Our Board & Advisers


Whitney Hatch, Chair

Whitney Hatch

Former Regional Director for New England, Trust for Public Land; Former Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, GTE Corporation

If you go back to the simple language of our founding documents, ‘one person, one vote,’ and ‘the consent of the governed,’ we are so far from that today. We need to get back to those core principles, and the only way to get at it is to try to build something much bigger and inclusive than has ever been built before, something that has the wherewithal to stick. That is Issue One’s aim.”

Larry Birenbaum, Treasurer

Larry Birenbaum

Former Senior Vice President and Group General Manager, Ethernet Access Group, Cisco Systems; Former Vice President of Engineering, Grand Junction Networks; Former Vice President, 3Com Corporation

Lessening the distortionary effects of money in our political system will foster sound, evidence-based policymaking, the current dearth of which undermines everything. Issue One’s focus on bipartisanship makes this organization stand out. These are exciting times.”

Elisabeth Reynolds, Secretary

Elisabeth Reynolds

Executive Director, Industrial Performance Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Former Director of City Advisory Practice, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City

Issue One is making significant headway building the bipartisan consensus necessary to change the system. As my professional focus is on building a stronger, more competitive U.S. economy, I know there is no greater challenge facing our country than the issue of money in politics. Every time I make a gift, I know I am making a vitally important investment in our nation’s future.”

Bill Burgess

Bill Burgess

Operating Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners; Managing General Partner, ABS Ventures

The influence of money in politics and government is undermining faith in our democracy. Issue One understands that there is no silver bullet for the problem, and that different political climates call for different strategies. This agility allows Issue One to move constantly in the direction of success.”

Nancy Farese

Founder, PhotoPhilanthropy, renamed Catchlight; President, FThree Foundation.

I worry that our current politics are threatening what we hold most precious about American Democracy – fairness, tolerance, and the pride that comes with global leadership based on values and respect for rule of law. Our current political climate serves the few, and may indeed mean that our form of democracy, laced with money and cynicism, cannot succeed. It’s vital that we promote governing systems based in transparency, commonly shared values, and accountability.”  

David Gerson

David Gerson

Founder and President, Beechwood Property Holdings; Former Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Throughout my business and legal career, I’ve seen firsthand the way that money amplifies political speech and influence to the point where it drowns out every other form of debate and every other interest; the marketplace of ideas is being overwhelmed and obliterated by the idea of the marketplace.  Issue One’s mission is my passion, to restore our democracy so that our society works for the benefit of everyone.”

Dan Glickman

Dan Glickman Former member of Congress and Secretary of Agriculture (D-KS); Member, ReFormers Caucus; Executive Director, Aspen Institute Congressional Program; Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Former Director, Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

Today, successful politicians are judged and rewarded more for how well they raise money than for how intelligent, dedicated or effective they are as legislators. It is time for this culture to change.”

Arnold Hiatt

Arnold HiattChairman, A.M. Fund; Former Chairman and CEO, The Stride Rite Corporation

I’ve worked on this issue for more than two decades because it is central to a more fair and representative democracy. The decisions of government are simply too important to be left up to whoever has the most money to spend.”

David Jeffrey

David Jeffrey

Chairman, David Jeffrey Associates; Vice President, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company; Director, The Jeffrey Company

To solve this problem, to fix Congress, we need to change people’s attitudes, and that’s what Issue One is doing. We are changing the debate so that people of all political stripes can feel like there’s room for them in this movement.”

J.B. Lyon

J.B. Lyon

Managing Director, Mount Independence Investments; Managing Director, ZBI Ventures; General Partner, Vision Media Investors; Former Vice President for Business Development, Staples, Inc.

We founded Issue One with the goal of bringing together all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, to solve the greatest threat to the United States — the self-destruction of our democracy. Representative government has nearly disappeared, but I am confident that we can restore our democracy so that it is truly of, by and for the American people.”

Mike Peabody

Mike PeabodyPresident, Peabody Corporation; Founder, Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS)

Campaign costs are out of control. Candidates are forced to reach outside of their districts to special interests, and spend more than half their time doing so. Thus entrapped, they can no longer represent their voters. This has undermined our democracy and has become, for me, Issue One.”

Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge Former Representative, Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security (R-PA); Member, ReFormers Caucus; Founder and Chairman of Ridge Global

Vin Ryan

President, CEO and Chairman, Schooner Capital LLC; Former Board Chairman, Iron Mountain; Co-founder, National Hydro and Arch Mobile Communications

The major reason I’m really interested in campaign finance reform is my grandson. I would love for him, and our nation’s future generations, to grow up in a democracy — and not in a country where every interest is funded by a lobbying firm. If we don’t protect their future, we’re going to be in serious trouble.”

Ian Simmons

President, Foundation for Civic Leadership; Co- Founder, ActBlue

The issue of money in politics, the greatest challenge of our time, requires all hands on deck. Issue One is recruiting the new allies we need to move practical solutions from ideas to reality. We are building a broad coalition to implement real, lasting change.”

Issue One is proud to have 100% donor participation from our Board.


Senior Strategic Adviser

Tim Roemer served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives for Indiana’s third congressional district, and was an instrumental member of the of 9/11 Commission after the attacks on September 11, 2001. In Congress, he was known as a consensus-builder and worked diligently to represent the people of Indiana, and to improve access, standards and achievement in the American education system through his leadership on initiatives such as Head Start, AmeriCorps, and affordable higher education proposals. As Ambassador to India, Tim led one of America’s largest diplomatic missions, and helped move India from America’s 25th-largest trading partner to 12th and expanded the country’s commercial sales in defense and space industries. He’s made many public appearances speaking on the topic of money in politics on behalf of Issue One.

Senior Strategic Adviser

Zach Wamp served in the House of Representatives for more than 15 years, representing Tennessee’s 3rd District. He was a senior member on the House Appropriations Committee and co-chair of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. He also founded the Congressional Fitness Caucus. He is now the president and owner of Zach Wamp Consulting, a bipartisan consulting and development firm for a wide range of businesses across the country. Prior to serving in elected office, he worked as a small businessman and a commercial real estate broker.

Trevor Potter is the founding President and General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit which helped successfully defend the McCain-Feingold law in the lower and Supreme Courts. He is one of the country’s best-known and most experienced campaign and election lawyers, and a former Commissioner (1991-1995) and Chairman (1994) of the Federal Election Commission. Trevor has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as “hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money”.  Trevor has been listed as one of Washington’s Best Lawyers by Washingtonian Magazine and was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington DC Super Lawyers Magazine in 2008. He served as General Counsel to the John McCain 2008 campaign (while on leave of absence from the Legal Center) and also held that position with the McCain 2000 campaign. He has testified before Congress on federal election proposals and campaign finance regulation, and has taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University. He is Co-Chair of the Election Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section. Trevor is also a member in Caplin & Drysdale’s Washington, D.C. office, where he leads the firm’s Political Activity Law Practice.

Senior Strategic Adviser

Bruce Patton is co-founder and Distinguished Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He is also co-founder of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. In 1984 Patton, Fisher, and three HNP alumni founded Conflict Management, Inc., a negotiation consulting and training firm, and Conflict Management Group (now part of Mercy Corps), a not-for-profit entity that works on conflicts of public concern. In 1997, Patton and four CMI/HNP colleagues founded Vantage Partners, llc, a global consulting firm that helps companies drive business results by improving how they negotiate and manage their most critical internal and external deals and relationships. Patton co-authored, with Professor Roger Fisher and William Ury, the seminal book Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, which has sold more than 10 million copies, has been translated into more than 35 languages, and which continues to sell more than 3500 copies a week. Patton has worked on and helped to resolve numerous complex, multiparty public conflicts, including suggesting the multiparty process used in the constitutional talks that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa.