Meet the Team

Daniel G. Newman
Laura Curlin
Noura Elazami
Tien Lu
Nancie McCraw
Chad Outler
Alec Saslow
Bergen Smith
Andrew Stowell
Daniel G. Newman

Daniel G. Newman
PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER

Daniel, a national expert on government accountability and money in politics, has led MapLight since its founding in 2005. Newman has appeared in hundreds of media outlets, including CNN, CBS, MSNBC, FOX Business, and NPR. He led a ballot measure campaign establishing public funding of elections in Berkeley, California, and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. He is the author of Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy from Macmillan/First Second Books.

Newman’s innovative use of technology to reveal influence on government earned him recognition as a World Affairs Council Civic Innovator in 2014. He has led the organization to awards including a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism; a James Madison Freedom of Information Award; a Library Journal Best Reference Award; and a Webby Award nomination for Best Politics Website.

Previously, Newman was an entrepreneur and political organizer. He authored three books on speech recognition software and founded Say I Can, a speech recognition firm. He has served as a consultant to various political and nonprofit groups, including the Center for Voting and Democracy, Israel Venture Network, and the Mental Health Association of San Francisco.

Newman received an MA degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, where he attended on a National Science Foundation Fellowship and researched how people think about political and ethical issues. He holds a BA degree in biomedical ethics from Brown University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Newman was a 2011-2013 Edmond J. Safra Network Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, addressing the issue of institutional corruption.

Contact Daniel at dnewman@maplight.org.

Laura Curlin

Laura Curlin
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT

Laura Curlin oversees the organization's data projects and software product design. Her work includes analyzing the money behind our political system, developing tools to make campaign finance data more accessible, and ensuring the accuracy of the databases. Her work is focused on federal and California campaign finance data, but has included research in a variety of states, counties, and cities. Previously, she worked to pass a public campaign financing ballot measure in 2016 as treasurer of the Berkeley Fair Elections Coalition. Her previous experience also includes work on the Transparency in Political Spending Act as a member of Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections. Laura received a B.A. from Brown University with concentrations in Political Science and Middle East Studies.

Noura Elazami

Noura Elazami
OPERATIONS MANAGER

Noura manages finance and people operations. Her work spans fund development, HR administration, financial operations, and project management. Noura graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Middle East and North African studies. She is a Portland, Oregon native currently residing in San Francisco. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and trying out new restaurants.

Tien Lu

Tien Lu
PROGRAM MANAGER

Tien manages Voter’s Edge, a comprehensive online California elections guide, and produces content and communications about online disinformation for Decode Democracy. Her background includes a diverse range of experiences in social justice and arts nonprofits, from racial justice and arts activism to oral history and community engagement. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and an MA in Social Documentation from U.C. Santa Cruz.

Nancie McCraw

Nancie McCraw
DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING

An experienced engineering leader, Nancie oversees software development, technical infrastructure, and other engineering work. Nancie incorporates diversity, inclusion, and accessibility into the engineering and architectural vision of her teams. Nancie has extensive experience in the government space, including with the City of Asheville, North Carolina and supporting the National Centers of Environmental Information at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nancie and her spouse enjoy their home in the mountains of western North Carolina with their cats, and sometimes, sheep.

Chad Outler

Chad Outler
RESEARCHER

Chad tracks legislation as it travels through the legislative process, assembling evidence of support or opposition to bills on the part of companies and other interest groups. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Political Science. A native of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Chad now resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Sara, two dogs, and two cats.

Alec Saslow

Alec Saslow
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Alec leads strategic communications and media outreach. Previously, Alec managed communications activities, including campaign strategy and media relations, for a variety of non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C. Alec is a Colorado native and holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Syracuse University.

Bergen Smith

Bergen Smith
DATA ANALYST

Bergen collects evidence of support and opposition to bills making their way through Congress from corporations and also works on various data projects surrounding campaign finance and democracy reform efforts. He graduated from California State University, East Bay with a M.S. in Economics and from Whitworth University with a B.A in Philosophy. Bergen is a Bay Area native who enjoys getting outdoors whenever he has the chance.

Andrew Stowell

Andrew Stowell
SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Andrew is a senior software engineer engaged in optimization of existing systems and development of new projects. He has been developing web applications, managing cloud infrastructure, and leading cloud migrations for a decade. Andrew and his wife are both avid knitters and reside in North Florida, along with their two children and cats.