Our Team

Lindsay Hayes, Ph.D.

President & CEO

Lindsay Hayes has served as a writer and communications consultant in the White House and the U.S. Senate, for a Cabinet-level agency, and on two presidential campaigns. Hayes received her master's degree and Ph.D. in political communication from the University of Maryland, where she taught communications courses for over a decade. She also holds a bachelor's degree in political science and communication from Boston College.

Matthew Spence, Ph.D.

Chairman, Policy Advisory Board

Dr. Matthew Spence is an International Security program fellow at New America, managing director at Guggenheim Partners, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor Law School and Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has also been a Lecturer and William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University, and partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to entering the private sector, Spence served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy, where he was the principal advisor to three Secretaries of Defense for U.S. policy towards the Middle East. Spence has also worked at the White House on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economic Affairs and as Senior Advisor to two National Security Advisors. A Marshall Scholar and Truman Scholar, Spence received his doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, J.D. from Yale Law School, and B.A. and M.A. in international policy studies from Stanford University.

Tom Church

Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Church is a policy fellow at the Hoover Institution. He studies health care policy, entitlement reform, income inequality, poverty, and the federal budget. Church received his master’s degree in public policy with honors from Pepperdine University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics and political science from the University of Michigan.

Camden Stuebe

Chief Operating Officer

Prior to joining Free the Facts, Camden Stuebe served as President of the Independent Journal Review, overseeing the company’s business and editorial operations. Stuebe’s career at IJR spanned more than three years and included a variety of roles, among them being Chief of Staff. Through these positions, she acquired experience in organizational strategy and operations, management and talent development, digital media, editorial operations, and content development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Beloit College, where she double-majored in political science and psychology.

Julius Chen, Ph.D.

Policy Advisor

Julius L. Chen, Ph.D. is a health economist and assistant professor at Columbia University. His research studies innovative strategies designed to improve the delivery and financing of health care. He also teaches graduate-level courses on health care finance and management. Julius attended the University of California, Berkeley and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and was a fellow at Harvard University. He also served as a California Senate Fellow from 2010-2011.

Ven Gopal

Communications Director

Ven Gopal is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics. Ven got involved with Free the Facts as a student Ambassador in 2017, when he hosted a Social Security event with UConn's Undergraduate Student Government. He joined as a Free the Facts Scholar in 2018 and has been in the organization's Communications Department ever since. Previously, Ven has interned at the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C.

Jason Marcella

Creative Director

Jason Marcella has worked in advertising and marketing for the past 20 years. He is experienced in all aspects of visual design, from branding and promotion to motion graphics and photography. His client list is diverse, including real estate developers, defense contractors, banks, tech companies, and the Virginia Lottery.

Dylan Gray

Research Coordinator

Dylan Gray is a graduate from California State University, Chico, where he earned his bachelor's degree in political science with a paralegal certificate. He is also a 2020-2021 graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs Program, a graduate-level, cross-sector leadership training program that prepares individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena. Originally from South Los Angeles, Dylan has worked with a local non-profit that focused on improving the educational attainment of young men in the region and empowered communities to mobilize and advance policies such as rent control. Dylan has also worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District policy team to propose solutions to address the learning loss seen among students from underperforming schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gabe Braet

Program Operations Coordinator

Gabe first attended a Free the Facts Social Security presentation in 2018 and immediately applied to become an Ambassador for his campus. After participating in the organization’s Internship and Scholar Programs, he joined the team full-time. Gabe has worked with a variety of organizations to develop data-driven programs and strategy. Holding a bachelor's degree in ACS Biochemistry from Southern Oregon University, Gabe is a native Oregonian, raised in Portland, and remains an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Madison Bushong

Program Operations Coordinator

Madison is a recent graduate from Brigham Young University, where she majored in Political Science. Madison became involved with Free the Facts after attending one of their events at her college. She completed her senior year as an Ambassador and co-hosted several events on her campus. Madison is now a part of the Scholar Program and is working with the Communications Team in order to help create more opportunities for people to learn more, feel empowered, and get involved.

Thomas Fodor

Program Operations Coordinator

Thomas Fodor is a 2020 graduate of Carson-Newman University, located in East Tennessee, where he majored in Political Science and Philosophy with a minor in Math and Religion. He became involved with Free the Facts in the spring of 2019. Before he joined Free the Facts as a Program Operations Coordinator, he was a part of the Scholar Program. He also spent time interning at USCIS and The Fund for American Studies.

Madelynn Koller

Communications Coordinator

Madelynn recently graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor of science in Outdoor Product Design and Development. She became involved with Free the Facts as an Ambassador in the fall of 2020 after a close friend started her Scholar tenure with the organization. Madelynn has a wide variety of interests that has led her to work as a writer at an outdoor trade magazine, a designer at a fitness brand, and an AmeriCorp VISTA at the Cache Refugee and Immigrant Connection.

Catherine Morris

2021 Fellow

Catherine Morris is from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, and is a rising senior at The George Washington University majoring in Political Communication and double minoring in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. This summer, she is a Digital Communications intern in the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice. She has been an Ambassador at Free the Facts since her freshman year.


Our Mission

Founded in 2016, Free the Facts (FtF) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that provides young Americans—ages 14 to 35—with reliable information about the economic and fiscal policies, programs, and challenges that will impact their lives. Our educational programs and leadership initiatives help students form their own opinions, create solutions, and meaningfully participate in the national debate about our country’s biggest challenges.

Simply put…

FtF connects today’s experts with tomorrow’s leaders to get America’s brightest minds working on its biggest problems. Our main policy areas are Social Security, Medicare and health care, federal student loans, and the overall federal budget.

Our Core Commitments

We don’t tell you what to think. We just make sure you can.
We serve as an honest broker in the conversation, acting as a tour guide through complex issues and information.

We connect today's experts with tomorrow's leaders.
Our policy advisors work for some of the nation’s preeminent think tanks, non-profit organizations, colleges, and universities. They have advised presidents, candidates, and major institutions. We’re giving young citizens the opportunity to connect with – and learn from – them in person.

Problems aren’t partisan.
Our bias isn’t ideological; it’s generational. We look at policy challenges from the perspective of what it means for citizens 35 and under. We do not advocate for a specific policy approach or ideological perspective. Instead, we provide informational resources that paint a clear picture of the challenges that lie ahead - and we create spaces where citizens can discuss a broad range of solutions.

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