Welcoming new team members

Thanks to recent support from the McGovern Foundation and Good Energies, and growing partnerships in new locations including Brazil, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, the Digital Democracy team is expanding. We are thrilled to welcome the following folks onto our team, including long-time collaborators who have stepped into new roles, and new people whose diverse backgrounds and experiences are already enriching our work.

First, a heartfelt hello and welcome to Sabella Flagg, Dd’s new UX designer who brings more than a decade of experience working on design for leading technology companies and innovation groups. Sabella joined our team with a passion for designing for positive social impact, and challenging the gatekeeping in traditional tech projects. We’re thrilled to have Sabella’s keen eye focused on improving our design and user experience across our technology stack. In addition to her work as a designer, Sabella is a talented artist creating work under the moniker the monarq. She is based in Seattle, Washington.

Bon bini to Rudo Kemper, a long-time friend of Digital Democracy who has joined our team to lead the Earth Defenders Toolkit, and support mapping and environmental monitoring initiatives with new and existing partners, including in Kenya and Ecuador. Rudo is a geographer and technologist who brings years of experience working with Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Suriname and the Guiana Shield, and most recently worked with Amazon Conservation Team, with whom Dd is partnering on the Earth Defenders Toolkit. He is a steward of Terrastories, an open-source geostorytelling application which is one of the core tools featured in the toolkit. He is based in Springfield, Virginia.

Bem-vinda and bon retou (welcome back!) to Emilie Reiser, who led Digital Democracy’s Haiti program from 2010 to 2013, and helped kick off our work in the Amazon before leaving to join the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Civic Media. There, she worked for 4 years on a collaborative data collection platform with Brazilian partners. She is now splitting duties as a carpenter with a Design Build firm, and is leading Digital Democracy’s work in Brazil, including user research with partners and building curriculum with Brazilian youth group Engajamundo. She is based in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Welcome to Lisbet Portman, a writer and educator who has spent the past decade working on addiction policy and criminal justice reform, and brings a passion for both humans and ecosystems. Lisbet began working with us in the spring, helping produce our Technology Solidarity blog series, and has joined our Program team to support our internal project management, monitoring and evaluation, and how we communicate our story with external audiences. She is based in Washington, DC.

And, finally, benvinguda Mar Cartró Sabaté, an environmental scientist with deep experience in community-engaged research, premised upon participatory and collaborative methodologies. We learned of Mar through her work with Dd’s partner ISS (the Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands) and Indigenous communities in northern Peru, where Dd has worked since 2013. Her research shows how Indigenous monitoring programs in the Peruvian Amazon can push the frontiers of scientific knowledge while contributing to defending Indigenous territories from the pervasive impacts of oil extraction, and we are thrilled to have her expertise in support of our Programs team and direct work with partners in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.