Our Team

 

Kate Catherall

FOUNDER

Kate Catherall is currently a Senior Vice President with 270 Strategies. In the last four years, Kate has worked with more than 24 causes, companies, and campaigns to develop their organizational strategy and leadership development programs. Most recently, her portfolio has focused in the domains of issue advocacy and civic engagement. Kate has facilitated advanced-level trainings in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, and the Middle East, with participants hailing from more than 40 countries.

For the last three years, Kate has served as a reviewer for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Cities Challenge. In 2016, Kate partnered with the Knight Foundation as the co-author of a study on sparking civic engagement entitled, The Role of Human Relationship in Moving People to Action. 

While recently Kate has focused mainly on causes, her roots are in electoral organizing. She has worked five election cycles including a congressional campaign, a gubernatorial campaign, a senate campaign, and two presidential campaigns. Prior to joining 270, Kate served as Deputy Field Director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign in Florida. There she built and managed a staff of 240 organizers who recruited more than 80,000 volunteers and registered 110,000 voters in the final ten months before the deadline. 

Kate holds a B.A. in Political Science and Theater and Drama from Indiana University, and is a native of Chicago. She speaks conversational Swahili, having lived and taught in East Africa sporadically since 2006. Kate currently resides in San Francisco - a great place to nerd out on behavioral science and design thinking.  She enjoys film, the arts, and being outside.

 

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LUIS AVILA

SENIor ADVISOR

Luis Avila served most recently as a Senior Vice President on the Engagement Team at 270 Strategies. Prior to that, he was the national program director at Stand for Children, a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education, where he worked with immigrant parents to mobilize thousands of voters to protect funding for their children's schools. While at Stand, he was awarded its National Leadership Award for his work supporting, coaching, and developing organizers around the country.

Luis was a field organizer in New Mexico for President Obama's 2008 campaign and field director at Arizona State University's ADA Parent Education Program, where he oversaw a program that united parents and teachers to transform the educational experiences of children at home and at school. Luis serves on the executive board at the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States and is on the board of TNTP, an organization focused on ending the injustice of educational inequality. Additionally, he is a NextGen Fellow at the Pahara-Aspen Institute. Luis was recognized in 2009 by Latino Perspectives Magazine as one of the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 for his work in education and parental involvement programs for low-income families. Luis also received the Latino Advocacy Champion Award in 2014 by Profiles of Success for his work in the defense of immigrant rights.

Born in Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico, Luis founded a youth publication in Queretaro at the age of 16 to give students a chance to voice their opinions on social and political issues. His passion for giving others a voice eventually brought him to the United States, where he has spent the better part of his career working to improve the quality of life for people in his community by expanding access to quality education.

Luis has worked as a writer, director, and actor in both theater and film, and hosted radio shows in Phoenix, AZ including the Spanish-language Sin Mordaza on 1190 AM and the bilingual youth show El Break on 95.1 FM. He enjoys volunteering at his local library in his free time and can be found on the weekends exploring his new neighborhood in Oakland.

 

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LISA CONN

SENIOR ADVISOR

Lisa Conn manages the Electome, a machine learning project of the MIT Media Lab and Twitter aimed at providing an alternative to horse-race journalism. The only organization with access to Twitter’s full output of approximately 500 million tweets per day, Electome’s algorithms identify election-related tweets and classify them by issue, candidate, candidate followers, gender, civility, and more with 90+% accuracy, creating a unique picture of the issues voters care about.  Through the Electome, Lisa's team provided briefing books and suggested questions to the moderators of the 2016 Presidential debates, built an exhibit for the Newseum, and published dozens of stories with media organizations covering the election including the Washington PostCNN, and Vice.

Previously, Lisa was the National Organizing Director of Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us, where she pioneered a new model for organizing the tech community and designed a suite of digital advocacy tools including Push4Reform, Selfies4Reform, and BuiltbyImmigrants. She was Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin's campaign manager, and a Regional Field Director on President Obama's 2012 campaign in Florida.

In July 2017, Lisa will join the Global Strategy team at Facebook. She is currently an advisor at Hustle, where she previously ran business strategy.  

Lisa studied Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, and is in the final semester of her MBA at MIT. She has been featured on Fortune's Best and Brightest MBAs list and was named a "Luminary" by the Future of People. Lisa grew up in Laguna Beach, California (like the show) and is the granddaughter of carnies.

 

Betsy Hoover

Board Member & Senior Advisor

Betsy Hoover is a Founding Partner with 270 Strategies, leading the firm’s digital strategy practice. She helped launch the company after serving as director of digital organizing for the 2012 Obama for America campaign, where she was responsible for bridging the gap between online and online organizing.

Betsy has been recognized by Business Insider as “one of the top 50 people who are at the forefront of political innovation” and was featured on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30: Law & Policy” list for her work on the president’s re-election campaign. Mother Jones magazine described her as one of “Obama’s digital gurus” with the role “of a community builder, helping channel enthusiasm online into fundraising dollars and volunteers.” Betsy has discussed the power of online organizing with audiences across the globe, including TEDx and Re:Publica, Germany’s largest conference on digital trends and strategies.

Betsy got her start as an organizer in 2007 and transitioned to digital in 2010. At 270, she focuses on women’s economic and health issues, technology for engagement, voter empowerment, and electoral campaigns. She’s passionate about building communities online around issues people care about.

Betsy is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently lives in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. She speaks Twi, a language she learned on a service trip to Ghana, and enjoys skiing, running, and music. 

 

Saumya Narechania

SENIOR ADVISOR

Saumya Narechania has nearly a decade of experience working for and advising various organizations on campaign organizing, strategic planning, leadership, and management.

From the halls of the White House to community halls in Alaska and union halls in Florida, Saumya has overseen staff that range in size from two dozen to two hundred, and planned—from nuts and bolts to large-scale strategic vision—various events, trainings and programs of similar scope.

Saumya currently serves as the National issues Campaign Manager for Organizing for Action (OFA). He most recently served as the Get Out the Vote Director for For Our Future Fund (in Florida) and as the National Field Director at Enroll America. In his role at Enroll America, he oversaw all state field efforts related to Enroll America’s Get Covered Campaign. These efforts included providing digital assets to partner organizations, as well as leading the training and execution of getting over one million in-person appointments for consumers seeking health insurance under Obamacare.

Previously, Saumya served an integral role in the planning and launch of Enroll America’s state efforts including hiring and training senior leadership roles. Saumya has trained or spoken before the Gates Foundation, Cognosante, Legal Aid of North Carolina, University of South Florida’s Covering Kids and Families Coalition, among others.

Saumya’s background also includes multiple leadership roles for campaigns and organizations that scale quickly, including as Deputy Field Director in Florida for President Obama’s re-election efforts in 2012, and in President Obama’s White House as an Assistant Director in the Executive Office of the President. 

In addition to sports, television and film, Saumya enjoys puns, dad jokes and general 90s pop culture. In fact, he likens himself to being 1/6 Chandler Bing, 2/6 Joshua Lyman, and 3/6 Cory Matthews. He is, however, bad at reducing fractions.

 

Gabby Seay

Senior Advisor

Gabby is a long time organizer, campaign strategist and organization builder. Over the last twelve years, she’s advised campaigns, companies and causes looking to build their lists, deepen their relationships with supporters, and move them to take actions in their communities.

Most recently, Gabby served as a Vice President at 270 Strategies where she led a team of strategists that helped clients build better campaigns, organizations and messages. Prior to that, Gabby served as a regional campaign director for the Women's Equality Center, where she helped establish the organization's advocacy efforts to build long-term capacity among women's organizations and their allies.

Gabby has developed and led issue-based campaigns at the state and national level. As political director for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign in the critical battleground state of Ohio, Gabby coordinated a record number of surrogates, including elected officials, Democratic operatives, and community leaders, to mobilize volunteers and turn out voters. At the Partnership for Working Families, Gabby worked to make transit and housing more equitable for low income communities and communities of color. Her experience also includes organizing faith, community, labor, and environmental groups as part of the Stand Up for Ohio campaign at the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. She spoke about her commitment to bringing communities together at a TEDxToledo talk entitled Unconditional Compassion. 

Gabby earned a BS in Sociology and Africana Studies from the University of Toledo. While Gabby recently relocated to New York, she remains a proud Buckeye. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and enjoys cooking (and eating) comfort food, 90s dance parties, and spoiling her eight nieces and nephews.

 

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MAX WOOD

SENIOR ADVISOR

Max Wood is the founder and CEO of Deck Apps, a software company focused on helping progressive causes and campaigns by making predictive analytics more accessible, affordable, and actionable.

At Deck, Max has built a set of tools that accurately predict which candidates specific voters will support using historic data instead of surveys. He has also built APIs and bots to help users build their own predictive models and run decentralized field programs.

Before starting Deck, Max worked in campaigns, consulting, and software. As Software Development Manager at EverFi, Max helped lead a global team of engineers in building software to teach critical life skills like financial literacy. As a consultant at 270 Strategies, Max built predictive models and web-based tools to help organizations reach the right people and make better decisions. In this role, Max saw the need for more accessible, scalable technology to help smaller campaigns and organizations.

Max has a Master’s degree in urban planning from Florida State University, where he specialized in affordable housing and population/economic forecasting. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Max has an unusual appreciation for humidity and highways. He currently lives with his wife, Lizzy, in Washington, DC.