Vinoda Basnayake

Vinoda is one of Washington, DC’s top business entrepreneurs, specializing in the nightlife, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. Vinoda has established himself as a sought-after retail guru whose mission is to open authentic concepts and invest in bold personalities. His hospitality group, Versus, includes such venues as 2018 Nightclub of the Year Heist, nationally renowned cocktail bar Morris American Bar and hotspot Castas Rum Bar.

Vinoda was appointed to be the first Chairman of Nightlife and Culture of DC by Mayor Muriel Bowser.  He has received numerous media honors and recognitions including being named as one of DC’s Most Influential Under 40 by Washington Life Magazine for the past seven years, identified as one of the Top 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40 by Washington Business Journal and profiled for “journeying from party promoter to powerbroker” by the Washington Post.

Vinoda is also the youngest partner at Nelson Mullins LLP, the fastest growing law firm in America. He is ranked in the Legal 500, has been named one of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists and was recognized as Top Lobbyist of 2020 by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics.

Vinoda is an honors graduate from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he was a double major and double minor. At graduation he received the Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Campus, received the Outstanding Student Leader Award and was selected student graduation speaker by his classmates.  He also received a joint degree from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business in 2008.

Vinoda was previously appointed Commissioner of the Small and Local Business Opportunity Commission for DC by former Mayor Adrian Fenty, served on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Transition Team for Economic Development, was named to Mayor Bowser’s ReOpen DC Advisory Committee for safe reopening during the pandemic. He was formerly the Chairman of the Board of DC Vote and sits on the boards of the Washington Institute, the Asian American Pacific Islander Victory Fund and the National Children’s Museum.

Shelley Broderick

B.A., cum laude, The American University, 1973; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1978; M.A.T., Antioch School of Law.

Katherine S. Broderick served as interim and then Dean of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law from August 1998 until June 2018, having previously served as Clinical Director, Associate Dean and faculty member since 1979. In 2011, she was named the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Social Justice.

Professor Broderick began her academic career as a clinical faculty member. She directed the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Antioch School of Law for ten years representing more than 2,000 individuals charged with crimes in the Superior and District Courts of the District of Columbia. She also co-directed the Legislation Clinic for four years, supervising students working primarily on health and safety, environmental justice and criminal justice legislation with the D.C. Council. She has taught Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, State and Local Government Law, First Amendment Demonstration Law, and a seminar, “Perspectives on Social Justice.” She taught in Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop, in the Fall Semester, for many years.

Under her leadership during twenty years as dean, major accomplishments included securing the highest level of American Bar Association Accreditation, establishing part-time and LL.M. programs, serving the legal needs of thousands of low-income District residents through the School’s nine legal clinics, moving into a beautifully renovated 100,000 square foot law school building, completing a handsome $1.6 million library expansion project and raising over $15 million for endowed chairs, endowed and annual scholarships, summer public interest fellowships, and clinical programs. In 2015, she forged the first Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Havana and a U.S. law school. Students and faculty members participate in an intensive International Law seminar in Cuba annually when travel to Cuba is permitted.

Professor Broderick chairs the D.C. Task Force on Jails and Justice. This blue ribbon task force is charged with redefining and reinventing the District of Columbia criminal justice system and ensuring that the jail is one part of a just and equitable system. She serves on the Boards of D.C. Appleseed and D.C. Vote. She was appointed in 2008 by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to serve on the District of Columbia’s Access to Justice Commission. She completed four terms serving until 2020. Professor Broderick was named to the Norton Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission in 2009 and continues to serve. She also hosts Sound Advice, a UDC cable television show available in 200,000 D.C. households, providing information about legal issues affecting the District’s most vulnerable residents, including predatory lending, domestic violence, AIDS and the District’s abuse and neglect system. She has hosted more than 300 shows over the last 22 years. A committed civil libertarian, Professor Broderick is a past president and served on the Board of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital for many years. She continues to serve on the Nominations Committee. Professor Broderick was a founder of and ardent participant in the D.C. Consortium of Legal Services Providers, an organization committed to increasing the quantity, improving the quality, and coordinating the delivery of legal services to low-income D.C. residents.

Professor Broderick received the 2020 “Thurgood Marshall Award,” “in recognition of her exemplary legal career dedicated to service in the public interest, in the pursuit of equal justice and opportunity for all Americans,” from the D.C. Bar; the 2018 ”Potter Stewart Award” from the Council for Court Excellence; the 2017 “Heman Sweatt Award” from the National Bar Association; and the 2016 “Education and Leadership Award,” from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. She has also received the 2015 “Effective Force in Service of the People Award” from the D.C. Chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild “in recognition of outstanding leadership” and the 2009 “Deborah L. Rhode Award” from the Association of American Law Schools ‘in recognition of her work to increase pro bono and public service opportunities in law schools.” She was honored with the “Servant of Justice Award” by the Legal Aid Society in 2005. Professor Broderick received the “National Equal Justice Works Outstanding Law School Dean Award” in 2002, and the “William Pincus Award” for “Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Legal Education” given by the Association of American Law Schools in 1999. She was named a Fellow of the American Bar Association in 2000.

Professor Broderick and her late husband John Clegg’s daughter, Isabella, is a 2010 graduate of Wilson Senior High, a D.C. public school and a 2016 graduate of the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Dannia Hakki

Dannia Hakki is MoKi Media’s co-founder and principal, with more than 10 years of PR experience in Washington, D.C. and New York City, spanning the hospitality, entertainment, fashion and beauty industries. In her leadership role, Hakki spearheads public relations strategies for more than 30 clients on MoKi Media’s roster that includes Fortune 500 brands, while managing a team of nearly a dozen full-time employees that includes executive talent with a decade of editorial experience at USA Today. Hakki’s robust client roster includes Union Market, 12 Stories, Barry’s, The Hall CP, the Popal Group, and more.

In addition to traditional press relations and partnership building for their impressive client line-up, Hakki and her team execute regional and national media initiatives that include international events and activations. In 2012, Hakki helped develop a campaign for the Sri Lankan Office of Tourism which included a weeklong international press trip for select tier-one travel writers to the island nation. Her reputation as a seasoned media professional has earned her a spot on Washington Life magazine’s “Young and the Guest List” numerous times, as well as a profile on The Hill’s annual “50 Most Beautiful” list. She was also profiled in The Hill as one of Washington’s leading women in PR.

Ximena Hartsock

Ximena Hartsock is the Co-Founder of Phone2Action, the leading public affairs technology company in the US.

Prior to founding Phone2Action she was a member of the executive cabinet of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, serving as Deputy Chief of Teaching and Learning and Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

During her tenure as parks director, she oversaw renovations of several D.C. public facilities including the completion of D.C.’s state-of-the-art Olympic facility, Wilson Pool, the construction of numerous athletic fields and parks, and the implementation of wellness programs for seniors, youth and families.

Before serving as Parks Director, Dr. Hartsock was Deputy Chief for Teaching and Learning for D.C. Public Schools under the education overhaul led by Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty. In that role, she led key reform including the implementation of a comprehensive “Out of School Time” curriculum that served students after school, on weekends, and in the summer. She also led the implementation of a credit recovery program for students at risk of dropping out. These efforts were key in improving D,C.’s historically low graduation rates. She came to that position after working in D.C. Government as an educator and school principal.

Dr. Hartsock’s company Phone2Action is the leading software platform for civic engagement in the United States. The high levels of engagement organizations like Nurses Association, American Emergency Physicians, Restaurants Association have achieved using Phone2Action tools have been instrumental in the passage of legislation especially during the 2020 Pandemic.

Dr. Hartsock has received multiple awards for leadership and public service and has been featured, among others, in Fortune, Forbes The Washington Post, and the New York Times. She has also been listed in “The New guard of DC Business Leaders” by the Washington Business Journal. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Economic Club, The Board of Industry Leaders of the Consumer Technology Association, and DC Vote.

A native of Chile, she holds a Doctorate in Administration and Policy from The George Washington University.

Jack Jacobson

Jack joined DC Vote following 13 years as an elected official in the District, including five as an ANC Commissioner in Dupont Circle and eight as Ward 2’s State Board of Education Representative, where he served as President and Vice President.

Jack moved to the District over two decades ago to begin his career as a federal lobbyist. His federal policy practice spans a wide range of issue areas including education, voter enfranchisement, climate change, and telecommunications.

Jack and his husband, Kevin, believe in giving back to their communities and in the importance of public service. They support various philanthropic organizations and are patrons of the arts. They enjoy cooking, travel, and hosting dinner parties with friends. They live in Dupont Circle with their pets, Ghost and Seven.

Aviva Kempner

Washington, DC based filmmaker Aviva Kempner makes award winning documentaries about under known Jewish heroes for over 40 years. The Spy Behind Home Plate, a film on baseball player and OSS spy Moe Berg,  was released in May, 2019. She wrote, directed and produced Rosenwald, a documentary about how philanthropist Julius Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington in establishing over 5,000 schools for African Americans in the Jim Crow South. She also made Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, about Gertrude Berg who created the first television sitcom and the Emmy nominated and Peabody awarded The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, about the Hall Famer who faced anti-Semitism during the 30s. She also produced the award-winning Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis. She made Today I Vote for My Joey at the AFi directing workshop for women in 2002.

She is presently making a film on screenwriter, playwright, journalist, and novelist Ben Hecht, who was a dedicated activist for the cause of exposing the horrors of the Holocaust to the American public and in the quest for survivors to find a permanent home in Palestine.  She is co-directing Imagining the Indians, a documentary on  the movement to remove Native American names, logos, and mascots from the world of sports and beyond.

Kempner is also making Pissed Off, a documentary short exploring the underpublicized struggles faced by female lawmakers in Congress who advocated for equal access to restroom facilities in the United States Capitol. From its inception, Congress excluded women, both in participation and plumbing.

A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Kempner is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the DC Mayor’s Art Award, WIFV Women of Vision Award and Media Arts Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She founded the Washington Jewish Film Festival Washington, DC.

She is a voting rights and statehood advocate for Washington, D.C. and proudly serves on the board of DC Vote.

John Klenert
John Klenert
Board Chair

John was born and raised in New York City and came to Washington DC in 1967 to attend Catholic University of America where he earned his BA and MA degrees in American History.

A long time supporter of DC Vote, he is now serving his second stint on its Board of Directors. He proudly has been arrested for civil disobedience while participating in a rally for the rights of his fellow citizens here in the District of Columbia. Besides DC Vote, he also is a long time member of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Campaign Board and the Gertrude Stein Club.

John is a longtime Ward Two resident and in his spare time enjoys travel, the Shakespeare Theatre and cheering for both the Nats and the Caps.

Claudia McKoin

Ms. McKoin has over 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors in the areas of government relations, lobbying, public affairs and community relations, and Human Resources management. She is a knowledgeable business professional in the areas of policy and program development and government relations. She has worked with federal and local governments including regulatory agencies, corporations and nonprofits. Over the span of her career she has built a network of contacts with policymakers, and business and professional leaders.

Ms. McKoin currently serves as a government relations/lobbying consultant for various clients. Most recently she served in a Mayoral appointment as a Commissioner on the District of Columbia Rental Housing Commission. In this capacity she adjudicated contested landlord/tenant cases appealed from the Office of Administrative Hearings. She was also responsible for updating and revising the rental housing regulations contained in the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. Prior to her appointment as a Commissioner

Ms. McKoin served as the Director of Federal Relations for the Council of the District of Columbia. In this capacity she represented the Council and District Government on legislative and policy issues before Congress and the Federal Executive Branch. During that time she worked closely with DC Vote in advocating for the passage of the DC Voting Rights Act. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. McKoin served as Director of Government Relations for Verizon Communications. She represented Verizon before the District Government and the Federal Government. Ms. McKoin also served as Director of Issues Management where she analyzed and developed company policies which were used in the company’s government relations initiatives. Ms. McKoin’s career also included positions in telecommunications regulation, community and public affairs, and human resources.

She is a member of the Dean’s Diversity Council for the Washington College of Law at American University, member of the DC Bar’s DC Affairs Section, the Capital City Chapter of The Links, Inc. and The Links National Committee on Legislative Issues and Public Affairs, member of The Federal City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., member of the Washington Chapter of The Girl Friends, Inc., and member of the District of Columbia Bar and Maryland State Bar.

She holds a BA in Business Administration from Howard University, an MBA from George Washington University and a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University.

Derek Musgrove

George Derek Musgrove, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author ofRumor, Repression, and Racial Politics: How the Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post-Civil Rights America. With Chris Myers Asch, he is the co-author of Chocolate City, A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital, a Kirkus Best Book of 2017. Most recently, he a web-based map of Black Power activism in the nation’s capital between 1961 and 1998. His commentary and opinions have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, National Public Radio and theRoot. He lives with his wife and sons in Washington, D.C.

Ravi Perry
Vice Chair

Dr. Ravi K. Perry joined the Department of Political Science at Howard University in August 2019 as Chair and Professor.  Previously, Dr. Perry was Chair of the Department of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University and was a member of the faculty at Mississippi State University and Clark University (Worcester, MA).  Dr. Perry holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University, each in political science. An expert on Black politics, minority representation, urban politics, American public policy, and LGBT candidates of color, Dr. Perry is the editor of 21st Century Urban Race Politics: Representing Minorities as Universal Interests, a book that discusses the efforts of African American, Latino and Asian mayors to represent the interests of minorities in historically White cities in the United States. His second book, entitled Black Mayors, White Majorities: The Balancing Act of Racial Politics, focuses on the challenges Black mayors face in representing Black interests in majority White, medium‐sized cities in the state of  Ohio.  His third book, published with his mother, is The Little Rock Crisis: What Desegregation Politics Says About Us. In it, Perry and Perry frame the story of the Little Rock 1957 desegregation crisis through the lens of memory. Over time, those memories – individual and collective – have motivated Little Rockians for social and political action and engagement. Currently, Dr. Perry is finishing a book that introduces the lives and campaigns of Black, and openly lesbian and gay elected officials in the United States.

Perry is Immediate Past President of the Association for Ethnic Studies, and a member of the Executive Council for the Urban Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. Perry is a former member of the Executive Council for the Sexuality and Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Previously, Perry was also a member of the Board of Directors and Affiliate Equity Officer for the ACLU of Mississippi, and was also one of the first openly gay branch presidents of color in the history of the NAACP in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In his limited spare time in the District, Dr. Perry, a ward 7 resident, also enjoys playing tennis, volunteering, and is a member of Metropolitan AME Church. Dr. Perry is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Dr. Perry is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being recognized as one of the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s 50 “Hero Citizens;” Out Magazine’s “Hidden 105” and The Advocate’s “193 Reasons to Have Pride,” and “40 under 40.

Khalid Pitts

Khalid Pitts is a seasoned political strategist with over two decades of experience directing political and public education campaigns, executive management of nonprofits and leading national and state-level advocacy programs. Pitts’ background includes senior-level positions at the Sierra Club (national political director); the Service Employees International Union (director of strategic campaigns) and USAction (president and board chair).

He’s built a reputation as not only a skilled tactician but an organizational leader who understands the nuts and bolts of creating winning public education campaigns by integrating grassroots outreach and partnership development with cutting edge mass communication tools and public relations approaches. As co-founder and executive board co-chair for Health Care for America Now, he helped build a coalition of over 1,000 national, state and local organizations in 50 states representing 30 million people that ran the public education campaign behind the passage of the Affordable Care Act. He’s advised the Obama White House on policy issues and was counsel to or directed several local (Washington, DC) public education campaigns.

Pitts’ work extends beyond campaign management into message development, fundraising and business management. He is a published author (Building Violence), and at-large writer (Vice Media).

He has been a resident of Washington, DC for over twenty years with a deep connection to the city and its political and economic life, as a local entrepreneur and proprietor of the award-winning Cork Wine Bar & Market and a former candidate for a seat on the DC Council. Currently, he is a partner at Campaign Industries heading up its Washington, DC office.

Mark Schaefer

Originally from Upstate New York, Mark Schaefer got involved in the DC voting rights movement as a young attorney practicing law in Washington. Through his church, Foundry United Methodist Church, he launched the Foundry Democracy Project, a faith-based mission to advocate for full voting rights for the people of DC as a moral issue. The Democracy Project was instrumental in getting The United Methodist Church to adopt a position in support of D.C. voting rights. As a result of this work, Mark was invited to become one of the first members of the Board of DC Vote in 1998. Not long after, Mark attended seminary and began to serve for nearly two decades as a United Methodist pastor in campus and local church contexts, where issues of social justice and democratic rights for his adopted home of Washington, D.C. have always held a special place.

Rudy Seikaly

A refugee from Lebanon wounded as a teen during the country’s civil war, Seikaly is now founder and CEO of MCN Build, a “purpose-driven” construction company. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the firm specializes in building schools and the adaptive reuse of public facilities. (It also works on libraries, museums, fire stations, health care centers, community centers, and more.) He serves on the board of trustees of Bread Inc., the Charter Schools Development Corporation, Teach for America, and the Federal City Council, and chairs the MCN Build Foundation, his firm’s nonprofit arm, which builds schools and libraries on a pro bono basis in underserved areas around the world.

Daniel Solomon

Daniel is a trustee of the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and a board member of the University of the District of Columbia School of Law Foundation, and is a co-founder and board member of DC Vote. His funding focuses on civil, human, and political rights and social justice. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. He lives in Northwest Washington, DC, wife his wife Jane and their two sons.

Joe Sternlieb

Joe Sternlieb came to Washington, DC in 1986 and worked as an organizer and lobbyist for a nuclear arm control PAC and civil rights organizations.  In 1989, after being elected to his local ANC, made a career pivot to focus on local issues – earning a masters degree in city planning from MIT – and returning to DC as the staff director to the DC Council Committee on Economic Development.   Joe was involved in some of the major economic development initiatives of the city’s financial recovery during the fiscal crisis of the 1990’s including the DC Business Improvement District, Convention Center and Downtown Arena legislation.  Over the last 28 years he has been involved in launching, leading, or assisting initiatives to make the District a more livable, sustainable, successful, and equitable city with a focus on transportation, economic development, voting rights, housing and public education.  He led the planning and development of the DC Circulator system, creation of Georgetown Heritage, and a number of other visible public projects in the city.  He has served on multiple Mayoral task forces, Boards and Commissions, on a wide range of topics including affordable housing preservation, green building regulation, special education, and library renewal.  He is currently the CEO of the Georgetown Business Improvement District, and chairs the Board of DC Sustainable Transportation.  Joe co-founded DC Vote with Daniel Solomon in 1998.

Lauren C. Vaughan

Lauren C. Vaughan currently serves as the President and CEO of Samaritan Inns, a D.C. non-profit dedicated to combating homelessness and addictions.  She joined Samaritan Inns in Fall 2020 after two decades of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Previously, Lauren served as Executive Director of MentorPrize, a non-profit that connects at-risk youth with adult mentors; and she served for four years as Secretary of the District of Columbia, after Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed her in January 2015.

Prior to entering government, Lauren served as Executive Director of My Sister’s Place (MSP), a decades-old, non-profit in Washington, D.C. that shelters, supports and empowers survivors of domestic violence and their children. She oversaw completion of a multi-million dollar initiative to expand and renovate the organization’s emergency shelter, more than doubling its capacity.  Lauren also helped create a citywide domestic violence hotline and managed 45 employees.  In total, Lauren devoted 14 years to MSP, having previously served there as a volunteer and board member.

Lauren’s business experience includes leading and managing a D.C.-based business consulting firm and supporting the establishment of a D.C.-based project and construction management company in 2001. She applied her expertise to both companies simultaneously.  She has served on numerous boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors for DC Vote and the Mayor’s Commission on African American Affairs.

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lauren moved to the metropolitan DC area to attend graduate school at The George Washington University where she earned a Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management.  Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media from Hampton University and is a graduate of Leadership Greater Washington, Class of 2002.  Lauren resides in Ward 6 with her Yorkshire Terrier, Indiana Jones.

Dodd Walker

Dodd Walker is a commercial real estate executive, with over 20 years experience in; loan asset management and underwriting; acquisitions; and project management. He is currently a Vice President with Akridge, where he is responsible for land acquisitions and development. In his role as Development Manager, he is responsible for leading project teams through the processes of design, entitlements, jurisdictional interfacing, leasing, marketing, financing, joint venture structuring, contractor selection and construction of commercial real estate projects. In this capacity he is responsible for nearly $400 million of projects in various stages of production. Mr. Walker received a Bachelor of Finance from the University of Baltimore.

In addition to being a Board Member of DC Vote, he also serves on the Board of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, and is an active member in a number of other organizations.

Robinson Woodward-Burns

Robinson Woodward-Burns is a native Washingtonian and an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. He is an expert on statehood and state constitutionalism and is the author of Hidden Laws: How State Constitutions Stabilize American Politics, published in 2021 by Yale University Press. He is writing a second book, on voting rights under the American state constitutions, with support from a Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship. He has written on statehood and civil rights in a variety of academic journals and in The Atlanticand The Washington Post. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and M.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary.