The Future of Civic Engagement Panelists

Maggie Duncan

Elections Program Manager

League of Women Voters of the U.S.

Maggie Duncan serves as Elections Program Manager for the League of Women Voters of the United States.  She manages the League’s youth engagement and voter registration programs, working with dozens of state and local Leagues and a wide range of allied organizations to ensure Americans of all backgrounds can successfully cast a vote.  She also leads the League’s nationwide campaign to promote a transparent and fair redistricting process. She worked on the League’s communications team during the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, during which she spearheaded the organization’s first-ever online engagement program and helped secure coverage of the League’s efforts in hundreds of news stories.

Maggie previously honed her skills as a strategic communications consultant for M+R Strategic Services as well as a boutique Washington online advocacy firm.  In these capacities she worked with national nonprofits, foundations and advocacy organizations to develop winning outreach strategies and further their impact. Maggie graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree in Political Management and also earned a bachelor’s in Political Science and Anthropology from the George Washington University. She lives in Arlington, VA.

Chrissy Faessen

V.P. Marketing and Communications

Rock the Vote

With over 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing and communications, Chrissy Faessen joined Rock the Vote’s team in 2008 as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing.  In her capacity as Vice President she is responsible for creating and executing effective grassroots, broadcast, digital and mobile strategies to accomplish the ambitious goals of this dynamic organization. 

Faessen is also responsible for executing a range of events from star-studded concerts at the political nominating conventions to summer festivals, bus tours, and inaugural celebrations. One of the major projects Faessen undertook at Rock the Vote was spearheading the organizations first high school civics program, Democracy Class. The program, supported by an advisory board of innovative professionals from the education, media and music communities, is designed to educate and excite high school students about voting, elections and governance. Overall Faessen helps Rock the Vote use music, popular culture and new technology to engage and mobilize millions of young people to participate in the political process.

Prior to joining the Rock the Vote team, Faessen served as Business Director at DDB Issues and Advocacy, a progressive issues advertising practice, part of DDB Worldwide.  In her capacity as Business Director at DDB, she waged advocacy, public policy, and advertising strategies including lacing stories in the top US media outlets.  Faessen worked with clients such as the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Save the Children, PATH, Reproductive Heath Technology Project, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, and HopeLab. Additionally, as part of various campaign spotlight stories, she has been quoted in the PR Week and numerous other trade publications.

While Faessen’s work product speaks for itself it has also received awards from the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and The Webbys.

Kolton Gustafson

Student

George Washington University 

Kolton Gustafson serves as Government Specialist of the United States Youth Delegate Initiative, an organization focused on American youth representation at the United Nations. His work with the US-YDI focuses on the House of Representatives. Kolton is from Grand Junction, Colorado and has worked with Kids Voting Mesa County advocating for civic engagement and leadership among youth as well as reforming the organization’s web-based outreach.  He is an alumnus of the International Baccalaureate Program and entered into the George Washington University in Fall 2010 where he majors in Political Science.

Dr. Jason Ross

Vice President of Education Programs

Bill of Rights Institute

Jason Ross directs the Bill of Rights Institute’s efforts to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders. Since joining the Institute in 2007, he has personally directed several of  the Institute’s educational programs, including the Being an American Essay Contest, the Constitutional Academy, an NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and a series of advanced colloquia the Institute co-sponsors with Liberty Fund. Jason earned his Ph.D. in political theory from the Department of Government at Georgetown University in 2008, and he earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University in 2001. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards and fellowships, including the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Humane Studies Fellowship sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Civitas Fellowship sponsored by the Center for Public Justice. He has published reviews and essays in The Review of Politics, The Journal of Religion and Society, and The University Bookman. He also serves as an adjunct professor of history at Pepperdine University’s Washington DC campus.