johnson in 2017 was the Vosburgh Visiting Professor of Ministry and Social Engagement at Drew University’s Theological School.

At a time when our nation is experiencing great upheaval on matters of race, policing, violence, ecclesial and communal fragmentation, Johnson continues to prepare prophetic leaders who promote healing, justice and transformation through his leadership of The Center for Social Empowerment -- a hub for theologically informed reflection, investigation, and education on social and racial justice issues. 

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Jeremy Garson, Legal Counsel and Chief of Staff

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Jeremy Garson is an attorney who is licensed in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2014 and, prior to joining the Bridge Alliance, served as a labor / employment attorney. Jeremy has previously served as a constituent caseworker handling veterans' affairs and tax casework for a Democratic Congressman. He also worked on a Democratic presidential campaign. He is dedicated to pushing against the nation's "us vs. them" mentality and ensuring that progressives, conservatives, libertarians, and everybody in between have voices at the collective table. Jeremy is passionate about sports, and in particular Michigan Wolverines basketball and the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia 76ers.

 

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Shakira Mills, Deputy Chief of Staff

Shakira.pngShakira "Shay" Mills is a recent Virginia Wesleyan University graduate with a B.A in Communication, Political Science and Women/Gender Studies. Shay developed a passion for activism during her undergraduate years and is now dedicated to using her love of writing to advocate for American minority groups. Her goal is to change the perspective surrounding minority issues, resulting in collaborative change amongst all political parties, social classes, ethnicities, religious beliefs, etc. When she is not fighting for human rights, Shay is either working on her goal of becoming a professional filmmaker or curled up with a good book. 

 

 

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Brian Clancy, Chief Civic Engagement Officer

Doug NickleBrian is Founder and CEO of Big Tent Nation. Among other career adventures he led the team that launched Fidelity.com and was responsible for systems planning and analysis at the world’s largest investment management organization. He also has a strong social entrepreneurship track record that includes co-founding the Center for Financial Inclusion. The Center has become a global thought leader in microfinance and has partners and funders that include the Gates Foundation, McKinsey, Harvard Business School and the World Bank. He also has experience in the rough and tumble world of city and state politics through his tenure as President of the Boston Public Library Foundation.

 

 

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Morris Effron, Co-Founder, Citizen Connect

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Mo is a relatively recent arrival to the field of civic renewal, stepping back from a long career in the private sector to focus his considerable energies and skills on healing our democracy. Mo brings a deep background in software and digital marketing to the field. With the leading technology publishers Ziff-Davis and International Data Group he’s started disk magazines and run Information Technology groups. The advent of the internet redirected Mo from tech infrastructure to the front lines of the business, reimagining and recreating the ways media companies serve their readers and advertisers. “It’s been a thrill to have been at the center of the two great technological revolutions of our lifetime: the PC and the internet.”

Now Mo is tackling an even bigger challenge: how to bring more Americans together to sustain healthy, productive self-governance. One pivot point, per the mission of Bridge Alliance, is to dramatically enhance the bridge between ordinary citizens and the organizations doing this work. That’s the reason for Citizen Connect, and that’s the reason Mo has made its success his mission. It may seem like a long way from the BA in Philosophy he got at Yale University, but actually, it’s just turning political theory into practice.

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Jeanene Louden, Chief Volunteer Officer

JeanenePurpleJeanene Louden has always been a team player. She was a three season letterman in high school, and as an adult played league soccer, softball, and volleyball. Her nonprofit team activity includes 25 years on an economic development board, five years on a health systems planning board, and eight years on an AYSO board.

Professionally, she began working outside the home at age eight, accompanying her mom to pick crops. The work ethic she developed in the fields and later in factories helped her earn her BS in Community Health. She has also worked as an emergency medical services planner, a special projects manager for a paramedic ambulance service, and a middle manager (health and safety risk management) in two multinational government contracting companies. When she hit "the glass ceiling," she formed her own contracting firm at age 37, which -- in keeping with her identity as a team player -- she named TEAM.

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Amber Allison, Communications Coordinator

AmberAmber Allison is a Senior at the California State University of Northridge, majoring in Public Sector Management. She has over twenty years' experience in the construction industry, working for general contractors. As a Facilities Services Coordinator working for LAUSD received two awards for excellence in her ten years of service. She has been a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success since 2019. She has a heart for the plight of the homeless and has been volunteering at homeless shelters, rescue missions, and food banks throughout Los Angeles since she was a teenager. After completing her bachelor's degree, she plans to pursue a Master's Degree in Communications, focusing on digital media.

 

 

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Michelle Dickson, Services Coordinator, Citizen Connect

MichelleMy name is Michelle, and I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I attended Louisiana State University from 2015 to 2019. I majored in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and International Relations and have a minor in American history. At LSU, I was apart of Kappa Alpha Theta, Young American Federation, and College of Republicans. After graduating, I pursued a Master's degree in Legislative Affairs at George Washington University. While working on my Master's degree, I have worked for non-profits, senatorial and congressional campaigns, and campaign consulting. 

 

 

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Vince Lamb, Coffee Party USA Ambassador

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Vince has been interested in politics and government for decades. He has served as a precinct delegate for the Michigan Democratic Party since 2010 and has been a volunteer for Coffee Party USA since its inception in 2010. He served on its board from 2014 until it ceased operations as an independent organization in 2021.  He is currently one of the contributors to the Coffee Party USA Facebook page and works on identifying and evaluating organizations for membership in Bridge Alliance.  In his spare time, he keeps a blog, Crazy Eddie's Motie News, and enjoys his time with his wife and pets, a dog and cat, playing video games and watching his favorite science fiction and fantasy television shows.

 

 

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Thomas O'Rourke, Radical Decency Intern

SangeetaThomas O'Rourke is a senior at Emory University studying Economics and Philosophy, Politics, and Law. Over the past several years, Thomas has worked as a research intern with the American Enterprise Institute, the American Action Forum, and the New Center. His research interests range from advancing socioeconomic mobility to strengthening social and civic institutions. Staying true to his Boston roots, Thomas enjoys long-distance running and cheering on the Red Sox in his spare time.

 

 

 

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Sangeeta Kurada, Healthy Self-Governance Intern

SangeetaSangeeta Kurada is currently a second-year Masters in Public Health student at University of Texas Health School of Public Health. She is concentrating on Health Promotion and Education. Sangeeta received a Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2019. She has a focus on the impact of health service delivery systems and the integration of potential stakeholders virtually. Sangeeta is interested in using her background in biology and social media to conduct stakeholder research and improve relations domestically amongst communities of interest.

 

 

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Ashlynn Gwen Gunn, Communications Intern

Ashlynn Gunn is a recent graduate from Temple University with a B.A in Political Science. Ashlynn works on the Friends of Nicole Phillip campaign to promote Nicole Phillips for the position of judge in the Montgomery County Common Court of Pleas. She also volunteers with the Do More campaign, a non-profit advocating for racial justice, as a communications specialist. Since graduating she has canvassed, advocated for activism, and created posts for political social media marketing. Her goal is to help to increase voter knowledge and civic engagement within the country.

 

 

 

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Sachi Bajaj, USC Dornsife Center Intern

SangeetaBorn and raised in the Bay Area, California, Sachi Bajaj is a first-year student at the University of Southern California, double majoring in International Relations and Psychology. On-campus, she is involved with organizations such as Project RISHI, Trojan Bhangra, and Trojan Shelter. She is also an avid environmentalist and the founder of a global environmental and humanitarian organization, The Me2U Foundation. Her goal is to alter the way our world treats the planet, especially alongside other youth. Lastly, in her free time, she loves to play tennis, take dance classes, and try new foods.

 

 

 

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Sophie Sperber, USC Dornsife Center Intern

SangeetaSophie Sperber is currently in her second year at the University of Southern California. She is studying Journalism and Political Science. She was raised in Northbrook, Illinois. At USC, Sophie is involved in the Annenberg Media Center and The Daily Trojan, two of the school's news publications. She mainly works on campus news and features stories, both in writing and digital formats like radio or video. She has a special interest in politics, law and constitutionality, in specific regards to voting equality. In her free time, she enjoys reading, working out, or watching hockey games.

 

 

 

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A.J. Walts, Volunteer

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A.J. works full time for the social media company LinkedIn. Since 2014, he's had various roles in customer success, sales, operations, and project/program management. Prior to LinkedIn, he worked for nearly 10 years in an Omaha-based market research firm specializing in healthcare improvement. He has a Bachelor's Degree in History and Economics and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. 
A.J. is passionate about civic engagement and believes that collaboration and bridge-building--among politicians and average citizens alike--are cornerstones of effective governance. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his wife Meagan (a NICU nurse), his three kids, dog, Kindle/books, and a few video gaming systems.