Meet our 2019 Fellows
New Politics Leadership Academy Fellows are proven servant leaders, selected through a highly competitive process, and focused on advancing political leadership. Fellows will bolster our vital mission to revitalize our democracy and transform our politics through advocacy, research, and engagement.
The inaugural cohort of Senior Fellows will be composed primarily of servant leaders who recently ran and led campaigns across the country, talented military and national service veterans who chose to enter the political arena in pursuit of continuing their service and transforming our politics. They will have the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned during their campaigns, and share their learnings with the growing servant leader community. Senior Fellows will be thought leaders who inspire and enable the continued growth of our mission; they will publish, speak, advocate, and conduct policy research. They will help recruit more servant leaders to participate in the political process, and mentor servant leaders considering politics as a candidate or staffer. They will continue to serve as the voice and the face of the new generation of political leaders who are committed to putting country over party.
Meet our 2019 Fellows below!
Gina Ortiz Jones is a national security expert and her career spans serving as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer deployed to Iraq, to serving in the Executive Office of the President where she led a portfolio focused on U.S. economic and national security. Most recently, Gina was a candidate for Congress in Texas’ 23rd District. In her fellowship, Gina will continue to engage with communities throughout South and West Texas to research and highlight the ways in which domestic policies can potentially pose future national and economic security risks.
Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and president of Team Rubicon Global, a disaster-relief organization that has helped retrain 80,000 military veterans to redeploy as emergency responders. In 2018, he was a candidate for Congress in Ohio’s 7th district. As a New Politics Leadership Academy Fellow, Ken will explore the implications of our failing two-party system. The problems often pointed to by political commentators, such as gerrymandering, media partisanship, and donor tribalism, are symptoms of our ossified party structures. But the inflexibility of that system has created openings for post-partisan disruptors that are now challenging the ingrained orthodoxies.
Juana Matias is a former State Representative for Massachusetts’ 16th Essex District, a former candidate for Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District, and an AmeriCorps member. Her commitment and passion lies in working to eradicate racial, social, and economic inequities to ensure that every person has an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. As a New Politics Leadership Academy Fellow, Juana will focus on examining methods that foster civic and electoral participation within the US Latinx community. She will also develop policy recommendations in the area of immigration reform, particularly focusing on compromise legislative language and strategies that can be utilized during this upcoming Congressional session.
Dan Feehan was a candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District. Dan is a former acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Readiness, having served previously as an active-duty Army officer during two combat tours in Iraq. Dan also served as a middle school math teacher through Teach For America. As a New Politics Leadership Academy Fellow, Dan will examine the nature of today's political engagement with rural voters, drawing on his recent campaign experiences in Minnesota. From this, he will demonstrate the methods of communication, meeting, and organizing that ultimately are able to influence voters in an otherwise polarizing political environment.
Roger Dean Huffstetler is a Marine veteran and former Congressional candidate in Virginia's 5th District, stretching from the North Carolina state line to Northern Virginia. Previously, he served as Congressman Seth Moulton’s Chief of Staff and worked at Twilio, then an early-stage technology startup. RD founded Mission First, a first-of-its kind project that identified and mobilized hundreds of veterans and military families for service-oriented candidates running for congress in Virginia. Currently, he is mentoring service-oriented candidates running for office and trying to find ways to make their their lives easier through technology. As a New Politics Leadership Academy Fellow, RD will continue to mentor service-oriented leaders who are considering running for office and will develop innovative technology platforms and approaches to help them succeed.
Amy McGrath is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel serving 20 years and three combat tours as an F/A-18 fighter pilot and weapons systems officer in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Amy earned a Master’s degree in Global Security and she served tours in the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and instructing at the US Naval Academy. Most recently, Amy was a candidate for Congress in Kentucky's 6th District. As a fellow with New Politics Leadership Academy, Amy will continue to lead and work with the people of Kentucky regarding national issues that affect them. She will conduct research on how to further close the rural-urban political gap in Kentucky, with a focus on tactics and strategies for breaking down partisanship in our communities.