Lauren Daugherty
Executive Director

Lauren started her career climbing the ranks at the Leadership Institute and FreedomWorks, then becoming interim Executive Director and Director of Development at the national Libertarian Party, where she built their fundraising and operations capabilities.

Recently, Lauren served as publisher and CEO of Texas CEO Magazine, where she worked with executives from across Texas to help grow their businesses and master the chief executive role. She also owns a small business, Evergreen Wrapping. Now she serves as YAL’s Executive Director fighting for liberty!


Sean Themea
Chief of Staff

A recovering Democrat, Sean discovered YAL during his senior year of college. He quickly earned the title of New York State Chair, and doubled the size of New York’s YAL campus presence. After serving as Midwest Regional Director, Sean focused in on taking YAL’s fundraising to the next level, helping grow the organization from $3 million to nearly $13 million in just 3 years. Sean is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he sang with a nationally-touring a capella group.

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Daniel Taylor
Vice President of Campus

Daniel Taylor discovered YAL in 2016. After founding his chapter at Taylor University, he was brought in as a State Chair where he built a network of 32 chapters in Indiana and hosted dozens of speaker events in a single semester.

After his time in Indiana, he was brought in as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, showing the largest regional growth in all of 2018.

As the Vice President of Campus Young Americans for Liberty, he has lead his team to place over 1,500 campaign staff through Operation Win at the Door, and has trained over 3,000 liberty activists.


Reed Cooley
Vice President of Communications

A lifelong writer, Mississippi native, and alumnus of Baylor University, Reed Cooley (like many others within YAL) began his involvement in the liberty movement while in college. After graduating in August 2017, Reed knew that he wanted to spend his life using his passions for writing and oratory to promote the ideals of liberty and limited government.


Ted Patterson
Vice President of Policy

Ted Patterson got involved in the liberty movement in 2008 in his home state of Maryland. He narrowly lost a race for State House in 2010, but instead was elected to his local GOP Central Committee. Ted graduated from University of Delaware with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and ran grassroots liberty activist training at the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership until 2017. In addition to running for office, Ted has also worked on the inside as a Legislative Aide in the Maryland House of Delegates and over the past two years has operated his own marketing company. Ted now serves as Director of Policy with Young Americans for Liberty to help mentor and develop America’s next generation of liberty legislators.


Brandon Borke
Interim Vice President of Development

Brandon serves as the Interim Vice President of Development for Young Americans for Liberty. He is a native of northeast Michigan. He graduated in 2015 from Northwood University with a bachelors in International Business Administration. Soon thereafter, Brandon found his calling in politics. He began with Rand Paul’s presidential campaign on Iowa making calls, canvassing campuses, and attending the Iowa caucuses on behalf of Dr. Paul. He then served as the Youth Director for Rod Blum in Iowa. Since then he has been directing field programs and managing campaigns across the country in South Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maine on races ranging from State House to U.S. Senate. Brandon hopes to continue the work in tirelessly fighting for liberty at the national office of Young Americans for Liberty.


JP Kirby
Director of Free Speech

JP is a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky and an alumnus of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky.  As a lifelong believer in self-government and individual liberty, JP joined the liberty movement by founding a YAL chapter on his campus in 2016, while also working on the Presidential election. Since then, he has recruited hundreds of activists and knocked thousands of doors on YAL campaigns. Now, as the Director of Free Speech, JP spends his days helping students on campus fight back against oppressive restrictions on speech and assembly that exists at many colleges and universities.

Ryan Jacoby
Development Specialist

Ryan currently serves as the Development Specialist at Young Americans for Liberty. He previously served as YAL’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for 2 years where he led a team committed to making liberty win. Ryan founded the Franklin & Marshall College YAL chapter in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during the fall of his sophomore year & built it into a 50-member chapter at a school with only 2,000 students. After building his home chapter, he turned his attention to helping other Pennsylvania students bring liberty to their campuses in his role as a Pennsylvania State Chair. He served as a Pennsylvania State Chair for almost two years and then, after graduating from F&M, he stepped up to become the YAL Mid-Atlantic Regional Director to help students in those regions develop into incredible leaders within the liberty movement. When Ryan is not fighting for liberty he enjoys eating Texas BBQ, exploring Texas, and rooting for the Yankees.


Tony Guajardo
Partnerships Manager

Tony Guajardo is the former Midwest & Northern Regional Director for Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). He has been involved in politics since the fall of 2012 when he served as an intern on Capitol Hill. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Tony worked to recruit YAL students on the ground across Michigan and Florida, before returning to his home state where he now serves as a Partnerships Manager for Young Americans for Liberty.

Justin Jackson
West Regional Director

Justin is a native Californian and first found YAL was the group for him in his sophomore year at California State University, Chico in 2017. He first became the president of his chapter in 2018 & has since then interned with the development department, knocked thousands of doors as an election director and recruited activists across California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Now serving as the West Regional Director, he continues to be optimistic about his top two liberty issues in his home state, protecting gun rights and abolishing the income tax.

Ian Escalante
South Regional Director

Ian is the Regional Director for the South Region. He is a Florida native and has been in the liberty movement since the beginning of High School. His YAL tenure began in the summer of 2020 when he was brought on as the Florida State Chair. Ian’s goal is to fight hard on college campuses and get liberty-minded students organized on campus and plugged into OWD campaigns. Ian is very passionate about gun rights, a noninterventionist foreign policy, ending the surveillance state, and criminal justice reform. During the time when he is not actively fighting tyrants, Ian enjoys powerlifting, traveling and hanging out with friends.

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Daniel Stuart
Hazlitt Action Director

Daniel discovered YAL in 2017. After founding his chapter at Illinois State University, he was brought on as a State Chair where he helped build his network in Illinois. After his time in Illinois, he was brought on as the Northern Field Coordinator traveling the country to recruit on college campuses and help bring other students to the ideas of liberty.

After his time as a Field Coordinator, Daniel went on to become the Northern Regional Director, overseeing a vast network of states stretching from Illinois to Oregon, and later served as a Senior Election Director with YAL’s Operation Win at the Door Program helping YAL get 60 liberty legislators elected in the Northeast.

Daniel is currently the Hazlitt Action Director, overseeing our Hazlitt Action Program, helping to hold our legislators accountable and advance pro-liberty legislation.


Chelsea Marrie
Campus Creative Director

Chelsea Marrie is the Mid-Atlantic Deputy Regional Director. She graduated from Youngstown State University with a duel degree in Political Science/Pre Law and History. She loves Liberty, Constitutional Law, and Rand Paul. She began her journey in the liberty movement as a student Door Knocker with Operation Win at the Door in 2018, and joined YAL full-time in 2020 to join the fight to Make Liberty Win.


Michael Vo-Chau
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Michael got his start in the liberty movement when he became chapter president at his alma mater, San Jose State University. He later went on an Operation Win at the Door campaign in the summer of 2020. Shortly after, he became a State Chair for California. Before being a part of the liberty movement, he served in the Marine Corps for six years as a Small Arms Technician maintaining and fixing 12 different weapon systems. He enjoys spending time with his dog and hiking in his spare time, and when ammo is available, he loves to go shooting.
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Eric Brakey
Senior Spokesperson

Eric Brakey (Policy Analyst) became a grassroots liberty activist during his senior year of college. In 2012, Eric Brakey served as the Maine State Director of the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign, organizing the grassroots effort that one reporter called the “biggest political coup in recent Maine history,” winning the state for Ron Paul and electing liberty activists to a majority on the Maine GOP State Committee.


Following the Ron Paul Campaign, Eric Brakey founded the Defense of Liberty PAC to help liberty candidates win election to the Maine State Legislature. In 2014, Eric threw his own hat into the ring and won election to the Maine State Senate, defeating a longtime Democrat incumbent and becoming the youngest State Senator in America at the age of 26. During his two terms of office, Senator Brakey served as the Senate Chairman for the Health and Human Services Committee. Brakey also spearheaded successful efforts through a bipartisan legislature to pass Constitutional Carry, Welfare Reform, Right to Try, the deregulation of medical cannabis, and the legalization of hedgehog ownership.


In 2016, Senator Brakey served as the Maine State Chair for the Rand Paul Presidential Campaign. Senator Brakey also represented Maine as a delegate on the 2016 Republican National Platform Committee. Eric authored many GOP’s platform planks, including abolishing the IRS, auditing the Pentagon, instituting a federal Right to Try law, deregulating nuclear energy, and reasserting a constitutional foreign policy in which only Congress can declare war.


Instead of running for re-election in 2018, Senator Brakey opted to challenge incumbent Angus King for U.S. Senate, earning the Maine Republican nomination for the office. With a strong grassroots campaign featuring dozens of liberty activists knocking doors across all corners of the state, Brakey won a greater share of the vote against the popular incumbent than anyone in state history.


Following the 2018 election, Brakey founded the Free Maine Campaign and organized grassroots pressure campaigns to defeat proposals in the Democrat-majority Maine legislature for “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation Orders and the National Popular Vote.


In 2020, Eric Brakey served as the Republican nominee for Maine Secretary of State.

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