About

We are the largest political group on campus. From registering voters to supporting campaigns, we are dedicated to getting students and the Stanford community politically engaged. With members from all disciplines and backgrounds, the Stanford Democrats represent a diverse group. The issues we are involved in mirror this diversity and we actively put on events that attract a wide range of students and faculty. We believe “patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

Our Team

Nick Ahamed Co-President

I have always had a passion for American politics. Being an immigrant, I believe that every person in this country should be offered the same amazing opportunities I received growing up. After being inspired by President Obama in 2008 and becoming an American citizen in 2011, I was extremely excited to vote for Obama in 2012. When the opportunity arose to get involved in the campaign, I jumped at it, serving as the Team Leader for Organizing for America at Stanford. Through the Obama Campaign, I became heavily involved in the Stanford Democrats and was elected to Co-President in the winter of 2013. I am majoring in Political Science, with Honors and plan to research Muslim-American political behavior. In my free time, I enjoy spending time at the lakes of his home state of Minnesota, as well as traveling internationally.

Natasha Patel Vice President

Hi friends! My name is Natasha Patel and I serve as Vice President of Stanford Democrats. I am currently a member of the class of 2016 pursuing a Philosophy Major with a minor in Education. Although the two words aren’t often seen together, I am a liberal and a patriot. I believe that government is a place where we can come together and work to better ourselves as a nation. Whether it’s with regards to how we position ourselves on an international scale or if it’s with regards to forming domestic policies of inclusion, the Democratic Party fights every day to pursue the fundamental elements of our constitution  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Because of this, I live my life day to day with Democratic principles in mind. If you have any questions or just want to chat politics you can find me in Arroyo, room 310, or outside of Coupa!

Russ Islam Financial Chair

I’m Russ Islam, the finance chair of the Stanford Dems and a sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering. I’m a staunch liberal, but I’m also not afraid to hold unconventional opinions on political issues. I grew up in Sacramento, and in 2011 I interned at the State Capitol with Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan. My time at the Capitol showed me firsthand the problems with California’s government (and there are plenty). That’s one reason why I think student political organizations are so important: they promote political dialogue when politicians at the state and federal level are gridlocked and inactive. I’m also interested in fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government, and I’m especially passionate about US foreign relations with rising powers (particularly China). Outside of politics, I enjoy playing guitar, creative writing, and learning and practicing Japanese.

Lindsay Lamont President Emeritus

I first joined the Stanford Democrats my freshman year and am pursuing a degree in American Studies and a minor in Economics. Originally from Connecticut, I grew up with lively political discussions around the dinner table and a constant badgering of “what would President Lamont do?” after a brief run down of the news of the day from my parents. From a very early age I knew that I was an outspoken and lively Democrat. I am passionate about gender equality, maintaining prosperity, without destroying our environment, and social equality. After missing the voting age by a couple of months for the 2008 presidential election, I was excited to be back on the campaign trail and to cast my first vote for President Obama this fall.

Benjy Mercer-Golden Media Director

I am currently a sophomore studying history and political science. I’ve long been my fascinated with the messy world of politics, with interests ranging from American foreign, drug and education policies to the public policies of the U.K, where I have lived for the last eleven years. As well as Stanford Democrats, I’m involved in entrepreneurship, journalism and community service organizations on campus. In my role as Media Director of Stanford Democrats, I hope to build a stronger and more active political culture on campus, provide platforms for student expression and advocate for progressive values on and off campus.

Lyric McHenry Fundraising Director

Hello! My name is Lyric McHenry and I’m a junior majoring in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Growing up I always had two abiding passions; social justice and the arts. I started becoming truly interested in politics when I was 15 and finally saw a politician whom I believed supported my two passions; Barack Obama. I interned at the Southern California Fundraising Office for both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns where I was able to help plan events that pushed issues that I believed in and also allowed me to be creative. I am excited to bring the skills that I learned on the Obama campaign to the Stanford Dems team and help inspire other students to get involved in the political process.

Eric Mattson National Political Director

Greetings! My name’s Eric and I’m a sophomore double majoring in Human Biology and Political Science and I hope to do something in health policy someday.  I hail from the always exciting and always beautiful (and rarely Democratic) state of Nebraska.  I found myself quite intrigued by the Obama campaign back in 2008 and ever since I have been drawn to national politics.  I helped work fairly extensively on the 2012 Obama campaign and this ultimately led me to join the Stanford Democrats.  As the National Political Director, I hope to engage the Stanford community in some of the pressing policy issues on the national agenda and both rally support as well as inform students about what stance Democrats are taking.  Outside of Dems I enjoy rock climbing, running, playing with dogs, and watching the Daily Show.

Kelsey Dayton State Political Director

I’m a sophomore from Sonoma County, California, majoring in English with a Creative Writing emphasis and minoring in Political Science. I have been passionate about politics my whole life and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Stanford Dems these past two years. I love writing prose fiction and screenplays, playing basketball, and running. Devouring political news and commentary, as well as random pro sports stats, have always been guilty pleasures of mine— on par with my addiction to Skittles. My favorite TV shows are Parks and Recreation, Lie to Me, and the truly incomparable The West Wing. As State Political Director, I hope to get the Stanford Dems involved in California’s most important issues and create a lasting, positive impact in my home state.

David Kay Deputy State Political Director

When I was little my parents raised me with values of empathy, tolerance and charity. For this reason I have always gravitated towards the Democratic ideals of helping those that need it and accepting all different ways of life. When I began to learn the facts behind the philosophy, I realized that even for shared Republican/Democratic goals (ie job creation, cutting the deficit), progressive methods were almost always more effective than conservative methods at achieving these goals.  When I realized I was gay in high school, my bond with the progressive agenda was only furthered.  I was first introduced to California state politics as an intern for (at that time) Assemblyman Jerry Hill’s state senate campaign.  Upon joining Stanford I started working with the Stanford Democrats as the Freshman Volunteer Coordinator on the “Students for Obama” team.  I am currently deciding between majoring in public policy and political science.

Kate Hassey Community Outreach Director

Hi guys! I am a freshman tentatively majoring in Public Policy and serving as the Community Outreach Director for the Stanford Democrats. Last summer, I interned for President Obama’s reelection campaign in Ohio. I started working with the campaign on campus when I got to Stanford in the fall, phone banking out-of-state and taking a trip to Reno to canvass. As Community Outreach Director, I hope to increase our involvement with politics in the Bay Area as this is an arena where we can really have an impact. Outside of politics, I like tennis, reading, rock climbing, yoga, and, of course, the West Wing.

Sara Orton Events Coordinator

Growing up in Menlo Park, CA, liberal and progressive ideals have been an integral part of my upbringing. I became involved with the Stanford Democrats and Obama’s reelection campaign during fall of this year, and I spent the first few months of my freshman year helping with campus outreach, organizing phone banks, and talking to voters all over the country. I am most passionate about gender equality, immigration reform, and environmental sustainability, and my political crush is, of course, Barack Obama. I’m hoping to major in International Relations and minor in Human Biology.

Emily Breyer Events Team Member

My fascination with politics began at a young age due to lively family discussions at the dinner table, as well as from growing up in the Bay Area. I joined the Stanford Democrats to continue my interest in politics and to help advocate for Democratic values on the Stanford campus and beyond. I am also passionate about the Stanford Democrats’ efforts to encourage political discussion and engagement among students. I am most interested in social issues and policies, such as women’s rights, gay marriage, health care reform, education, and gun control. I am majoring in Psychology with a focus on health and development.

Katherine Joplin Events Team Member

Greetings! My name is Kat. I’m a sophomore majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis and minoring in Japanese. I grew up in the palm-stubbled wastelands and Torrey pine groves of San Diego, California–a notorious nest of hippy liberalism that, from an early age, imbued in me such radical notions as peace, love, and equality. From high school onwards I’ve been an active advocate of LGBTQ rights, serving as co-president of the school Gay-Straight Alliance in my junior and senior years. I enjoy exploring themes of sexuality and gender identity in my writing, and my dearest wish is to use my time with the Stanford Democrats to make campus a safer, more progressive environment for its students.

Myles Mann Public Relations Team Member

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve always strived to put others before myself. Naturally, I grew  dedicated toward upholding Democratic and progressive principles and believe that society works best when all have opportunities to succeed. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, watching movies, and, of course, following up on current events across the nation. I first joined the Stanford Democrats in an effort to re-elect President Obama and now serve as a member of its Public Relations team.

Brandon Caruso Public Relations Team Member

Hey, I’m a freshman from New York City living in Burbank this year.  I plan on majoring in International Relations, with a minor in Creative Writing.  I joined the Stanford Democrats at the beginning of this year so that I could aid the Obama administration’s campaign on campus.  Since then I have become a board member because of my passion for progressive politics, and my interest in furthering political awareness on campus.  Aside from politics, I enjoy sappy movies, music festivals, and trying new food from far off origins.

Mariah Oxley Public Relations Team Member

I’m a freshman from Minneapolis, Minnesota and I’m very proud to be a Democrat and a member of this team. I believe government is in a constant state of evolution and that progress is always possible. I hope to one day see C.J. Craig, Joshua Lyman, Jed Bartlett, and of course my boy Toby in the White House.

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