Cliff Maloney Jr.

Cliff Maloney Jr. is the President of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), the most active and effective libertarian youth organization advancing liberty on campus and in American electoral politics.  YAL’s mission is to identify, educate, train, and mobilize youth activists committed to making liberty win.

Before YAL, Cliff served as National Youth Director for the Rand Paul Presidential Campaign and built an apparatus of 507 “Students for Rand” chapters.  He has built field programs for over 22 campaigns, including dog-catcher, state legislature, congress, senate, and presidential. Cliff has appeared on FOX BusinessPBS, and Reason TV. He has been published in TIME, The Hill, Huffington Post, and the Washington Examiner. Cliff enjoys empowering freedom activists to find the most productive ways to advance the principles of liberty.

Justin Greiss
Vice President of Grassroots

After founding his chapter and serving as the Pennsylvania State Chair, Justin joined the YAL National Staff as the Southeast Regional Director in 2015. Shortly after, Justin joined Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign as Iowa’s 1st District Congressional Director. Justin remained with Senator Paul as Kentucky Political Director for Rand’s Senate re-election. After a 16 point win in November 2016, Justin returned to YAL where he helped transition the organization into Operation Win at the Door. Justin oversaw the deployment of over 500 activists to mobilize for state representative races in 2018 & 2019, securing 56 wins. Justin has recruited and hired over 1,500 full-time campaign contractors and scored wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, California, Iowa, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Mississippi.


Sean Themea
Vice President of  Development

Sean founded the Ithaca College YAL chapter during his senior year of college. He quickly earned the title of New York State Chair, and created over a dozen chapters in his region. Sean was named Northeast State Chair of the Year for 2016, and joined the national staff shortly after. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Ithaca College, where he sang with a nationally-touring a capella group.

Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor
National Campus Director

Daniel Taylor began his political career by starting his YAL chapter at Taylor University in the fall of 2016, after leading his chapter to success, he was brought in as a State Chair where he built a network of 32 chapters in Indiana and hosting 19 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 2,500 students at YAL National events in the past year.


Kathryn Brackbill
Director 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.


Ted Patterson
Director of Policy

Ted Patterson got involved in the liberty movement with the Ron Paul campaign 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.


Kelsey Carroll
Digital Media Director

Kelsey is from Fort Wayne, Indiana where she attended Purdue University – Fort Wayne. She started her YAL chapter during her freshman year and then became a Media Ambassador. Kelsey has been published numerous times in The Washington Examiner, primarily covering campus free speech. She was the Communications Intern for YAL in the summer of 2018.


Reed Cooley
Director of Public Relations

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. In his spare time, Reed is either writing his novel, playing his guitar, or nursing his embarrassingly unhealthy addiction to Star Trek.


Alexander Staudt
Major Gifts Officer

Alex recently served as the Students for Rand chapter president at the University of Iowa. He previously worked on congressional campaigns and interned with Jamestown Associates. 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.


Jared LeSage
Foundations Officer

Jared founded the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at UNC – Charlotte and served as a North Carolina State Chair before working on Capital Hill.


Emma Meshell

Emma Meshell serves as an Spokesperson at Young Americans for Liberty. In this role she advocates for the principles of Liberty on media outlets such as Fox News, Fox Business Network, and Newsmax TV, among others. She also manages the YAL Legacy Society, a program that allows YAL alumni and supporters to invest in the youth liberty movement.

Previously, Emma served as the Correspondent Director and Spokesperson for Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute. Prior to that, she was a Policy and Outreach Associate at the Freedom Foundation in her home state of Oregon. Her foray into the Liberty movement came through an internship at Americans for Prosperity.

When she’s not fighting for liberty, Emma can usually be found fishing, snowboarding, or otherwise chasing fresh air.


Kristin Tate

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, will be 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.


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.


Bill Rein
Development Specialist

Bill studied philosophy and political science at Chico State University. He’s interested in data-driven public policy, scientific fundraising and 20th century political theory.
Jeff Lyons

Jeff Lyons
Development Associate

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.

Barrett Young

Barrett Young
Director of Grassroots

Barrett Young 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 make Liberty Win. 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. In his time outside of YAL, Barrett serves as a field consultant for Liberty-minded campaigns, having mobilized over hundreds students to get off the couch and on the campaign trail. Between his YAL affiliated and personal projects, Barrett has designed over 100 pieces of campaign literature and been a part of over 150 campaigns, independent expenditures, and advocacy programs across the country.


Justin Maloney
Candidate Specialist

Justin Maloney founded his YAL chapter shortly after the 2016 Presidential Election at his Alma Mater of Brescia University, in Owensboro, Kentucky. After spending the next semester growing his chapter as a chapter president, Justin spent the summer of 2017 working on various pro-liberty campaigns and ballot initiatives. Justin also began his tenure as a Kentucky State Chair in the summer of 2017, and spent the next academic year growing the Kentucky network and cultivating new leaders in the liberty movement. Justin joined YAL National Staff after graduating from Brescia University in May of 2018 as the Northeast Regional Director. He currently serves as YAL’s Candidate Specialist.


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 Students for Rand chapter on his campus in 2016.  Since his time on the Rand campaign he has been a YAL Chapter President, a Kentucky State Chair, and the Coastal Region Field Coordinator, as well as an Election Coordinator and Deputy Election Director for YAL’s Operation Win at the Door.  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.

Stuart Hench
Appalachian Regional Director

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 Mid-Atlantic Regional Director.

Ben Callanan

Ben Callanan
Appalachian Deputy Regional Director

Prior to joining the YAL staff, Ben did campaign work throughout college for liberty and right-oriented politicians, most recently for Operation Win at the Door. As a sophomore in college he joined his YAL chapter as one of its first members after being recruited by fellow staffer Ryan Jacoby. Disillusioned by the opportunities provided by other groups, Ben fell in love with YAL, it’s principles, and what is has to offer college students nationwide, and has been involved ever since.

Maggie Anders

Maggie Anders
Northeast Regional Director

Maggie Anders was born and raised in Louisiana. She was introduced to the liberty movement at a young age when her mother knocked doors for Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. During her freshman year, she joined the YAL chapter at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and that summer she participated in Operation Win at the Door. She became the Louisiana State Chair in 2018 in hopes of bringing her home state back from the brink of overregulation and mass incarceration. In Spring 2019, she became the Great Plains Field Coordinator, driving to different campuses and training chapter presidents. Now she works as the Regional Director for the Northeast Region. She enjoys cajun food, live music, and empowering others to take action in their communities.


Matthew Castaneda
Northeast Deputy Regional Director

Matthew serves as Northeast Deputy Regional Director at Young Americans for Liberty. His initial involvement was when he first became a member of the Purdue University chapter in Indiana in 2016. After coming back to his native New Jersey, Matthew took charge of the Rutgers University – Newark chapter. Shortly after, he took the role as New Jersey State Chair. After creating 9 chapters and tripling membership across the state, Matthew was promoted to the YAL National Staff as Northeast Deputy Regional Director in August 2019. Being involved with politics since graduating high school, he hopes to further his role in the liberty movement by seeking higher office and inspiring more activists to take action across the nation.

Ryan Jacoby
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Ryan 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 25 member chapter at a school with only 2,500 students. His YAL chapter quickly became the largest and most active political club on campus. Shortly after that, he took on the role of Recruitment Director in Pennsylvania leading multiple campus invasions on campuses throughout Pennsylvania, where he created a YAL chapter his first week! He was quickly promoted to Pennsylvania State Chair where he and his army of recruitment directors have since created 15 chapters and built a network of over 100 active YAL members within PA. Ryan later served as the National Field Intern this past summer helping other Regional Directors grow their networks. He was named the Best State Chair in the country for his work within Pennsylvania this past summer and after graduating Franklin & Marshall College he became the newest Mid-Atlantic Regional Director.


Diego Rivera
Coastal Regional Director

Diego Rivera is a first generation American of Cuban descent. The disastrous stories of Cuba’s demise made it quite clear to him that central authorities should be treated with extreme skepticism. Diego is a veteran and shortly after he got out he studied psychology and neuroscience. He worked at the Cognitive Neuroscience lab which focused heavily on biology, physiology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and evolutionary theory.


Evan Jackson
Coastal Deputy Regional Director

Prior to joining the national staff, Evan got his start in politics through Operation Win at the Door. He helped secure YAL’s first State Senate race victory in Mississippi. He is passionate about helping students get involved with YAL, and Operation Win at the Door in particular. Outside of YAL, he loves the outdoors, sports, and helping his community.

Tony Guajardo

Tony Guajardo
Midwest Regional Director

Tony Guajardo is the Midwest 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 for the now-retired U.S. Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-San Antonio). A graduate of Texas A&M University, Tony first started creating YAL chapters as a Field Representative with the Leadership Institute in both Michigan and Florida. He is excited to be back in his home state to make liberty win.

Christian Dawson
Midwest Deputy Regional Director

Originally from Toledo, Ohio; Christian first came to the ideas of liberty in his freshman year of college at Lee University after watching Rand Paul in the 2016 GOP Presidential Debates. After, he quickly became involved with his campus YAL chapter, moving from member, to Public Relations Officer, to Chapter President. He then began to serve YAL as an Election Coordinator on multiple campaigns, including their first win. He continued as a Tennessee State Chair before becoming the Midwest Field Coordinator.


Ian Brennan
Great Plains Regional Director

Ian currently serves as the Great Plains Regional Director at Young Americans for Liberty. He got his start in the liberty movement in 2015 when Rand Paul ran for president, volunteering for his campaign in his home state of Vermont and starting a Students for Rand chapter at St. Lawrence University. He became involved with Young Americans for Liberty when he started a YAL chapter at St. Lawrence University in place of his Students for Rand chapter. Ian’s first YALCON in 2017 inspired him to take further action, making his chapter one of the most active in the Northeast. Continuing his work in YAL as a New York State Chair, Ian expanded the liberty network in the Northeast, accruing several State Chair of the Month awards. When he’s not fighting for liberty, Ian enjoys singing, craft beer, and metal concerts.

Ophelia Overton
Great Plains Deputy Regional Director

Ophelia Overton was born and raised by a military family in San Antonio, Texas and first got involved with the liberty movement in 2017 after the YAL Summit in Denver, Colorado while attending school at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She studied political science and communications and is committed to advancing the liberty network in her home state of Texas.


Daniel Stuart
Northern Regional Director

Daniel has been a long time fan of the liberty movement. During his first month at Illinois State University he helped to start up the Young Americans for Liberty chapter and oversaw it’s growth and development. In March Daniel became the Illinois State Chair and took his leadership to the next level with YAL. He oversaw the growth of the liberty movement in Illinois and worked to grow his network and foster good relationships with his chapter presidents. He has since left Illinois State University and is now helping grow the Northern Regional network.


Isaac Edikauskas
West Coast Regional Director

Isaac first got involved with YAL in high school as a homeschool student and he attended his first state convention in 2014. He helped to found his chapter at Michigan State University where he was promoted to Michigan State Chair. After leading his chapter at Michigan State University for 3 semesters, he decided that he was finished with college and came to intern at our national office. After his internship, Isaac moved to California so that he could build the liberty movement as a California State Chair. During his time as a State Chair in both California and Michigan, Isaac helped to reform five unconstitutional speech codes.


Matthew Pillers
West Coast Deputy Regional Director

Matthew Pillers is a native of California. A lifelong advocate for liberty and a limited government, Matthew’s Involvement With Young Americans for Liberty began in 2018 after returning to Allan Hancock College in pursuit of a new career path. Matthew rebuilt 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 on Operation Win at the Door campaigns and with several other liberty minded campaigns, before becoming Deputy Regional Director. The only thing that rivals Matthew’s passion for liberty is his fandom of the San Jose Sharks.

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