Staff - Freedman Consulting, LLC
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Staff

Tom Freedman

President

 

As President of Freedman Consulting, LLC, Tom Freedman is an advisor to leading political figures, corporations, and non-profit organizations developing policy ideas that become part of an effective strategic message. Mr. Freedman served in the Clinton Administration as Senior Advisor to the President, and prior to that as Special Assistant to the President for Policy Planning. In the 1996 presidential campaign, Mr. Freedman was Chief of Staff for Strategy, helping to create the policy and communications plan for Clinton/Gore ’96. Previously he was Press Secretary and later Legislative Director to then Congressman Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). He co-founded the non-profit organization the Welfare to Work Partnership, which grew to include more than 20,000 companies that hired more than 1 million Americans off of public assistance.

Mr. Freedman served as a member of the 2008 presidential Obama-Biden Transition Project on the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform Policy Working Group, and was a policy consultant for President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, Obama for America.

Mr. Freedman is an honors graduate of Carleton College, and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where he was Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review. Mr. Freedman was awarded a traveling Watson Fellowship in 1985 and conducted a year long study of the African famine. He has published opinion articles in a variety of newspapers including The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Post. In 2009, Mr. Freedman authored the chapter of recommendations for the next Domestic Policy Council in the book Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President (Center for American Progress) and wrote a chapter on ending child hunger in America with Joel Berg in the book Memos to the New President (Progressive Policy Institute). He serves on the Advisory Board for the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program.

Karin Freedman

Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Karin K. Freedman is a Vice President and CFO of Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she leads all financial and budgeting matters for the firm and advises on firm strategic direction, mission, and vision.

She served in the Clinton Administration from 1995 until 2001 in various capacities, including as Communications Director and Chief of Staff of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, and as Special Assistant to the President. From 2001 through 2005, Ms. Freedman served at the Democratic Leadership Council and Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. as Press Secretary, the senior officer in charge of media relations.

Ms. Freedman has also served on Capitol Hill as a member of the staff of the United States Senate Budget Committee. Ms. Freedman is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Kyra Jennings

Vice President

Kyra Jennings serves as a Vice President of Freedman Consulting, LLC, utilizing her previous experience with top-level political campaigns and elected officials to advise leading foundations, non-profit organizations, and new coalitions and partnerships. Her work for clients includes communications strategy and messaging, policy and issue advocacy campaigns, high-level events, and strategic planning.

At Freedman Consulting, she has helped launch and worked to grow multiple nascent coalitions and public-private partnerships, including the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, Next Century Cities, and Skills for America’s Future. Ms. Jennings has also managed strategic planning, communications campaigns, and event development for organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Broad Institute, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She served as a consultant for Obama for America 2012.

Ms. Jennings previously served as Press Secretary for Alex Sink’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign in Florida and as Communications Director for Chief Financial Officer Sink in her statewide elected office. Prior to that, she was the Southern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) during their historically successful 2008 election cycle. Ms. Jennings also served as the Communications Director for Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and for former Congressman Chris Carney’s (D-PA) insurgent 2006 campaign. She graduated with distinction from Duke University.

Bill Nichols

Vice President

Bill Nichols is a Vice President at Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he uses his significant experience in journalism to advise clients on innovative and proven strategies for success. He joined the firm after a 35-year career in journalism, most recently as the founding Managing Editor of POLITICO. Mr. Nichols brings decades of experience in covering Washington and national politics and a successful track record guiding two innovative media startups: the launch of POLITICO in 2007 and POLITICO Europe in 2015.

Before joining POLITICO, where he served as Managing Editor from 2007-2012 and Editor-At-Large from 2012-2015, Mr. Nichols spent more than 20 years at USA Today. He covered the Clinton White House from 1993-1999, the State Department from 1999-2004 and was a senior correspondent in the newspaper’s Washington bureau. As a reporter and editor, Mr. Nichols covered 8 presidential campaigns, 16 national conventions and traveled to more than three dozen countries.

Mr. Nichols has been a frequent speaker on the media’s digital transformation both nationally and internationally and has been part of the Bosch Foundation’s Journalism Program for German and American Journalists since 2010. Mr. Nichols was a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in 2009 and chaired the National Reporting jury in 2010. He also is a past Secretary/Treasurer of the Executive Committee of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press. He graduated from Indiana University.

Adriana Lacerda

Director of Operations

Adriana Lacerda is the Director of Operations at Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she oversees general office operations, contracts management, hiring and staffing processes, and assists the firm’s Executive Team on management and strategic decisions. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Lacerda worked for mission-driven organizations on multiple international development projects focused on health, higher education, and the environment. She has extensive experience with financial management and contracts administration of federally-funded projects, and has established a record of developing new systems and improving organizational processes.

Ms. Lacerda is originally from Brazil, where she worked for the State Court of her native state of Rio Grande do Sul. She graduated from University of Passo Fundo, Brazil, with a bachelor of law and social sciences, and holds a master’s degree in management as well as a master’s in business administration from University of Maryland University College.

Alexander Hart

Project Director

Alexander C. Hart is a Project Director with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he leads and conducts projects in research, media and program evaluation, policy and strategic planning, and public opinion research. His work for firm clients covers a broad portfolio of issues including technology openness and access, poverty and economic opportunity, municipal policy, children and family policy, voting rights, and genomic medicine. Mr. Hart has worked with major political campaigns, foundations, and non-profit organizations including the Ford Foundation, Next Generation, Open Society Foundations, President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.

Mr. Hart joined the firm in 2012 as a Senior Associate. Previously, Mr. Hart covered the House of Representatives for Congressional Quarterly and was a Reporter-Researcher for The New Republic. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service with a degree in international economics.

His work has been published in The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Congressional Quarterly, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, CQ Weekly, The Orlando Sentinel, ABCNews.com, and The Alexandria Times. Mr. Hart was also one of the lead authors on the report A Future of Failure: The Flow of Technology Talent into Government and Civil Society, which was featured in Politico and cited in a White House report on Big Data.

Kyle Doran

Project Director

Kyle Doran is a Project Director with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he undertakes program evaluation, strategic planning, and policy research for firm clients. He has led and conducted projects across a variety of issue areas, including workforce development and the labor market, public interest technology, government innovation, and agricultural policy. Mr. Doran has developed reports in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation on labor market matching technology, tech training programs, opportunities for philanthropy in public interest technology, community wireless networks, and public-private partnerships.

Mr. Doran joined the firm in 2013 as a Senior Associate. Previously, Mr. Doran was a Deputy Data Director for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Iowa, and worked on the data team for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Mr. Doran served in the Peace Corps in Armenia, where he helped advance civil society programs and assisted in curriculum development and classroom instruction as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Volunteer. Previously, he was a Field Organizer for then Senator Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in Alaska and Ohio. Mr. Doran holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Dan Lebiednik

Project Manager

Dan Lebiednik is Project Manager with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he supports firm clients in communications strategy, issue advocacy, and strategic planning efforts. His current portfolio includes a focus on technology policy and supporting collaboration among foundations. Previously, Mr. Lebiednik worked as a communications consultant at CLS Strategies, where he advised a wide range of clients, including a leading robotics trade association, the government of Kenya, and a coalition to support patent reform.

Prior to his consulting work, Mr. Lebiednik served in the Peace Corps in the Federated States of Micronesia, teaching English as a second language and supporting community development projects. During his service, he co-founded a summer camp for boys focused on teaching health and life skills, and created a strategic improvement plan for a local elementary school. Mr. Lebiednik also interned at the U.S. Department of State. He graduated cum laude from New York University with a degree in journalism and Latin American studies.

Maria White

Project Manager

Maria White is a Project Manager at Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she leads client engagements involving policy research, strategic planning, and issue advocacy campaigns. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. White was the Deputy Director in the Office of the Secretary at the Democratic National Committee.

Ms. White was with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for six years in a number of high-level roles, including as the Political Research Director, where she developed and managed SEIU’s research infrastructure, and as the Health Care Reform Campaign Lead Researcher. She also served as a Senior Member Strength Specialist on Immigration, where she focused on activating and training local SEIU leaders and membership.

She previously worked as a Research Analyst at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2008 election cycle, and held research positions with Athena Group Research, MSHC Partners, Inc., and the International Peace Operations Association. Ms. White has a degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University.

Ashley Anderson

Senior Associate

Ashley Anderson is a Senior Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she helps drive strategy, research, planning, and advocacy efforts for public policy clients.

Prior to joining Freedman, Ms. Anderson completed a consulting engagement for MasterCard where she researched government payment flows in emerging markets. In addition, she was a 2015 summer fellow for the Millennium Challenge Corporation in the Philippines, where she conducted stakeholder interviews to report on the impacts of MCC’s development programs. She also has several years of experience in strategic communications and marketing, specifically for associations and advocacy groups.

Ms. Anderson has a master’s degree in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from the College of Charleston.

Alex Fiorille

Senior Associate

Alex Fiorille, a Senior Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC, assists with research and writing needs for client teams on a variety of policy, communications, and strategic planning work. Mr. Fiorille joined the firm in 2015 as a Research Associate and previously worked as an intern for the International Center for Journalists, where he assisted in program management for the Knight International Journalism Fellowship. Mr. Fiorille has interned on Representative Louise Slaughter’s reelection campaign, the editorial team of Afterimage Magazine, and the Maine Department of Corrections Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. He graduated from Bates College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics.

Luke Freedman

Senior Associate

Luke Freedman is a Senior Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he assists with research and writing needs for the firm’s clients. Previously, Mr. Freedman worked as a U.S. Elections Analyst with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, where he covered the 2012 U.S. elections and wrote and conducted research on American politics and policy for an Australian audience. He also interned at Politico, Climate Solutions, and the ACLU of Washington State. Mr. Freedman’s writing has appeared in a range of print and online publications including The Australian, The Canberra Times, The Drum, and The Conversation. He graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College.

Sebastian Johnson

Senior Associate

Sebastian Johnson is a Senior Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC and a passionate believer in the role public policy can play in bettering lives. He currently helps drive strategic research and planning for firm clients and has experience working for public officials, research organizations, and students. His academic background is in economics, political science, history and public policy.

Before coming to Freedman Consulting, LLC, Mr. Johnson was the state policy fellow at the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy. He also served as a policy analyst for Governor Martin O’Malley and a number of local officials in Maryland. Sebastian is a 2010 TFA Corps Member, and taught third grade in Lawrence, MA. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Politics.

Sean Mickens

Senior Associate

Sean Mickens is a Senior Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC, conducting public policy research, strategic planning, and issue advocacy for foundations and non-profit organizations, such as the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations. His portfolio has included advising clients on Internet and technology policy and voting rights.

Most recently, Mr. Mickens served as the Broadband and Technology Fellow for the National Urban League, where he monitored policy, conducted research, and advocated on a wide range of civil rights issues with an emphasis on telecommunications and technology policy’s impacts on economic opportunity for underserved communities. Mr. Mickens previously was the Assistant Director of Development for the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, the Executive Assistant to the Founders at Third Way, and a congressional intern.

He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University with a degree in political science. As the Lucy Dalbiac Luard Scholar, Mr. Mickens also studied government at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kaye Sklar

Senior Research Coordinator

Kaye Sklar is a Senior Research Coordinator with Freedman Consulting, LLC. While at Freedman, Ms. Sklar has helped drive strategic research, policy and communications activities for firm clients. Ms. Sklar is currently focused on analyzing and writing about city government innovation. Previously, Ms. Sklar worked for Facebook as a Communications Extern on the product, policy, and corporate communications teams. Ms. Sklar has also worked with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the World Affairs Council of Oregon, and she interned with the U.S. Department of State. A Fulbright recipient, she researched Slovenia’s transition to independent statehood post-Yugoslavia. Ms. Sklar graduated from the University of Ljubljana with a Masters in Political Science and cum laude from Scripps College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

Laila Heid

Research Associate

Laila Heid is a Research Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she provides research and communications support for firm clients on a breadth of policy issues. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Heid served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Belém, Brazil, where she assisted the Universidade Federal do Pará with English language programming and instruction. Previously, she worked as a copy editor for the Podesta Group and interned for the Brookings Institution and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Ms. Heid graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Government.

Emily Van Dusen

Research Associate

As a Research Associate with Freedman Consulting, LLC, Emily Van Dusen assists with research, writing, and strategic planning tasks for firm clients. Previously, she worked for the Clerk of the House of Representatives as a Public Information Specialist. Ms. Van Dusen also was a Development and Communications Assistant at University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women. She previously interned at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the U.S. Department of Education, and for Congressman John Dingell (MI-12). Ms. Van Dusen graduated from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Ariana Perez

Content Coordinator

Ariana Perez is a Content Coordinator with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she writes and produces engaging multimedia on public sector innovation for the content development team. Prior to joining the firm, she was Editor for Breaking News in their London offices and covered international online news. Ms. Perez has previously interned with The Times, where she was published twice, and with London Live channel, where she was a video journalist. Ms. Perez graduated from City University London in the UK with an honors degree in Journalism.

Kyla Koboski

Special Assistant to the President

Kyla Koboski is the Special Assistant to the President with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where she manages scheduling and logistics for the firm principal, assists with special projects, and oversees the firm internship program. Prior to joining Freedman Consulting as an Administrative Associate, she was a Production Assistant with the media consulting firm, McKenna Pihlaja. Ms. Koboski previously interned with the White House in the Office of the Vice President and for Representative Keith Ellison’s campaign and Representative Dave Loebsack. Ms. Koboski is a graduate of Hope College with a degree in Political Science.

Matt James

Senior Fellow

Matt James is a nonprofit leader whose 30-year career has woven together public policy, communications, advocacy, and movement building. He is a nationally known expert on communications and public education, with broad expertise in the environment, climate change, child well being, and public health.

James is currently a Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where his work is focused on climate change and health. He is also a founding partner of a strategic communications firm, Vrge Strategies, where he is developing a practice in strategic philanthropy and communications. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow at Freedman Consulting, LLC.

In 2011, James launched Next Generation, a start-up communications, research and policy non-profit that created major projects and programs in the areas of climate and sustainability, and investment in children and families.

Prior to his time at Next Generation, James held leadership positions with the Kaiser Family Foundation, where he helped develop and launch Kaiser Health News, helped design and oversee the building of the Barbara Jordan Conference Center, developed a series of journalism fellowship programs, and created media partnerships with for-profit and non-profit media companies. James is on the board of the CDC Foundation and has served on the boards of the Udall Foundation, Grantmakers in Health, and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Earlier in his career he served as a senior adviser to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Dale Bumpers and Congressman Morris K. Udall.

Mike Taylor

Senior Fellow

Mike Taylor joined Freedman Consulting in 2016 to continue his multi-faceted career in government, academia and the private sector focused on issues affecting the success of the food system in the United States and internationally.

He served in government most recently as FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, where he oversaw all of FDA’s food safety, nutrition, food labeling and animal health activities and led the overhaul of the nation’s food safety system mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.  Mr. Taylor started his government career at FDA as a staff lawyer and Executive Assistant to the Commissioner (1976-1981) and returned in 1991 as FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy, where he oversaw FDA rulemaking and policy development under Commissioner David Kessler and played a lead role in FDA’s initial implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act.

In 1994, following the historic outbreak of illness caused by E. coli O157H:7 in hamburger, he was appointed as Administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and served simultaneously for two years as Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety.  During that time, he led meat safety reforms that reversed century-old USDA food safety policy by making meat and poultry processors accountable for using modern, science-based methods for preventing or minimizing pathogen contamination of their raw products.

From 2000-2009, Mr. Taylor held policy research and academic positions at Resources for the Future, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the George Washington University School of Public Health.  He also chaired the multi-university Food Safety Research Consortium and was a Senior Fellow at the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa.  His research and writing included such topics as risk-based food safety priority setting and institutional reform, FDA oversight of novel food technologies, and policies affecting the success of agriculture in Africa, including development assistance policy, infrastructure investment, and reform of intellectual property policy.

In the private sector, Mr. Taylor was a partner in King & Spalding, where he founded the food and drug group and practiced for 12 years; led an internal policy group at Monsanto Company for 16 months; and served on several National Academy of Sciences committees addressing food system issues.

Mr. Taylor received his B.A. from Davidson College and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Mallika Madhusudan

Spotlight Fellow

Mallika Madhusudan assists the firm with the Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity website. She is currently pursuing a combined bachelors/master’s in Economics as well as minors in Spanish and Mathematics at the University of Georgia. After graduation, Mallika plans to pursue a career in economic consulting.