American Promise Education Fund, our non-profit 501(c)(3), is home to civic educational programs that engage, inspire, and create leaders from politically, professionally, and demographically diverse backgrounds. We identify, empower, and amplify the voices and actions of leaders who work across divides to preserve our democratic Republic and create a strong foundation for the future of our country.
American Promise, our non-profit 501(c)(4), is home to programs which offer support for all Americans who join us as volunteers on ballot initiative efforts, state and local 28th Amendment resolutions, the American Promise candidate pledge, citizen lobbying, and more. We support campaigns across the nation, organizing and empowering Americans to act together to ratify the 28th Amendment.
President and Board Member, American Promise and American Promise Education Fund
Jeff serves as President of American Promise. He has practiced law for three decades in public service and private practice, and is the author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. He is also the founder of Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides sustainable financing to businesses in the local agriculture economy. Previously, Jeff has been a partner in a major Boston law firm and served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the public law enforcement bureau in the Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts. Jeff has helped to start and been a board member of many non-profit organizations and businesses. Twitter: @ClementsJeff
Board Chair, American Promise and American Promise Education Fund
John is a corporate executive and entrepreneur whose body of work includes leadership in the early days of Staples, one of America’s most well-known office supply retailers. He helped expand the company from 3 stores to over 1000 outlets. He managed development programs including a prototype store, the B2B business unit, and a $10B global supply chain. John also co-founded and built a state-of-the-art healthcare information company, which he sold to Cardinal Healthcare. He now serves as CEO of Profit Isle, Inc.
Board Member, American Promise and American Promise Education Fund
Alicia is an analytical, creative and entrepreneurial leader with proven experience in developing, implementing and directing business development initiatives across sectors, multi-stakeholders levels and diverse communities, including Greater Boston, South East Asia, South & Central America, and Europe. Most recently the founder and CEO of Arts2You in the Boston area, Alicia has extensive experience in the business and non-profit sectors, including operations, strategy and business development and marketing.
Board Member, American Promise and American Promise Education Fund
Buff Kavelman is founder and president of The Kavelman Group Philanthropic Advisors (TKG). Buff Kavelman founded TKG in 1997 to serve individual donors, foundations and nonprofit leaders in strategic planning, board development, philanthropic initiatives, and external affairs. Buff is recognized for increasing organizational capacity, launching new initiatives, building effective partnerships, and raising institutional profiles. She has been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, served in senior positions at the American Academy in Rome, the Smithsonian and Columbia University. She has participated on many grantmaking panels, including the J. M. Kaplan Fund’s Innovation Prize, the Architectural League of New York, the Utah State Council on the Arts, the Pew Trust’s Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, and the New York State Council on the Arts, where she chaired two 2012 panels. From 2016 to 2018 she served on the expert selection panel for the New York Community Trust’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards. In 2019 she was certified in Nonprofit Board Consulting by BoardSource and appointed Co-Chair of Philanthropy New York’s International Grantmaking Network. With decades of experience in the philanthropic world, as a funder, board member and a nonprofit executive, she has a uniquely balanced perspective on organizational development.
Board Member, American Promise and American Promise Education Fund
Debra Winger began a career in TV and film and on stage in the mid 70’s. Her work includes Terms of Endearment, Officer and a Gentleman, Urban Cowboy, Big Bad Love, The Sheltering Sky and most recently The Lovers and Patriot. Raising 3 sons, writing a book (“undiscovered”), teaching a fellowship for Dr. Robert Coles’ noted course “The Literature of Social Reflection” and producing several documentaries including the Academy Award nominated film Gasland, about the oil and gas industry in her home state, led her to take note of how her own industry has been changed by corporations; how this not only affected the way business was done and films were made and released, but the livelihood of artists as well. Her support for and involvement with American Promise has been unwavering since its inception.
Board Member, American Promise Education Fund
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford is the Executive Director of MassVote. She grew up in Boston and has worked for many years in communities of color advocating for voting and civil rights. She joined MassVOTE in 2008. Cheryl is a critical public face for MassVOTE, recruiting coalition members, new donors, and volunteers. She sits on the Executive Board of the NAACP-Boston Branch as 2nd Vice President and is a past Executive Board Member and former Chair of the Board of Emerge Massachusetts. Before MassVOTE, Cheryl served as Chief of Staff to State Representative Willie Mae Allen. She is a graduate of Lesley College, with a B.S. Education & Psychology. Cheryl frequently serves as a poll worker for the City of Boston. She has served on the American Promise National Advisory Council since the organization was founded, and helped lead the successful cross-partisan campaign in Massachusetts to create the first Citizens Commission to Advance a Constitutional Amendment for Government of the People. Cheryl now serves on the Citizens Commission.
Board Member, American Promise
Jim Rubens is a former two-term Republican State Senator in New Hampshire. He served as the chair of the Public Affairs and Education committees in the Senate, as Chair of the NH GOP Platform Committee, and as a GOP candidate for US Senate and Governor. Jim is a private venture investor, focusing on New England start-ups in proprietary technology and healthcare solutions, and has been Board President of Headrest, a substance abuse program and suicide prevention hotline serving northern New England. In addition to his work with American Promise, Jim is the New England Chair of Take Back Our Republic, a conservative reform organization. Motivated by deep concern about the corrupting influence of concentrated money on republican principles, free speech and liberty for all Americans, government accountability to citizens, and competitive free enterprise, in 2018-19, Jim worked with American Promise and others to help lead the effort to pass a resolution in the New Hampshire legislature to make his state the 20th to formally call on Congress to pass and return to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment for reasonable limits on election spending. He lives with his family in Hanover, New Hampshire.
President and Board Member
Jeff, an attorney, is a founder and President of American Promise. He is the author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. In his legal career, he has been a partner in a major Boston law firm and has served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the public law enforcement bureau in the Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts. In 2012, He founded Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides sustainable financing to businesses in the local agriculture economy in New England. Jeff has helped to start and been a board member of many non-profit organizations and businesses. Twitter: @ClementsJeff
Proactively pivoting from a profit driven to a mission driven vocation, Leah joins American Promise as Managing Director. With a strong background in organizational and financial management, she is thrilled to contribute her experience to empowering staff, volunteers, and citizens to win the 28th Amendment. Leah brings a passion for consensus building and increasing organizational awareness among team members; she believes that members are best served by a healthy organization, a state achieved through ongoing goal assessment, feedback, and evaluation. Born and raised in New England, she earned her BA in Psychology from Boston University. Previously, she worked as an Operations Manager at BioMimetic Systems, a biotech firm in Cambridge, MA and most recently, she worked as an Engagement Manager at ATLANTIC-ACM, a Boston-based market strategy and management consulting firm.
Recognized as a reliable, energetic, and organized entrepreneur with strong business and leadership skills Susan is the Events Director at American Promise. Raised in Wisconsin, she earned her BA from Wheaton College and her MBA from Babson College. Susan started her career at Bank of New England, where she performed various roles including VP of Credit Services. Over the next fifteen years, Susan took her creative flair and strong graphics background to found and operate Custom Signs, Inc., and provided a full range of signage media to businesses and individuals. From 2010 to 2016 she was Tea Forté’s Trade Show Manager. In 2016, Susan joined American Promise to dedicate her strong promotional, business, and interpersonal skills to further a cause in which she believes.
Azor’s experience as a journalist fostered his skepticism towards concentrated power, and spurred his interest in campaign finance reform. His work has appeared in The Daily Orange, The Syracuse New Times, and Envirogorge. As an intern with Public Citizen, he produced blog posts, ghost-wrote op-eds, and coordinated with an active volunteer community to enact public interest reforms. As the State Manager for American Promise, Azor looks forward to working with the patriotic citizenry of this country to pass the 28th Amendment and right the fundamental wrong that corporations are, constitutionally, considered people. Azor is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Digital and Information Systems Associate
Mark is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, and he’s been involved in both Massachusetts and Colorado local politics since he was in high school. After working on environmental issues and student loan reform, Mark became interested in campaign finance law and realized the utmost importance of the issue. Mark originally began work at American Promise as an Intern, and after graduating from Boston University he joined the team full time.
As a former Development Director, Director of Foundation Support and Major Gifts Officer, Liz has worked in a range of roles at Massachusetts non-profits, supporting efforts to connect individuals and organizations with impactful causes. Most recently, Liz was the Associate Director at the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest where she oversaw marketing and development communications efforts and special events. As the Development Manager at American Promise, Liz looks forward to helping to address the outsized influence of money in politics and engaging, and inspiring others to join the effort.
Special Projects Manager
Melissa comes to American Promise out of concern for how unchecked corporate power has stymied progress toward an environmentally sustainable economy. Her own citizen activism was sparked by a passion for the environment fostered by spending her formative years biking the back roads of Boston MetroWest and hiking the woods and mountains of New England. Over the years that has expanded to a deep belief in the power of personal action and engaged citizens to re-energize our democracy. She is active in local community environment groups and also worked for the UK’s most successful solar company in its start-up phase. She holds an Masters in Environmental Change and Management from University of Oxford.
Brian lives in central Massachusetts where he oversees his family-owned insurance brokerage and serves on his town’s finance committee. Before becoming a small business owner, Brian was a litigator in a national law firm and clerked on the Massachusetts Appeals Court. He earned his BA from Harvard College and his JD from Cornell Law School. Brian is passionate about cross-partisan efforts to improve our constitutional democracy and is excited to contribute to American Promise’s mission.
Finance and Administration Manager
Erica comes to American Promise with a diverse financial background. She served 4 years in the Air Force in financial management. Since her honorable discharge, she earned a BA in Behavioral Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She was also an Air Force dependent which provided her with many unique experiences. Erica lived in Central Massachusetts before joining the Air Force and she recently moved back to the area from Colorado. She is looking forward to being a part of a meaningful cause with the amazing American Promise team!
Citizen Empowerment Coordinator
Kimberly grew up in Minnesota, where she got involved in local campaigns from a young age. In college, she became passionate about agricultural issues and the rights of small, independent farmers. She co-founded a student group that worked with campus dining halls to buy more food from small, local farms. While working on these issues, Kimberly saw firsthand how Big Money controls politicians and prevents common-sense policies. In the 2018 midterm elections, Kimberly volunteered for a campaign in Texas that refused money from all PACs and fundraised solely through individual donations. While pursuing these political interests, Kimberly also obtained her BA in math and physics from Northwestern University, contributed to award-winning research with NASA and the National Weather Service, traveled around the world, and worked in finance. She is excited to now be fighting full time for democracy and the country she loves!
Cynthia joined American Promise after reading Jeff Clements’ book, Corporations Are Not People and knew she somehow needed to contribute to working toward changing the future of this country. She grew up here in Concord where the “shot heard round the world” began the American Revolutionary War. She comes to American Promise from a successful career in copywriting and publishing. Cynthia plans to use her enthusiasm and energy to help shape a better world for her teenage daughters. She holds a BA in Communications from Simmons University.
Political Research Intern
Alexandra is an Indiana native and junior at Cornell University. She has interned with 3 different political campaigns, serves as the Communications Director for Cornell’s ACLU Chapter, conducts research on labor at The Worker Institute, and cofounded a bi-partisan policy publication on campus called The Advocate. Alexandra is passionate about people having equal economic, social, and political opportunities, leading to her passion for the American Promise’s mission.