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.

Laban Jackson

Founder

Laban Jackson is the founder of Free the Facts. He has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Clear Creek Properties, Inc., a real estate development company, since 1989. He has been a director of J.P. Morgan Securities plc since 2010. Mr. Jackson served as a director of The Home Depot from 2004 to 2008 and a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland from 1987 to 1992. He is also an emeritus Trustee of the Markey Cancer Foundation. Mr. Jackson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D.

Chairman, Policy Advisory Board

Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. has worked in government, politics, the private sector, and academia. A veteran of several high-profile presidential campaigns, Chen previously served as a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed member of the Social Security Advisory Board—an independent, bipartisan panel that advises the president, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. He was also a senior appointee at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Chen is currently the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University; and an affiliate of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a Senior Counselor at the Brunswick Group, a global critical issues business advisory firm.

Tom Church

Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Church is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He studies income inequality, poverty, health care policy, entitlement reform, and immigration reform. He has conducted research on developing supplemental statistics to better measure income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. He also contributes to the Hoover Institution’s immigration reform initiative. Church received his master’s degree in public policy with honors from Pepperdine University, specializing in economics and international relations. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and political science from the University of Michigan.

Joshua Gordon, Ph.D.

Policy Advisor

Joshua Gordon currently serves as the Policy Director of The Concord Coalition, where he directs the organization’s research on the federal budget, health care policy, and tax policy. He has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida and wrote his dissertation on the budget process and the House Appropriations Committee. He also has a Master’s degree from the University of Florida and taught classes there on American Politics and on Congress. Gordon recently served as an Adjunct Professor for the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

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.

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.

Katrina Derderian

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Katrina Derderian is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she studied Government and Public Policy. Before joining Free the Facts, she worked on a Gubernatorial campaign in her home state of Vermont and for a non-profit management firm in Geneva, Switzerland. Fun fact: she was Free the Fact's first intern!

Ven Gopal

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Ven Gopal is a graduate of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, 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 co-hosted an event with the UConn Undergraduate Student Government. Before joining the Free the Facts team as a summer Scholar in 2018, Ven interned at the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C.

Bri Moore

Tour Coordinator

Bri is a recent graduate of Smith College, where she majored in Government. Bri became involved with Free the Facts during her senior year, when she served as an ambassador to bring the organization to her Black Students' Alliance club. After graduating, Bri joined Free the Facts to spearhead a new tour for students at Historically Black Colleges & Universities as well as students in Black Student Unions.

Rodha Sheikh

Scholar

Rodha recently graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Law, Societies, & Justice (LSJ). She came across Free the Facts as an intern on the Hill in the summer of 2018 when she attended a workshop on Medicare. She then became an Ambassador in the Fall of 2018 and hosted FtF on her campus. She is now working on a podcast series that discusses the different aspects of criminal justice reform.

Kate Costanza

Intern

Kate Costanza began to work at Free the Facts as an intern in the summer of 2018 after attending a policy presentation on her college campus the previous semester. She continued to work with Free the Facts remotely during the following year, writing articles for the organization's website while serving as an Ambassador and hosting Free the Facts at Villanova. Kate returned as an intern for summer 2019 and has continued content development through writing and editing. Kate is completing her undergraduate degree at Villanova University where she studies Communication and Rhetoric.

Catharen Stuebe

Intern

Catharen Stuebe started as an intern for Free the Facts in the summer of 2018. She has helped redesign all of Free the Facts’ digital marketing platforms and create content for social media outreach. After the summer, she studied abroad in Prague and continued her work for Free the Facts remotely. She is currently a rising senior at the University of Denver. She is studying Economics and Business and hopes to attend law school.

Aubree McMahon

Summer 2019 Intern

School: University of Michigan
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Community and Global Public Health
FtF Story: I attended a Free the Facts event on my campus during the fall of 2018, had amazing conversations with Katrina and Tom, and decided to apply to be an Ambassador. After serving as a campus Ambassador for the winter semester, I came out to DC as an intern and have been working primarily on healthcare policy breakdowns and as a part of our social media and marketing team!

Briana Brady

Summer 2019 Intern

School: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Political Science, Economics
FtF Story: I got involved with Free the Facts after hearing their presentation on Social Security during my first year of college. I enjoyed the event so much (and those that followed!) that I stayed connected to the organization throughout my college career thus far, became the first Ambassador at my university, and have now had the opportunity to pursue an internship with the organization this summer! I am passionate about policy work, community development, and writing, and my work with Free the Facts this summer has largely been focused on crafting website content that expands on education, healthcare, and immigration policies.

Bridget Hoffman

Summer 2019 Intern

School: University of Michigan
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Philosophy
FtF Story: I first got involved with Free the Facts when I went to their presentation on the University of Michigan's campus in the fall of 2018. I liked their mission and wanted to get involved, so I applied to be a campus Ambassador for the winter of 2019. Since I've started my internship at Free the Facts I've been doing various things such as policy research and writing, crowd building, and working with data.

Danielle Kimbro

Summer 2019 Intern

School: Smith College
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Film and Media Studies w/ minor in Women and Gender Studies
FtF Story: I got involved with Free the Facts when asked if I could help bring the public policy experts to Smith College to discuss how Social Security impacts the African American Community. As the president of the Black Students' Alliance at Smith College, I saw a great opportunity to bring my organization's members out to the workshop. This summer, I have been working on curating different film projects to document and photograph the summer event series and the internship experience around the office. I also have been helping to promote the Ambassador program by planning an orientation that will be launched later in the summer.

Erica Webb

Summer 2019 Intern

School: Brigham Young University
Graduation Year: 2024
Major: Advertising and Economics
FtF Story: I found FtF through an event at my school and did the Ambassador program before becoming an intern. I have been able to work on writing projects, a video production project, and more during my time in DC.

Gabriel Braet

Summer 2019 Intern

School: Southern Oregon University
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Biochemistry
FtF Story: I came for the burrito but stayed for the mission. My friend invited me to a presentation on Medicare he had organized at my school. I had no idea who FtF was at the time, but the subject sounded interesting and free lunch solidified my attendance. I was incredibly impressed with the organization's presentation and immediately figured out how I could get involved. I've been writing research articles, creating social media content, and analyzing data for Free the Facts. It has been diverse, rewarding, and exciting work, which is exactly what I asked for.

Nick Rasetti

Summer 2019 Intern

School: Brown University
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Economics & East Asian Studies
FtF Story: While I was looking for internships, one of my family members linked me the Free the Facts website and I spent some time looking and reading about their message and what they do. Despite not having much of a background in Public Policy, what FtF is doing felt important to me, so I applied, and here I am! At Free the Facts, I spend most of my time working with our contact and event management software, trying to find the best ways to get the Free the Facts message to reach future leaders.

Nick Silk

Summer 2019 Intern

School: University of Michigan
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Public Policy
FtF Story: After attending a FtF event as an audience member and identifying with the organization's mission, I wanted to become more involved and help spread this important nonpartisan message, thus becoming a college Ambassador at the University of Michigan. Now, as an intern, I've been assisting with the Ambassador orientation and Fall Tour programs, writing on contemporary policy issues, and finding ways to grow the non-profit's outreach.

Tim Ennis

Summer 2019 Intern

School: University of Massachusetts- Amherst
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Political Science
FtF Story: I got involved with Free the Facts after becoming an Ambassador through my College Democrats Chapter. After hosting my event, I became a summer intern, where I have been focusing on writing about different policies, attending Congressional Briefings, and working on the Healthcare section of the website.

MEET THE REST OF US

Our Mission


Free the Facts is a non-profit organization that provides young Americans – ages 18 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 young Americans form their own opinions, create solutions, and meaningfully participate in the national debate about our country’s biggest challenges.

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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