Rina Shah Bharara, Stephanie Berger, Thad Hellman, Jeff Johnson, Jensine Larsen and former Governor Jane Swift join advisory committee of the country’s leading women’s civic leadership training organization.

New York, NYVoteRunLead (VRL), a national, nonpartisan non-profit dedicated to promoting women seeking public office, announced today the addition of six members to its advisory board committee. The new board members bring experience from a wide array of professional backgrounds, including elected office, corporate America, politics and media.

The new advisory board members are:

RinaRina Shah Bharara is a media commentator and international affairs expert featured weekly on PBS’s “To the Contrary” and a seasoned Republican political operative.



Stephanie BergerStephanie Berger is the founder of Berger Hirschberg Strategies and a nationally recognized Democratic fundraiser. She has served as the finance director for the Democratic National Committee and as a presidential co-finance director of Kerry for president. Her firm specializes in electing Governors. She has worked with nearly every woman governor, and is a longtime trainer for VoteRunLead.


ThadThad Hellman is the Director of Government Affairs at Target and board member of the Citizen’s League.



Jeff JohnsonJeff Johnson is an award-winning journalist, commentator on the nationally-syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and Head of Strategy for the Baltimore-based branding firm Illume Communications.



JensineLarsenJensine Larsen is an award-winning social media entrepreneur, speaker, visionary and the founder of World Pulse, a digital communication network connecting women worldwide and bringing them a global voice.



JaneSwiftJane Swift, former Governor of Massachusetts, is currently a Distinguished Lecturer in Leadership Studies at Williams College and CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages.



“We are honored to have such a dynamic and diverse group of individuals join our board of advisors. Their expertise will help the organization in its goal to inspire, motivate and train hundreds of thousands of women from around the country to lead a political life,” said Erin Vilardi, Founder and Director of VoteRunLead.

“As ‘glass ceilings’ continue to be shattered by women all over these United States and as our nation seeks genuine leadership to tackle the greatest societal problems of this century, I am convinced that an increasing number of women can and will heed the call to run for political office,” said media and political commentator, Rina Shah Bharara. “But, it won’t happen overnight, and certainly won’t happen without the determined and focused work of organizations like VoteRunLead — which will not only encourage more women, but will also empower them with the much-needed tools they need to become leaders of both today and tomorrow. I am enthusiastic and proud to join such a noble effort.”

“While there’s been some recent progress in boosting female participation in political leadership, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Governor Swift.  “Studies have shown that having more women in the workplace makes for a better company, and I have witnessed the benefits of more gender balance in the public sector as well.  The work of VoteRunLead not only helps women succeed in politics, but also creates a more balanced, representative and effective government for us all.”

“VoteRunLead’s mission aligns perfectly with Target’s commitment to inclusivity and leadership development. I’m excited to do whatever I can in this new capacity to ensure women are inspired and empowered to get actively involved in political leadership,” said Thad Hellman, director of government affairs, Target.

The new members bring the VoteRunLead advisory to twelve. Current members include Jimmie Briggs, founder of the ManUp Campaign, Marci Harris, Founder of PopVox and Chair, Marie Wilson, author and longtime women’s activist. Complete bios for current and new advisors can be found at /who-we-are/advisory-board/.

About VoteRunLead:

VoteRunLead is a national, nonpartisan organization that unleashes the power of women leaders in democracy through training, technology and community. We aim for large-scale impact on women’s community and political leadership never before seen in the United States. By harnessing social networks as a new and powerful recruitment tool, creating an online platform to learn to run and lead, and conducting in-person trainings that build powerful networks, VoteRunLead will fuel women’s ambition for civic leadership and close the knowledge gap around politics for women from all classes, cultures and colors.