Who We Are
Deborah is an attorney who led a prior life as a political junkie and consultant for Democratic political candidates, not-for-profit and advocacy organizations, and foundations. She started her career in politics as the Field Director for Congresswoman Lynn Wolsey and eventually served as the Communications Director for Chellie Pingree's 2002 U.S. Senate Campaign. In between, she worked at numerous political-consulting firms and advocacy organizations, including Staton Hughes & Shafer, Spitfire Strategies, and Americans for Gun Safety. She then became an attorney. After practicing law for nearly ten years, she left her law firm in September of 2016 to work on the New Left Accelerator full time.
Deborah has a law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law, a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a M.A. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley. She currently serves on the board of Women Lawyers On Guard, lives in San Francisco, and is the proud and tired mom of Ryder Jane (almost 4) and Hudson Townes (almost 2).
Jen developed a passion for process, planning, and systems through her time working for political and grassroots campaigns including the Obama Campaign and Organizing for America. She honed her skills in the nonprofit world as the Director of Acceleration Services at Citizen Engagement Lab (CEL). There she oversaw a fiscal sponsorship program that provided organizational development and fundraising services to social change start-ups, including Vote.org, 18MillionRising, and MPowerChange. Jen has extensive experience in building effective grassroots organizations, running organizational systems, and nonprofit infrastructure. Jen lives in Oakland, California with her husband and dog Stanley.
Barbara has a successful track record of more than 25 years experience as a coach and consultant, working with the leadership of emerging and established for profit and nonprofit organizations to achieve growth, scale, and impact. In addition to having her own consulting firm Barbara was a co-founder of UpStart, a nonprofit accelerator providing ongoing business strategy development and fostering innovation for social entrepreneurs. During her tenure at UpStart, she worked with over 50 social entrepreneurs giving them the tools to develop and execute on their organizational strategies and goals. Barbara holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Berkeley. She serves on a number of boards, including the Board of the Northern California Association of Strategic Planning and Facing History and Ourselves (SF region). Barbara enjoys hiking, bicycling, and skiing, and treasures her time with her husband and sons.
Toby is a nonprofit consultant with a focus on executive leadership coaching for startup non-profit executives and leaders of innovative program initiatives. She is also the Founder of UpStart, an accelerator for early stage nonprofits. During her 10 year tenure as CEO, she built a team of leaders that brought UpStart from an idea to start-up to a high-impact, paradigm-shifting national organization. Prior to founding UpStart, Toby spent 7 years at the BJE-San Francisco filling a variety of roles, including an executive leadership role. Toby holds an undergraduate degree in Political Sociology from UC-Santa Barbara and a J.D. from the University of San Diego. She currently lives in Marin County to feed her hiking habit, and enjoys nature with husband, Robert Rubin, and visits from their three amazing young adult daughters.
Paul Rivera is a Democratic activist and strategist from New York, with more than 20 years of experience in government, elections, and public advocacy. Paul got his start in politics at the 1992 Democratic Convention held in New York City, and served in the Clinton White House from 1994 through 2000, before moving back to New York. Paul is a veteran of four presidential elections (1992-2004), six national party conventions, two gubernatorial elections in New York (2002 and 2006), and five election cycles for the New York State Senate Democratic Conference (2008-2016). As an independent consultant since 2013, Paul has worked on impactful campaigns and independent expenditure efforts across the United States. Paul also served as Communications Director and Senior Advisor to the New York Senate Democratic Conference from 2009-2012, helping close record budget deficits and working to pass critical progressive and reform legislation.
Alicin has spent her career finding new and better ways to lift up the voices that haven’t yet been heard. As the head of Raben’s NYC office, she draws on her diverse experience conceiving and managing large-scale initiatives in government affairs, media strategy, employee engagement, brand reputation, and communications. Prior to joining Raben, Alicin served as a Senior VP at MTV Networks and Viacom where she created the company’s Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs Department, oversaw Employee Engagement and worked closely with the Office of Global Inclusion to increase company visibility in diverse communities and aid diversity recruitment efforts. Alicin lives in Washington, D.C.
With over 30 years’ experience helping leaders address pressing business and organizational challenges, Joel is known for his ability to help leaders dramatically improve performance by leveraging the human side of the enterprise. With start-ups, where founders and leaders need to take smart action under highly complex and uncertain conditions, his work focuses on building the capacity for rapid learning and improvement – particularly when dealing with high conflict/high-stakes situations. Joel has served on a number of corporate and non-profit Boards. Recent director roles have included The African Food and Peace Foundation, CorStone, and Upstart.
Brigette Rouson, co-founder of the Insight-Incite consulting collective, brings over 25 years’ experience building nonprofit effectiveness toward a just society. She serves on RoadMap Consulting’s Operations and Racial Justice Action Teams and has designed and led numerous capacity-building initiatives. Former roles include Program Director of Alliance for Nonprofit Management, consultant on staff with Management Assistance Group, Mosaica, and Maryland Nonprofits. As a senior program officer at Ms. Foundation for Women she directed a $4 million girls/young women’s leadership initiative.
Brigette is part of communities of practice such as The Art of Transformational Consulting, Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultants, Gestalt Center for Organization Systems Development, and Shannon Leadership Institute. Community work includes co-founder of a social justice grassroots grantmaker, the Diverse City Fund; resource organizer and member of community organizing groups; and elected member of her congregation’s Board of Social Action. Brigette is a graduate of Howard University (B.A.), Georgetown (J.D.), and University of Pennsylvania (M.A.) She is a member of the DC Bar since 1983.
Eve is the principal of Fox Strategies, a one-woman campaigns consultancy that helps progressive nonprofit organizations harness the power of the internet to advance their missions, recruit supporters and raise money. After working in women’s reproductive health and environmental advocacy, Eve joined M+R Strategic Services in 2002. In her 12 years on staff, she helped to grow the firm’s digital division from a fledgling offering with three staff to a leader in the field of online fundraising and advocacy with a staff of 60 talented individuals across the country. While at M+R, Eve helped leading national nonprofits including the Clinton Foundation, Oxfam America, the American Diabetes Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Consumers Union, the U.N. Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Save Darfur Coalition, and many more raise tens of millions of dollars online and recruit millions of supporters to their causes.
Aliza Dichter has worked with social justice, nonprofit, and community groups for more than twenty years. She brings the stories, examples, ideas, and tools she’s learned into collaborations with leaders and groups to help them produce strategic plans, partnerships, and materials. Liza has developed particular experience working with social justice startup groups, coalitions, and projects, particularly over six years as Co-Founder and Co-Director of CIMA: Center for International Media Action, which cultivated coalitions, networks and alliances; five years as a Senior Strategist with the incubation and acceleration program at Citizen Engagement Lab; and as an independent consultant providing coaching, research, technical assistance, and hands-on collaboration to leaders and small teams navigating the nonprofit system. Aliza has helped to build national and international networks and movements for communications rights and media justice and has produced publications and workshops on the intersection of media, technology and social progress. She has been a Rockwood Leadership Fellow, a delegate to the World Social Forum and the UN World Summit on the Information Society, and a “Visionary In Residence” at Dartmouth's Center for Women and Gender.