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.

Wes Hodges

Director of Program Operations

Prior to joining Free the Facts, Wes Hodges served as Coalition Director for American Compass, where he helped launch the organization and built a community of policy professionals invested in economics. Wes began his career in D.C. by spending three years as Associate Director of the Federalist Society's Practice Groups, organizing their network of lawyers to engage in public policy education. Wes is a John Jay Fellow, an Eagle Scout, and a former Baylor University Student Body President, where he studied economics, political science, and philosophy.

Hannah Engber, MPP

Policy Analyst

Hannah comes to Free the Facts from a variety of non-profit and government agencies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations (with minors in anthropology, politics, and German) from Ursinus College and a Master of Public Policy from Temple University. Her research examines institution building, bureaucratic policy, and management and has been published in several academic journals. Hannah has a passion for data and lives and dies by her spreadsheets.

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. She got involved with Free the Facts after attending one of their BYU events. Madison completed her senior year as an Ambassador and co-hosted several more events on her campus. After participating in the Scholar Program in 2020, she joined the team as a Program Operations Coordinator.

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.

Hershy Jalluri

Scholar

Hershy is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, where she majored in economics and psychology and minored in business, environment, and history. She served as a Free the Facts Ambassador during her freshman year of college, an experience that had a huge role in defining her passion for spreading unbiased policy information. She was also involved with WeListen, Michigan Political Consulting, and the Central Student Government. As a Scholar, she plans to create a multimedia educational resource on the federal budget.

Anne Pearson

Scholar

Anne is a recent graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, where she majored in political science and psychology with a minor in criminal justice studies. She first joined Free the Facts as an intern in the summer of 2021, having been introduced to the organization through the RAND Corporation, and served as an Ambassador during the following school year. She is now joining the team as a Scholar with a focus on developing the organization’s alumni engagement program.

Jonathan Carnes

2022 Summer Intern

Jonathan is a rising sophomore at UMass Amherst, where he is a pre-law student majoring in marketing with a minor in political science. He got involved with Free the Facts as an Ambassador in the spring of 2022 after being referred by a friend. Previously, Jonathan has interned in the office of U.S. Representative Jim McGovern. He currently serves as a campus tour guide, House Council vice president, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, and a writer at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Joely Chinnici

2022 Summer Intern

Joely is a rising senior at The Ohio State University majoring in public management, leadership, and policy with minors in international relations and diplomacy, global public health, and computer information science. Prior to interning with the Policy Department at Free the Facts, she worked as a legislative intern for State Representative Bride Rose Sweeney and volunteered with the American Red Cross’s government relations team.

Riley Dison

2022 Summer Intern

Riley is currently a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is majoring in political science and philosophy. Outside of class, she serves on the philanthropy committee of a pre-law fraternity and works as a tutor on campus. She is excited to experience Washington, D.C. and hopes to relocate there after college to pursue law school or begin working in the public sector. Riley is interning with Free the Facts’ Program Operations Department this summer.

Will Pattle

2022 Summer Intern

Will is a rising junior at the University of Chicago majoring in business economics and political science. He is originally from London, England, but is interested in American politics, international relations, and exploring Washington, D.C. Will was introduced to the field of public policy as a Free the Facts Ambassador. This summer, he wants to explore what a career in public policy might look like while learning about the proposed solutions to America’s biggest fiscal problems. Some of his passions include running, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Alexandra Singer

2022 Summer Intern

Alexandra is a rising senior at Brigham Young University majoring in American studies. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a Master of Public Administration. In addition to her studies, Alexandra is involved in several BYU clubs, including BridgeUSA, the Economics Student Association, and Students for International Development. She is interning with Free the Facts’ Executive Department this summer.

Brooke Hansen

2022 Fellow

Brooke is a rising senior at Brigham Young University majoring in public relations and minoring in Mandarin Chinese and political science. She has previously interned with the Utah State Legislature, BerlinRosen, and the Utah Office of Energy Development, and will be interning with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation's Office of External Affairs this summer.

Jack Nicastro

2022 Fellow

Jack is a rising junior at Dartmouth College majoring in economics and minoring in philosophy. He is the president of the Dartmouth Libertarians, a regional coordinator for Students for Liberty, a senior correspondent at The Dartmouth Review, co-chair of the Political Economy Project Student Leadership Council, and has served as a research assistant to Professors Henry Clark and Meir Kohn. He has previously interned for the American Institute for Economic Research and the New Civil Liberties Alliance, and will be interning with the Competitive Enterprise Institute this summer exploring the role that reason plays in political persuasion. In his free time, he enjoys physical fitness, podcasts, and reading.

MEET THE REST OF US

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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