Ellen Clarkson, Chief Operating Officer
Ellen arrived at The Citizens Campaign with extensive experience, a varied background in law and the non-profit world, and a commitment to helping people play an active role in their communities. As Chief Operating Officer, Ellen oversees and manages The Citizens Campaign staff and programs. With Ellen's leadership, we can provide even more opportunities for engaging citizens in solving the problems of our hometowns and State. Contact Ellen at email@example.com or 732-548-9798 x6.
Amanda Kathryn Roman, Senior Director, Engagement
Amanda is an experienced non-profit marketing & fundraising executive, a well-known transpartisan political strategist and a grassroots activist leader. Roman brings her leadership to the team at The Citizens Campaign where she is helping to resurrect the standard of civic service and empowering New Jerseyans to deliver results that make government work better and cost less. She brings two decades of experience inspiring and building broad coalitions and leading teams with diverse stakeholders. Amanda’s work began in her home state of NJ, took her throughout all 50 states and led to a decade in Washington, DC. She brings this extensive on-the-ground experience to The Citizens Campaign where she is designing and implementing a comprehensive engagement strategy to catalyze the growth and advance the mission of empowering citizens by teaching them the political skills they need to bring constructive, responsible leadership in service to their communities and the nation. Roman is a founding partner with Joan Blades of LivingRoomConversations.org which empowers communities to reweave the fabric of our civil society demonstrating that respectful conversation can enrich our lives and enable us to create better solutions to all the challenges we face together. Amanda’s passion is to change the game of dependent democracy by serving as a catalyst for the creation of a new force of citizen problem solvers. Since 2000, Amanda has been deeply honored each year when her namesake ‘Amanda Hydro Award’ is presented to someone who exhibits outstanding leadership & community service by the Somerset County Youth Services Commission, of which she is a former member. She lives her life in passionate pursuit of service to others and supports those who want to do the same. Amanda lives in Readington, NJ with her husband Dave and their two children. She is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her family, reading, wine tastings and hosting potluck dinners & Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments for her friends. If you are interested in supporting The Citizens Campaign with your time, talent or treasure email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (732) 548-9798 x. 4.
Heather Taylor, Senior Director, Communications
Heather is the Senior Director, Communications & Public Affairs for The Citizens Campaign. In this role, Heather loves working with a broad cross section of citizens, elected officials, non-profits and businesses with the common purpose of making our communities stronger and more resilient. Heather has successfully advocated for the adoption of several state laws and more than 100 local ordinances - using strategic communications, community building, and a smile. As part of her work with The Citizens Campaign, she put her degree in Journalism to further use in developing and overseeing a "Citizen Journalism" training program to empower people to report and publish local news. Since most daily newspapers have cut their municipal assignment desks, Heather teaches citizens traditional journalism skills as well as the keys to publish online. Heather is a graduate of Rutgers University with a double major in Political Science and Journalism & Mass Media Studies. Outside the office, Heather can often be found at a small club catching a touring band. Ever since her first concert at Trenton's legendary City Gardens, she has been avid music fan. She lives in Plainsboro, NJ with her husband David Bander. Do you have a citizen leader success story to tell? Email her at email@example.com or call (732) 548-9798 x.1.
Aneil Mohammed, Senior Field Coordinator
Aneil Mohammed is celebrating 7 years with The Citizens Campaign. He started in 2007 as Education Director and was instrumental in developing and implementing a statewide civics education trainers program and the organization’s Jersey Call to Service state-wide initiative. In 2011, Aneil became the Senior Field Coordinator at the Citizens’ Campaign. He has worked on several initiatives throughout the state including establishing alliances in New Brunswick, Plainfield, Jersey City, Hillside Township, Elizabeth, Newark, East Orange, Irvington, Perth Amboy, Plainfield and Rahway. He has also coordinated educational learning opportunities for the “Central-Ward Call to Service Summit” in Newark where over 100 regular citizens were empowered regarding civic opportunities in their local ward, city and community and advised and facilitated citizens towards becoming citizen leaders as Citizen Journalists, Appointed Officials & Political Party Committee Leaders. He has worked to educate approximately 1,000 regular citizens through leadership classes developed by The Citizens Campaign. In his current capacity as Senior Field Coordinator, Aneil co-chairs the New Brunswick Hyperlocal Press Advisory Board, serves as a member of the Structure/Operations Committee-New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, co-facilitates the Perth Amboy- Bay City Conversations addressing the issues of at-risk youth, the environment and establishing a Arts and Cultural Council; facilitates the City of Perth Amboy Sustainable Jersey Green Team Initiative and plans, coordinates and facilitates various large scale meetings and events. Aneil serves his community in many ways including the Woodbridge Township Mayor’s Advisory Committee, New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, Tri-City Community Engagement Committee, New Brunswick 4H and New Brunswick Hyper-Local Press Advisory Board. Aneil graduated from Kean University in 2007 with a Master’s in Information Systems and in 2004 with a BS in Computer Science/Technology. Aneil served in many leadership roles, including student government and various honor societies and as a founding member of Alpha Epsilon Lambda-Graduate Students Honor Society. He is married to Priya Ramcharitar and currently resides in Menlo Park Terrace, Metuchen, NJ. Do you want to learn more about The Citizens Campaign's leadership and empowerment classes & how you can make an impact in your city? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (732) 548-9798 x.3.
Kimberly Vanderhoef, Esq., Law & Policy Coordinator
Kimberly brings her passion for public service to the Citizens Campaign as Law & Policy Coordinator. With a background in psychology, Kimberly has always been devoted to helping others, and this interest is what motivated her to pursue a law degree at Seton Hall Law School. While at Seton Hall Law School, Kimberly focused her education and extracurricular activities on pro bono and public interest work through her efforts at Seton Hall’s Center for Social Justice, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex County, and various civil rights projects. Her enthusiasm for creating positive social change and giving back to the community earned her the Lexis Nexis Public Interest Award upon her graduation. She has done extensive policy research for non-profit organizations such as Amnesty International and has worked on several human rights reports, one of which took her to Haiti in 2012 to perform on the ground investigation of human rights abuses by the government. Kimberly currently lives in Bayonne, NJ and is also an aspiring novelist. She spends much of her free time working on two fiction novels that she is currently writing. She also enjoys travelling all over the world and exploring different cultures, which has included a seven week study abroad program in Cairo, Egypt. At The Citizens Campaign, Kimberly is excited to continue pursuing her interests by empowering New Jersey citizens to serve their communities and shape the future of a revitalized democracy. If you have any ideas about practices or solutions that would benefit New Jersey, email Kimberly at email@example.com or call 732-548-9798 x2.
Dorian Smith, Esq., Law & Policy Coordinator
Dorian uses his legal and policy expertise to empower citizens to address issues in their community. As a strong advocate for bi-partisan and non-partisan cooperation, Dorian conducts research to identify evidence-based solutions that can address local issues without regard to partisan politics. Dorian is actively involved in finding solutions for issues affecting Perth Amboy and Trenton, and is especially dedicated to improving education and public safety in urban areas. He also coordinates a team of law and policy experts that analyze the most effective practices and policies that address the most pressing concerns for New Jersey residents. Dorian received his Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School in Newark, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University. As a proud Hamptonian, Dorian served as a Peer Counselor for students experiencing a wide range of personal issues. At Rutgers, Dorian worked for the Special Education Law Clinic, advocating for students with disabilities pursuing their rights to a Free and Appropriate Public Education. These experiences strengthened Dorian’s desire to help others, and he is committed to public service for those less fortunate. On his free time, Dorian writes articles on issues surrounding the African American Community, plays pool, and plays with his pets. He enjoys watching sports, listening to music, and craft beer. If you have any ideas in about practices or solutions that would benefit New Jersey, email Dorian at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 732-548-9798 x8.
Angeline Dean, Trenton Coordinator
Angeline Dean has developed a sharp eye for how operations get bloated with cross-purposes and miscommunication, and how they can retool for a sleeker, smoother, strategically focused organization from her two decades of managerial and operational experience. She is an entrepreneur who is not afraid to take risks, and possesses a keen sense of recognizing and responding to the call for the empowerment and education of the underprivileged and underrepresented populations. Angeline’s for profit consulting business, Dynasty, was launched in 2010 and her first children’s book was released in March 2012. Her book Not Just A Slave was an answer to her fourteen-year-old cousins question as well as so many other minority children-- “Am I just a slave?” Her book was submitted for the Coretta Scott King award 2013. As a partner in an Education company, ‘In Black & White’- she helps to educate in the field of cultural diversity, and recently was selected as a cultural diversity trainer for Subaru Corp. of America. She obtained her Master’s Degree from the John Watson School of Public Policy at Thomas Edison where she studied Community/Economic Development in her bid to continue to be effective and innovative. Ms. Dean served as the liaison to the faith-based community in her quest to bring White House aid to the City of Trenton. Angeline is an educator and has been ministering in the federal prison system for twelve years. As The Citizens Campaign’s Trenton Coordinator, Angeline is embracing the opportunity to serve the residents of Trenton to become more empowered and make systemic changes in their City. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and traveling. If you live in Trenton and want to become involved, email Angeline at email@example.com or call her at 732-548-9798 x7.
Amanda Conley Ayers, Administration and Events Coordinator
Amanda Conley Ayers (“AC”) joins The Citizens Campaign with a diverse background founded on positive psychology and the impact of emotional skills, engagement, resilience, and leadership on individual and organizational excellence. A co-editor of the Oxford University Press’s The Oxford Handbook of Happiness, Amanda possesses a comprehensive understanding of the psychology of happiness and its many applications, including politics and government. In addition, she brings more than a decade of evidence-based research, writing, and practical experience in administrative and organizational effectiveness. Amanda is deeply interested in the role that emotions play in party politics, and seeks to engage and empower individuals at the local level, where citizens are more likely to apply government according to their needs, not their party. Amanda holds a Master’s Degree in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelors degree in English from Boston University. Amanda enjoys horseback riding; DIY home improvement projects; fantasizing about writing the next great American novel; and above all, spending time with her family. She lives in Westfield, NJ with her husband and their two children. Contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (732) 548-9798 x. 5.
Grace Shackney, Assistant to the Chairman
Grace was previously Director of Artistic Administration at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ, a position she held for 19 years. Her responsibilities at McCarter included contracting, artist cultivation, community relations, board development, meeting and production coordination, staff development and the direction of the theater-wide internship program. Grace was assistant to the Broadway producer Richard Frankel at Richard Frankel Productions in New York City. She also served as Producing Associate for the Twilight Performing Arts Festival on the campus of the Bucks County Community College in Bucks County, PA. In the late 1960’s, she was a founding member of the Theatre Six Theatre Company in Metuchen, NJ. In addition to her theater work, Grace served on the boards of several local chapters of The League of Women Voters in Rockland County, New York; Bucks County, Pennsylvania; and in Metuchen, New Jersey. It was during her work with the League in Metuchen that she met Harry and Caroline Pozycki, founders of The Citizens Campaign. She was a Citizens Campaign volunteer teacher and coach for many years before joining the staff. She previously served as Chair of the Metuchen Development Commission and is currently Chair of the Metuchen Arts Council. Grace also is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick. She has B.A. degree in Theater Administration from Rutgers University and lives in Metuchen, NJ, where she raised her two sons and happily entertains her five grandsons. In her spare time, Grace loves producing live music performances and arts events in Metuchen. Contact Grace at email@example.com or call (732) 548-9798 x. 5.
Joe Malinconico, Editor, Paterson Press
Joe Malinconico is a Bayonne-born “Jersey Guy” whose 20-year journalism career took him from being a copy boy at the New York Times to one of the State’s top investigative reporters at the Star-Ledger. During his 13-year tenure at the Star-Ledger, Joe’s stories were credited with providing insight that led to reforms in transportation policy and the E-ZPass system. Joe won the 1999 Dee Murphy Award and the NJPA’s Robert P. Kelly Award in 2007. In 2012, with funding from The Rita Allen Foundation, Joe wrote a how-to guide for online investigative journalism called “Shining Light in Dark Spaces: A Hyperlocal Reporter’s Guide to Covering Municipal Government in New Jersey.” Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.