President and CEO
Nick Nyhart is a co-founder and the President and CEO of Public Campaign. A three decade veteran of social change politics, issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, and non-profit management, Nyhart brings a wealth of experience to the national reform movement. Following the 1992 elections, Nyhart became Director of the Northeast Action Money and Politics Project, a six-state venture that laid the groundwork for Maine's 1996 breakthrough full public financing victory. In January 1997, Nyhart joined scores of state and national money and politics activists to found Public Campaign, where he served as National Field Director and Deputy Director before assuming the group's helm in 2000. At Public Campaign, Nyhart has worked to win cutting edge state reform efforts across the country and has organized a number of innovative national collaborations to promote publicly financed elections at the federal level.
Vice President of Outreach and Operations
Betty Ahrens is the Vice-President for Outreach and Operations, and is responsible for managing Public Campaign’s organizational relationships and overseeing its internal operations. Prior to joining Public Campaign in 2011, Betty served as the Executive Director of the Iowa Citizen Action Network for nine years where she led the organization’s successful campaigns on Election Day Registration, statewide health care reform, and civic engagement, including registering over 13,000 new voters in disadvantaged communities. Betty graduated with honors from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1992. She and her husband Nathan are the proud parents of two wonderful school-age daughters, Rachel and Abby.
Susan L. Anderson is the Senior Program Advisor for Public Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to comprehensive campaign finance reform. Since 1997, she has worked extensively with national organizations and Congressional offices in promoting “Clean Money Campaign Reform,” a full public financing system now in effect in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. Before coming to Public Campaign, Susan was at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where she received a master’s degree in public administration. Before resuming her studies, Ms. Anderson spent more than 10 years working on democracy and governance issues in Southern Africa while affiliated with the African-American Institute in New York. As a program director at the institute, Ms. Anderson managed policy and education programs, led international election observer delegations, participated in technical assistance missions, and organized conferences in the United States and Africa.
Since joining Public Campaign in 2011, Tam has been investigating and documenting the influence of moneyed interests in politics, particularly to support organizing and communications. Prior to Public Campaign, she worked at the Center for Community Change where she spent two years as a policy analyst supporting health care, immigration, and job creation campaigns and three years as the program manager for a low-wage worker financial services project. She has also worked in the Vietnamese immigrant community in Boston and taught eighth grade math and science. She is a graduate of MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Swarthmore College. Tam lives in New Mexico with her partner Brian and enjoys culinary experiments.
Mahdi is the Development Associate for Public Campaign. He has a diverse professional background, which includes working in finance, organizing at all levels of political campaigns, and serving as a United States Marine. Mahdi holds a B.A. from Bloomfield College. He is a native of Jersey City, N.J.—the greatest city in the Garden State. Mahdi has also completed his first step on the road to recovery—admitting he has an addiction to “Words with Friends.”
Field Communications Manager
As the Field Communications Manager, Johnny serves as a liaison to Public Campaign's state partners and assists in on-the-ground organizing and communications needs in targeted states, working to coordinate activities for both the federal legislation and individual state efforts. Prior to joining Public Campaign, Johnny spent more than two years as the Field Director for Progressive Maryland, a non-profit, grassroots organization that focuses on issues affecting working families. In this capacity, he ran successful field operations to raise the minimum wage, increase public school funding, and an electoral effort to elect the organizations’ former Executive Director to the Maryland House of Delegates. In addition to this work, he also lobbied lawmakers in Annapolis for passage of the nations’ first state-wide Living Wage law in 2007. Johnny graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Government and Politics with a minor in history. He grew up in Tallahassee, FL and has lived in the Washington DC area for ten years. In addition to being a political junkie, Johnny is an avid sports fan and enjoys short walks on the beach and long drives down the middle of the fairway.
Special Projects Manager
Monica joined Public Campaign in August of 2007. Her role has transitioned over the years and she currently serves as the Special Projects Manager, handling various elements of development, communications, and administration. Monica is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at The George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. She graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT with a B.A. in Political Science. In her spare time Monica enjoys spending time with her gigantic kitten Sophie, is an avid fan of Boston sports teams, and enjoys a good book.
William Roberts is the Legislative Manager for Public Campaign. He helps craft and gain support for various campaign finance reform proposals at the state and national level. William primarily conducts legislative outreach and advocacy activities with congressional staff in addition to members of national organizations and key constituent groups. Having served as a Legislative Assistant and legal advisor in the House of Representatives, his knowledge and understanding of the legislative process, as well as his relationships with congressional staff, help advance Public Campaign’s legislative goals. In his spare time, William enjoys cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles, most outdoor activities, and civic engagement including service on the board of the Montgomery County Maryland Young Democrats. William received a Juris Doctor and a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Howard University (Washington, D.C.).
Kevin Ronnie is the Training Director for Public Campaign, and is responsible for developing, co-ordinating and providing training on public campaign finance issues and strategies to our supporters, advocates and partners.
Kevin has been active in advocacy, training and organizing at the national, regional and local level for more than 25 years. Past roles include Director of Field Operations for Washington, DC based National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Executive Director of Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee, Community Engagement Coordinator for TransCenter for Youth, a Milwaukee based education reform project, and most recently Educator for Hunger Task Force, a Milwaukee based food bank and hunger advocacy organization.
Kevin was born in England, is from Wisconsin, and has recently relocated from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C. He is married to Karen Campbell.
Beth was thrilled to join Public Campaign as Development Director in late 2012 because its mission aligns beautifully with a career dedicated to reclaiming the promise of democracy. For over three decades, she has helped develop and nurture progressive policy and media organizations. Most recently, she spent seven years leading development and finance teams at the Institute for Policy Studies. Earlier experience includes stints as Publisher at In These Times, Education Director/Co-Founder at the Independent Press Association, and Director of Development at Advancement Project. Beth holds graduate degrees in both history and adult education from Northern Illinois University and a BA in history from the University of Cincinnati. Notwithstanding a recent addiction to online scrabble, Beth devotes her free time to fellowship, food, and conversation with friends and family.
Adam Smith is the Communications Director of Public Campaign. Adam oversees all areas of communications, including online advocacy, web development, materials development, and media relations. In addition, he provides strategic advice, support, and on-the-ground assistance to Public Campaign’s state partner organizations across the country. In addition to his day job, Adam serves on the board of Fairness WV, the statewide LGBT advocacy group in his native West Virginia. Adam is a graduate of Elon University in North Carolina and lives in Washington, D.C.
Research & Policy Analyst
As a Research and Policy Analyst with Public Campaign, Kurt analyzes campaign finance data, news coverage, and legislative actions with the goal of telling compelling stories about the undue influence of big money in the political process. Kurt has been involved in money-in-politics reform since leading Fair Elections and disclosure efforts in Rhode Island as a student, and is thrilled to still be working to help realize America's democratic values. Previous to joining Public Campaign, Kurt worked in communications at Friends of the Earth and covered local land use and political news with Charlottesville Tomorrow in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va. Kurt graduated from Brown University with an independent concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.