The Mission

Future Now Fund is building the power to improve Americans’ lives — by winning state legislative majorities and working with them to achieve goals for the common good.

Future Now Fund in the News

  • Press - newyorker

    "Changing power in state legislatures determines who will win in Congress, who will win the presidency, and what kind of country we are living in."

  • Press - washpost

    “A national group seeking to help Democrats win control of the Virginia General Assembly is trying a novel approach in key areas of the state: a money challenge that rewards candidates who visit as many voters as possible.”

  • Press - nytimes

    “There’s so much focus on the presidency, as if it alone is going to fix all the country’s problems and everything that’s wrong with our politics. We, of course, know that’s not true.” —Daniel Squadron

  • Press - huffpost

    “A whole lot of people have found religion on state legislatures but unfortunately they stop at gerrymandering. That’s just the beginning… To that end, Future Now also has a nonprofit arm that embeds itself in state legislatures after elections are over to provide policy and political expertise for Democratic lawmakers.”

  • Press - nbc news

    “The illusion that the president can solve all of our country's problems is a very dangerous one. In the last quarter, the Democratic presidential candidates raised enough money to fully fund more than a dozen state legislative campaigns that would have a lasting impact. The maximum number of candidates who can have a lasting impact is one.” —Daniel Squadron

  • Press - intercept

    “We believe strongly that the way you move federal policy is by moving state policy. When you look at the interest for this in red, blue, and purple states, that is a great mandate for the federal government to do something.” —Daniel Squadron

  • Press - atlantic

    “For years, narrow special interests have focused on states and it’s poisoned our entire democracy. We aren’t going to win the argument at cocktail parties in Washington, D.C. We’ll win it in state capitols like Phoenix by electing good people who are actually interested in improving lives.”

  • Press - nytimes

    “The way to change politics in people’s lives is to change state legislatures. Oh, and by the way, you’ll also change voting rights and gerrymandering along the way.” —Daniel Squadron

  • Press - vox

    “The ability for candidates to communicate they exist and the freedom for candidates to knock on doors and meet the constituents is game changing in state elections.” As a former New York state senator, Squadron knows the importance of local campaigning and face-to-face contact from local candidates to voters.”

  • Press - buzzfeed

    “The fact is, state legislatures do most of the governing that affects our daily lives, yet only get a fraction of the attention paid to Congress. Particularly at a time when the federal government is gridlocked, the state level is where we can get far more done and deliver the kind of change that improves people's lives.”

  • Press - vice

    “The start-up model of Future Now and its compatriots rely on one important fact about state legislatures: They’re the cheap seats, relatively speaking. The cost of races for the U.S. House and Senate can easily climb into the millions, but a state legislative campaign is often between $100,000 and $150,000.”

  • Press - intercept

    “[Give Smart’s] call for donations is a money-ball approach to politics, getting the most bang for the least buck. At the state level, small amounts of money can go a long way.”

  • Press - nytimes

    “Giving Circles bring people together… and we’re working for change.”

  • Press - washpost

    “Candidates in state legislature races in Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and New York who were endorsed by [Give Smart] woke up to find tens of thousands of dollars in new money.”

  • Press - wnyc

    “The Giving Circle is really special because it's not just writing a check. You're engaged in the process.”


The Team

  • Adam Pritzker
    Co-Founder & Chairman

    Adam Pritzker is the Founder and CEO of Assembled Universe, an investment group developing the next generation of consumer, software, and financial services companies. Assembled Universe's subsidiaries include Assembled Brands Capital, a partnership with Oaktree Capital Management to provide growth capital to a consumer brands, Kid Made Modern, a DIY arts-and-crafts company to inspire kids through creativity, Khaite, a women’s ready-to-wear collection that reimagines classic American sportswear, and Assembled Financial, a consumer financial services company serving underbanked communities. Adam co-founded General Assembly, a leading education company providing workforce-training in technology, business, and design, which has trained over one million students since inception. General Assembly was acquired by The Adecco Group in 2018. Adam serves as a Trustee of Columbia University, where he studied economics and sustainable development with Jeffrey D. Sachs and graduated with a B.A. in Social Anthropology.

  • Jeffrey Sachs

    A global leader in economics, Professor Sachs is University Professor at Columbia University, a best selling author, and an advisor to governments throughout the U.S. at the city, state, and national level, and for heads of state around the world.

  • Daniel Squadron
    Co-Founder & Executive Director

    Executive Director of Future Now, Daniel was elected the youngest member of the New York State Senate in 2008, serving until 2017. He co-authored Senator Chuck Schumer's "Positively American: Winning Back the Middle Class Majority One Family at a Time" and has worked for electoral campaigns, as well as transportation and education causes.

  • Salvatore (Sal) Amico
    Programs Intern, Political

    Sal is a political science undergraduate at Fairleigh Dickinson University who graduated from the County College of Morris with an AA degree in social science. He has previously worked on a campaign to re-elect Rep. Andy Kim and is passionate about labor, environmental, racial justice, and women's rights.

  • Logan Booker
    Giving Circles Intern

    Logan, a Baltimore native, is a senior public policy undergraduate student at the University of Maryland-College Park. Logan has a passion for political advocacy and creating positive change in Black and Brown communities that have been underrepresented. She has previously worked with other nonprofits, campaigns, and legislators on a variety of causes related to social mobility. With a concentration in education policy, Logan studies student advocacy strategy, K-12 policies and practices, and the history of the racial achievement gap. In the future, she hopes to continue her studies in graduate school.

  • Guido Castellani
    Development Manager

    Guido has worked for a number of years in development, both in the nonprofit and political spheres. He earned his MSc. in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, focusing on wealth and income inequality. Prior to joining Future Now, Guido served as the Institutional Giving Manager at Prospect Park Alliance, as well as founding Solidarity NEPA, an organizing platform and workshop series in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

  • Lauren Popper Ellis
    Chief Strategy Officer & Counsel

    Lauren has worked on law and policy at the state level in the Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Office and the State Senate in New York and also has campaign experience at the local, state, and national levels. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

  • Amanda English
    Chief of Staff

    Amanda has circumnavigated the globe by ship (twice!) and has a passion for global communities. She has a knack for operations and making things work, which has led to her involvement in development projects locally and around the world. Her past roles involve managing field operations for Semester at Sea, a worldwide educational voyage, consulting for travel businesses, and serving on the board of an education-focused non-profit. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Western Kentucky University.

  • Esther Fraser
    Head of Storytelling

    As Head of Storytelling, Esther seeks to engage Future Now's various stakeholders by developing organizational stories that build empathy, connectivity, and shared vision. With 15 years’ experience in marketing and communications, primarily in the nonprofit and the social impact sectors, Esther holds an MS in Media Management from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

  • Andrew Grunwald
    Senior Political Director

    Andrew has managed political campaigns in states across the country on the federal, state and municipal level. He most recently worked for BerlinRosen to design direct mail, digital and TV ads for political candidates and organizations. Andrew has also worked in the U.S. Senate and is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

  • Nasrene Haj
    Deputy Director of Giving Circles

    Nasrene is a Brooklyn native and Sarah Lawrence College graduate who worked at a variety of NYC arts and cultural organizations prior to joining Future Now. In 2012, she founded a non-profit arts collective that enabled hundreds of creators to collaborate and develop work driven by justice and action, presented at dozens of unique spaces across NYC. Her journey into political (and non-political) work is fueled by her Palestinian-Jewish identity, Brooklyn upbringing, and passion for the power of movements and collective action.

  • Tia Howard
    Giving Circles Program Manager

    Tia began her career working on the fundraising side of several state and national level campaigns. In 2015, she took a break from the campaign trail to pursue a Master of Public Administration, while working as a Legislative Aide in the Massachusetts State Senate. Her experiences in Massachusetts led her to reorient her view from reinforcing what government is currently to one of imagining and advocating for what government could and should be. Just prior to joining Future Now, Tia worked to uplift the voices of women of color, immigrants, and care workers with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Care in Action. Tia is an alumna of American University’s School of International Service and Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

  • Aaron Kleinman
    Director of Research

    Aaron joined Future Now after co-founding the Give Smart project, which has raised more than $2,000,000 for state legislative candidates since its inception in 2018. Under his direction, Future Now’s research has appeared in outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Majority Report and The Intercept. Prior to his work in politics, he won the 1996 Connecticut Geography Bee.

  • Simone Leiro
    Director of Communications and Marketing

    Simone is a North Carolina native (and BBQ enthusiast). She heads communications, marketing, and message development at Future Now. She has previously led across digital, communications, and partnerships—most recently for efforts such as March For Our Lives, All In Together, and in the Obama White House. She serves on the board of Blue Future, connecting young people with campaigns, and as a volunteer with the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, supporting adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their families at UNC Hospitals.

  • Esther Marcos
    Development Intern

    Esther is a political science and advertising/public relations undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago. She has created public facing content and conducted research for a variety of public, private, and nonprofit organizations like the American Heart Association. She is driven to explore new things in order to achieve her overall dream of uplifting and representing the Latino/a community in media and public policy.

  • Melissa McCoy
    Program Manager, Policy

    Melissa started her career in the music industry, where she has close to a decade of experience interfacing with clients and leading complex projects on a global scale. She recently turned her attention to the nonprofit world, bringing her experience in project management, strategic planning and client services to Future Now. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego.

  • Mandara Meyers
    Chief Programs Officer

    In 2006, Mandara left her job as an attorney to develop hundreds of new political leaders as Director of Programs at the Center for Progressive Leadership. She then oversaw programming for 40,000 members as a Vice President at Leadership for Educational Equity. An alumna of Swarthmore College and University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mandara started her career as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

  • Elizabeth Mitchell
    Regional Director of Giving Circles

    Elizabeth is a DC native who left a piece of her heart in Brooklyn where she went to law school and started her family. She avoided the siren call of political activism until November 2016 but has devoted much of the last three years to recruiting DC volunteers to help flip State Houses in NC, PA, VA, and beyond. She was elected to the DC Democratic State Committee in 2018 to help advance these efforts and co-founded the DC Blue Wave committee, which is already hard at work in NC and PA.

  • Heidi M. Mitchell
    National Partnerships Director

    Heidi is a seasoned advisor in strategic partnerships with an established history in electoral politics, passionate about convening people around common goals while fostering a more inclusive political workplace. Heidi previously created and built out the partnerships team at ActBlue where she worked to elevate the voice of small-dollar donors. Throughout her career in electoral politics Heidi served as Executive Director of the Committee to Elect House Democrats (New Hampshire) where she orchestrated a majority flip for the first time since the Civil War, managed then-Sen. Joe Biden’s 2008 New Hampshire Presidential Primary Campaign, and ran political communications for the AFL-CIO in New England.

  • Caroline Plapinger
    Deputy Political Director

    Caroline has experience across political organizations, think tanks, and government. Most recently, she worked in the Texas Legislature as a Chief of Staff, and served as Executive Director of the House LGBTQ Caucus. In the Texas House, she worked on public education, immigration, and healthcare policy. Caroline is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

  • Rupa Ramadurai
    Senior Director, Policy

    After graduating from the University of Michigan, Rupa was a high school reading teacher. She then pursued a law degree at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law where she specialized in Child and Family Law. After, she spent five years practicing education law and policy, and most recently served in leadership development for educators seeking career paths in education policy or advocacy.

  • Alina Santiago
    Programs Intern, Lawmaker Services

    Alina is a current Master in Public Administration candidate at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, concentrating in social policy. Prior to pursuing her MPA, Alina earned a B.A. in Government with minors in Law & Society and English at Cornell University. She is passionate about policy reform that is inclusive and equitable, and is a strong believer in the power of policy to provide good jobs, quality education, and affordable healthcare for all. Her policy interests include education policy, social exclusion and human rights issues, and she hopes to work in these areas after she graduates this upcoming spring.

  • Marianna Vaidman Stone
    Senior Strategy Advisor

    Marianna leads policy development for Future Now, grounded in her many years of experience in government and advocacy, with a particular focus on land use, transportation and sustainability issues. When not working on policy for Future Now, she serves as chair of the board of the Vote Mama Action Fund, which supports moms with young children running for elected office up and down the ballot and across the country. She is a graduate of Williams College and the NYU School of Law.

  • Nicole Tantillo
    Senior Community Coordinator

    Nicole is a graduate of Binghamton University, where she studied human development, anthropology, and education. Following graduation, she joined the development events team at Prospect Park Alliance, where she discovered her passion for event planning and fundraising. Here at Future Now, Nicole supports the Community team in building out thoughtful programming and events. Outside the office, you can find Nicole snowboarding, reading thriller novels, and walking her dog, Margo.

  • Melissa Walker
    Director of Giving Circles

    Melissa Walker is an author of 10 novels for young adults and children. A former magazine editor, she now enjoys gathering people together to share stories about how they can pool their resources and change the balance of power in state legislatures. She is a graduate of Vassar College who hails from Chapel Hill, NC, and her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times and Teen Vogue.

  • Grace Yang
    Communications & Marketing Intern

    A native New Yorker, Grace is a rising senior at Williams College majoring in psychology and Chinese. She is committed to improving the lives of communities of color in ways that not only celebrate their agency but also amplify their voices. She is interested in applying a developmental and clinical psychology lens to the world of public policy, specifically, education and healthcare policy. She hopes to pursue public policy in her graduate studies and beyond.

  • Ian Zaman
    Operations Manager

    Among Ian’s varied interests, two notable standouts are policy and investing in his communities. Prior to joining Future Now, Ian worked as the Senior Program Manager in the Office of Policy, Research, and Diversity at the American Dental Education Association. Before that, he worked in Student Affairs at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

  • Mimi O Chun
    Board Member & Creative Director-At-Large

    Mimi leverages over 20 years of design experience bringing opportunities to life from the initial expression of a brand to products that live in the world. As a founder, advisor, and consultant, she has crafted online and offline experiences for a range of companies including IDEO and General Assembly.

  • Gayle Forman
    Board Member

    Award-winning author and journalist Gayle Forman has written several bestselling novels for young adults, including the Just One Series, I Was Here, Where She Went and the #1 New York Times bestseller If I Stay, which has been translated into more than 40 languages and was adapted into a major motion picture. Gayle's essays and nonfiction work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Elle, The Nation and Time.

  • David Karp
    Board Member & Technology Advisor

    David is an American entrepreneur and the founder and former CEO of Tumblr, the short-form blogging platform purchased by Yahoo! In 2013. According to the MIT Technology Review TR35 he was amongst the 35 highest ranking innovators of the world below the age of 35. He has served as a member of the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors since 2014.

  • John Raskin
    Board Member & Strategist

    John is a leader in building grassroots power to win policy change in the public interest. He is Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, New York's largest organization of public transit riders, and is a leading advocate for a renewed public investment in New York's public infrastructure.

  • Deborah Simon
    Board Member

    Deborah, an Indiana native, has a career that has spanned two industries—real estate and film—over the last 25 years. She is a Founder and Chairperson of the Simon Youth Foundation (SyF), an organization dedicated to developing schools and programs to educate at-risk youth throughout the country. Deborah also serves on the Board of Regents for Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, Statue of Liberty Board of Directors, Juilliard Board of Trustees, Centennial Chair of the ACLU, and Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as well as on several Advisory Boards.


Future Now Fund elects the next generation of America’s state leaders to achieve America’s Goals, a legislative blueprint for our nation’s renewal. Future Now Action helps state lawmakers achieve meaningful results through a policy library with model bills, a national network of peers and experts, cutting-edge state-level research, and personalized support. FNF/FNA offers a fast-paced environment focused on using the best available tools and resources to achieve our mission of building state legislative power to improve Americans’ lives. We encourage you to find out more about the organizations’ values here.

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