Meet The Team
Chief Executive Officer
Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer for Heritage Action for America. He is responsible for setting the strategy and vision of Heritage Action, ensuring it advances the mission of The Heritage Foundation while building it into a permanent presence in Washington. He also oversees all policy decisions that hold Members of Congress accountable. He appears regularly television, including Fox News, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and CBS. Prior to his role at Heritage Action, Mike served in four different roles at The Heritage Foundation, including Chief of Staff, advisor to the President, and a director in The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.
Chief Operating Officer
Tim Chapman is the Chief Operating Officer of Heritage Action for America. He oversees the day-to-day operations while working closely with our sister organization, The Heritage Foundation, to ensure both organizations work towards common goals.Prior to his role at Heritage Action, Tim previously served as Chief of Staff to Heritage Foundation President Ed J. Feulner, Ph.D. In this position, Tim advised Dr. Feulner on public policy matters and activities of the conservative movement. He also managed Dr. Feulner’s office staff and Heritage’s day-to-day operations.
Jessica Anderson is the Grassroots Director for Heritage Action for America. As Grassroots Director she oversees Heritage Action’s Sentinel Program and the team of Regional Coordinators throughout the country. Today, you can find her identifying, equipping and training activists to take timely action for the conservative movement. Prior to her work at Heritage Action, Jessica was the Outreach Coordinator for the John W. Pope Civitas Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina and worked for a Florida House member. She is a graduate of the Koch Associates Program and received her B.A. from the University of Florida as a Summa Cum Laude.
James Braid is the Education Coordinator for Heritage Action. As part of the Grassroots Department, he helps educate Sentinels on the policy debates happening in Congress so they can hold members of Congress accountable. James was a part of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently resides on Capitol Hill.
Before joining Heritage Action, Hugh worked as an NRA Field Representative in Wisconsin campaigning for various federal candidates. Hugh has over three years of campaign experience and has worked on Congressional races in California and Wisconsin as well as on Bob McDonnell’s successful gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. Originally from Northern California, Hugh attended George Mason University for his Bachelor of the Arts. While working at Heritage Action, he earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.
Before joining Heritage Action Kathryn served as the Finance Director for the Washington State Republican Party. She has participated in and facilitated successful fundraising events for organizations and institutions including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The University of Washington, The Republican National Committee as well as for various conservative candidates across Washington State. Originally from Minnesota, Kathryn is a graduate of The University of Washington.
Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. He is responsible for Heritage Action’s media outreach, pushing for conservative policies, providing conservative insights on upcoming votes and explaining how and why Conservatives often break ranks from the Establishment. Dan also manages Heritage Action’s blog and social media outreach.Prior to his work with Heritage Action, Dan was the Deputy Director of Senate Relations for The Heritage Foundation, where he was responsible for educating Senators and their staffs about think tank’s latest research and policy recommendations, with an emphasis on energy and environment, taxes, health care and national security.
Cari Kelly is a Legislative Strategist for Heritage Action for America. Her issue portfolio includes Immigration, the 2nd Amendment, Religious Liberty, Social Issues, Financial Services, and Housing. She works to promote conservative policies within her portfolio and provide Members with analysis and recommendations for upcoming votes. Before joining Heritage Action, Cari worked on Capitol Hill as Oversight Counsel for the Senate Budget Committee under Ranking Member Jeff Sessions. Born and raised in Alabama, Cari attended The University of Alabama where she received a B.A. in Telecommunications and Film before going on to receive her law degree from The University of Alabama School of Law.
Before joining, Matt completed a double major in political science and finance at Washington university in St. Louis. While studying, Matt was the President of the WashU College Republicans, where he publicly debated members of the College Democrats and organized events to advance the conservative movement. Matt also interned in the strategic communications department at the Heritage Foundation and for Senator Mike Lee in Washington, D.C.
Zack helps educate and coordinate with Heritage Action Sentinels to make a difference on the policy debates happening in Congress. As the Educational Coordinator, he helps Sentinels hold Members of Congress accountable and amplify the voice of the people. He comes straight from the graduate writing program at the New School in Manhattan, during which time he honed editorial skills in the New York literary and publishing circles. An alumnus of Fordham University in the Bronx, he is a zealous advocate of conservative ideals, and currently resides on Capitol Hill.
Vice President of Grassroots Outreach
Russ Vought is the Vice President of Grassroots Outreach for Heritage Action for America. He provides Heritage Action with key strategic advice on all political and policy issues of concern. He also manages Heritage Action’s issue campaigns and grassroots department, working to identify and empower key activists in order to help them influence elected officials.Before coming to Heritage Action, Russ spent 12 years on Capitol Hill, in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, specializing in efforts to control spending and limit the federal government. Most recently, he was the Policy Director for the House Republican Conference, chaired by Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN).
Drew White is a Legislative Strategist for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he worked in development as part of the Koch Associate Program after spending a year in Israel studying Hebrew and Arabic at Tel Aviv University. He has worked on numerous campaigns at both the local and national level. A native of Alabama, Drew is a graduate of Auburn University.
Jason Yaworske is a Legislative Strategist for Heritage Action for America. Jason manages a portfolio that includes health care, budget, and judiciary issues. He works with the Heritage Foundation and with people on and off Capitol Hill to develop a conservative agenda within his issue portfolio, and to provide conservative analysis and recommendations for policies being generated in Congress. Before coming to Heritage Action in 2013, Jason worked in Congress as a legislative director in the House of Representatives. Jason graduated from James Madison University with a B.B.A. in Business Marketing and a minor in History. He was born, raised, and currently resides in Northern Virginia.
Technology & Advertising Director
Nathanael Yellis is responsible for Heritage Action for America’s web efforts. He was formerly the Business Developer at Yellis & Foley CPAs, an accounting firm serving small and medium businesses in Southern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire. A Maine native, Yellis is a graduate of Patrick Henry College and the Acton School of Business.
Western Regional Coordinator
Interested in politics since she was eligible to vote, Rebekah Brown has spent time working with Colorado Legislators at the Capitol in Denver. She has been involved with various grassroots campaigns, advocating conservative principles and encouraging citizens to engage in politics and public policy. She will be a 2014 graduate of Colorado Christian University with a double-major in Political Science and History.
Ben Evans has been working with grassroots conservatives since he graduated from law school in 2009. The vibrant tea party community in St. Louis provided many opportunities to become active in the political arena. Ben started with promoting the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act (Prop C) through new media and then managed the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition’s election HQ in 2010. He continued serving on the executive board of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition while actively promoting conservative ideals to the Missouri Legislature in 2011. He wrote for 24thstate.com, worked a few political campaigns, and then joined Heritage Action. Ben strives to see the tea party movement grow and thrive. Ben graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia (Mizzou) in 2005 with a double major in political science & history, and he graduated from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida in 2009.
Northeast Regional Coordinator
Before coming to Heritage Action, David Haas was the Pennsylvania State Chairman of Young Americans for Liberty, where he worked with students and non-profits to expand YAL’s presence on campus. David began his career in politics serving as the Republican Party Committee Chairman of his hometown of Blakely, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the Leadership Institute, David has worked on a number of campaigns, including Sam Rohrer’s 2012 Senate campaign. Interning for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, David gained valuable experience in the public policy making process, working on numerous projects of the Institute.
Karen Jaroch is a University of South Florida graduate and licensed professional engineer from Tampa, FL. After working several years in manufacturing, Karen changed professions and followed her passion into politics. In 2009 she co-founded a vibrant, active tea party and then co-led a successful campaign that defeated a local sales tax increase for light rail despite overwhelming odds. Her efforts led to her board appointment to the local transit agency HART. During the 2012 election cycle she served as a field coordinator in the Tampa area building grassroots relations with conservative organizations while managing a top-producing volunteer phonebank and canvassing center.
Midwest Regional Coordinator
Stephanie Kreuz has been involved in public policy and political campaigns since 2005. Prior to joining the Heritage Action team she worked in the legal field, and wrote for WatchdogWire, a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. She also previously interned for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan in education policy. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hillsdale College in 2012, with a major in Politics and a minor in Latin.
Southwest Regional Coordinator
Trevor Laky became involved in politics when he attended the University of Arizona. During his time there he became the President of the College Republicans which gave him the opportunity to work with conservatives across the state. After college he worked on various campaigns before moving to DC. While there, he interned on The Hill for Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon before moving on to work as a Youth Coordinator for the Cuccinelli for Governor Campaign in Virginia. Trevor now serves as the Phoenix Regional Coordinator for Heritage Action for America.
South Central Regional Coordinator
Wade Miller served in the United States Marine Corps and is an infantry combat veteran with multiple deployments including Iraq and the Horn of Africa. After completing his military service, Wade enrolled at The University of Texas at Dallas and majored in Political Science. While attending university, Wade served as a Bill Archer Fellow and as an intern for the President of The Heritage Foundation, Dr. Edwin J. Feulner. After completing his Heritage Foundation internship, Wade went on to the American Enterprise Institute Summer Institute.
Upper Midwest Regional Coordinator
Nate Nelson has built a career shaping public policy through grassroots efforts. He cut his teeth organizing at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, actively involved in student government, political campaigns and student org development. As a Leadership Institute graduate, Nate put those skills to use as an LI Field Representative, GOTV Field Representative for Governor Walker on his last County Executive race, State Senate Campaign Manager, and Legislative Assistant in the Wisconsin State Capitol. Before joining Heritage Action, Nate has worked as Wisconsin’s NRA Campaign Field Representative helping to elect a pro-gun Governor, Americans For Prosperity Field Coordinator and Vice-Chairman of his County’s Republican Party. As an avid outdoorsman, Nate spends his free time enjoying Wisconsin’s lakes and woods with his wife and son.
Southern Regional Coordinator
Stephen previously worked in Heritage Action’s DC office, served on the communications staff of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and completed a fellowship at the John Jay Institute. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he led the fight for religious liberty there and was twice elected state chairman of the Tennessee College Republicans, regularly representing his peers in the media and at conservative events and coalition meetings.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Melody Himel Clarke was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Melody is a life-long entrepreneur having founded and operated businesses in the hospitality, realty, and communications industries. She was the first woman to run for the 100th Legislative District in Virginia and has worked on numerous state and federal campaigns. She is an avid equestrian and also hosts a conservative talk-radio show.