Staff


KARIMA BELHACHMI


COMMUNITY CARETAKER

Karima Belhachmi is Civic Hall’s beloved Community Caretaker.

Karima Belhachmi is Civic Hall’s beloved Community Caretaker. Since 2009, Karima has worked as Personal Democracy Media’s Community Caretaker and has continued to do so for Civic Hall. She immigrated to and began working in the United States in 1999. She speaks Arabic, French, English, and a little bit of Spanish.


CURTIS DAVIS


SENIOR MARKETING ASSOCIATE

Trained at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Curtis’s career has focused on nonprofits and community organizing, with experience in marketing, development, and event management.

Curtis is Civic Hall’s Senior Marketing Associate, freshly relocated from Phoenix, Arizona. Trained at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, his career has focused on nonprofits and community organizing, with experience in development and event management, as well as marketing and communications. He has an entrepreneurial mindset that aligns with Civic Hall, and enjoys riffing on business development, especially marketing. You can connect with Curtis on LinkedIn.

In his free time, Curtis loves exploring the city, attending and networking events throughout the city and also participates in Zumba and other dance classes. “Growing up in a single-parent, impoverished household as a gay youth, I experienced a lot of adversity and dance really helped me get energy out. It was just ME and the dance floor; nothing else was going on — an escape for that energy.” From the age of ten, Curtis had been creating dance routines. In high school he started the first campus hip hop squad. He’s offered to start teaching dance classes here at Civic Hall!


DANIELLE HAMILTON


SENIOR MEMBERSHIP AND WELCOME DESK ASSOCIATE

Danielle recently completed her M.A in International Relations at CUNY City College and has a B.A in Political Science and Russian and Eastern European Studies from SUNY Binghamton.

Danielle recently completed her M.A in International Relations at CUNY City College and has a B.A in Political Science and Russian and Eastern European Studies from SUNY Binghamton. She joins the Civic Hall community directly from the New York City Economic Development Corporation where she researched the impact of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, on NYC’s economy. She is excited about the opportunity to finally work in the industry that she has only read about and looks forward to meeting the entire Civic Hall community. Danielle has previously worked in the diverse fields of international affairs and primary school education, which have given her a wide range of experiences and some interesting stories. In her free time, she enjoys cooking (and eating), traveling, drinking craft beer on rooftops, exploring cool NYC neighborhoods, and watching superhero movies and T.V. shows.


Tenzin Kyisarh


Marketing Associate

Tenzin Kyisarh is Civic Hall’s Marketing Associate. Prior to joining the Civic Hall team, Tenzin was the Editorial and Communications Manager at Women’s March Global where she managed social media strategy and campaigns.

Tenzin Kyisarh is Civic Hall’s Marketing Associate. Prior to joining the Civic Hall team, Tenzin was the Editorial and Communications Manager at Women’s March Global where she managed social media strategy and campaigns. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Anthropology and International Relations Certificate, she completed her Fulbright Fellowship in Thailand teaching English in a rural public high school. Tenzin also freelances for the New York Tibetan Service Center, a nonprofit organization serving the Himalayan community in Queens, NY, where she manages and supports their social media platforms. Tenzin is truly passionate about using social media as a way of storytelling.

Being fluent in 7 languages (English, Tibetan, Hindi, Nepal, Urdu, Korean and Thai) and growing up in a multicultural environment, Tenzin believes she is an amalgamation of all of these cultures and each of them has shaped her identity today. In her spare time, Tenzin loves going restaurant hopping to try new food and yelping about them. She enjoys traveling and using photography as a lens to tell stories. You can connect with Tenzin on LinkedIn.


YEJIN LEE


DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN

Yejin Lee is the Director of Organizational Design (former Dr. of Development) and is responsible for cultivating collaboration and accountability across all departments, facilitating strategic thinking, developing effective management systems and procedures, and operationalizing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) framework.

Yejin Lee is the Director of Organizational Design at Civic Hall and is responsible for cultivating collaboration and accountability across all departments, facilitating strategic thinking, developing effective management systems and procedures, and operationalizing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) framework. Formerly the Director of Development at the organization, she came to Civic Hall with five years of fundraising experience, most recently as the Manager of Development Operations at Young Women’s Leadership Network, and two years as a community organizer at the NYC Anti-Violence Project, where she supported LGBTQ communities and leaders in addressing issues of intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

When she isn’t obsessing over equity-based organizational change management, she is probably cooking (and eating) all kinds of labor-intensive foods, career-coaching mission-driven individuals, writing for Idealist Careers, hanging out with her jazz guitarist husband and sassy dog in Brooklyn, or furiously annotating her favorite TV shows.


JESSICA QUINN


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jessica Lawrence Quinn is the Executive Director of Civic Hall.

Jessica Lawrence Quinn is the Executive Director of Civic Hall. She comes to Civic Hall with over a decade of management experience, previously serving as the CEO of NY Tech Alliance, a non-profit organization supporting New York’s growing technology community, and as the organizer of NY Tech Meetup, the world’s largest Meetup group. Jessica was also the CEO of Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council in Southern California, where she supported a community of 75 staff, 5,000 volunteers, and 15,000 girls. Jessica was one of only 15 women selected to participate in Seth Godin’s Female Entrepreneur MBA (FeMBA) in 2010. Jessica’s writing has been featured on the Harvard Business Review blog, Forbes.com, The Next Web, The Huffington Post and in a weekly column in The Press-Enterprise. She also speaks frequently on the tech sector, the future of work, and organizational development and culture at events such as PopTech, SXSW, and TEDx.


SHANEKA RAMDEEN


DIRECTOR OF CULTURE AND EVENTS

Shaneka is our Community Engagement & Partnerships Director at Civic Hall.

Shaneka is our Community Engagement & Partnerships Director at Civic Hall. She has a diverse background in Operations and Community Outreach, and has previously written for Inc.com, Social Media Today, and the AMEX Open Forum. Passionate about social good and nonprofits, she regularly volunteers with various organizations including The MS Society, Rock & Rawhide, and The Ronald McDonald House. She studied Advertising and Public Relations at NYIT and describes herself as “passionately curious”; naturally enjoying travel, binging on Netflix documentaries, and discovering new technologies.


ANDREW RASIEJ


FOUNDER AND CEO

Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder and CEO of Civic Hall.

Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder and CEO of Civic Hall. He is also the Founder of Personal Democracy Media, which produces Personal Democracy Forum and other events about intersection of technology and politics. Andrew is the Founder of MOUSE.org, which focuses on 21st century public education; Co-Founder of Mideastwire.com, which translates Arabic and Farsi news and opinion pieces into English; Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington, DC-based organization, which uses technology to make the government more transparent; and board member and Chairman Emeritus of the NY Tech Alliance, which is a 50,000-member organization of technologists, venture funders, marketers, representing start up and more mature companies using technology to transform themselves, New York City, and the world. Andrew coined several terms to help describe our expanding and digitally-connected world, including We-Government, Voter-Generated Content, and Videracy. In 2005, Andrew ran a highly visible campaign for NYC Public Advocate on a technology and innovation driven platform to redesign the office as a network, bring low-cost broadband to underserved communities, and open up access to city-controlled public data. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Follow him on Twitter at @Rasiej.


ANTHONY RUSSOMANO


DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Anthony Russomano is Civic Hall’s Director of Operations & Facilities.

Anthony Russomano is Civic Hall’s Director of Operations & Facilities. For more than a decade, Anthony served as Personal Democracy Forum’s Operations & Events Director, where he produced the annual Personal Democracy Forum conference in New York. Previously, Anthony provided online marketing leadership for the nonprofit Wall Street Rising and worked in a legislative capacity in the district office of New York City Councilmember Alan J. Gerson. Anthony is a graduate of Pace University, where he received the President’s ‘Extra Mile Award’ for his service during the tragedies of September 11th, 2001. Anthony holds a New York State real estate license and resides in Downtown Brooklyn.


MICAH SIFRY


FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

Micah L. Sifry is Founder and President of Civic Hall, curator of the annual Personal Democracy Forum, and editor of Civicist, Civic Hall’s news site.

Micah L. Sifry is Founder and President of Civic Hall, curator of the annual Personal Democracy Forum, and editor of Civicist, Civic Hall’s news site. From 2006-16 he was a senior adviser to the Sunlight Foundation, which he helped found, and currently serves on the boards of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. He is the author or editor of nine books, most recently Civic Tech in the Global South (co-edited with Tiago Peixoto) (World Bank, 2017); A Lever and a Place to Stand: How Civic Tech Can Move the World (PDM Books, 2015), with Jessica McKenzie; The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014); and Wikileaks and the Age of the Transparency (OR Books, 2011). In 2012 he taught “The Politics of the Internet” as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School. From 1997-2006, he worked closely with Public Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on comprehensive campaign finance reform, as its senior analyst. Prior to that, Micah was an editor and writer with The Nation magazine for thirteen years. He is the author of Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America(Routledge, 2002), co-author with Nancy Watzman of Is That a Politician in Your Pocket? Washington on $2 Million a Day (John Wiley & Sons, 2004), co-editor of Rebooting America, and co-editor of The Iraq War Reader (Touchstone, 2003) and The Gulf War Reader (Times Books, 1991).

Find him at @mlsif.


FIONA TENG


DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND MEMBERSHIP

Fiona has spent nearly ten years as a marketing and communication professional and a writer.

Fiona has spent nearly ten years as a marketing and communication professional and a writer. As the Regional Marketing Manager, she supported the growth of Zipcar’s membership and marketing from startup to acquisition, from the West Coast to the East Coast, growing the organization through integrated and customized digital and field marketing. She has written educational materials for Scholastic, amplified student startups at the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, and told countless stories through infographics, essays, poetry, interviews, and videos. 

Fiona is passionate about social equity, undoing racism and patriarchy, and connecting immensely talented people for meaningful social change. Her writing is her therapy, and she belongs to numerous writing communities, including Voices of Our Nation’s Art (VONA), a writers of color collective. When not writing, Fiona is likely dancing at her favorite soca party, visiting her beloved SF Bay Area, or off on a retreat breathing deeply and trying not to think so much.

Connect with Fiona on LinkedIn or find her writing on her website.


DANIELLE TOMSON


DIRECTOR OF FORUMS @ CIVIC HALL

Danielle Lee Tomson is the Director of Forums @ Civic Hall, where she develops events and a corpus of knowledge around foundational questions at the intersection of technology, democracy, and civil society.

Danielle Lee Tomson is the Director of Forums @ Civic Hall, where she develops events and a corpus of knowledge around foundational questions at the intersection of technology, democracy, and civil society. When not at Civic Hall, she is in the field researching, writing, and speaking about her dissertation on populism and technology as part of her doctoral degree at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. Passionate about online speech, populism, technology ethics, cross-partisan communication, civic tech, and digital culture, she has written in and appeared on The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, Civicist, Medium and a plethora of academic publications. 

In 2017 and 2018 with the founders of Civic Hall, Danielle curated and directed Personal Democracy Forum, a premier 15-year running tech, politics, and media summit. You might remember Danielle as Civic Hall’s founding Membership Director. Before Civic Hall, Danielle cut her technology chops as a product manager and innovation consultant for non-profits, government, and corporate clients around the world. 

In whatever spare time she has, Danielle is mostly found helping her actor fiance with direction and lines for a play, TV show, videogame, or movie. Someday she will plan her wedding. 

Find her on Twitter @leetomson.

Board


MICHAEL BASSIK


CHAIR

Michael A. Bassik is CEO of Yes and Company, a global agency network for collaborative specialists.

Michael A. Bassik is CEO of Yes and Company, a global agency network for collaborative specialists. Prior to founding Yes and Company, Michael spent two decades as a leading digital strategist, agency executive and political entrepreneur. He served as President of Global Digital Operations at MDC Partners, a fast-growing, influential marketing and communications network, and remains involved with the company’s corporate venture arm, MDC Ventures. Michael is also co-founder of DSPolitical, a leading political media and technology company. Michael serves as Chairman of Civic Hall, a non-profit organization that advances the use of technology for the public good, and Vice Chairman of UJA-Federation of New York’s Marketing and Communications Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and American University’s Washington College of Law.


ALLISON FINE


SECRETARY

Allison Fine is among the pre-eminent guides to the social media revolution.

Allison Fine is among the pre-eminent guides to the social media revolution. Her gift is for converting uncertainty over rapid change into excitement over remaking organizations by the least expensive and most profitable means available: connecting with others. The author of the award-winning Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age,co-author of the bestselling The Networked Nonprofit, and Social Citizens Beta, she is also co-editor of Rebooting America and writes about the intersection of social media and social change on her blog, A. Fine Blog.


Andrew Rasiej


Founder and CEO

Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder and CEO of Civic Hall.

Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder and CEO of Civic Hall. He is also the Founder of Personal Democracy Media, which produces Personal Democracy Forum and other events about intersection of technology and politics. Andrew is the Founder of MOUSE.org, which focuses on 21st century public education; Co-Founder of Mideastwire.com, which translates Arabic and Farsi news and opinion pieces into English; Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington, DC-based organization, which uses technology to make the government more transparent; and board member and Chairman Emeritus of the NY Tech Alliance, which is a 50,000-member organization of technologists, venture funders, marketers, representing start up and more mature companies using technology to transform themselves, New York City, and the world. Andrew coined several terms to help describe our expanding and digitally-connected world, including We-Government, Voter-Generated Content, and Videracy. In 2005, Andrew ran a highly visible campaign for NYC Public Advocate on a technology and innovation driven platform to redesign the office as a network, bring low-cost broadband to underserved communities, and open up access to city-controlled public data. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union


Micah Sifry


Founder and President

Micah L. Sifry is Founder and President of Civic Hall, curator of the annual Personal Democracy Forum, and editor of Civicist, Civic Hall’s news site.

Micah L. Sifry is Founder and President of Civic Hall, curator of the annual Personal Democracy Forum, and editor of Civicist, Civic Hall’s news site. From 2006-16 he was a senior adviser to the Sunlight Foundation, which he helped found, and currently serves on the boards of Consumer Reports and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. He is the author or editor of nine books, most recently Civic Tech in the Global South (co-edited with Tiago Peixoto) (World Bank, 2017); A Lever and a Place to Stand: How Civic Tech Can Move the World (PDM Books, 2015), with Jessica McKenzie; The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet) (OR Books, 2014); and Wikileaks and the Age of the Transparency (OR Books, 2011). In 2012 he taught “The Politics of the Internet” as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School. From 1997-2006, he worked closely with Public Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on comprehensive campaign finance reform, as its senior analyst. Prior to that, Micah was an editor and writer with The Nation magazine for thirteen years. He is the author of Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America(Routledge, 2002), co-author with Nancy Watzman of Is That a Politician in Your Pocket? Washington on $2 Million a Day (John Wiley & Sons, 2004), 


Jen Vento


Board Member

Jennifer Vento‘s experience blends digital strategy, marketing and production expertise, as well as a passion for research and analytics.

Jennifer Vento‘s experience blends digital strategy, marketing and production expertise, as well as a passion for research and analytics.  Jennifer began her career in New York’s entertainment industry as head of technology and production for a music company and has consulted on media-related projects for organizations including PBS, the US Navy’s Maritime Civil Affairs Group, Gilda’s Club Worldwide, Public Agenda, and The Nation Magazine. In 2006, she co-founded a film production company and worked with clients including the United Nations Development Programme, The United Nations Environment Programme, UNAIDS, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Stanford University, and Tony Bennett’s Exploring the Arts. She has produced work appearing on ABC, PBS, CNN and TechCrunch. Prior to joining the Women Online team, Jennifer served as Chief Operating Officer of the award-winning organization, Personal Democracy Media, which produces the annual Personal Democracy Forum conference and techPresident (now Civicist.org) news site, dedicated to covering the intersection of technology, politics, and civil society.

Jennifer is a graduate of the George Washington University and the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School. She lives in New York. As the Managing Director of Women Online, Jennifer handles client contracts, offers strategic counsel to client campaigns, and manages market research and campaign analysis.