About Rock the Vote

Registering and turning out millions of new voters since 1990

Our History

Rocking the Youth Vote

Since 1990, Rock the Vote has been registering and turning out millions of new voters.

Rock the Vote is the largest nonprofit and nonpartisan organization in the United States driving the youth vote to the polls.

For more than 25 years, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the way we use pop culture, music, art and technology to inspire political activity. The organization has pioneered ways to make voting easier for young adults by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections.

Rock the Vote - 25 Years!

Nearly

12,000

Young people turn 18 every day!

Rock the Vote helps get them registered and to the polls.

Rock the Vote also represents the historic and groundbreaking intersection of culture and politics. Madonna wrapped herself in the American flag for the first ever Rock the Vote PSA. Snoop Dogg launched our 2004 bus tour. Lil Jon rapped the election anthem of 2014. Countless other cultural icons have lent their voice and talent to support Rock the Vote and its mission.

In 1993, we helped lead the push for passage of the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the Motor Voter Bill, and have consistently been supporters for and innovators of better and more effective voter registration systems. We were early advocates for states allowing voters to register by mail and were the first organization to use a toll-free number to register voters over the phone.

Rock the Vote then changed the game, once again 1999, by making politics accessible to all with the creation of an online voter registration tool.

What We Stand For

  1. You. We stand for you. Your rights and your desire to be involved in a fair voting process.
  2. Voting should be made easier for young adults, and voter registration and elections should be simplified and demystified.
  3. The diversity of our nation and our young people should be celebrated and reflected in elected officials.
  4. Investment in the youth vote now offers long-term dividends, and possibility.
  5. Creativity and technology has always been the way of the future, and the future is now.
  6. Politics isn’t boring! Our political process should engage, inspire, and affect real and lasting change.
  7. Pop culture and our favorite celebrities can do much more than entertain; they can educate and engage.
  8. There is no cookie-cutter route to progress: innovation, and a combination of proven and new tactics are the most powerful political tools.
  9. Young people have a voice, the voice that will move us forward, as one nation, together.
  10. We stand for ensuring that your vote counts. It does and it will in 2016.

Our Team

We're Smart. We're Passionate. We're Badass. We Get The Job Done.

Staff

  • Sara

Sara Tabatabaie

Sara joins Rock the Vote as Digital Director, responsible for implementing forward-thinking digital operations, as well as overseeing the organization's online campaigns.

Before joining the Rock the Vote team, Sara worked as the Digital Marketing Manager at Democracy.com where she encouraged local candidates to increase online campaigning and managed internal metrics reporting in order to optimize acquisition and engagement. Previous experience includes working as an Online Marketing Fellow for the 2012 election cycle at Bully Pulpit Interactive, working with clients such as Elizabeth Warren for Senate, LIVESTRONG, and the USO.

  • dp

David Pruter

David joined Rock the Vote over a decade ago, during which time he has taken the digital technology and design experience to a new level. As technology evolves, David evolves the tools we use to engage young people in politics. He has spearheaded the development of our powerful voter registration technology, he's built a number of Rock the Vote web properties and he manages the organizations backend system infrastructure. He's a full-stack developer that even gets to break out his Photoshop skills to help design graphics and marketing materials. Prior to Rock the Vote, David was a senior designer and front-end developer at Pro Sound, a web UI and print designer at iNetnow, and a technology instructor at a private school. He even spun a few records as a DJ in high school and college.

  • Kiki Burger

Kiki Burger

Kiki Burger serves as Director of Marketing and Events for Rock the Vote, where she oversees brand integration, celebrity and corporate partnerships and all major outreach events. Kiki joined Rock the Vote after four years as public relations manager for Susan G. Komen. Prior to Komen, she was a Washington gossip reporter at Politico, MSNBC and The Washington Examiner, focusing on the intersection between Hollywood and Washington.

Kiki is a native of Manhattan Beach, CA, and graduated in 2005 from University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in political science. She traded coasts in 2007, to get her MA from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

  • Jen

Jen Tolentino

Jen Tolentino is Rock the Vote’s Director for Civic Tech and Policy. She manages the continued development of its online voter registration platform, coordinates external voter registration partnerships, and spearheads all voting rights, election administration and technology policy work.

Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Jen spent two years working on the Voting Information Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts. During her tenure at Pew, Jen led the state and local government outreach, working with election officials to make critical voting information available online and accessible to voters. She has also spent time engaging advocates across the country on preservation issues at the National Trust, worked as a graduate student researcher to former Gov. Michael Dukakis, and served as a Post-Secondary Coach with For Love Of Children.

Jen is based in Los Angeles and a native Californian, receiving her BA in English from UC Riverside, and her MPP from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

  • Carolyn

Carolyn DeWitt

Carolyn DeWitt is the President of Rock the Vote. A passionate and lifelong champion of the democratic process in the U.S. and abroad, DeWitt has a diverse background in government, politics, international development, education and in the financial sector.

It was during her time in South Africa, meeting with parties critical to the collapse of the apartheid system and the subsequent building of a democratic state, that DeWitt witnessed the power of youth movements. Convinced of the absolute necessity of a health democracy for marginalized groups, she continued on to work in Kenya, participating on the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission during an election year. DeWitt also served as senior international advisor to a youth political movement and potential presidential candidate in Madagascar.

Back home in the U.S., on the national political stage, DeWitt coordinated satellite media booking operations at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, training teams of volunteers and staffs and coordinating surrogate media appearances alongside DNC and Obama for America staff. On the local government level, DeWitt has worked as chief of staff at the Office of Chicago Alderman Daniel Solis, and as deputy campaign manager and finance director for the 25th Ward Regular Democratic Organization.

Shortly after relocating to Washington, D.C., DeWitt took up the position of director of special projects for a thriving start-up that sought to leverage technology to provide global clinical services to persons with special education and development needs in less-developed countries. DeWitt has also provided infrastructure and tracking services for therapy contractors working with DC public schools.

For the 2014 election cycle, DeWitt served as chief of staff at Pivot, a political communications firm. Ms. DeWitt studied International and African Studies, Political Studies, Psychology and Women’s Studies and earned her BA from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She sits on the board of Coworker.org.

  • Kosoko

Kosoko Jackson

Kosoko is a Digital Media Fellow at Rock the Vote, where he serves as a digital media 'jack-of-all-trades', specializing in crafting original digital media content across all social media channels. Kosoko has worked inside the Beltway Bubble for three years, specifically in the communication departments for PACs, PR firms & think-tanks. Along with obsessing over the proper hashtags & google alerts, Kosoko has helped create, market & lead an LGBT 'safe-space' conference in California. He has also published a combined total of four works of creative fiction and nonfiction in the Advocate, Thought Catalog and other sources.

Kosoko is currently finishing up a B.S. in Public Health & a minor in Communications. He is passionate about the intersection of health, communications, politics and human rights and hopes to get a Masters of Public Health in health communications in 2018, and eventually become a Director of Communications at an international human rights or health NGO. As an avid champion of representation among marginalized groups, Kosoko is thrilled to join the team at Rock the Vote.

  • Melissa

Melissa Wyatt

Melissa is a Resident Rockstar at Rock the Vote, where she assists with projects related to civic technology and policy, voting rights and special events. Melissa graduated from the University of Miami in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science and Art History. During her time as an undergraduate, she headed SG initiatives to increase her campus’ environmental sustainability, worked for a Peruvian non-profit to advance women’s rights, gained experience in state-level lobbying and more. As a millennial who believes in the power of civic engagement, Melissa is thrilled to join the team at Rock the Vote.

  • David

David Shen

David Shen serves as Rock the Vote’s Digital Media Manager where he produces content and oversees the organization’s day-to-day online presence. His work is focused on connecting to young citizens in today’s ever-changing digital communications landscape.

Prior to joining Rock the Vote, David spent time in Virginia politics before working on developing online presences for multiple startups out in Silicon Valley. David received his Master’s in Communications, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University in 2015 and is a big fan of dumplings and singing in the shower.

  • Shaneice

Shaneice Simmons

Shaneice Simmons is Rock the Vote's Special Projects Manager, where she leads the planning and coordination of special events, marketing, and field operations.

Prior to joining Rock the Vote, she worked for Resolution Media as an Advertising Coordinator managing FedEx Corporations National Account. Prior to that she was an Event Marketing Specialist with Coca - Cola, traveling around the U.S. to promote and build brand loyalty through hosting interactive events in various communities. Shaneice received her B.A. in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2014. Shaneice has a passion for pop culture and working on social issues that will shape our future.

  • Ross

Ross Cohen-Kristiansen

Ross Cohen-Kristiansen is a Resident Rockstar with Rock the Vote. Ross is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland–College Park, where he studies Political Science and Economics.

  • Philip

Philip Blum

Philip Blum is Rock the Vote's awesome graphic designer. He is involved in the development of visual assets and campaigns for the nonprofit organization. Before joining the RTV team in 2016, he worked for several sustainable + environmentally-minded product companies including Green Guru Gear, EcoLogic Designs and SemaConnect, Inc. He has also been an advocate and participator in demonstrations for ProtectOurWinters and ProtectingOurWaters. He is a strong believer in social change, human innovation, and the arts as a call to action.

Philip is a native of Maryland, receiving his Bachelors from Pratt Institute in 2012 and post-grad education from the mountains and rivers of the central Rockies. He is a former ski bum, river guide and national parks worker.

  • Rachel Queirolo

Rachel Queirolo

Rachel Queirolo is Rock the Vote's Assistant Director of Development.

Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Rachel worked as a Deputy Finance Director on a senate campaign in Colorado. Previous fundraising experience includes the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and policy think tanks in Washington, DC.

Rachel received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College where she studied politics and Russian and Eurasian Studies.

  • Luis Calderin

Luis Calderin

Luis Calderin is Rock the Vote’s Vice President of Marketing and Creative, helping to lead the organization’s work to engage and mobilize young voters in elections. An expert at the intersection of youth, culture and politics, Luis connects Rock the Vote with the brands, artists and icons that inspire young people to participate in the political process and fight for meaningful change.

Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Luis served as Director of Arts, Culture and the Youth Vote for Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. In this role, he was responsible for shaping some of the most memorable moments of the campaign. He helped secure hundreds of surrogates for Senator Sanders, including artists, musicians and cultural leaders committed to representing the interests of young voters. Luis also spearheaded a national touring exhibition, curating issue-based art inspired by the political landscape of America.

A creative marketer with experience building campaigns that ignite conversations and shift cultural narratives, Luis has worked with various youth lifestyle brands and was previously the owner of a boutique marketing and design agency specializing in action-adventure sports, art and entertainment. Luis is a father, a marathoner, a DJ and served in the Army National Guard of the United States.

  • Jesse Moore

Jesse Moore

Jesse Moore is Vice President for Civic Engagement at Rock the Vote, where he oversees the development of registration and turnout programs, issue-based engagement strategies, and partnerships with nonprofits and political organizations.

Moore served most recently as Associate Director of Public Engagement at the White House, where he directed President Obama’s partnerships with entertainment industry leaders and celebrities, and managed creative projects in support of Presidential priorities.

Moore spent years as a White House Speechwriter and communications director for human services at the Department of Health and Human Services. As Special Assistant for Public Affairs at the Administration for Children and Families, Moore assisted with the repatriation of over 20 thousand survivors of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, and hundreds of Haitian orphans arriving at Florida landing sites in the weeks following the disaster. Moore also joined a small delegation of State Department and HHS officials traveling to the Middle East and East Africa to assess refugee resettlement protocols and facilities.

Prior to entering public service, Moore was a communications and outreach counselor at Western Washington University, focusing on outreach to low-income families, and students in the Northwest, and serving as a student leadership adviser.

Jesse is a native of Lynnwood, Washington, where his extended family is still based, and a graduate of Mountlake Terrace High School and Western Washington University.

  • Hailey Evans

Hailey Evans

Hailey is a Resident Rockstar at Rock the Vote where she aids the Civic Engagement Team in various projects. Hailey recently graduated in May 2016 from the University of Virginia where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Affairs. During her undergraduate career she served as a Resident Advisor, volunteered with local service organizations, and interned at Dóchas, an Irish NGO who seeks to establish standards of good practice among Irish humanitarian initiatives abroad. In addition, Hailey spent the last year working at the Legal Aid Justice Center to aid in their efforts to provide affordable health care and legal assistance to the local Charlottesville community. Hailey is passionate about generating discourse to address the social justice issues that arise at the diverse intersections of socioeconomics, race, gender, and education.

Even the suits are cool

Board of Directors

  • Jeff Ayeroff

Jeff Ayeroff

Mr. Ayeroff co-founded Rock the Vote in 1990 in response to a censorship campaign crusading against artists’ use of explicit language. Mr. Ayeroff’s 35-year career in the music industry provided a strong foundation for Rock the Vote’s signature fusion of politics and pop culture. As Senior VP of Marketing and Creative Services at A&M, he spearheaded campaigns for The Police, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Supertramp, the Carpenters , Peter Frampton and many others. As Senior VP of Warner Bros in the 80s, Jeff oversaw marketing, design and videos for such iconic artists as Madonna, Don Henley, Dire Straits, Talking Heads, ZZ Top, Prince, Eric Clapton, The Cult, Echo & the Bunnymen and Steve Winwood, to name a few.

After leaving Warner Bros., Ayeroff and his friend and partner, Jordan Harris, built Richard Branson’s Virgin US label from the ground up, signing and marketing many high-profile artists. Then, Ayeroff and Harris founded The Work Group, a west coast boutique, Sony Music Label, signing and developing more artists before he went to work for Apple, overseeing the marketing of the Beatles 1, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. He and Jon Rubin also began ArtistsFirst, a creative and marketing consulting agency, which has launched international humanitarian activism with its music.

  • Jon Rubin

Jon Rubin

Mr. Rubin has served on the Rock the Vote board for 24 years. He is an entrepreneur who has founded and run a number of traditional and digital marketing, advertising and media concerns including Next Century Communications, National Direct Marketing and Netresponse, as well as the Accelerator Group, a media and technology venture-capital fund. Jon has maintained a life-long commitment to public service.

  • Lara Bergthold

Lara Bergthold

Ms. Bergthold currently serves on the Board of Directors of Rock the Vote, as well as the Campaign for America’s Future and People for the American Way. She works as a Principal Partner at RALLY, offering valuable political campaign, pop culture, and communications experience for companies like GAP, Inc., Sandy Hook Promise, and the Lear Family Foundation, the latter of which she has been the Executive Director of since 1997. In this capacity, she works to provide grants to progressive organizations that push civil rights, the arts, and the like.

She also served as National Deputy Political Director for current Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid, as well as General Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign.

  • Frank Smith

Frank Smith

Mr. Smith currently serves on the Rock the Vote Board of Directors as Treasurer, an extension of a myriad of political and public policy issues he has worked on throughout his career.

He is President of a Cambridge, Massachusetts consulting firm specializing in election and non-profit law and policy work. He has served as an Assistant District Attorney in Boston and worked on a number of political campaigns, including two Presidential elections. He is co-author of a recent book on the American healthcare system and writes a monthly newsletter on American politics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Boston College Law School, and a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

  • Wayne Jordan

Wayne Jordan

Mr. Jordan is a real estate investor and developer, working primarily in Northern California. He is very active in local, state and national politics. He has been involved in many high-profile campaigns and is an active volunteer in the community, serving on the Board of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, on the Investment Committee of the ACLU, Akonadi Foundation, and in the past on the Board of the Bentley School.

  • Heather Smith

Heather Smith

Heather is an independent consultant working on issues of democracy reform, technology innovation, and Millennial engagement. In this capacity, Heather serves as a Senior Advisor to the Pluribus Project, a special initiative of the Aspen Institute, that is developing innovative and cross-sector approaches to increasing the power of the many in our political processes. Other clients include the Bipartisan Policy Center, Google, the Hewlett Foundation, Change.org and Spotify.

Heather also serves on the board of directors of Rock the Vote, moving to this role in 2014 after nearly 8 years as the organization’s President. During Heather’s tenure, Rock the Vote ran the largest non-partisan voter engagement efforts in the country during the last two Presidential elections, launched a national high school civics program, and refined best practices and new technologies for voter registration and the continued engagement of young voters.

Heather is a graduate of Green Corps’ field school for environmental organizing, and received a BA with honors from Duke University. She serves on the DukeEngage National Advisory Board, as well as on Trojan’s Sexual Health Advisory Committee.

Artists & Talent

Rock the Vote Artists, Musicians and Cultural Leaders