Issue One updates

Issue One announces key promotions and strategic hires

DC’s leading crosspartisan political reform organization continues to grow

Issue One is excited to announce a number of key promotions and hires at this pivotal moment in the fight to fix our broken political system and build an inclusive democracy.

In the wake of Executive Director Meredith McGehee’s retirement, Ethan Rome, currently Chief of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, will become Chief of Strategy and Programs. He will oversee Issue One’s legislative, communications, and research work. Rome was previously the executive director of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the national grassroots coalition that ran a $60 million five-year campaign to overhaul America’s health care system. Prior to HCAN, Rome directed national communications for AFSCME, one of the largest labor organizations in America.

Additionally, Issue One Legislative Affairs Manager Elise Wirkus has been promoted to Legislative Director, a role in which she will lead the organization’s legislative work and advocate for much-needed reforms. Named one of the top grassroots lobbyists in 2020 by The Hill, Wirkus was Deputy Director of Count Every Vote, a $15 million effort anchored by the National Council on Election Integrity, a project of Issue One.

“Issue One is thrilled to see Ethan Rome and Elise Wirkus take on these well-deserved roles,” said Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “Both have played a vital role in running our big campaigns and advancing our agenda, and we have all benefited from their spot-on strategy, energy, and drive. The political reform movement is better because of them, and I am proud to see our team continue to grow as the mission to strengthen and safeguard our democracy takes on even greater urgency and importance.”

Issue One is also pleased to announce two strategic hires that will enhance capacity, lead to even greater growth, and position the organization to achieve more victories.

LeLann Evans is joining Issue One as its new Campaign Specialist, bringing years of electoral expertise and knowledge to the team. He will play a significant role in developing and executing strategies to help Issue One and Issue One Action advance groundbreaking political reform legislation and building public demand for sweeping democracy reforms.

Jamila Taylor has also joined Issue One as Senior Development Manager. With more than 15 years of experience in organizational development, Taylor previously launched an independent consulting agency that provided project management, development, and grant writing services to non-profit organizations across the country. She also served as the Associate Director of Development and Institutional Advancement for the National Center for Children and Families, where she helped launch two multi-million-dollar projects to support the organization’s mission of creating healthy environments for children and families.

With these new additions and promotions, Issue One will continue to advocate for commonsense reforms to increase government transparency, strengthen ethics and accountability, reduce the corrosive influence of big money in politics, and bolster U.S. elections.