(Interim) Campaign Manager: Liz Hartman
Liz Hartman holds an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and an AB in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. She grew up in suburban Pennsylvania and worked in mentoring, literacy, and public health in Massachusetts and New Jersey prior to moving to New York in 2014. Liz is a volunteer at Southside Community Center and Village at Ithaca and serves as a Board Member at Ithaca Public Education Initiative. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, program management, event planning and volunteer management. Liz lives with her husband and two preschool-aged sons, and enjoys connecting families with local activities in her free time.
Director of Communications: Cindy Otis
Cindy Otis served with distinction as a CIA officer between 2007-2017 on some of our top national security priorities. Her work protecting the country and informing policymakers took her all over the world. Prior to her time at the CIA, she served as a civilian public affairs officer for the U.S. Army. Since leaving the Federal Government, she has written on important political and national security issues in publications like The New York Times. Cindy is also a passionate disability rights advocate and a person with a disability. She grew up in upstate New York and now lives in Steuben County. She holds a M.A. in International Relations from Boston University and a B.A. in International Politics from Brigham Young University.
Finance Director: Anne Krapu
Anne Krapu holds an B.A. in Political Science from Brown University and takes courses towards an MA in International Relations through Harvard Extension. She grew up in North Dakota and staffed her first campaign as a field director there. She has held numerous leadership roles on statewide and federal races since 2004 across the country. When not on the campaign trail, Anne works in international education and has taught English and History in Russia, China, Mongolia, Kosovo, the United Arab Emirates, and Timor-Leste. In her spare time, Anne enjoys multimedia production, reading, and writing.
Campaign Strategist: Vanessa Fajans-Turner
Vanessa Fajans-Turner served for seven years as the Associate Director of the Avatar Alliance Foundation, a climate change and ocean-focused grant-making organization. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked on research and policy at the UN in both New York and Nigeria. She chairs the Citizen Engagement Lab board and co-chairs The Resolution Project advisory board, is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Explorers Club. She grew up in NY’s 23rd district where she learned to play ice hockey and helped start New York’s first girls’ varsity league while in high school. She holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins-SAIS and a BA in Social Studies from Harvard.
Treasurer: Brian Smith
Brian Smith holds a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, and a B.A. in Sociology from SUNY Institute of Technology. He grew up in Rome, NY but has resided in the Town of Ithaca for the past 13 years. He is the former Vice Chair for the Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee and a former Member of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee. He has supported several democratic candidates over the past several years through fundraising activities.
Volunteer Coordinator: Ben Monaghan
Ben Monaghan is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. He is pursuing a Development Sociology major with two minors in History and International Relations. Ben has worked on a number of political campaigns including Martha Robertson’s Congressional race in 2014, Mike Koplinka-Loehr’s bid for District Six of the Tompkins County Legislature, and David Holden’s 2018 Congressional campaign in Florida. He has interned in Assemblywoman Lifton’s district office and the Department of Planning and Economic Development at City Hall in Ithaca. He hopes to pursue a career in political organizing.