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Meet the Team

Vote Run Lead trains women to run for office. And win. With more than 33,000 women trained to run for office, Vote Run Lead is the largest and most diverse campaign and leadership program in the country. We work to equip women with the right know-how, trainings and how-to’s to help them enter politics with a purpose. We believe that by empowering women to run as they are, they will build a campaign based on their own passion, their own ideas and their own values.

Erin Vilardi, Founder & CEO

Erin Vilardi is the Founder and CEO of Vote Run Lead, the nation’s largest and most diverse training program for women to run for office and win. She first launched VoteRunLead as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, where she served as the VP of Program and Communications. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi is the co-author of the the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. She has appeared on the mainstage at Personal Democracy Forum, on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, New York Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor.



Amanda O’Donnell, Chief Operating Officer

Amanda O’Donnell is a finance and operations expert who helps innovative and high-growth organizations build capacity to scale and significantly increase impact. She is passionate about empowering women and girls in leadership, bridging digital divides, and increasing diversity in our democratic systems. Amanda is thrilled to have joined Vote Run Lead in 2017 as the organization’s first Chief Operations Officer.Prior to Vote Run Lead, Amanda built over a decade of experience in the technology sector: as a founding member, CFO, and Partner at Control Group, where she developed financial and operational strategies that enabled the company’s transformation from startup to industry leader to acquisition and merger; and as SVP of Finance at Intersection, a Sidewalk Labs company committed to improving the urban experience, and the team leading LinkNYC. Throughout her time in the industry, Amanda has been a leader of Women in Technology initiatives. Amanda graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Environmental Science and earned her MPA from NYU-Wagner. She has been a Board Member of MOUSE, a national youth development nonprofit, since 2015. She is also a proud mom of two native New Yorkers and loves to travel with her family to far-flung places with just one backpack and a Lonely Planet guide.



Pakou Hang, Chief Program Officer

Pakou graduated from Yale University where she studied Political Science, and specifically focused on revolutions in Latin American. She also received a Masters from the  University of Minnesota in Political Science with specialities in political psychology and voting behavior. Pakou spent two years in Boston as an Analyst with KLD Research and Analytics, a firm advising socially responsible investments. There she managed the portfolio of the financial services industry and helped create the very first indigenious people’s social screen that evaluated companies on the S&P500, based on their interactions with indigenious communities. Back in Minnesota, Pakou ran the successful 2002 campaign of Mee Moua -- the very first Hmong American elected to a state legislature in America, and thereafter, served as the Deputy Political Director to Senator Paul Wellstone’s 2002 re-election campaign. Pakou has also served as the Election Protection Director for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party, the National Field Director for the Children's Defense Fund and ran for office herself, albeit, unsuccessfully but unapologetically. Pakou spent the last eight years as Executive Director with the Hmong American Farmers Association. She is a recipient of the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the Bush Leadership Fellowship and most recently, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship, which strives to bolster trans-Atlantic relations. For many years, Pakou served as a trainer for Wellstone Action, APIAVote, New American Leaders and Vote Run Lead. Her history as an organizer and campaigner and her skills as a political scientist and movement leader make her an ideal addition to the leadership team of Vote Run Lead. 



Faith Winter, National Program Director

Faith Winter is currently a Colorado State Representative, Executive Director of Emerge Colorado and consultant for Vote Run Lead. Faith has spent her entire career inspiring people to action whether it is the thousands of women she trained to run for office at The White House Project, the young voters she turned out in 2004, or engaging her constituents on important issues facing Westminster. In 2004 Faith was named one of 30 people under 30 showing political leadership by the Youth Vote Coalition, in 2008 she was named one of the top ten most influential women in Denver by the Denver Examiner, in 2010 she was named Woman of the year by Colorado Business and Professional Women northwest chapter, in 2012 she was named one of the up and coming women leaders to watch by the Denver Post, and in 2014 the Colorado Democratic Party named her rising star. Faith loves organizing because she believes the best way to create change is by building power through people. Faith is a Vote Run Lead alum from Colorado Go Run.



Mark Vilardi, National Director of Events & Organizing

Growing up, Mark lived in a household filled with strong women, solidifying his passion for and belief in gender equality. For over a decade, Mark has worked almost every possible position in the hospitality and restaurant industry in New York City, fine-tuning his management and organizational skills. Mark is an advocate for LGBTQ rights, spending his free time volunteering, riding his bike, and enjoying a glass of rosé.



Ty P. Shaffer, Lead Graphic Designer & Social Media Manager

Ty P. Shaffer is a conceptual, visual designer with a love for branding, typography, and creative direction. Ty is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design, from where they earned their BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design. After completing their co-op as a design intern at The Switch: National Anti-Human Trafficking Network, they relocated to New York City. They are excited to be a member of the Vote Run Lead team, where they can continue to focus their design career on social justice and equality.



Starre Haas, Trainer Engagement & Development Director

Starre Haas is the Trainer Engagement & Development Director at Vote Run Lead. She earned dual degrees in Accounting & Finance, obtained her Masters in Public Service (MPS) at the Clinton School of Public Service, and is a graduate of the Women's Campaign School at Yale University. Starre is an expert in women's empowerment, southern women's engagement & leadership, women's political & professional leadership, networking & communications, and civic engagement. Formerly, she has served as a Gender Equity Development Associate with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas resulting in the creation of Arkansas’ first Gender Equity Scorecard for women in the workplace. Her public service achievements have included serving as a Commissioner for the Little Rock City Beautiful Commission, an Advisory Committee Member for the Little Rock Capitol Zoning District Commission, and as President of the Downtown Little Rock Neighborhood Association. Her focus on advancing women in leadership is directly tied to a practice of participation in her home state of Arkansas, where she resides with her husband and two daughters, Ella & Scarlet.



Maria Elena Garcia, Special Projects Manager

Maria Elena Garcia is the Special Projects Manager at Vote Run Lead. Maria Elena previously interned for Vote Run Lead as a Junior Project Manager in the summer and fall of 2017, managing our National 2017 training and alumnae outreach. She recently graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in Sociology. Maria Elena is also a scholar in Barnard’s Athena Scholars Program, a program dedicated to training and studying women in leadership. She is dedicated to serving and empowering marginalized communities, particularly communities with women of color. She hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Policy and maybe one day you’ll see her in office.



Eliana Scully, Program Fellow

Eliana Scully has always had a passion for activism, having volunteered with Child Protective Services, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Library for the Blind, and her research in Rehabilitation Counseling. Eliana is currently a student at UA Little Rock pursuing a degree in Economics and Psychology. She hopes to move onto getting a Masters in Behavioral Economics in order to help people function to the full extent of their ability. Eliana is pursuing a career in research, social justice, equality, and mental health. In her free time, Eliana enjoys hanging out with her friends, playing with her cats, and making guacamole.