Freedom for All Americans Education Fund Team
Chief Executive Officer • EmailMasen Davis in the Media
Masen Davis is the Chief Executive Officer at Freedom for All Americans. Masen is a seasoned strategist who has spent the last two decades leading efforts to advance equality for LGBTQ Americans at the state, national, and global levels.
Masen served as the Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center (TLC) for nearly a decade, and under his leadership TLC became the nation’s largest transgender advocacy organization. His work was critical to the elimination of discriminatory insurance exclusions in California, creating a pathway for transgender Americans to access transition-related care. He was also an integral part of the coalition that helped pass California’s School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), ensuring transgender students have access to facilities and activities that match their gender identity.
Prior to joining FFAA, Masen was Senior Director of Special Projects at the Gill Foundation, where he worked to strengthen and diversify funding efforts that would advance equal treatment and opportunities for transgender Americans. He also has served as co-director at Global Action for Trans* Equality. Masen also worked as a Community Investment Officer, later Development Director, for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
Masen is a published author, and his writings have been published in various books and journals, including Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice and New Directors in Student Services. Masen received his Masters of Social Welfare from UCLA, and Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.
President of Strategy • EmailKasey Suffredini in the Media
Kasey Suffredini is President of Strategy at Freedom for All Americans, the bipartisan campaign to win comprehensive LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide. A transgender attorney with two decades managing nonprofits, developing policy, and leading advocacy campaigns on LGBTQ issues, he’s participated in efforts to secure over 100 policy reforms in nearly every U.S. state and at the federal level, and he has helped to elect hundreds of pro-LGBTQ candidates to office, including the nation’s first openly gay state attorney general, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Since joining Freedom for All Americans in 2015, Kasey has overseen successful efforts to pass the country’s first standalone transgender public accommodations bill (Massachusetts), pass comprehensive transgender nondiscrimination protections for the first time in a Republican-controlled state (New Hampshire), and secure the country’s first victory on a popular vote on standalone transgender protections (Anchorage, Alaska). Kasey has received numerous awards for his advocacy, including from the New Leaders Council, the Chelsea Collaborative, Harvard Law School, and the National LGBT Bar Association. He is recognized as a national expert on LGBTQ issues and serves as co-chair of Freedom for All Massachusetts, the coalition working to defend transgender public accommodations protections from repeal by popular vote at the ballot in November 2018 – the first statewide measure of its kind. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
Senior Digital Campaign Manager • Email
As the Digital Campaign Manager for Freedom for All Americans, Megan Clayton helps manage and create online strategies and content for a range of state-based movements promoting LGBTQ non-discrimination. Currently, this portfolio includes legislative work in Georgia, Texas and New Hampshire as well as history-making ballot campaigns in Massachusetts, Washington and Alaska.
Before coming to work at FFAA, Megan was as an independent digital communications consultant for electoral campaigns and advocacy-oriented nonprofits, with a special focus on organizations promoting women’s participation in business, politics and government.
Megan currently lives in Western Massachusetts but originally hails from Indiana, where she received her bachelor’s in journalism and Master of Public Administration from Indiana
Graphic Design & Video Manager • Email
Nichole Cruz is a full time graphic designer and video manager for Freedom for All Americans. Prior to joining FFAA, Nichole was a full-time, in-house graphic designer for New Jersey City University (NJCU). She was heavily involved in the redesign and rebranding of a large array of marketing collateral during the university's entire brand overhaul. Additionally, she took the lead in designing original logos and brand guidelines for the Women’s Center, LGBTQ SafeZone, and Department of Public Safety. Also, she contributed original designs for a gala invitation for BAAFSSO’s (Black Administrators, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, & Student Organization) 40-year celebration fundraiser. This gala invitation, along with her designs for the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Luncheon both won the GDUSA’s 2016 American Graphic Design Award.
Nichole was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and raised in Union City, NJ. She currently lives in Newark, NJ with her boyfriend and 2 dogs. Nichole obtained her BFA in Digital Design & Illustration from New Jersey City University.
Director of External Communications • Email
Angela Dallara is the director of external communications at Freedom for All Americans, where she manages the organization’s day-to-day communications operations and media presence. She has more than five years’ experience cultivating relationships with reporters and securing media coverage in prestigious outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, NPR, MSNBC, and more. She has ghostwritten op-eds for leading LGBTQ advocates in diverse outlets such as Reuters, CNN.com, USA Today, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, Huffington Post, and more. She has hosted press conferences on key legislative votes, judicial hearings, and town halls on LGBTQ issues. She provides messaging guidance and media training for FFAA's spokespeople and diverse network of supporters for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. As part of her role, for nearly two years she has driven media strategy for the Freedom Massachusetts campaign which in 2016 successfully updated the state's nondiscrimination law to include explicit protections for transgender people in public places. Prior to her current position, she served as deputy communications director at Freedom to Marry, the campaign that won marriage for same-sex couples.
Chief Counsel • Email
Jon W. Davidson has been one of the nation’s leading lawyers fighting for LGBTQ civil rights for more than 30 years. He was the national Legal Director of Lambda Legal, the largest and oldest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those living with HIV, for 12 years, and worked there from 1995-2017. As the organization’s Legal Director, he was the architect of the organization’s national legal strategy and supervised its 31 attorneys and 16 policy advocates, trainers, Help Desk analysts, and legal assistants, in all six of its offices across the country.
Davidson has worked on a broad range of LGBT and HIV-related legal and policy matters throughout his career, including being co-counsel in the cases that brought marriage equality to California, Nevada, Virginia and then the entire nation and that increased anti-discrimination protections for employees, students, consumers, families, prisoners, and immigrants. He was honored with the National LGBT Bar Association’s highest award in 2010.
A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, Davidson previously was a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella and a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. He also has taught courses on LGBT rights, constitutional law, youth law, and pretrial civil litigation at UCLA Law School, the USC Law Center, Loyola Law School, and the former Whittier Law School.
Director of Rapid Response • Email
James Gherardi is the Director of Rapid Response for Freedom for All Americans, where he is responsible for handling breaking LGBT news and coordinating messaging within the movement. Prior to joining the FFAA team, James worked for seven years as a local television news reporter. James has reported on-air for ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates in Cleveland, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana and Lynchburg, Virginia. As a reporter, James was recognized by the Associated Press and the Virginia Broadcasters' Association and was nominated for an Emmy. He appeared on Fox News and other major national news outlets to provide political commentary during the 2016 election. It was the stories James did however about LGBT discrimination, including the 2015 "religious freedom" fallout in Indiana, that made him want to pursue a career that would help advance LGBT rights and win national non-discrimination. During his time in news, James shared the stories of many LGBT individuals and their families, who were fighting for equal protections under the law. James grew up in the suburbs of New York City. In May 2011, he graduated with a degree in journalism from Penn State University. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Associate Director of Web Development and Graphic Design • Email
Jorge Gutierrez is the Associate Director of Web Development and Graphic Design at Freedom for All Americans, where he is the lead on all print and web design related projects. At FFAA, he provides design support for over a dozen state campaigns. This includes graphics for all social media platforms, print materials, and web support. Most notably, he was part of the team that secured nondiscrimination protections in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was in charge of conceptualizing and executing graphics that promoted the campaign’s messaging and mobilization of thousands of supporters. In addition, his graphics have been featured by various media outlets, including local state TV stations and Buzzfeed. He brings more than 8 years of experience in the non-profit sector. He believes in empowering communities to form and grow, and strongly believes in using his skills as a way to influence social change in our communities.
Prior to joining FFAA, he provided print and web support for the Freedom to Marry digital action team, which helped secure marriage equality nationwide. There, he worked in over 15 state campaigns, where his designs helped win marriage in more states.
Jorge believes in the importance of community involvement, inspiring others and giving back. When he is not designing, he is volunteering at various AIGA events. He believes in empowering communities to form and grow, and strongly believes in using his skills as a way to influence social change in our communities.
C. Nathan Harris
Vice President of Development • Email
C. Nathan Harris is Vice President of Development at Freedom for All Americans. In this role, Nathan helps craft winning partnerships with philanthropic stakeholders to advance FFAA's campaign. He believes in the power of philanthropy to affect positive change and achieve transformational outcomes for our diverse communities.
Nathan has been an LGBT and social justice leader for 18 years with a 14-year career in philanthropic development. Prior to joining Freedom for All, Nathan served as Director of Leadership Gifts & Centennial Campaign at ACLU Foundation of Northern California, leading an historic campaign for the largest affiliate in the ACLU's nationwide enterprise. He also served as Director of Advancement at Transgender Law Center where he partnered with supporters to shatter the glass ceiling on individual-donor philanthropy to trans-led, trans-specific non-profits.
Nathan has also directed individual giving programs at Center on Halsted - Chicago's LGBT Community Center, as well as Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders in New York, NY. He began his career expanding access to higher education via philanthropic development at Central Washington University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Business Administration.
Senior Director of Research and Training • EmailRodrigo Heng-Lehtinen in the Media
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen is an LGBTQ policy, advocacy, and messaging expert. As a transgender man, his wide-ranging experience in the LGBTQ movement has covered field organizing, leadership development, fundraising, and media advocacy. He previously worked with GLAAD, the Transgender Law Center, Gender Justice LA, and the National LGBTQ Task Force. In past roles, he trained thousands of volunteers to canvass and phone bank on groundbreaking nondiscrimination and marriage equality campaigns, and organized leadership development programs in transgender communities and LGBTQ communities of color, honing new strategies for social change.
Over the course of his career, he has conducted international Spanish-language interviews, including on Univision, Telemundo, and MiraTV, as well as English-language interviews with outlets such as The New York Times, MSNBC, Politico, and CNN. In 2015, he was honored as a Champion of Equality by the grassroots advocacy organization SAVE for increasing transgender visibility.
Rodrigo graduated from Brown University and lives in Miami, Florida.
Vice President of Finance & Administration • Email
Jacob McClain has many years of experience working on campaigns across the country in the areas of field and operations, as well as some finance and fundraising support, to help advance LGBTQ rights. Jacob has worked to pass inclusive non-discrimination laws and marriage for same-sex couples through state legislatures and city councils, worked to defend victories for both, and to proactively win marriage at the ballot box in Maine. He has a strong history of working with broad coalitions and constituency groups to build supportive communities and achieve success. Jacob brings his years of experience to Freedom for All Americans and support campaigns across the country to win nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans.
Vice President of Public Engagement • Email
Amy Mello is the VP of Public Engagement for Freedom for All Americans. Previously, she worked as the Field Director at Freedom to Marry from 2013 through 2015. She has served as Field Director for five statewide campaigns to win marriage for same-sex couples, including three years working to protect Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation marriage rights from legislative attempts to repeal the law or place it on the ballot for public referendum. In addition to Massachusetts, she has worked on marriage campaigns in Connecticut, California, Rhode Island and Maine, the country’s first-ever popular vote victory for marriage.
Senior Director of Online Programs & Partnerships • Email
As the Senior Director of Online Programs & Partnerships for Freedom for All Americans, Adam Polaski writes and highlights stories of LGBTQ Americans who need nondiscrimination protections, manages national social media outlets, and supports the digital work for FFAA's programs and partnerships across the LGBTQ movement. Previously, Adam served as the Deputy Digital Director of Freedom to Marry. In his more than three years there, he built a network of hundreds of same-sex couples, developed a powerfully engaged social media audience, and created a national resource tracking marriage litigation.
Adam is originally from Philadelphia. He graduated summa cum laude in May 2012 from Ithaca College, where he studied journalism and Spanish. He has been recognized for Excellence in Online Journalism by the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association for his work as a writer and editor for The Bilerico Project. He now lives in Brooklyn, where he additionally consults on digital strategy and graphic design for nonprofit organizations, volunteers for the Brooklyn Public Library, and reads a lot of books.
Chief Public Affairs Officer • Email
Dan Rafter is the Chief Public Affairs Officer at Freedom for All Americans, where he manages the organization’s communications efforts and works to implement results-driven media strategies for state campaigns. Dan brings a decade’s worth of experience in political and advocacy communications, and has worked on issues including LGBTQ equality, health care reform, trade, the environment, government transparency and efforts to improve secondary education.
Prior to joining FFAA, Dan worked as a Communications Director on Capitol Hill and as the Associate Director of Communications at the Human Rights Campaign. While at HRC, Dan supported and led communication campaigns on efforts ranging from repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ to successfully passing the Employment Nondiscrimination Act through the U.S. Senate; as well as efforts to secure the freedom to marry and call out opponents of LGBTQ equality. While at strategic consulting firms including Spitfire Strategies and GMMB, Dan supported issue advocacy campaigns and provided strategic counsel to a number of foundations and non-profits.
Dan graduated from Fordham University in New York with degrees in history and political science. While in New York, Dan worked as a political reporter for NPR-affiliate WFUV News. Dan now lives in Washington, D.C.
Administrative and Development Manager • Email
Radha Rodriguez is the Administrative and Development Manager at Freedom for All Americans. She brings over 15 years experience in nonprofit operations, philanthropic development, and database administration, including 8 years working for LGBTQ equality. Prior to joining FFAA, she worked at Transgender Law Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Director of Corporate Engagement • Email
Jessica Shortall is the Director of Corporate Engagement for Freedom for All Americans, where she heads up America Competes, the national business coalition making the economic case for LGBTQ equality. In 2014, Jessica founded Texas Competes, one of the first and largest state business coalitions in the country and a leading voice in Texas on the risks that discrimination poses to talent, tourism, corporate investment — as well as the economic opportunities that full inclusion would create. Jessica is a data devotee, tracking popular opinion, business, and economic trends nationwide and ensuring that business and economic development leaders are equipped with the clear, data-backed case that full inclusion of LGBTQ people makes for more vibrant communities, business environments, and state and federal economies. Jessica was honored for her work with the Out for Work OUTstanding Individual Award in 2015, and the GALA North Texas Ally award in 2017. She keynoted SXSW in 2016 on her journey of bridge-building, empathy, and the Texas fight for the rights of LGBTQ people. Jessica holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University, and an MBA from the University of Oxford, where she was a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship. Jessica is raising two hilarious kids with her husband, Clay.
Senior Vice President of Digital Engagement • Email
Natasha Smith is the Senior Vice President of Digital Engagement for Freedom for All Americans, where she manages the organization’s digital presence. Natasha brings a love of testing and data to her role with FFAA.
Most recently, she was the Digital Director at the National Democratic Training Committee. In addition to managing the organization’s digital assets, she traveled around the country training candidates on digital best practices for their campaigns. When not traveling for NDTC, she also found time to conduct trainings for the New Leaders Council. Prior to joining NDTC, Natasha was the Director of Digital Media Strategy at Chicago Public Schools, where she led a campaign to fight for fair funding bill for Illinois’ public schools. Natasha also served as the email strategist for OFA.
Natasha graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a degree in political science. When not working on nondiscrimination, she can either be found competing in West Coast Swing or coaching figure skating (her two passions in life). After stints in DC, Houston, and Chicago, she currently resides in her hometown of Winston-Salem, NC with her son and dog.
Shane M. Stahl
Digital Campaign Specialist • Email
Shane M. Stahl is the Digital Campaign Specialist for Freedom for All Americans, and has worked on electoral campaigns in varying roles for over 8 years — now thrilled to bring his experience to the digital team for Freedom For All Americans. Additionally, he has worked on and off as a freelance journalist since 2004, writing op-eds and conducting interviews with high profile individuals including politicians and entertainers.
Shane is proud to have a 100% election success rate, including a key win in San Francisco in 2016 that put Scott Weiner in Region 3's State Senate seat, continuing the tradition of an openly LGBTQ person in the role for over 30 years. Shane has also worked with Equality Ohio to pass non-discrimination ordinances in Cleveland, Akron, and Cuyahoga County and has been active with social service organizations, including Equitas Health of Ohio, Preterm, and Planned Parenthood.
Vice President of State Campaigns • Email
Sarah Vaughan is a political operative with extensive experience in campaigns, elections, lobbying, and issue advocacy. Her focus is on legislative strategy and passing state laws that protect everyone under the law from discrimination, regardless of where they live, their sexual orientation or gender identity. Most recently, she was the policy director at Gill Action, an organization dedicated to advancing LGBTQ equality at the state level. In this role, she managed Gill Action’s legislative strategy to pass pro-LGBTQ policy in multiple states controlled by both Republicans and Democrats.
Before joining Gill Action, Sarah served as political director at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, working to retain and win democratic majorities in state legislatures throughout the country. Sarah also worked as caucus director in the Colorado senate for the first female president of the Colorado Senate, Joan Fitz-Gerald.
Sarah completed her undergraduate degree and Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Colorado. She is originally from North Carolina and currently resides with her husband, son, and dog in Denver.
Associate Director of Campaign Communications • Email
Hannah Willard is the Associate Director of Campaign Communications for Freedom for All Americans. In this role, Hannah acts as a communications consultant to key state-based nondiscrimination campaigns, developing and implementing earned media strategies that drive a compelling narrative about the need for nondiscrimination protections for all Americans.
Prior to joining the team at Freedom For All Americans, Hannah was Senior Policy Director for Equality Florida, the state's largest advocacy organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's LGBTQ community. Hannah was Equality Florida's full-time lobbyist in the Florida Capitol, helping the state maintain its 20-year record of defeating or neutralizing every single anti-LGBTQ filed in Florida. She also managed the launch of Equality Florida’s Honor Them With Action campaign in the wake of the Pulse massacre in Orlando. Hannah previously led Equality Florida’s marriage campaign in partnership with Freedom to Marry during Florida’s victory and through the Supreme Court ruling.
Hannah graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida with degrees in Economics and Women’s Studies. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida.