Our Team

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

ALBERTO VAZQUEZ, (He/Him), Chief Financial Officer

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 Civic Influencers’ Co-Chief of Organizing, helping oversee and administer our programming and on the ground operations. In her role she aims to strengthen young people’s power within our country and grow our next generation of community organizers. She currently resides in Austin, TX; spending most of her time with friends, her dog, gardening, making art, and working with local organizations.

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.

EMILY YOST (She/Her), Senior Stakeholder Advisor

Emily is passionate about expanding the circle of liberty to all and believes voting is the key to that goal. Her enthusiasm and interest in voting began at an early age when her mother would take her into the voting booth with her for every election. She has been an advocate for democracy organizations since 2016 when she started with the League of Women Voters. Most recently, she was the Major Gifts Officer for the Niskanen Center in Washington, DC. She has nearly two decades of experience connecting donors’ passion to great missions. Emily resides in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two children. They enjoy going to museums and being outdoors in the sunshine. She received her Bachelor of Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

ERIN BARNHART, Ph.D (She/Her), Chief of Organizing, Advocacy & Learning

Erin has spent her career working with national and global nonprofit organizations to mobilize and engage people in meaningful, accessible ways. She is passionate about securing and sustaining justice and believes that every single person can have a significant impact through individual and collective action.

She grew up in rural Oregon and attended the University of Oregon, earning a B.A. in Geography. An AmeriCorps alum and Fulbright Scholarship recipient, she then earned a Graduate Certificate in Not-for-Profit Management and a Master of Public Administration from UO as well as a Ph.D. from Portland State University, where she studied community development and international civic engagement. Most recently, Erin served as the Chief Communications Officer for Our Children’s Trust where she led the communications, education, and engagement team to support youth who are bringing constitutional litigation to protect their human right to a safe climate.

Erin lives in Eugene, Oregon where she is active in local and state politics, participation, and advocacy. She recharges by spending time with her partner and caring for her native plant garden.

KAMERYN POINT, (She/Her), Co-Chief of Advocacy

Kameryn joins Civic Influencers as the Co-Chief of Advocacy as a fierce advocate for centering the voices and lived experiences of young people in our political systems. Prior to Civic Influencers, Kameryn was the Policy & Programs Associate at American Youth Policy Forum, championing policies alongside young people who had been marginalized by systemic inequities. Previously, Kameryn served as the 2020-2021 Friends Committee on National Legislation Young Fellow for justice reform and election integrity and lobbied Congress for comprehensive justice reform. She taught U.S. History and Government in Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, through Teach For America. While in South Dakota, Kameryn served on the Leadership Team for 4Rosebud, an advocacy group that organized Sicangu Lakota community members, educators, students, and allies.

She received a joint B.A. with International Honors in History from the College of William and Mary and the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She enjoys singing/playing guitar, farming, and spending time with her family, friends, and rez dog Kai.

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 brings her diverse professional background to Civic Influencers and brings 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.