EMILY's List

We ignite change by getting pro-choice
Democratic women elected to office.


Senior Leadership!

Meet the Leadership Team!

Madhur Bansal

Vice President, Research

Madhur Bansal is the Vice President of Research at EMILY’s List where she oversees the organization’s research department, including handling candidate research for women running up and down the ballot and fulfilling research requests for endorsed campaigns.

She was previously the deputy research director at EMILY's List during the 2018 cycle. Prior to joining EMILY’s List she worked at American Bridge and the DCCC, where she was the primary researcher for 14 competitive races on the committee’s independent expenditure program providing research backup on polls as well as television, digital, and radio ads. Madhur has also worked on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, in Congressman Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore City district office doing constituent services, and for South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).

Madhur has an MPA from Syracuse University and a BA from George Washington University. She spends her free time rooting for all Baltimore sports teams and finding new restaurants.


Emily Cain

Executive Director

Emily Cain joins EMILY’s List as Executive Director with a decade of experience as a state legislator and public policy leader, two cycles as one of the country’s top ranked Democratic congressional candidates, more than a decade of work in higher education and recent leadership as Chief Strategy Officer for a private sector tech company.

Emily, who was first elected to office at age 24, made her mark in Maine politics serving in both the House and Senate over five terms in the state legislature, leading the Appropriations Committee as Chair and serving as the youngest woman House Minority Leader in state history. In 2012, against all odds, Cain led House Democrats back into the majority by recruiting top candidates, electing more women, and winning tough seats in Maine’s challenging rural areas. As a leader in the legislature Emily Cain was known as a tough negotiator, deal closer, and champion for women, equality, domestic violence prevention, and economic development. In 2014 and 2016 Emily ran for U.S. Congress in two of the most competitive house races in the country.

As a candidate and leader of her party, Cain knocked on thousands of doors and travelled thousands of miles across rural Maine listening to the stories of working people who feel their elected officials are out of touch. Cain brings to EMILY’s List the perspective of someone who has been on the ground listening to voters, earning votes in tough places.

Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Emily was the Chief Strategy Officer at HistoryIT, a technology company dedicated to making historical collections more accessible and meaningful through digitization.

The daughter of a shoe salesman and a sign language interpreter, Emily is the oldest of three sisters and learned at a very young age the value of hard work, family, and education. Emily has lived in Maine most of her life, was born in Kentucky, and spent her childhood years in Illinois and New Jersey.

Emily is a graduate of the University of Maine and Harvard University, and is currently working to complete her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Maine. Emily and her husband of thirteen years, Danny Williams, live in Orono, ME with their dog, Bartlet the pug.


Angelique Cannon

Vice President of Development

Angelique Cannon is the vice president of development and has worked in politics, campaigns, and fundraising for 20 years. Recently, she served as the national finance director for U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign.

During the 2018 election cycle, Angelique served as the national finance director for Senate Majority PAC and Majority Forward. In 2017, she served as senior advisor to Tom Perriello’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia and at Urban Institute. Angelique was the deputy national finance director for the Mid-Atlantic region for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary for America.

Prior to joining the Clinton campaign, she served as the national finance director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for four years (2011-2014), where she developed and executed a $145 million finance plan. In 2010, she served as the major gifts director at EMILY’s List.

During the 2008 election cycle, Angelique served as national finance director for former Virginia Governor Mark Warner’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate. In 2006, she worked with Warner as deputy national finance director of his leadership PAC, Forward Together PAC. Angelique has also served as director of development for Third Way, national director for Senator Patty Murray’s 2004 reelection campaign, finance director for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s gubernatorial campaign in Maryland, and as deputy national finance director for Senator Harry Reid.

Angelique is from Augusta, GA and is an alum of Howard University. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children.


Karen Defilippi

Vice President, Federal & Gubernatorial Campaigns

Karen is the Vice President of Federal & Gubernatorial Campaigns at EMILY’s List, where she oversees the recruitment and campaigns of all women running for governor, U.S. Senate, or House of Representatives, including almost 100 candidates in 2018. Under her leadership, the Federal & Gubernatorial team helped triple the number of pro-choice Democratic women Governors and elected 34 new women to the House, including 24 red-to-blue seats, enough to deliver the Democratic majority alone.

During the 2016 cycle, she was a Political Advisor for the Northeast Region at EMILY’s List. Before that, she was the Chief of Staff to Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12), where she oversaw all congressional operations and political affairs. She also previously worked for Reps. Harry Teague (NM-2) and Peter Welch (VT-AL).

Karen managed a DCCC top-tier red-to-blue race, and is a veteran of multiple statewide campaigns, as well as then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign, where she started in Iowa, and eventually was on the ground in nine different states. She also spent two cycles as a direct mail consultant, producing award-winning mail and advertising on races up and down the ballot.

Karen is known for powering through even during the toughest situations, including multiple marathons. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she now lives in Washington, D.C. with her wife Liz, daughter Margaret, cat Ginny, and dog Rosie.


Ben Dotson

Vice President, Digital

Ben Dotson is the Vice President of Digital at EMILY’s List where he oversees digital fundraising, communications and organizing efforts for the organization, including the email, social media, text messaging and creative programs.

Most recently, Ben served as the Deputy Digital Director at EMILY’s List during the record-breaking 2016 election cycle. Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Ben was a Senior Digital Strategist at the Smoot Tewes Group, where he managed aggressive email, social media, and advertising campaigns for a range of clients in the energy, environment, conservation, and electoral sectors. From 2011 to 2014, Ben served in the Obama administration at the US Department of Energy, where he managed the agency’s digital reform program, a cutting-edge effort to centralize and modernize the agency’s digital communications infrastructure and staff. Ben started his career in LGBT and youth organizing and worked on a number of state and local campaigns in Michigan.

Ben is a native of Tennessee. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Music and George Washington University with a Masters in Political Management. In his free time, he is an avid film buff and foodie, and tries to make progress on his growing stack of to-read books.


Louisa W. Farley

Deputy Executive Director

Louisa Farley is the deputy executive director at EMILY’s List where she oversees the development and operational goals of the organization.

Louisa served as the vice president of development at EMILY’s List from 2015 through 2019. Louisa also served as the major gifts director from 2012 through 2014. Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Louisa lived in Australia where she worked with several political organizations including the Australian Labor Party’s national think tank, Chifley Research Centre and the New South Wales Labor Party. Louisa formerly served as national finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) where she oversaw the committee’s fundraising efforts for the 2009 – 2010 cycle and as finance director for New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s successful 2008 U.S. Senate campaign. From 2005 to 2007, Louisa worked in Connecticut and amassed a successful track record of raising resources for candidates at the state and federal levels, including Governor Dan Malloy and Senator Chris Dodd. At the beginning of her career, Louisa worked for Governor Mike Easley on his 2004 reelection campaign and worked for the South Carolina Democratic Party in 2002.

Louisa is a native of South Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and the University of Newcastle, Australia with a Masters in Business Administration. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children.


Callie Fines

Chief Financial Officer

Callie Fines serves as the CFO for EMILY’s List where she ensures the financial wellbeing of the organization and its compliance with election laws and regulations. Her span of responsibility encompasses all accounting, auditing, financial, budgeting, and federal and state compliance and election reporting activities.

Callie joined EMILY’s List nearly 20 years ago. Additional roles over her tenure at EMILY’s List have included Director of Finance and Compliance, and Compliance Coordinator. Her progression through the ranks has afforded her the opportunity to understand every aspect of her functional area from a hands-on perspective. This includes preparing monthly FEC reports for EMILY’s List, conducting research and filing reports in all states where EMILY’s List was active as a non-federal entity, and working closely with all EMILY’s List recommended campaigns.

Before joining EMILY’s List, Callie oversaw accounting and compliance for the PAC of a large trade association.

Callie earned her B.A. in political science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is a native Washingtonian and now lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband, two children, and golden retriever.


Christina Reynolds

Vice President, Communications

Christina Reynolds joins EMILY's List with nearly two decades of experience as a communications and research strategist. A lifelong fighter for progressive causes, she has managed large-scale press operations from the campaign trail to the White House. She most recently served as senior vice president at Global Strategy Group, a Democratic polling and public affairs firm.

Before joining GSG, Christina served as deputy communications director at Hillary for America. She also previously served as White House Director of Media Affairs and Special Assistant to the President, director of rapid response at Obama for America, research & policy director at the DCCC during the 2006 midterms, senior roles in several presidential and Senate campaigns, and deputy research director at the DNC.

A proud Tar Heel and Marine brat, Christina studied journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Denelle Robinson

Chief Administrative Officer

Denelle Robinson is the Chief Administrative Officer at EMILY’s List, overseeing all operations and human resource functions as well as leading the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. She most recently served as the Human Resources Director where she was responsible for the human resource function as well as overseeing the internship program.

Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Denelle served as HR Manager for a variety of clients with responsibilities of recruitment, payroll processing, benefits administration, employment law and relations, and many other human resources tasks, at Raffa, P.C., a consulting firm in Washington, DC. Prior to that, Denelle worked for the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington, DC, as the HR Director, where she oversaw the payroll, benefits and human resources function from 2007 through 2014.

Denelle holds a BBA degree from Georgia Southern University, is certified as a professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute as well as the Society for HR Management.

An avid swing style dancer, Denelle lives in Maryland with her husband and son.


Mike Sager

Chief Technology Officer & Chief Information Security Officer

Mike Sager is the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer for EMILY’s List, overseeing cybersecurity, technology infrastructure, and data and software development.

Most recently, Mike led analytics software development at Burson-Marsteller. Previously, Mike had served as the Political Technology Director at the AFL-CIO during the 2012 election cycle, designed Digital products at NGP VAN, and administered the DNC national voter file software during the 2008 cycle.

Mike lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughters, and dog. Mike is an amateur chef, jangle pop guitarist, and a diehard fan of both the Washington Nationals and the band The National.


Melissa Williams

Vice President, Independent Expenditures

Melissa Williams is the Vice President of Independent Expenditures, running the EMILY’s List independent expenditure arm, WOMEN VOTE!. In this role, she oversees the organization’s efforts to research, persuade, and mobilize women voters; and works to strengthen partnerships with progressive allies nationally.

Melissa also serves as the Executive Director of American Women, an affiliated organization of EMILY's List. American Women works to amplify women's voices across the country. In this role, she leads the organization's strategic vision, research, and outreach with allies and partners.

This is her second stint at EMILY’s List, first joining staff in the 2012 cycle to run the House and Gubernatorial IEs. Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Melissa was the National Political Director for the Sierra Club. While at the Sierra Club, she oversaw the electoral program, running independent expenditures, membership communications, and coordinated campaigns nationwide. Melissa has worked on independent expenditure and membership programs for a number of progressive organizations and labor unions. She holds degrees in Government and Women’s Studies from Harvard University. She also holds an M.S. in International Political Economics.


Johanna Silva Waki

Interim Vice President, Training & Community Engagement

Johanna is the interim Vice President for Training and Community Engagement where she oversees partnership, community engagement and training programs which help to expand and diversify the pipeline of women running for public office.

Most recently, Johanna served as the Programs and West Coast Director for State and Local Campaigns at EMILY’s during the 2016 and 2018 election cycle. She worked tirelessly to increase the number of Democratic, pro-choice women in both chambers of California’s state legislature. By 2018, the number of women legislators in California increased by 10%, and overall female representation in the state grew to more than 30%. In 2016, she led the effort to flip New Mexico’s House and Nevada’s state Assembly and Senate and increased the majority and number of women in Colorado’s State House.

In 2002, Johanna founded Hope Road Consulting, a full-service political consulting and public relations firm, which she led until 2015. One of her stand-out achievements was to manage Vote Hope 2008, the largest independent expenditure in support of Barack Obama for President.

An immigrant of Nicaragua, Johanna, lives in the San Francisco with her husband, Jerry, son Sebastian, and dog Leo. Johanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and La Raza Studies from California State University, San Francisco.


Sarah Curmi

Interim Vice President, State and Local Campaigns

Sarah Curmi is the Interim Vice President of State and Local Campaigns at EMILY’s List, where she oversees the team that recruits and advises women running for down-ballot statewide, state legislative, and local offices.

Sarah joined EMILY’s List as a Regional Director in 2015, working with candidates and elected officials in more than 10 states over three cycles, and more recently served as a Senior Director, overseeing staff in the western half of the country. Throughout her tenure on the State and Local team, she has served as a key thought partner in the program’s strategic development and expansion.

Prior to her work with EMILY’s List, Sarah served as the Chief of Staff to Michigan State Senator Rebekah Warren, where she directed all legislative operations and political affairs. She was also the Caucus Director for the Michigan Senate Democrats, where she managed candidate recruitment and oversaw the campaigns for Democratic nominees across the state.

Growing up in a politically-active family, Sarah started volunteering on campaigns at an early age, and was elected to her hometown school board at just 18 years old. She has managed several state legislative campaigns, and worked on races up and down the ballot throughout her career.

Sarah is passionate about effecting change at the state and local level because she has seen the profound impact these elected officials have on our daily lives, and the desperate need for more diverse representation in city halls and state capitols all over the country.

She is a proud Michigander and graduate of the University of Michigan. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.