Meet our growing team of talented individuals across the USA & Canada
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EVP of Operations
Abbe Solomon Vacek
Abbe leads the Change Research Operations team and has been with Change Research since its 2017 beginning. As a founding member of the company, Abbe has helped build the team and foundational systems and culture. Prior to joining Change Research, Abbe held a variety of marketing operations, marketing communications and public relations positions at Silicon Valley start-ups, small firms, and as a consultant with her own firm for more than 10 years. Her work has spanned managing public-relations campaigns for start-ups to organizing for multi-million dollar events overseas, and more. A native New Yorker who has lived in Miami and Prague, Czech Republic, Abbe resides in Berkeley, Calif.
Head of Politics & Advocacy
Adam has nearly two decades of experience in professional politics. He founded and operated Sourced Strategies, a national opposition research firm for nearly nine years. Adam has worked as a campaign manager, executive director, and in the communications, research, field, and political departments for various campaigns at all levels from municipal to statewide. National party committees, candidates from Gubernatorial to the school board, and interest groups have used his research. In 2022, he received American Association of Political Consultants’ 40 Under 40 Award. He is a partner in the Truman National Security Project. Adam is a graduate of Wabash College with distinction. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Karen.
Senior Software Engineer
Alex has nearly 15 years of experience as a software developer. He’s worked in a variety of fields, for companies large and small, including education, museum exhibition, fintech, and military intelligence. Prior to a life of keystrokes he was a classroom teacher and SAT tutor. He holds a BA in Computer Science and Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and is based in Seattle. He joined Change Research in 2018.
Head of Polling Team Management
Amelia has worked in polling for over fifteen years, and started as Head of Polling Team Management at Change Research in 2022. She has polled in nearly every state, and her particular research specialty centers on city growth plans and issue campaigns at the state and local level. A former Latin teacher, Amelia enjoys the nuance of language and question order in questionnaire design. As a manager, she loves to find systems that help people work together easily so they can focus on polling results and strategy. Immediately before coming to Change Research, Amelia served as Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at American Strategies. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the London School of Economics and did graduate work at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology. A resident of Washington DC, she can often be found at Nationals Park with her husband and two sons because Fenway is too far a commute.
Andy Jose Jarrin
Andy joined Change Research for the 2022 midterm elections. As a recent graduate from the University of Florida (UF), Andy holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics. During his tenure at UF, Andy discovered a love for political data analysis through his collaborations with an array of different professors working to produce data-backed political research on a variety of topics ranging from redistricting, candidate support analyses, and the composition of electoral lists. When not coding up data, Andy enjoys supporting the Miami Heat, finding new and distinct music to listen to, and learning about the newest discoveries in astronomy (especially black holes & dark matter!).
Anna joined Change Research in 2021, bringing experience in the political and advocacy space. She began her career in the digital analytics with roles at Bully Pulpit Interactive and the NDRC. In 2020, she joined the Joe Biden campaign as a Paid Media Analyst. Anna holds an MS in Government Analytics from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Political Communications from The George Washington University. She is based in DC with her fiancée and two dogs, Finn and Jolene.
Avery is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Social Sciences. After working for the Florida Democratic Party, he worked for the Florida department of Education and in another polling firm while earning his MS in Applied Demography. In his spare time, he enjoys building models and listening to podcasts about history.
Ben (Greenfield) was part of the founding team at Change Research in 2017, and since then has conducted polls for dozens of candidates and forward-thinking organizations and causes. Prior to joining Change Research, he worked in various technical and analytical roles in Silicon Valley, in children’s publishing, and earned a Masters in screenwriting from USC’s film school, and volunteered for many campaigns. Ben received his BA from Columbia University. He lives in Los Angeles.
Ben (Sullivan) joined Change Research in September, 2020 during the height of election season. As a survey data analyst, he has conducted polls all over the country, from large statewide polls to very localized, school sub-district polls. He holds a B.A. in Government, with a minor in Data Analysis, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University in 2020. Prior to joining Change Research, Ben worked for the Wesleyan Media Project and interned in Senator Eric Lesser’s office. He is a lifelong Massachusetts resident, and volunteered for Senator Ed Markey’s most recent reelection campaign.
Betsy serves as the lead pollster on a variety of projects. She has a PhD in social psychology from the University of Denver, and has been conducting survey research for more than 15 years. After completing her graduate degree, Betsy spent eight years as a quantitative political strategist, leveraging data to win elections in Colorado. Prior to joining the Change team, she partnered with the NAACP on their data-driven civic engagement campaigns, increasing Black turnout and enhancing the Black political voice in key battleground states. Betsy was born and raised in rural Indiana and now lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and three kids.
Senior Director of Accounts
Flora has 10+ years of public affairs experience, advising advocacy, labor, corporate, and political campaigns domestically and abroad. She has also served as both an executive director and development director of nonprofit organizations. Flora helped launch Global Strategy Group’s Public Affairs practice, where she developed legislative strategies for campaigns to help clients achieve their goals across industries, specializing in coalition-building and management, grassroots & grasstops organizing, and community engagement and mobilization. A Coro and Humanity in Action Fellow, Flora holds degrees from Yale, with distinction, and NYU Wagner, where she was the Goldberg Fellow in Philanthropy and Public Service. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.
Head of Engineering & Data Science
Jared has over 10 years of experience in software engineering and management at small startups and large technology companies. After taking a break from his job in 2018 to volunteer full time on Andy Kim’s bid for the NJ-03 house seat, where he grew up. He ultimately left his job in 2019 to pursue a career focused on using technology to help elect progressives. Most recently before Change, he led a team of engineers for the Recount2020 initiative. This project was created as a partnership between Perkins Coie and various campaign committees in order to address concerns over potential attempts to steal the election and nationwide recounts. Jared lives in the San Francisco, where he spends his free time skiing, backpacking, cooking, and mountain biking.
Jessica joined Embold Research in 2022. She is passionate about utilizing data to craft meaningful stories and messages with impact. Before joining Embold, Jessica worked at Hart Research Associates, managing both quantitative and qualitative projects with the aim of providing actionable insights and effective communications strategies for a variety of corporate, political, and non-profit clients. She also created and managed messaging campaigns for advocacy groups and marketing firms. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in The College of Letters, an interdisciplinary program for the study of literature, history, and philosophy from antiquity to the present. She is based in Washington, D.C., and enjoys hiking in her spare time.
Senior Software Engineer
Joe has been working professionally as a software developer since 2011. He likes to create tools and data pipelines that enable organizations with social missions to scale and allow specialists to work more effectively. He has experience working for both small startups and large enterprise companies. Joe grew up in the UK and holds a D.Phil (PhD) from Oxford University and both an MRes in applied mathematics and a joint MMath in math and computer science from University of York . His PhD thesis applied math and computer science to investigate collective behavior in animals and humans.
Kevin joined Change Research in February of 2022, about five months after graduation. During his time as an undergrad, he volunteered as a software engineer for the Mass Shooting Database as well as a data analyst for several local and state-level Democrat or progressive campaigns affiliated with Bluebonnet Data, optimizing existing workflows with technical solutions. Kevin is a computer science graduate of the University of California, Irvine, and is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not coding, he can be found working out, learning foreign languages, or reading the news.
National Business Development
Kris has been in public service at the federal and state level for over three decades, serving governors and in senior positions in the US Senate, State Department, and the White House. He also worked in the private sector as the President of Global Public Affairs for Fleishman Hillard and also created Balderston Strategic Partnerships providing counsel to universities, corporations, and nonprofits. He has called Alexandria, Virginia home for four decades, and remains active in state and national Democratic politics.
Kyla brings eight years of qualitative and quantitative research experience to the Embold team. She has designed action-oriented studies for a wide range of clients, including government, unions, pension funds and green energy. A committed life-long learner, she recently completed her Masters of Science in Analytics from the University of Chicago, and also holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
Lizette is based in Washington State and is a 2020 graduate of Smith College. After graduation, she volunteered as a data analyst for a North Carolina Congressional district race. In addition, she has done work and research in a variety of other domains like sports analytics and music information retrieval. In her free time, she enjoys analyzing women’s soccer data, cooking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Lizette is driven to make a positive impact in progressive politics using her technical skills.
Director of Sales and Business Development
Dr. Matt Merriman-Preston brings expertise in strategic problem-solving, working with people, and business development to Embold Research. Prior to this role, he owned and operated Ampersand Consulting – a firm that provided a wide range of political services to candidates, elected officials, and organizations. Matt has worked with candidates in every branch of government from local to statewide levels, providing key support in dozens of victories. Matt has participated as an invited speaker-trainer to support women and young people running for office for many different organizations. He was elected to chair the City of Pittsburgh’s reapportionment advisory committee following the decennial census of 2011. Matt volunteers as a board member of Western Pennsylvania’s Planned Parenthood Action Council. Matt lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and children.
Senior Software Engineer
Michael has 10 years of software engineering and product management experience primarily in the telecommunications and healthcare sectors. Before joining Change Research in April 2022, he worked at Ookla and RevSpring. He has experience building software systems and data pipelines on a global scale as well as developing new technology product lines. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in History and Computer Science. Michael is a lifelong resident of the Memphis, Tennessee area and resides there today with his wife and Toy Poodle.
Marketing & Sales Manager
Molly manages Change Research’s sales referral program as well as Change Research’s media partnerships with organizations like Crooked Media. A proud fourth-generation San Francisco Bay Area native, Molly received her BA in Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She currently resides in New York City.
Survey Data Analyst
Monique joined Embold with 10 years of experience in quantitative and qualitative research in a variety of fields including genetics, education, health communications, and public health. She has experience with research design, data collection, reporting, and dissemination. As a doctoral candidate, her research focuses on youth socialization via social networking sites and the resulting impacts on mental health and emotional development into young adulthood. Beyond exploring data to answer interesting research questions, her creative pursuits include formulating skin and hair care products, painting, writing, photography, and music.
Qualitative Research Director, Senior Analyst
Nancy leads the Campaign Coordinated team and the Qualitative Research practice at Change Research. She is senior pollster and strategist to campaigns, committees, labor unions, and nonprofits. Nancy was awarded the American Association of Political Consultants “40 Under 40” Award for 2020 and her state polling for CNBC was the most accurate of the public polls in the battleground states in 2020. Prior to joining Change Research, Nancy was the Director of Polling and Modeling for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Managing Director of the polling nonprofit, Democracy Corps, and an analyst at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. A native Texan, Nancy has a Masters Degree in Philosophy and Law from the University of Southern California and currently resides in Washington DC.
President and CEO
Nicole became CEO of Change Research in May 2022, after leading Embold Research and serving as Chief of Staff at Change Research. She brings a background in strategic communications for government, business, and nonprofits. Her track record includes driving record-breaking sales for a financial services organization, leading successful marketing campaigns for a global high-tech firm, and generating millions in publicity value for an online charitable event. She has worked closely with pollsters, creative teams, digital marketers, lobbyists, and PR pros to translate survey data into winning strategies.
Account Supervisor, Embold
Oliver has been involved with Democratic politics and campaigns for over a decade, with particular attention being paid to working with and growing the national profile of municipal elected officials. Prior to joining Change Research, he served as Political and Government Affairs Director at Democratic Municipal Officials. In this role he developed relationships within local governments and with national corporations, trade associations, progressive organizations, Democratic political infrastructure, and the Labor movement. He combines this experience with years of working on campaigns of all kinds to provide a unique perspective into client needs and strategies for success. Oliver joined Change Research because he saw first hand the need for quality opinion data for making decisions at the local level and strives to connect local leaders with the resources they need to make an impact. Oliver lives in Washington, DC with his wife and their rescue dog Lemon where he enjoys cooking, board games, and scoping out local yard sales.
Philip has over a dozen years of experience as a political strategist and advisor, working in support of national and local progressive campaigns, initiatives, and organizations. Prior to joining Change Research, he held a variety of research and directorial roles at a data science and strategy consultancy, leveraging public opinion and opposition research, analytics and modeling, and empirical evidence to develop and operationalize campaign plans and strategies. He received a BA in History of Mathematics and Science and Philosophy from St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD. Born and raised in the Bay Area, he currently lives in Denver, Colorado.
Head of Embold Research
Robin brings expertise in advocacy with a keen understanding of polling and data driven programs to Embold Research. Serving clients at Pressman Consulting for nearly twenty years, she provided a wide range of data driven strategies and project management to a variety of clients. Prior to starting her firm, she served as Senior Associate at GQR, providing message development, targeting and polling expertise to numerous candidates and non-profit clients. She also served as Field Director for the National Environmental Trust and worked with organizations such as Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Robin has worked on and managed electoral campaigns in New Jersey, Maryland, and Oregon. After more than 25 years in DC, Robin, her husband and son moved to Alameda, CA. They love living on this small island in San Francisco Bay.
Director of Polling
Stephen has worked in public opinion research and Democratic campaigns since 1993. He managed all of the state polling for the Gore 2000 campaign, and has worked on hundreds of polls for candidates at all levels of government. Over the last two election cycles, he has helped the New Mexico House Democrats make decisions that led to flipping a net of 13 seats (18.5% of the caucus), bringing them from the minority to their largest majority in more than two decades. Working with state based nonprofits, he has developed polling to support progressive initiatives in state legislatures and was primary researcher for Progress Now Virginia’s Progressive Narrative project and has worked on several data modeling projects in Colorado, North Carolina, and New Mexico. He holds an MA in Applied Statistics from George Mason University and a BA in Political Science and Economics from UC Berkeley. Stephen resides in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.
Sumati joined Change Research in November 2021. She brings over a decade of data analysis experience and experience working with non-profits. Prior to joining Change Research, Sumati was the Coordinator of Institutional Research and Data Science at Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, conducting research on student outcomes in community and technical colleges and the impact the non-profit has on student success. Prior to that, she was the Director of Academic IT at Tougaloo College, an HBCU in the heart of Mississippi, where she focused on data management and systems management. Sumati holds an MBA from Walden University and a Bachelors in Software Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi. She a member of the Fall 2021 Arena Academy cohort where she completed the digital track. Sumati was born and raised in Mississippi, where she currently lives with her husband and two kids. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, sewing, geeking out to Marvel movies, and listening to music.
Senior Product Manager
Tom is a product manager and data scientist with over 5 years of experience working in technology startups: designing and building data feeds and user-facing machine learning products. In 2018, he did volunteer data work for Let America Vote and Heidi Heitkamp’s Senate campaign. In 2020, he volunteered on the data team for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign and worked for the Texas Democratic Party in the lead up to the November general election. He has an Economics undergraduate degree from Yale University and a MSc in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy and an MBA from Oxford University. Tom was a long time competitive rower and has lived in six states and three countries. He and his wife can commonly be found in various Washington, DC parks walking their dog.
Trenton brings over five years of quantitative research experience to Embold Research. As a trained political scientist, he has leveraged survey data to explain the political attitudes and behaviors of individuals living in countries around the world. His strengths include survey questionnaire design, data visualization, and statistical analysis. Trenton recently earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Colorado Boulder where he researched the effects of economic inequality on citizens’ evaluations of democracy. He also holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University. Trenton currently resides in Colorado.
Client Strategy Manager
Tucker brings almost a decade of varied political experience, serving as a legislative aide in the Tennessee Senate and staffing political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Tucker earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee before spending the majority of his career in the Nashville, TN area. He currently resides in New York City.
Vince is from St. Louis, MO and is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science. Prior to joining Change Research he worked for NextGen America, Tom Steyer 2020, and For Our Future. He is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He loves to nerd out about foreign policy and is an avid lego builder. In his spare time, he can be found at a local coffee shop enjoying the latest brews and he enjoys taking his cat on walks and hikes around the St. Louis area.