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.
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.
Lead Analyst, Candidate/Coordinated
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.
Lead Analyst, Independent Expenditure
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.
Senior Data Scientist
Evan started at Change Research in 2023 wanting to have a career working for causes that he believes in. Before that, he worked as a data scientist within the media and entertainment industry, first at Nielsen and then at Vizio. He grew up in Virginia, where he earned a B.S. in computational modeling from Virginia Tech. Evan currently lives in Denver, where in his free time you can find him cooking, playing guitar, or enjoying any one of Colorado’s many outdoor offerings.
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.
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.
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.
Lead Analyst, Advocacy
Lauren holds a PhD from UCLA and has nine years of experience as a public opinion researcher and social scientist. She has done extensive research and polling on issues related to racial justice (and injustice), criminal legal reform and police divestment, and reproductive rights. Her work has been published in the Washington Post Monkey Cage and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. She has guided the research of related topics for clients like ACLU, Color of Change, Higher Heights for America, the New Georgia Project, the Domestic Workers Alliance, Voter Participation Center, and Alliance for Youth Action. Her 2020 dissertation explored the antecedent racial attitudes that predated Trump’s political rise to power, contextualizing polarization and racism as long standing trends in the white American electorate that became newly salient not when Trump came to power, but upon the election of the first Black President. She received her BA from Middlebury College and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head 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.
Director of Growth
Sara has worked in the Democratic political field for 10 years. Her roles include National Director of Mobilization and Outreach for RideShare2Vote, campaign manager or finance director for campaigns up and down the ballot, the Communications Director for the representatives of the North Carolina State House, a liaison for a then Congressman from Illinois in DC, as well as Business Development Manager with Deck Technologies. She is a graduate of George Washington University in Political Science, and has multiple higher education degrees in religious studies, specializing in ancient Hebrew antiquities. She resides with her fiance Andrew in Durham, North Carolina, hosting game nights on Fridays and remains terrible at social conversations that do not include political data, or highly unnecessarily esoteric religious theories.
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.
Head of Product
Tom is head of product and a data scientist with over 7 years of experience working in machine learning and data-science startups: designing and building data feeds and machine learning platforms. In 2018, he volunteered on the data teams 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 with the Texas Democratic Party in the lead up to the November general election. Tom has an Economics undergraduate degree from Yale University, an 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.
Director of Operations & Finance
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.