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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!

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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 National Campus Director at Young Americans for Liberty, he has lead his team to place over 400 campaign staff through Operation Win at the Door, and has lead his team to train over 3,000 students at YAL National events.

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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.

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Barrett Young
Vice President of Grassroots

Barrett Young is the Vice President of Grassroots at Young Americans for Liberty, overseeing Operation Win at the Door, the Hazlitt Coalition, and our Liberty Candidate Academy program. Prior to serving as our Vice President of Grassroots, Barrett started his journey with YAL as a chapter president. Shortly after he began interning in the national office, Barrett was hired as our Midwest Regional Director. For the past three years, Barrett has overseen Operation Win at the Door, first as our Mobilization Strategist and later as our Director of Grassroots. In 2015, Barrett was named “The Next Great Communicator” by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation for making the case for principled restraint in foreign policy at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Between his YAL affiliated and personal projects, Barrett has designed over 150 pieces of campaign literature and been a part of over 250 campaigns, independent expenditures, and advocacy programs across the country.

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Kathryn Brackbill
Vice President of Operations

Kathryn currently serves as YAL’s Director of Operations where she creates, organizes and runs all of the organizations events. Kathryn has been involved with Young Americans for Liberty since 2014 when she started her chapter at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. She later became a Pennsylvania State Chair and helped grow the network in the Keystone State. Kathryn also has prior experience in the national office. Kathryn interned twice for Young Americans for Liberty; once as an intern in 2015 and then again in 2016 as a Development Executive. During her time in 2016 she helped organize and run that year’s National Convention. When Kathryn is not busy standing for liberty she enjoys; spending time with her husband and son, trying out new recipes, playing board games, and being in the great outdoors.

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Kristin Tate
Analyst

Kristin Tate serves as an Analyst at Young Americans for Liberty. In this role she advocates for the principles of Liberty on media outlets such as Fox News, CNN, MSNBC  among others.

She also pens a weekly column for The Hill Newspaper. She is a Novak Journalism Fellow at the Fund for American Studies.

Her latest book, The Liberal Invasion of Red State America, was published by Regnery Publishing in January 2020. St. Martin’s Press published Kristin’s book How Do I Tax Thee? in March 2018. Tate’s debut book Government Gone Wild, published by Hachette Book Group, is available now.

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Ted Patterson
Director 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.

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Brandon Borke
Director of Strategic Partnerships

Brandon serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships 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.

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Keith Braun
Director of Grassroots

Keith Braun is the Director of Grassroots at Young Americans for Liberty, the fastest growing youth Liberty organization whose mission is to identify, educate, train, and mobilize the next generation of conservative activists to #MakeLibertyWin. Keith began his fight for liberty through grassroots activism with YAL’s award winning Operation Win at the Door, in 2019. In 2020, Keith served as the Senior Election Director leading campaigns across the country, before he joined the YAL national office where he coordinated operations for more than 150 campaigns and played a major role in the deployment of over 1,200 grassroots activists. As the liberty movement continues to grow Keith encourages new grassroots activists to get involved in the fight for liberty the same way he did, through Operation Win at the Door.

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Alexander Staudt
Major Gifts Officer

Alex served as YAL’s Director of Free Speech for three years, where he trained thousands of students to challenge university bias against the 1st Amendment. Now, he strategizes with YAL’s top investors on the best ways to Make Liberty Win. Alex has a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa. As a true Iowan through and through, Alex enjoys hunting for vinyls, cheering for the Hawkeyes, and the outdoors.

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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.
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Jeff Lyons
Donor Relations Manager

After serving over eight years across two enlistments in the United States Navy, Jeff decided to return to college and chart a new course to serve his country and defend the Constitution. Jeff went on to get two Associates Degrees in Theatre and History/Government from Bunker Hill, while spending his free time working on pro-liberty campaigns and causes across the country, including serving as Campaign Manager for the Boston Globe Endorsed candidate Daniel Fishman for Auditor of Massachusetts.  After graduation, Jeff joined the National Staff in June of 2019 as an intern and was immediately hired as an Associate at the end of the internship.  Outside of the office, Jeff loves travelling, running obstacle course races, live music, playing guitar and singing karaoke, but most of all he enjoys standing like a rock in defense of Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and the United States Constitution.

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Tony Guajardo
Midwest Regional Director

Tony Guajardo is the 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 to serve as a Regional Director at YAL HQ.
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Ryan Jacoby
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Ryan is currently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director with Young Americans for Liberty. He founded the Franklin & Marshall College YAL chapter in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during the fall of his sophomore year. He built his home chapter from scratch into a 50-member chapter at a school with only 2,000 students. Ryan has come through the YAL pipeline to find a home in the YAL National HQ. 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.

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Haley Gray
Northeast Regional Director

Haley is originally from central Maine, starting out at her University of Maine at Orono chapter. After becoming a Recruitment Director for the state, deployed on her first Operation Win at the Door campaign in New Hampshire. Haley then spent 5 months at the YAL national office interning for our development department. Since then, she has been a Deputy Election Director in the 2020 primaries and general elections. Haley now works as the Northeast Regional Director.

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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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.

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Stuart Hench
Data Specialist

Stuart started his journey with YAL in 2017 where he served as Chapter President at Virginia Tech and Virginia State Chair. He began working on Operation Win at the Door campaigns in early 2018, and quickly stepped into a leadership position as Election Director. Stuart now serves in the national office as the Data Specialist.

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Matthew Pillers
Candidate Specialist

Matthew Pillers is a native of California, a lifelong advocate for liberty. Matthew’s involvement with Young Americans for Liberty began in 2018 after returning to Allan Hancock College in pursuit of a new career path. At Allen Hancock, he built his college’s YAL Chapter to make it one of the largest in the California Community College system, in the process challenging the campus’s free speech policies. Matthew has since worked with YAL’s award-winning campaign program, Operation Win at the Door, and with several other Liberty-minded campaigns. Before taking his current role as Candidate Specialist, Matthew was the Regional Director of the Coastal and Great Plains regions.

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Ian Brennan
Research Specialist

Ian Brennan joined the liberty movement as a volunteer for Rand Paul’s presidential campaign in the winter of 2015/2016. He started a Students for Rand chapter at St. Lawrence University, which he later switched to a Young Americans for Liberty chapter. He became New York State Chair in 2017, where he expanded his network to 31 chapters across the Northeast region.

 

He joined YAL’s full-time staff in 2018 as the Great Plains Regional Director. Under his leadership, the Great Plains region had the most YALCON attendees of any region in 2019. He served as the Grassroots Associate throughout the 2020 election cycle, overseeing the research process for over 200 prospective candidates vying for YAL’s endorsement. After the election he advanced to the Research Specialist position, where he currently manages YAL’s Hazlitt Action Program to pass liberty-minded legislation.

 

Outside of YAL, Ian enjoys craft beer, metal music, lifting, and writing.

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Naomi Mathew
Grassroots Creative Director

Naomi joined YAL her freshman year at Truman State University. She quickly became chapter president and then later the Missouri State Chair, recruiting hundreds of new students to YAL. When college administrators tried to stop Naomi from doing campus activism, she fought for her right to free speech and forced her school to change their unconstitutional rules.

After COVID moved classes online, Naomi went to Georgia to work on a Congressional primary campaign. She interned for YAL’s Grassroots Department during the 2020 General election, before joining YAL staff full-time later that year. Besides liberty, Naomi loves animals, vegan recipes, and pop-punk music.

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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.

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Michael Anderson
Hazlitt Action Director

Michael Anderson kickstarted Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Houston in 2016. He and his YAL chapter were essential players in the passing of body camera policy reform in Harris County. After becoming a Texas State Chair with YAL in February of 2017, his efforts on free speech and dedication to ending the war on drugs gained significant local media attention, such as becoming a contributor at The Isiah Factor on FOX 26 and Ken Webster Jr’s Pursuit of Happiness Radio on KPRC 950.  After graduating from the University of Houston, he became a national leader in YAL’s ‘Operation Win at the Door’ program where he has been traveling  across the country and helping to elect Liberty Legislators.

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Chelsea Marrie
Mid-Atlantic Deputy Regional 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.

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Michael Vo-Chau
West Coast Deputy 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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