ActBlue named Regina Wallace-Jones as its first black female CEO

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Opinion

ActBlue, the online political fundraising platform that has raised $11 billion since 2004 for Democratic campaigns and liberal organizations, announced Thursday that Regina Wallace-Jones will serve as chief executive, making her the first black woman to hold the role.

Wallace-Jones, a former elected official and CTO, also serves as ActBlue’s president. He succeeds Erin Hill, who led the Massachusetts nonprofit group for 14 years before resigning late last year.

“I can’t and shouldn’t do anything better in this space,” Wallace-Jones said of her candidacy. “It really brings together two areas of my life that are close to my heart and where I feel I can have the strongest impact on this country.”

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Wallace-Jones, 48, comes to ActBlue from lending platform LendStreet Financial, where he was chief operating officer. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a master’s in public policy from UCLA, and has previously worked at eBay, Facebook and Yahoo.

Serving both large campaigns and small donors, Wallace-Jones said she plans to use technology and her years of experience in public service to strengthen ActBlue’s fundraising security, “to make sure that people who are otherwise excluded from the picture have a way to express themselves. . their values.

ActBlue founder Matt DeBergelis said in a statement: “Regina is uniquely positioned to help leverage ActBlue’s transformative work and ensure our platform gives Democrats a strategic advantage. In his 20 years in technology, he has built scalable platforms and he knows how to scale systems. »

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Wallace-Jones has also been involved in politics for more than a decade. He campaigned for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid in East Palo Alto, California, and ran for City Council in 2018. Wallace-Jones served four years on the East Palo Alto City Council, including one year as mayor in 2020.

Wallace-Jones said she is passionate about technology and public policy because she wants to make sure underserved communities also benefit from the latest innovations. But he said he realized his tech background would make him a political outsider to residents of East Palo Alto, surrounded by tech giants and facing gentrification.

“When I ran for office, when I was wearing my hat trying to check with my constituents, my community, the people’s biggest concern for me was that I was that person. satanic technology for sale all over town,” he said. “Part of my candidacy was about debunking that myth and being open and vulnerable.”

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Stacey Brown-Philpot, a longtime friend of Wallace-Jones and former CEO of matchmaking service Taskrabbit, said Wallace-Jones’ commitment to serving others will serve her well at ActBlue. Brown-Philpot and Wallace-Jones are members of Delta Sigma Theta, a historically black sorority that supports the professional endeavors of black girls and donates professional apparel.

“He’s one of the most driven people I know,” Brown-Philpot said. “He builds a following because he brings a level of optimism, enthusiasm and excitement to everything he does.”

Now, in ActBlue, Wallace-Jones has a chance to bring a “new dimension” that breaks the glass ceiling, Brown-Philpot said.

“I’m now the head of an organization that’s all about giving a small dollar,” Wallace-Jones said, “and it’s about making sure that the households I grew up in have a way to express value, to express thought.” look at candidates they really trust and leave their money.

Washington

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