Brewer Fellowship to Unite America Launched, Names Fellows

In Partnership With Cultivate The Karass, Brewer Fellowship To Unite America Will Strengthen U.S. Democracy

May 11, 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

Media Contacts: 
Frances Hannan, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 201.587.4755
Lori Brewer Collins, Cultivate the Karass, 615.554.3677

In Partnership With Cultivate The Karass, Brewer Fellowship To Unite America Will Strengthen U.S. Democracy

WASHINGTON, DC — As the United States faces more uncertain times, inspired leadership is more necessary than ever.

To help develop such leaders, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WW) is pleased to launch the Brewer Fellowship to Unite America. Developed in partnership with Cultivate the Karass (CtK) and supported by the Unite America Fund (UAF), this fellowship will bring together leaders from across the political spectrum for a series of professional and capacity-building opportunities.

“I’m excited about this Fellowship. It’s the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s first Fellowship in the democracy-strengthening space, building upon the field building work we have been leading in civic learning over the course of the last year,” said WW President Rajiv Vinnakota. “This work and this program are a natural continuation of the work WW has done throughout the last 75 years, and we’re proud to partner with UAF and CtK to develop the civic leaders our country needs.”

The 16 Brewer Fellows in the program’s inaugural class represent a variety of new and established nonprofit organizations working to strengthen American democracy and reform the political system. They are working on initiatives such as advancing nonpartisan election reforms, supporting reform-minded candidates for public office, and building support for the growing movement to put voters first. (See the full list of Fellows and their organizations below.)

“The Unite America Fund is proud to support the individual growth and collective relationships of these capable leaders, who are at the vanguard of fostering a more representative and functional government in our country,” said Kathryn Murdoch, co-Chair of Unite America.

The Brewer Fellowship to Unite America is designed to be a deep fellowship—a robust experience that will support leaders’ personal and professional development; give Fellows the opportunity to develop and deepen relationships with other leaders in the field; provide workshops and personalized coaching; enhance organizational capacity; and increase sustainability of the nonpartisan movement.

“In the midst of a global crisis, the need for this innovative and collaborative leadership has never been more apparent,” said CtK Founder, Lori Brewer Collins. “We’re thankful that WW and UAF bring their talented teams and vision to support the cross-partisan democracy reform work these leaders are already doing.”

The Brewer Fellowship is dedicated to the legacy of Jacob “Jake” Brewer (1981–2015), a political organizer and social activist who served as senior policy adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Obama Administration. Throughout his life, Jake continually dismantled political, cultural and religious barriers in order to create unlikely coalitions to tackle intractable social problems.

The 2020 class will serve as a pilot program for the 18-month Fellowship. Initial grant funding was seeded by the Unite America Fund, a philanthropic community that aims to accelerate and scale the nonpartisan democracy reform movement.


The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation ( develops individuals and institutions to address the nation’s critical challenges through high-impact fellowships, partnering with leading organizations whose mission is also to improve American society.

Cultivate the Karass ( is dedicated to developing individuals into agile, seasoned leaders skilled at cross-partisan engagement. CtK offers a novel model of experiential leadership designed specifically for civic leaders operating in a cross-partisan space.

Unite America ( is a movement of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to bridge the growing partisan divide and foster a more representative and functional government. Through the Unite America Fund, Unite America invests in campaigns to enact reforms and elect candidates so that the right leaders have the right incentives to solve our country’s greatest problems.


2020 Brewer Fellows to Unite America

Meghann Curtis | COO, Leadership Now Project

Lee Drutman | Political Reform Fellow, New America

Mindy Finn | Executive Director, Stand Up Republic

Francis M. Johnson | President & Board Chair, Take Back Our Republic

Eli Lehrer | President, R Street

Sarah Longwell | Founding Director, Defending Democracy Together

Maya MacGuineas | President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Amber McReynolds | Executive Director, National Vote at Home Institute

Debilyn Molineaux | Co-Founder and Executive Director, Bridge Alliance

Nick Penniman | Founder & CEO, Issue One

Rob Richie | President & CEO, FairVote

Nilmini Rubin | Co-Founder & Managing Director, Fix the System

Josh Silver | Executive Director, RepresentUs

Raiyan Syed | Consultant, New Politics

Cynthia Richie Terrell | Executive Director, RepresentWomen

Nick Troiano | Executive Director, Unite America

Layla Zaidane | Executive Director/COO, Millennial Action Project

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