The Voting Rights Lab team includes seasoned policy, legislative, organizing, and digital strategy professionals. Learn more about our team members below and get in touch for more information.
HANNAH ALEJANDRO serves as Legislative Counsel for the Voting Rights Lab. She has practiced civil rights and employment law with a boutique law firm in Washington, DC, representing clients facing discrimination in the workplace and at school. In addition to handling individual cases, she has written about trends in discrimination law for academic journals, national newspaper opinion pages, and congressional hearings. Prior to practice, she served as a law clerk to judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, and held a legal scholarship fellowship where she focused on the field of voting rights and critical race theory. She holds a BFA from New York University, and a JD and LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.
JIGGY ATHILINGAM serves as Senior Director of National Programs at the Voting Rights Lab, where she oversees the ballot access program and coordinates voting rights campaigns in multiple states across the country. Before joining the VRL team, she developed and managed the national state advocacy program at Indivisible. Jiggy earned a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California San Francisco and a BS from Cornell University. She used to teach undergraduate science courses as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco.
LIZ AVORE serves as Vice President of Law and Policy at the Voting Rights Lab. She previously served as the Managing Director for Law and Policy at Everytown, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, where she managed the organization’s policy, legal, and research programs. She also served as Assistant Attorney General for the country of Palau. Prior to that, she worked as an associate at Greenberg Traurig. Liz has a JD from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
SONCIA COLEMAN serves as Senior Director of State and Federal Policy at the Voting Rights Lab. Soncia has worked in public policy for over 15 years. Prior to joining VRL, she served on the leadership team at Young Invincibles and led advocacy efforts on a range of issues for United Way Worldwide. She has also counseled nonprofits on advocacy strategy and organizational management issues. Before pivoting to advocacy, Soncia spent 10 years in government, serving as a senior advisor to Chairman Tom Harkin on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and, before that, as a nonpartisan attorney for the Connecticut General Assembly . Soncia received her B.A. from Spelman College and her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
CHRIS DIAZ serves as Legislative Counsel for the Voting Rights Lab. Chris previously worked on multiple political campaigns, providing policy and legal analysis, as well as voter targeting research. He worked for the Lawyers Alliance for New York, helping new nonprofit organizations navigate legal challenges. Before graduating from Columbia Law School, Chris worked for the New York City Department of Small Business Services, where he assisted small businesses in commercial corridors that were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy to organize and leverage available funds to rebuild stronger than before. Chris earned his JD from Columbia Law School and his BA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.
MEGAN DeSMEDT is the Hiring and Onboarding Director for the Voting Rights Lab. Megan has been managing people, programs, and projects in the non-profit political space for 20 years. Prior to joining VRL, she was consulting with mission-driven organizations to help them expand their teams. During the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, Megan was Field Director for the Community Voters Project, where she ran a national non-partisan field effort that helped register over 300,000 people of color to vote. Past roles have also included Environment America’s Clean Water Campaign Director, where she mobilized support for drinking water protections; and Deputy Organizing Director at the Student PIRGs, where she recruited, trained, and managed staff and volunteers to make an impact on issues they care about.
ABIGAIL FIELD serves as Legislative Counsel for the Voting Rights Lab. Prior to joining Voting Rights Lab, Abigail managed her small solo law practice for over a decade, while also working as a journalist for AOL, Corporate Secretary Magazine, and Fortune.com, and running a tourism nonprofit. Field helped found the New York Progressive Action Network in 2016. Prior to starting her practice, Field was the Legislative Advocate for the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group. Field has authored or co-authored academic publications on racial profiling, drafting statutes, litigation finance, and deceptive prescription drug marketing. In 2001, she graduated from NYU Law with honors, including the criminal justice scholarship award. She received an honors B.S. in geology from UCONN.
DANIEL GRIFFITH serves as Legislative Counsel for the Voting Rights Lab. Previously, Daniel served as a public defender, where he assisted thousands of clients through the systemic disadvantages faced by individuals in the criminal justice system. He has appeared before judges, juries, and appellate courts concerning the legality and fairness of the interpretation and application of criminal laws. Subsequently, Daniel maintained a substantial docket of court-appointed defense work as he transitioned into private practice. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and obtained his JD from the George Mason University School of Law (since renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School).
ASHER JACOBS serves as Manager of Legislative Tracking at the Voting Rights Lab. Before joining Voting Rights Lab, Asher served as the Senior Manager of Strategy and Operations for the State Affairs and Research Departments at Everytown for Gun Safety. In these positions, Asher oversaw departmental project management and special projects, including the development of the organization’s comprehensive state legislation tracking system and database. Asher has a bachelor’s degree in history from Skidmore College and is currently pursuing a MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy as a student at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
MICHAEL KING serves as Associate Director of Law & Policy for the Voting Rights Lab. Prior to joining Voting Rights Lab, Michael served as Special Counsel to the Cuyahoga County Council in Cleveland, Ohio where he worked with a bi-partisan group of elected officials to author and implement a wide variety of good government initiatives including ethics reform, civil rights, community development, and consumer protection programs. Previously, Michael served as Assistant Law Director for Cuyahoga County. Michael received his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester.
MEGAN LEWIS is the Co-Founder and Executive Director for the Voting Rights Lab. Previously, Megan served as the Executive Vice President of Everytown for Gun Safety, where she led the organization through a period of rapid growth and transformation, helping to build a national advocacy powerhouse. During her tenure at Everytown, she managed the design and execution of a successful 50-state strategy, with millions of grassroots members, and a demonstrated track record of winning legislative, ballot initiative, and electoral campaigns in red, blue, and purple states. Prior to joining Everytown, Megan had more than a decade of experience designing and building high-profile litigation and enforcement efforts.
SOFIA MANKIN serves as Executive Assistant at the Voting Rights Lab. Sofia previously worked in Leadership Giving and in Fundraising Events for the Museum of Science in Boston, coordinating communication with high-level donors and managing a variety of events. Previously, Sofia served as Staff Assistant for Congresswoman Katherine M. Clark (D-MA, 5th District), where she communicated directly with hundreds of constituents, and coordinated office visits for a variety of stakeholders.
KARINA PROVOST serves as Director of Operations at the Voting Rights Lab. Karina previously worked in the private sector as a project manager for ten years before jumping into the non-profit sphere in 2016. She previously worked for NARAL Pro-Choice America, where she helped pass the Trust Nevada Women Act which decriminalized abortion in the state with the first female majority legislature in the nation’s history. Most recently, Karina worked with NextGen America as the Deputy National Director of Operations, where she helped drive historic youth turnout during the 2020 election.
SAM TARAZI is the Voting Rights Lab’s Co-Founder & Vice President of Field, Data, and Innovation. Previously, Sam served as Chief Engagement Officer at Everytown for Gun Safety where she was a primary architect of its national and state advocacy strategies and grew Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to 55,000+ volunteer leaders working in 50 states. Sam was named a Green Hero by Glamour Magazine for her work as the Grassroots Director at Greenpeace USA, where she launched the organization’s first distributed volunteer network. Sam has also worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National School Walkout, and Amnesty International USA.
AMANDA ZARROW serves as Voting Rights Lab’s Senior Legislative Counsel. Prior to joining VRL, Amanda worked as a staff attorney at the Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans, where she represented a class of nearly 6,000 incarcerated men in a federal lawsuit challenging the denial of medical care at Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison. During her time at PJI, Amanda also worked on litigation and advocacy campaigns to end the death penalty in Louisiana. She successfully represented Louisiana’s longest-serving incarcerated woman before the state’s pardon board. Amanda also has extensive litigation and investigations experience in the private sector. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Harvard Law School.