Kevin Johnson

Executive Director

Kevin Johnson is co-founder and executive director of ElectionReformers Network, a nonpartisan nonprofit advancing innovations that protect elections from polarization.  Since 2017 Kevin has led ERN’s research and advocacy programs focused on impartial election administration, independent redistricting, and voting rules. Kevin draws on decades of experience supporting emerging democracies overseas and advancing reforms in the US.

Kevin has authored studies of secretary of state conflict of interest, election commission models, nonpartisan election management, and proportional approaches to electoralcollege reform. He has also published more than two dozen opeds on a wide range of reform topics in media outlets including The Washington Post,Governing, The Fulcrum, and The Hill.

Kevin has held board oradvisory positions with The Carter Center, Common Cause Massachusetts, Rank theVote, and American Promise. For 18 years Kevin ran Liberty Global Partners, an investment advisory firm focused on venture capital and private equity in emerging markets. Kevin earned an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Yale, and liveswith his wife and three children in Newton, MA.

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Heather Balas

Vice President of Programs

A fifth-generation New Mexican, Heather W. Balas brings over 25 years of experience in public policy, including policy research, citizen deliberation, legislative advocacy, voter education, and coalition-building to ERN. She is a senior consultant to the Carter Center, where she advises on advancing reforms to strengthen American democracy.

Heather is also the previous President and Executive Director of New Mexico First, a cross-partisan public policy organization co-founded by U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici.

Previous employers include the Thornburg Foundation, where she managed a $1.2 million portfolio of good government investments, as well as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the California Center for Civic Participation. Heather holds a master’s degree in political communication from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is married and mother to two young adults.

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Amber McReynolds

Senior Advisor on Election Administration

Amber McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts on election administration and policy. She was appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a Governor for the United States Postal Service, she is an elections policy and administration expert and consultant, co-author of the book ‘When Women Vote’, and is the former Director of Elections for the City and County of Denver, Colorado and the former CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition. Amber is an experienced election professional and is nationally recognized as an innovator and has proven that designing pro-voter policies, voter-centric processes, and implementing technical innovations will improve the voting experience for all. Amber also served on the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission.

Amber was recognized as a 2018 Top Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine for her transformational work to improve the voting experience in Denver and across Colorado; she was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business in Colorado in 2020; and was named as a 2021 Titan CEO. Amber serves on the National Task Force on Election Crises, the National Council on Election Integrity, the Advisory Board for the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, Advisor to Vot-ER, Secure the Vote Advisory Board, City Year Denver Board of Directors, Represent Women Board of Directors, and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado Empowerment Council.Amber holds a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

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Michael Parsons

Senior Counsel

Michael Parsons is Senior Counsel at Election Reformers Network and the Founder and Principal of Parsons Law PLLC.

As a practitioner, Michael advises clients who are working to make government more representative, responsive, and responsible. He has also represented merits parties and amici in major constitutional cases implicating the law of democracy and the separation of powers, including Rucho v. Common Cause (partisan gerrymandering), Blumenthal v. Trump (emoluments), and Patchak v. Zinke (separation of powers).

At Election Reformers Network, Michael provides policy guidance, strategic legal advice, legislative drafting assistance, and in-depth analysis of developments in state and federal legislation, election litigation, judicial doctrines, and emerging scholarship.  

As a scholar, Michael studies political representation and how the law shapes, supports, and subverts that concept, especially in the areas of federalism, the separation of powers, and the law of democracy. His scholarship has been published in academic journals such as the California Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, and his commentary has been published on the Harvard Law Review Blog, Election Law Blog, Take Care Blog, Democracy Docket, and in outlets like Mass. Lawyers Weekly, City & State New York, and The Hill. His work has been cited in multiple federal court opinions and his proposals have been incorporated into legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  

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Alexander Vanderklipp

Senior Election Reform Fellow

Al Vanderklipp joined ERN in 2020 to assist with the development of ERN’s program portfolio, with research projects covering post-election processes, electoral college reform, redistricting, and impartial election administration. He has contributed substantially to all ERN publications, which can be found on our Research Page. Outside of his work for ERN, Al is a Research Associate with Princeton University's Innovations for Successful Societies program, with a focus on U.S. elections.

As a consultant, Al has conducted independent research for The Century Foundation, Keep Our Republic, The Union, and Unite America, and is involved with the Youth Franchise Coalition’s efforts to document the history of the 18-year-old vote. He wrote, directed, and produced a documentary on the subject, The 26th Amendment: The Long Road to the Fastest Ratification.

Prior to joining ERN, Al took on internships with The Democracy Fund, the National Redistricting Foundation, and U.S. Senator Gary Peters. He graduated from the University of Michigan’s political science program in 2018 and remains a die-hard midwesterner.

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Zev Braun

Legal Intern

Zev Braun (he/him) joined ERN in 2024 as a part-time legal intern to research improvements to election impartiality, develop voter education resources regarding close and contested elections, and support electoral college stress-testing efforts. Outside of this work, Zev is full-time public interest scholarship recipient at American University Washington College of Law. At WCL he serves as the Finance Co-Director of the Moot Court Honor Society, the co-founder of the school’s chapter of the American Constitution Society, a junior staffer in the Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief, and the treasurer of two other student organizations.

Prior to law school and joining ERN, Zev coordinated the suicide prevention program for Washington County, Oregon, and worked as the policy director for the state nonprofit organization State of Safety. In the latter role, he played a significant part in helping to pass Oregon’s first firearm safe storage law (SB 554). Before that, Zev graduated from Boston University with a Master’s in Public Health, served in AmeriCorps in southern Oregon, and graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor’s in Biology.

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