MAXIM THORNE (He/His), Chief Executive Officer
Maxim Thorne earned a B.A. (cum laude honors) in Economics and Political Science from Yale College and a J.D. from the Yale Law School. Maxim has served as the Managing Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Development Officer of NAACP, the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Human Rights Campaign and HRC Foundation and the Executive Director of NJ Head Start Association. As a dedicated leader and advocate, Maxim has served on the Board of Directors of many organizations as well, including the founding Board of Yale Black Alumni Association, Chaired the 40th Anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, Honorary Co-Chair of the 50th Anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, the Board of Governors of Yale University, Executive Committee of the Yale Law School, GLAAD, the North Star Fund, Amistad Research Center, Barnert Hospital Foundation and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. He also serves on the Yale Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
“I know what it is like to feel the entire continuum of being young, marginalized and disenfranchised to becoming whole, empowered and American. Now more than ever, we need to reimagine, protect and strengthen the pillars of our democracy. We have to turbocharge and make real an intersectional and holistic democracy movement building on the centrality of the rich diversity of youth. Every innovation and tried and true is on the table, be it texting, digital organizing, short films, dorm storming, student panels, marches and more.” – Maxim Thorne
ANNA CUBBAGE, (She/Her), Organizer at Large
Anna Cubbage joined Civic Influencers in 2022 after facilitating learning for nine years as a Social Studies educator in North Carolina. She graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As an educator and historian, Anna believes in the power of youth and community to create meaningful change. She currently resides in Wilmington, NC where she enjoys reading, the beach, music, trying out new creative outlets, and learning new things.
AUDREY FERGUSON (She/Her), Co-Chief, Organizing
Audrey Ferguson received her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. During undergrad she helped found a LGBTQ+ sorority, while also advocating on a number of other issues. Since graduating she has spent her work and personal life as an organizer, aiming to build collective power and increase civic engagement. She has worked on many electoral and issue campaigns across the country, primarily focusing on issues of economic injustice and efforts to support underserved communities.
Audrey is an Organizer-At-Large with Civic Influencers. In her role she aims to strengthen young people’s power within our country and help increase voter participation. She currently resides in Austin, TX and spends her free time making art with friends as well as working with a few local organizations.
BRENNA LIMBRICK (She/Her), Operations Manager
Brenna Limbrick started with Civic Influencers in 2012 as a Statewide Organizer in Ohio. After a break to take care of her two young sons, she returned in 2018 during the Ohio midterms, again as a Statewide Organizer, to oversee Civic Influencers and help higher-education institutions continue their democratic engagement. In 2020 she transitioned to an operations role to help Civic Influencers gain its official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and oversee new process implementation. Brenna has a degree in Computer Information Systems and more than 20 years of administrative, technical and program knowledge that helps her administer Civic Influencers’ operational processes.
She believes that democracy (voting especially!), justice and equity should be taught in our society at a young age. She is dedicated to her family and kids, volunteering her time in the community when possible. Brenna resides in Pataskala with her husband and two boys who are very active in soccer.
CORNELL DUCKWORTH (He/Him), Organizer At-Large
Cornell Duckworth joined Civic Influencers in 2022 as a Statewide Organizer in Georgia. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he joined the organization to fight the systemic failures that hinders young people from participating in a just democracy. Before starting at Civic Influencers, Cornell had 6 years of experience in nonprofit, community engagement, and voter outreach. He started his career by joining AmeriCorps in 2016 and served in South Los Angeles schools by preparing students with emotional and academic skills to succeed in life. He later went on to work on multiple high profile political campaigns and mobilized underrepresented communities of color in Georgia, Texas, Maryland, and California. Cornell has an excellent reputation for promoting advocacy and fighting to give voices to those who have been unheard through the power of voting.
He received his B.A. in Political Science cum laude from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, where he was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and held multiple positions within the Student Government Association. Cornell currently resides in Atlanta, GA where he enjoys spending time with family, experiencing new cuisines, and listening to podcasts.
ELISE ORLICK (She/Her), Stakeholder Advisor
Elise Orlick works with Civic Influencers’ supporters to build capacity for the organization’s critical work empowering young people. An experienced organizer and advocate for democracy reform at the state and national levels, she joins Civic Influencers after working at the Andrew Goodman Foundation. Previously she was a State Director for WashPIRG, where she took a major role in helping pass automatic voter registration, same-day registration and pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds in Washington state. She has also worked as a Democracy Advocate for U.S. PIRG where she led federal campaigns to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and introduce federal ethics legislation.
Elise graduated from the College of William & Mary cum laude. She now lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and their cat Pixel. In her spare time, Elise enjoys plant-based cooking and walks along the Salish Sea.
IZZY WEIR (She/They), Senior Communications & Stakeholder Advisor
Izzy is a seasoned digital organizer with a passion for using technology to create positive change. She brings extensive experience in growing online audiences, increasing civic engagement, and building systems for managing social media platforms to maximize impact.
Before joining the Civic Influencers team, Izzy served as the Digital Director and Director of Partnerships and Distribution for Patriotic Millionaires. In these roles, she developed and executed successful digital strategies that advanced the organization’s mission and goals.
Izzy holds a Master’s degree in Political Management from The George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree from Lyon College. Her educational background and professional experience have equipped her with a deep understanding of political and social issues, as well as the skills needed to make a tangible impact.
Outside of work, Izzy enjoys gardening, thrifting, and painting. She resides in Michigan with her partner and two dogs.
KATHLEEN HUTTON (She/Her), Co-Chief, Digital Communications
Kathleen proudly joined Civic Influencers to oversee its Digital Communications. Kathleen has over 18 years of experience in the communications, marketing and development departments at various non-profits. Prior to joining, she worked for the American Sustainable Business Network as the Director of Digital Communications, IT Director, DBA, CRM and CMS expert.
She believes that voting is a cornerstone characteristic for a functioning democracy and preserving rule of law. Kathleen lives by the ocean in Plymouth, MA with her husband Jim, daughter Helena, her dog Bella and tabby cat Mr. Angel.
KATRINA COUSINS (She/Her), Organizer At-Large
Katrina Cousins comes to Civic Influencers with over 15 years of diverse experience in non-profits focused on a range of social justice issues including eliminating homelessness in Baltimore, education and college access/equity, racial justice, environmental and climate justice, and women’s rights. Prior to joining Civic Influencers Katrina worked for the NAACP for over 7 years in progressively more advanced roles in the Environmental and Climate Justice Department and the Development Department. At NAACP Katrina balanced operations management, project coordination, and development with her ability to be an advocate and ally for those in need.
Katrina takes pride in engaging and creating trusting relationships with the community she fights for and is committed to life-long service to people and communities who need their voices to be heard. She will bring her diverse professional background to Civic Influencers and bring insights to all facets of non-profit events and fundraising.
Katrina loves traveling and spending time with her husband, two children and two fur babies. Katrina has a BA in Communications, Journalism, and Television Production from Shaw University in Raleigh NC.
PAUL LOTIERZO (He/Him), Chief of Stakeholder Engagement
Paul believes that voting is not just a right; it is our voice in shaping the future we believe in. It is the power to transform our hopes into reality and our dreams into progress.
He brings over a decade of fundraising and advocacy experience in LGBTQ+ and intersectional social justice causes. Previously, he served as the Director of Development at Athlete Ally, promoting allyship and inclusivity in both professional sports and college athletics. Paul also held the role of Associate Director of Development at Immigration Equality, a prominent LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrant rights organization.
Paul earned his B.A. History degree from Stony Brook University. He is an active member of the Associate Board with Immigration Equality and has held volunteer leadership positions on the Greater New York Steering Committee of the Human Rights Campaign and the Young Leaders Council with the New York City LGBT Center.
Currently residing in New Jersey with his partner, Verden, they share a love for exploring bookstores, cafes, and queer-owned restaurants in small towns and big cities around the country.
RACHAEL GAMBINO (She/Her), Chief of Staff
Rachael Gambino firmly believes that your vote is your voice. An innovative and results-oriented professional, she brings over eight years of fundraising, event planning, program development and volunteer management experience in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations to Civic Influencers. Prior to joining, she worked with The Andrew Goodman Foundation, a partner organization advancing youth civic engagement across the nation, and Rising Tide Capital, a nonprofit whose mission is to transform lives and communities through entrepreneurship. With a focus on strategic planning, an emphasis is placed on the maximization of resources, prioritization of team well-being and optimization of creativity.
Rachael currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and rescue dog Charlie. She received her Bachelors of Science in Communications from the State University of New York at Cortland. She is a proud alumni of the AmeriCorps VISTA program, serving two terms across the Northeast.
SADIYA KHAN (She/Her), Organizer At-Large
Sadiya Khan joined Civic Influencers in 2022 as an Organizer at Large. Raised in Tolleson, Arizona, Sadiya graduated from Arizona State University summa cum laude with two Bachelor’s degrees in Justice Studies and Psychology, and two minors in Global Health and Family and Human Development. These intersecting areas of study allowed Sadiya to learn about and develop a passion for human behavior and health in regards to our most vulnerable populations.
Sadiya has focused her academic and professional endeavors on a commitment to social justice and community. She draws from her identity as a Bangladeshi-American woman, experience, and education to mentor and empower communities of color and young people. Outside of work, Sadiya loves the arts and is a frequent attendee of Phoenix’s many art museums and concerts.