Press releases

Issue One announces new strategic hires

D.C.’s leading crosspartisan political reform organization ramps up efforts to protect and strengthen elections

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

Issue One is excited to announce a number of new strategic hires at this critical moment in the fight to protect our elections and strengthen US democracy.

We are pleased to welcome Dokhi Fassihian as our new Deputy Chief of Strategy and Programs where she will help manage Issue One’s programmatic work and lead cutting-edge campaigns on disinformation, election protection, and other key democracy reform issues. Fassihian has previously served in senior roles at leading nonprofit organizations, including Freedom House, PEN America, and Reporters Without Borders USA. She has more than 20 years of experience in democracy and civil rights advocacy, defense of a free press at home and abroad, and international affairs, with expertise in multilateral affairs and the Middle East and North Africa.

Heather Balas has joined Issue One as a Senior Advisor and Strategist who will support and work closely with our key projects and initiatives, including the ReFormers Caucus and National Council on Election Integrity as we reinvigorate our Count Every Vote campaign to protect, strengthen, and defend the legitimacy of our elections. A fifth-generation New Mexican, Balas has over 25 years experience in public policy, including policy research, citizen deliberation, voter education, and coalition-building. Balas comes to Issue One from the Thornburg Foundation, and she previously led the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization New Mexico First, which was founded by former Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM). Balas also worked with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the California Center for Civic Participation, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and the National Network for Youth.

Additionally, Amber McReynolds is joining Issue One as our new Senior Political Strategist and spokesperson for the National Council on Election Integrity. One of the country’s leading experts on election administration and policy, McReynolds was appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate in 2021 to serve as a governor for the United States Postal Service. She previously served as the director of elections for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, and as the CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute. McReynolds is a nationally recognized and experienced election professional who has proven that designing pro-voter policies, voter-centric processes, and modernizing technology will improve the voting experience for all.

“Our country is facing its greatest threat in generations. The fate of our democracy is far from certain as undemocratic forces plot to undermine our elections and overturn the will of the people,” said Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “With the additions of Fassihian, Balas, and McReynolds, Issue One will have a bigger and stronger presence to continue the critical work of building a democracy that works for everyone, and protect it from those who seek to do it harm.”

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, protect U.S. elections, lessen political polarization, limit the influence of big money over politics, and improve the ability of Congress to solve problems.