Freedom for All Americans Education Fund Team
Chief Executive Officer & National Campaign Director • EmailKasey Suffredini in the Media
Kasey Suffredini is a nationally recognized campaign strategist with 20 years of experience in campaign and organizational management, policy development, strategic communications, and grassroots mobilization. Kasey has a track record of designing bipartisan campaigns that change narratives, pass legislation, win ballot measures, and drive momentum on seemingly intractable issues.
From 2016 to 2018, Kasey co-chaired the historic, award-winning Freedom for All Massachusetts / Yes on 3 ballot campaign, winning the nation’s first statewide popular vote on transgender rights, and preserving transgender nondiscrimination protections in the state by a landslide two-thirds margin (68-32%). His previous roles include Acting CEO of Freedom for all Americans, Executive Director of MassEquality, Public Policy Director at Family Equality Council, and State Legislative Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Kasey’s campaign leadership has resulted in over 100 policy reforms in nearly every U.S. state and at the federal level, including a number of other national firsts. These include partnering with the White House and federal Departments of Labor, State, and Education to make Family and Medical Leave, U.S. Passport, and FAFSA programs inclusive of same-sex couples, winning legislation to create the nation’s first statewide commissions on youth homelessness and LGBTQ aging, and driving a campaign for comprehensive statewide transgender nondiscrimination protections to victory in a Republican-controlled state for the first time.
Kasey is a sought after speaker and trainer on lessons from LGBTQ movement advocacy, and he is frequently quoted in TV, radio, podcast, and print outlets on political trends and LGBTQ issues. He has been honored for his advocacy by the New Leaders Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, Harvard Law School, and the National LGBT Bar Association.
Kasey received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. After two decades up and down the East Coast, he now resides in California with his wife, Kristina Bigdeli, and their pug, Tini.
Executive Director • Email
Brandie Balken has over 15 years of experience working to end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Prior to coming on board as Freedom For All Americans’ Executive Director, Brandie served as the Executive Director of Equality Utah, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy and policy organization, where she was instrumental in helping successfully implement more than 35 individual pieces of LGBTQ-affirmative policies in Utah, and helped lay the groundwork for passage of statewide protections for LGBTQ Utahns in housing and employment.
Brandie is highly skilled at bringing together the diverse partners we need to secure nondiscrimination protections, including conservatives. She helped form and lead Utah’s America Votes affiliate round table which worked to align labor, education, conservation, women’s organizations, and the LGBTQ community in their endorsement and advocacy goals.
Brandie additionally served as a senior program officer for the Gill Foundation, one of the nation’s leading funders of efforts to secure full equality for LGBTQ people, and as Deputy Director of The Impact Project, a ten state initiative advocating for passage of economic security and access to democracy policies. She has deep experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and has worked with organizations including Food Not Bombs, the Western Shoshone Defense Project, and the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice. She has served on the boards of One Colorado, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Seeds of Peace, Envision Utah, the Utah Pride Center, and served as co-chair of the Equality Federation board and the Utah Votes board. She has also appeared on KRCL, Utah progressive public radio, as a volunteer radio host.
Originally from rural Utah, Brandie graduated cum laude from Weber State University. Post graduation, she traveled throughout the West, working for environmental justice and indigenous people’s rights before coming out and returning to Utah to serve the LGBTQ community. She is thrilled to continue her passion for equity and equality with the FFAA team. When she’s not working, she happily shares her life with her wife and dog in Denver CO.
Deputy Director of Digital Strategies • Email
As the Deputy Director of Digital Strategies, Megan Clayton helps manage and create online strategies and content for a range of state-based movements and FFAA's national work promoting LGBTQ non-discrimination.
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 University.
Senior Director of External Communications • Email
Angela Dallara is the senior 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 • EmailJon Davidson in the Media
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.
Senior Communications Strategist • Email
Leslie Fulbright has over 20 years of experience as a writer using storytelling to humanize social justice issues. She serves as Freedom For All Americans’ Senior Communications Strategist, where she works to grow support for comprehensive and inclusive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide.
Prior to joining FFAA, she worked at the ACLU of Northern California providing strategic communications leadership on lawsuits and advocacy related to immigrant rights, racial justice, free speech, and LGBTQ equality. Before that, she worked as a journalist covering social issues at the San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times. She has a bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree from the University of Oregon. Both are in journalism. She lives in Oakland, California.
Creative Director • Email
Jorge Gutierrez is the Creative Director 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.
Chief Communications Officer • Email
Rosie Hilmer is a national communications and political strategist who specializes in crafting highly successful messaging campaigns that move voters. She has over a decade of experience running press operations on Capitol Hill, and working on local, statewide, Congressional, and presidential campaigns – including as Senator Barbara Boxer’s Operations Director in 2010 and as Hillary Clinton’s Michigan Press Secretary in 2016.
Rosie also helped elect Sheldon Whitehouse to the U.S. Senate in 2006, and later served as Press Secretary in his Rhode Island Senate office. She went on to become Communications Director and Senior Advisor to Congresswoman Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, successfully steering Kuster’s campaign to victory during her first reelection challenge in 2014.
Rosie has worked for a public relations firm in New York City, and as a political ad consultant during the 2018 midterm elections – when 100 percent of Rosie’s clients were successfully elected to office. An experienced spokesperson, Rosie has provided messaging and media training to Members of Congress, Senators, issue campaigns, and global non-profits.
Throughout her career, Rosie has dedicated her personal advocacy efforts towards working with people from all political backgrounds to advance the fair treatment of LGBTQ Americans, and she was a long-time volunteer for the marriage equality campaign in Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Brown University, and currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Chief Operations Officer • 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 Campaigns • Email
Amy Mello is the Vice President of Campaigns 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.
Director of Digital Strategies • Email
Puerto Rican-born and Brooklyn-raised Alberto Morales is the Director of Digital Strategies for Freedom for All Americans, where he leverages social media, develops multimedia campaigns and creates digital strategies to help secure nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the United States.
Prior to joining FFAA, Alberto was the Director of Communications Campaigns at the New York Civil Liberties Union where he created the NYCLU’s first-ever nationally recognized multimedia project. Alberto holds a B.A. in Literature from Brown University and an M.A. in Media Studies with a concentration in film from The New School.
Development Manager • Email
Felix Nguyen-Dalton is the development manager for Freedom for All Americans, where their work focuses on supporting the entire FFAA staff in acting as ambassadors for the organization’s development goals. Prior to working for FFAA, Felix worked with local governments, universities, and both for and nonprofit businesses as a marketing and communications coordinator through a growth strategy consulting agency.
With a background of nine years in LGBTQ work in Virginia, including board positions with the Roanoke Diversity Center and the University of Virginia Serpentine Society, Felix has been and continues to be a learner and leader in the LGBTQ community. Felix is especially proud of the LGBTQ Speakers’ Bureau they founded while working with the Roanoke Diversity Center. It remains the only such speakers’ bureau in the area and Felix continues to provide workshops, panels, and discussions to businesses, universities, churches, and other organizations across southwest Virginia.
After earning a bachelor’s in studio art and arts administration from the University of Virginia, Felix moved to Roanoke, Virginia with their wife, where they have grown their family by seven (pets).
Senior Operations & Database Manager • Email
Radha Rodriguez is the Senior Operations & Database 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.
Constituency Organizing Manager • Email
Caitlin Smith is the Constituency Organizing Manager for Freedom for All Americans. She specializes in building supporters across many of Freedom for All American’s initiatives and calling them to action. Before joining FFAA, she directed voter outreach on several candidate and issue-based campaigns throughout the Midwest.
Caitlin helped elect Sharice Davids to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 and Jared Polis to Governor of Colorado the same year. Additionally, Caitlin has worked with local groups in Kansas and Colorado to help remove barriers to political participation for women and people of color. She has done this through coalition building, assisting in organizing rallies and voter registration drives, and even Arabic and sign language translating for voters.
Caitlin earned a bachelor’s degree in African and African-American Studies with concentrations in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Kansas. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado.
Shane M. Stahl
Digital Specialist • Email
Shane M. Stahl is the Digital Specialist for Freedom for All Americans, and is thrilled to bring his experience to the digital team. He has worked as a freelance journalist since 2004, writing op-eds and conducting interviews with high profile individuals including politicians and entertainers. Shane also has over ten years' experience working in electoral politics, and boasts a 100% election success rate.
Shane has worked closely with Equality Ohio to help pass nondiscrimination ordinances in Cleveland, Akron, and Cuyahoga County and has been active with several social service organizations, including Equitas Health of Ohio, Akron Pride Initiative, and Preterm Cleveland. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for RunningDog, an organization that pairs shelter dogs with amateur runners for regular exercise and wellness.
Outside his work in the LGBTQ nondiscrimination movement, he has found success as a community theater actor and technician, and has been nominated for several local critics awards. He lives in Akron, OH.
Senior Advisor, 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.
Senior Director of Campaigns • Email
Hannah Willard is a campaign strategist specializing in legislative advocacy, crafting persuasive messages, and building winning coalitions. As Senior Director of Campaigns, Hannah partners with state-based LGBTQ advocacy organizations to advance state and federal nondiscrimination laws to protect LGBTQ people and their families.
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.