Rock the Vote Staff
Rock the Vote
Under Smith's leadership during the past two election cycles, Rock the Vote built new tools and technologies and refined best practices for the continued engagement of young voters, setting the highest voter registration records in both midterm and presidential elections in the organization's 21-year history.
Prior to Rock the Vote, Smith founded and directed Young Voter Strategies, a nonpartisan project in partnership with The Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Young Voter Strategies provided the general public, political parties, candidates, consultants and non-profits with data and research on the youth vote as well as best practices to effectively mobilize young people.
In 2004, Smith served as national field director for the Student PIRG’s New Voters Project, the largest nonpartisan grassroots effort ever undertaken to register and mobilize young voters. Prior to her work at the New Voters Project, Smith was an organizing director for Green Corps’ Field School for Environmental Organizing in Boston.
Smith has served as a youth vote expert appearing on MSNBC, CBS ‘Washington Unplugged,’ Fox News, and CNN, in addition to writing for and being quoted in publications such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, National Journal, The Hill, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, The Washington Post, POLITICO, The Atlantic, and more.
Smith received a B.A. with honors in Economics and Public Policy from Duke University. In 2006, Smith was named one of Campaign & Elections magazine’s Rising Stars for her work with young voters. She was also named one of Esquire Magazine’s Best and Brightest of 2007. Smith serves on the national advisory board for Duke University’s DukeEngage program. And recently published the afterword for Electoral Dysfunction, the companion book to the documentary hosted by Mo Rocca.
V.P. Marketing and Communications
Rock the Vote
With over 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing and communications, Chrissy Faessen joined Rock the Vote’s team in 2008 as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing. In her capacity as Vice President she is responsible for creating and executing effective grassroots, broadcast, digital and mobile strategies to accomplish the ambitious goal of registering 1.5 million individuals in the 2012 election.
Faessen is also responsible for executing a range of events from star-studded events at the political nominating conventions to summer festivals, bus tours, and inaugural celebrations. One of the major projects Faessen undertook at Rock the Vote was spearheading the organizations first high school civics program, Democracy Class. The program, supported by an advisory board of innovative professionals from the education, media and music communities, is designed to educate and excite high school students about voting, elections and governance. Overall Faessen helps Rock the Vote use music, popular culture and new technology to engage and mobilize millions of young people to participate in the political process.
Prior to joining the Rock the Vote team, Faessen served as Business Director at DDB Issues and Advocacy, a progressive issues advertising practice, part of DDB Worldwide. In her capacity as Business Director at DDB, she waged advocacy, public policy, and advertising strategies including lacing stories in the top US media outlets. Faessen worked with clients such as the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Save the Children, PATH, Reproductive Heath Technology Project, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, and HopeLab. Additionally, as part of various campaign spotlight stories, she has been quoted in the PR Week and numerous other trade publications.
While Faessen's work product speaks for itself it has also received awards from the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and The Webbys.
National Political Director
Rock the Vote
Amanda’s personal commitment to the Rock the Vote cause is to build the political power of the Millennial generation such that we can create the social and political change that we desire.
Prior to joining the Rock the Vote team, Amanda worked in the Obama Administration. Most recently as the Advisor for Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Energy, she developed strategy for Secretary Chu’s medium and long-term agenda, making recommendations concerning the priorities of both the Department leadership and the Administration generally. In 2009, Amanda served as the Assistant to the Director in the White House Office of Political Affairs. The White House door was opened for her while serving on the Transition team and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
During the 2008 campaign cycle, Amanda worked on the Obama for America campaign. Starting only a few days after her college graduation, Amanda spent time in several states during the primary season – Nevada, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and North Carolina. She moved to the Chicago headquarters for the general election, serving as the surrogate desk for the Great Lakes Ohio Valley region.
Amanda graduated from Dartmouth College with a double major in Government and Sociology in 2007. She struggles with the “where are you from” question, but would say Georgia if you push her.
Rock the Vote
Caitlin joined Rock the Vote in 2010 and serves as Marketing Manager, supporting event activations, artist engagement, sponsorship development and partnership building. While at Rock the Vote she has successfully executed dozens of concert promotions with Rock the Vote artists, developed creative campaigns for sponsors and forged national partnerships that helped extend the brands' reach and visibility among young Americans.
Caitlin was a Marketing Intern for Epic Records in 2008 and 2009. She graduated from Union College with a BA in English in 2010.
Rock the Vote
David brings over 14 years of digital and design experience to Rock the Vote. He joined the organization over 8 years ago as a multimedia developer. As technology evolved so did David's expertise and interest in learning savvy ways to engage young people in politics. Over time, he has built hundreds of web pages, created and coded dozens of campaign websites and designed a countless number of marketing materials. David has also managed and built large databases, oversees the organizations' adwords program, deploys their mobile initiatives and even checks out a few of the festivals and concerts along the way.
Prior to Rock the Vote, David was a senior designer and front end developer at Pro Sound, a web/print designer at iNetnow and a technology instructor at a private school in Arizona. He's even spun a few records as a DJ in high school and college.
In his spare time he enjoys surfing, photography and travel with his wife.