Board of Directors 

Gordon Allen  rejoined the Board in 2020, having previously served as Chair from 08-17.  Gordon has served on many non-profit boards in New Hampshire, as well as teaching economics.  He was also Executive Director of the Monadnock Workshop in Peterborough.  Gordon also serves as the Founding Chair of WNHN-FM.  (Antrim, NH )

Ken Barnes, Co-Chair  is a public interest lawyer.  Most recently, as a sole practitioner, his work has focused on civil rights and employment rights, including sexual harassment, unequal pay for women, and abortion rights.  As a legal aid lawyer in NH and the South Bronx, Ken stood up for the rights of poor and low-wage people who were struggling to make ends meet.  He has won lawsuits against state and federal agencies vindicating rights to health care, protecting children from abuse, and public access to Freedom of Information about “what our government is up to.”  Early on in his career, Ken successfully defended a U.S. Congressman who was being sued by the Moonies, and, while at Yale Law School, he was involved in campus speech issues.  He has done extensive volunteer work relating to immigrants’ rights and voting rights.  (Concord, NH) 

Kate Coon, Co-Chair is Chairperson of the PeterboroughPlus unit of League of Women Voters (LWVNH), established in 2017, representing 13 towns in the Monadnock region. She is also one of 5 elected members of the Peterborough Recreation Committee, an active member of Peterborough’s Community Task Force on Housing and a board member (VP) of Peterborough Folk Music. One of the First Women of Yale College, graduating from Yale in 1973, Kate taught and advised students in greater Boston area independent schools for over 30 years, until moving with her husband Seth to Peterborough in 1998. She has enjoyed participating in the Granny D Memorial Walk and supporting Open Democracy in the enduring legacy Granny D Doris Haddock: intrepid and inspiring advocate of strong democracy. (Peterborough) 

Beverly Cotton is a formerly a registered nurse specializing in critical care then branched off to pursue my other interest, that of accounting with an emphasis on fraud and technical solutions. I served as Associate Vice President of Student Finance at SNHU and as a Client Success Manager at Ellucian.

I am involved with the Weare and Hillsborough County Democrats, the Capitol City Task Force- a non-partisan advocacy arm of AARP, and co-chair of the Greater Concord Team. I volunteer with Hospice House and am involved with advocacy for the American Cancer Society. My heart is in advocacy largely for healthcare issues and for those issues surrounding our most fundamental right to democracy.  Bev also serves as Treasurer of Open Democracy Action

Maddie DeSantis is a New Hampshire politics junkie, having worked as Finance Director for former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter for two cycles, and later in her Congressional district office. Maddie has worked several other campaigns in New Hampshire, working at every level including Campaign Manager. She currently serves on the board of the New Hampshire ACLU and is active in her local NH Young Democrats committee. She currently works in development for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Maddie holds a Masters degree in Theological Studies with a focus on American Religion & Politics from Harvard Divinity School. 

Kelsey (Douville) Fisk presently works for America Votes in New Hampshire as part of the voting rights team. Kelsey's background in both issue organizing and candidate campaigns includes working as the lead organizer at Civix Strategy Group in New Hampshire, as a field manager for Forward Montana in Bozeman, Montana, and as a campaign manager for a state Senate race in New Hampshire. She has also worked for campaigns in Colorado and Iowa. Originally from New Hampshire, Kelsey is passionate about community organizing and getting outside. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and her two dogs, Ken and Callie. (Lincoln, MA)

Ed Taylor, Secretary works with ACLU of New Hampshire  and formerly the Digital Organizing Director for NextGen NH. Ed is a South Florida native who has been in the Granite State for a few years now working to build people power in young and marginalized communities. Ed also works as a Lead Organizer with Rise! in the Upper Valley. Ed is fiercely passionate about empowering, educating, and mobilizing marginalized people to redesign the structures that were created to exclude black people, and people of color. Ed graduated of Florida A&M University, a Historically Black College & University, in 2018 with a Political Science and Economics degree. 

** Affiliations listed for identification purposes only. Board members serve in their individual capacities.



Olivia Zink, Executive Director 

Olivia has been working as a community organizer in New Hampshire since 2000. Before becoming OD's Executive Director, she served as the Grassroots Engagement Coordinator for the Governing Under the Influence Project in Concord, a project of the American Friends Service Committee. Olivia served as the Program Director for the Coalition for Open Democracy for four years.  She has worked on a broad range of campaigns for economic and social justice with groups including the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare and the Priorities NH Campaign. Olivia also spent a year in Bolivia working with the Democracy Center.  In 2008, she was named one of New Hampshire’s “40 under 40,” by the NH Union Leader. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Sustainable Living, and a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a master’s degree in Community Economic Development.

Sara Lobdell (they/them), Program Coordinator

Sara joined the team in March 2022 to advance the mission of political equality for all through coordination of the Regional Democracy Teams, as well as outreach and digital communications. They bring a background in community building, outreach, and education to the team. Sara is a lover of music, the outdoors, language, and dipping baked goods into a hot cup of coffee. They spend their free time caring for a great many house plants, playing games with friends, and brewing kombucha. Sara is an Environmental Science/Environmental Education Masters degree graduate of Antioch University New England, as well as a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College with a degree in Biology and Music.

Doreen Desmarais, Administrator

Doreen has more than 30 years experience in office administration, serving the non-profit, educational, labor union and for profit sectors. She has been the Administrative Assistant to the NH School Principals Association and currently manages administration, finance, and event planning for Open Democracy in Concord. In her free time Doreen enjoys gardening, volunteering and spending time with her family and pets.

Extraordinary Open Democracy Fellows 

Bayani Pascual, Summer Research Fellow, 2023 Bowdoin College

Oscar Lakowicz, Summer Organizing Fellow, 2023 Plymouth State University

David O'Leary, Research Fellow, 2023 Antioch University New England

Abby Forrence, High School Voter Organizing Fellow, 2023 Southern NH University

Margaret Mikailov, Summer Organizing Fellow, 2022

Davis Allen, Democracy Fellow, 2022 Keene State College

Sara Lobdell, Democracy Fellow, 2020 Antioch University New England

Eden Gebeyehu, Democracy Fellow, 2017

Jordan Cozby, Democracy Fellow, 2017

Kazi Ateea, Democracy Fellow, 2017

Niambi Mercado, Voting Rights Fellow, Spring 2017 Antioch University

Jazmine Langley, Democracy Fellow, Summer 2016 Elon University

Ian Duffee, 2015, SUNY Geneseo (Democracy Matters)

James Giles, 2015, Dartmouth College

Taisuke Iwasaki, 2015, New England College

Kimberly Manriquez, 2015, Humboldt University (Democracy Matters)

Colin McCarty, 2015, Colgate College (Democracy Matters)

Emma Stein, 2015, Union College

Showing 2 reactions

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  • Alan MacDoanld
    commented 2018-01-24 18:28:35 -0500
    Olivia, a more appropriate title for your recent email of “Reducing the Power of Wealthy Donors”, might more accurately be, “Over-throwing the Power of the Wealthy Empire”.

    Alan MacDonald
    Wells, Maine
  • Jeanny Aldrich
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-09-12 18:27:11 -0400
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