Coalition for Open Democracy
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 and as Treasurer for Open Democracy Action. (Antrim)
Simone Archer-Krauss is the Operations Director for NextGen NH. She is a staunch advocate for voting rights and campaign finance reform. Originally from Seattle, WA, Simone moved to the East Coast for college. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2019 with a double major in Political Science and French. (Manchester, 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)
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.
Don Jorgensen, Treasurer – retired businessman, consulted to companies in the United States and abroad on issues of operations, leadership development, cost analysis and budgeting; currently Chair of the Manchester Boston Regional Airport Authority. Don also serves on the Board of Open Democracy Action. (Manchester, NH)
Bob Perry, Secretary – retired Court Reporter for NH Superior Court; member of the Board of Trustees at the Rochester Opera House; as a state Representative, served on the House Election Law Committee and the Citizen-Funded Election Task Force. Bob also serves as Chair of Open Democracy Action (Strafford, NH)
Ed Taylor is the Digital Organizing Director for NextGen NH. Ed is a South Florida native who has been in the Granite State for just over a year 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.
Brian Beihl, Deputy Director
Brian Beihl recently rejoined Open Democracy after having worked with the organization's NH Rebellion project in 2015 & 2016 in the run-up to the primary, and culminating with the Democracy Spring walk in April 2016. Since then, Brian has continued to volunteer in helping to organize the Granny D Memorial Walk, and in the past year has written the New Hampshire Democracy Report and produce the Open Democracy Minute, heard on WNHN in Concord and online. Brian's primary role will be communications and managing the Voter-Owned Elections campaign. Contact him at Brian@OpenDemocracy.me or by cell at (603) 620-8300.
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.
Sara Lobdell, 2020 Intern
Sara Lobdell is pursuing a Masters of Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Education at Antioch University New England, where she became interested in democracy reform. At Antioch, Sara is Education and Outreach Coordinator for Glover's Ledge, the university's offsite lands for research and environmental education, as well as Student Alliance Co-Chair. Sara is excited to work with and learn from the Open Democracy staff and volunteers this summer and is grateful for this unique opportunity.
Our Extraordinary Open Democracy Fellows
Eden Gebeyehu, Democracy Fellow, 2017
Jordan Cozby, Democracy Fellow, 2017
Kazi Ateea, Democracy Fellow, 2017
Niambi Mercado, Voting Rights Fellow, Spring 2017
Jazmine Langley, Democracy Fellow, Summer 2016
Ian Duffee, 2015
SUNY Geneseo (Democracy Matters)
James Giles, 2015
Taisuke Iwasaki, 2015
New England College
Kimberly Manriquez, 2015
Humboldt University (Democracy Matters)
Colin McCarty, 2015
Colgate College (Democracy Matters)
Emma Stein, 2015