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Evan Mcmullin - Stand Up Ideas

Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin started his career with the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. He spent much of his service overseas as a clandestine operations officer. After over a decade with the Agency, Evan joined Goldman Sachs’s Investment Banking Division, where he worked on a variety of strategic and capital raising project.

In 2013, McMullin returned to government service, first as a senior advisor to the Foreign Affairs Committee and then as chief policy director to the House Republican Conference, where he led national security, government reform, natural resources and veterans’ healthcare initiatives. In August 2016, Evan announced his candidacy for President of the United States as an independent conservative, selecting Mindy Finn as his running mate. After winning 21.5% of the vote in Utah, their three-month presidential campaign became one of the most successful third-party candidacies in US history.

Mindy Finn - Stand Up Ideas

Mindy Finn

Mindy Finn is a 15-year veteran of digital politics, leading digital and technology programs for the RNC, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush. During the 2012 election, she directed strategic policy and advocacy partnerships for Twitter, and she has also advised Google, Medium and Change.org.

In 2008, Finn founded Engage, one of the first digital media agencies for politics and advocacy working to usher the industry into the Internet era. She has been named one of Washingtonian’s 100 “Tech Titans,” one of POLITICO’s 50 Politicos to Watch, and one of AdAge’s 40 Under 40 leading innovation in media. Finn is also founder and president of Empowered Women, which gives voice to a bold, new generation of American women and promotes them into civic life.

Molly McKew - Stand Up Ideas

TJ Bliss

TJ Bliss is the Director of Development and Strategy at Wiki Education, a non-profit that connects higher education to the publishing power of Wikipedia. Before joining Wiki Education, Bliss was a Program Officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where he oversaw a multi-million dollar grant portfolio dedicated to expanding the reach and efficacy of Open Educational Resources (OER) throughout the world. Before joining the Hewlett Foundation, Bliss was the Director of Assessment and School Accountability for the State Department of Education in Idaho.

Bliss is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a PhD in Education and BSc in Molecular and Microbiology, and of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with an MSc in Biology. He is fluent in Russian and spent multiple years as a humanitarian aid worker in Russia and Belarus.

TJ Bliss Headshot — Creative Commons-Attribution License (CC-BY) by Nancy Rothstein, 2016

Rhett Dornbach-Bender - Stand Up Ideas

Rhett Dornbach-Bender

Rhett Dornbach-Bender is a deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he leads the foundation’s central strategy team. In this role, Rhett advises teams across global development, global health, global policy and advocacy, and US education on the development and execution of their strategies.

Before joining the Gates Foundation in 2013, Rhett spent several years working with The Bridgespan Group, a strategy consulting firm that serves non-profits and foundations. Based in Bridgespan's Boston office, he worked primarily with non-profits and foundations in the domestic education, human services and youth development sectors. Dornbach-Bender earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and politics from Pomona College and grew up in California’s Mojave Desert.

Uttam Jain - Stand Up Ideas

Uttam Jain

Uttam K. Jain is a director at Thomas H. Lee Partners. Prior to joining Thomas H. Lee Partners, Jain worked at Riverside Partners and The Boston Consulting Group.

Jain is currently a director of Curo Health Services, Party City and Professional Physical Therapy (ProPT). He holds a BTech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, where he was the recipient of the Institute Silver Medal, an MS in Chemical Engineering Practice from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA, with honors, from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Molly McKew - Stand Up Ideas

Molly McKew

Molly K. McKew is a foreign policy and strategy consultant and a Russian information warfare expert. McKew is an analyst, author and frequent radio/TV commentator on Russian strategy, and frequently briefs military staff and political officials on Russian doctrine and hybrid warfare.

McKew is the CEO of Fianna Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in advisory services, government/public relations and strategic messaging campaigns for international clients. Her recent work has focused on the European frontier — including the Baltic states, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine — where she has worked to counter Russian information campaigns and other elements of hybrid warfare. McKew is a graduate of Stanford University, with a BA in Russian Language, History and Culture, and of the London School of Economics, with an MSc in Russian/Post-Soviet Studies.

Yascha Mounk - Stand Up Ideas

Yascha Mounk

Yascha Mounk is a Lecturer on Government at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at New America. A columnist at Slate and the host of The Good Fight podcast, he is an expert on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

His next book, The People versus Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It, will be published by Harvard University Press in January 2018 and translated into six languages.