Press releases

Issue One announces new strategic hires during critical moment for U.S. democracy

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

Issue One is proud to announce two new strategic hires during this critical moment for our country as our work to strengthen democracy, protect U.S. elections and the people who run them, and hold Big Tech and the social media platforms accountable remains as important as ever.

Dr. Carah Ong Whaley joins Issue One as our director of election protection, and Jesper Sullivan den Bergh has also joined the team as our new legislative manager.

Dr. Ong Whaley comes to Issue One with over two decades of research, policy and advocacy experience in both the public and private sector, most recently at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Dr. Ong Whaley also serves as co-chair of the Civic Engagement Section of the American Political Science Association. She has authored numerous chapters and articles, and served as editor of several books on public issues, politics and civic engagement. She has appeared in a variety of media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Teen Vogue, and NPR, among others, and is available to speak about the 2024 elections specifically and democracy reform broadly. In her role at Issue One, Dr. Whaley will be leading campaigns, working closely with our Faces of Democracy and National Council on Election Integrity. She is also a member of the National Task Force on Election Crises.

Sullivan den Bergh arrives at Issue One as a seasoned former campaign operative and staffer on Capitol Hill, bringing nearly a decade of policy experience to the legislative team. His expertise on the inner-workings of Congress will be crucial as we advance key legislative priorities including federal funding for U.S. elections and protections for election administrators.

“Issue One’s ability to affect change in the democracy reform space is directly correlated to the strength and growth of our staff. Adding two dynamic leaders to our team bolsters our organization even further to address the present challenges we face as a country, and prepares us for the future as these brilliant minds mesh with the mission of this organization. I am looking forward to working closely with each of them,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman.

Issue One is the leading crosspartisan political reform group in Washington, D.C. We unite Republicans, Democrats, and independents in the movement to fix our broken political system, strengthen U.S. elections, address the harms that social media is having on our democracy, limit the influence of big money over politics, and improve the ability of Congress to solve problems.