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Aaron Kelley
Director, Strategy
Aaron Kelley
Director, Strategy

Since joining EMC in 2018, Aaron serves as a Director, Strategy. Aaron oversees project management of both qualitative and quantitative research projects and is involved in all parts of the research process including survey design, data collection and management, and presentation design and analysis. As an undergraduate student at Ohio State’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Aaron developed an interest in workforce issues and labor unions while conducting an independent research project for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in partnership with the Ohio Education Research Center.

Aaron is a 2019 graduate of The Ohio State University, holding Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public Management, Leadership and Policy as well as Political Science. Aaron is an avid reader and follower of all things political. He enjoys watching soccer, attending concerts, and spending time with his cat, Frankie and dog, Miso.

 

Alexa DeJesus
Director, Strategy
Alexa DeJesus
Director, Strategy

As a Director, Alexa manages teams on a variety of research projects. Alexa’s background focuses on politics and women’s issues. Prior to joining EMC, Alexa was the Program Director at the National Women’s Political Caucus where she led the National office in all its efforts, including political endorsements, digital strategy, membership, and events. She has also worked for the Women’s Bar Association and Foundation of Massachusetts, Hillary for America, Congressman Jim McGovern, and Massachusetts State Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad.

Alexa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College, and a Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, playing field hockey, board games, and hanging out with her pup, Frankie.

Andrew Bishop
Senior Strategy Associate
Andrew Bishop
Senior Strategy Associate

Andrew joined EMC in 2022 and is now a Senior Strategy Associate. Prior to joining EMC, Andrew graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied Political Science with emphases in American and Comparative Politics. Since joining EMC, Andrew’s focus has been all things California, working on a number of campaigns and public policy projects in his home state.

Outside of work, Andrew enjoys searching for new music, watching baseball, and volunteering with rescue dogs at his local animal shelter.

 

Andrew Thibault
Senior Principal
Andrew Thibault
Senior Principal

Andrew Thibault is a natural problem solver who draws on opinion research for its ability to expand insight, while grounding decision making in data. Corporations, public agencies and campaigns rely on Andrew for his research expertise and his ability to communicate meaningful and relevant research findings. Andrew is particularly proud of the projects he has worked on that have helped improve the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, including helping to raise the minimum wage, expand public transit and infrastructure investment, and expand parks and open space.

Andrew joined EMC Research in 1995 after working his way through college as an analyst at Hamilton & Staff, one of the nation’s first political polling firms. He has a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a MA from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Ayse Toksoz
Senior Director, Strategy
Ayse Toksoz
Senior Director, Strategy

Ayse joined EMC Research in 2017 upon leaving academia with a PhD in sociology. As a Senior Director, Ayse manages qualitative and quantitative projects, and is involved at all levels of the research process, from design to data collection to analysis. Her natural curiosity drives her to engage with each of her projects with commitment, and to strive to deliver high quality research to her public agency, non-profit, and campaign clients. Prior to joining EMC Research, she worked on various academic projects on topics ranging from urban segregation to turn-of-the-century migration movements in Europe, alongside her specialization in reproductive justice.

Ayse holds a BA and MA in sociology from Bogazici University, Istanbul, and a PhD in sociology from University of Washington, Seattle. Currently, alongside her role at EMC, she serves as an editor to the feminist website catlakzemin.com and as a human to three cats.

Ben Larson
Strategy Associate
Ben Larson
Strategy Associate

Ben joined the EMC team in 2022 as a Strategy Associate based in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining EMC, Ben worked as a Research Specialist with the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, where he helped hire and train CATI interviewers, as well as supervise and assist with fielding and data collection for academic research studies in the CATI mode.

Ben graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2019, majoring in Political Science and Psychology. In his free time, Ben enjoys playing guitar, skateboarding, playing basketball, and reading with his cat.

Brendan Kara
Vice President
Brendan Kara
Vice President

With more than 12 years in the industry, Brendan Kara has first-hand experience helping clients maximize the potential of their research data.  From political campaigns of all sizes to Fortune 500 companies, Brendan has helped his clients by designing the data collection instruments that get to the heart of the issues they face – collecting the data they need to succeed.  Brendan has performed research on a wide variety of topics, and always strives to take an innovative approach to research methodologies in this fast-changing industry. He has also gained experience with research among heavily Hispanic populations, having conducted many survey projects with large Spanish language components in areas such as South Texas and Florida.

Brendan received his BA in political science and MA in political management from The George Washington University.  He enjoys spending his downtime with his wife and two young sons in suburban Maryland.

 

Chandler Corallo
Director, Field
Chandler Corallo
Director, Field

Chandler Corallo is a Director, Field at EMC Research. Chandler tests survey instruments, gathers background information to assist with survey design, and monitors project timelines, ensuring that project deadlines and budget needs are met for the project team and clients, while upholding EMC’s strict quality standards.

Chandler has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Reed College. While completing her undergraduate degree, Chandler interned as a User Experience Researcher for a tech company where she obtained firsthand experience designing studies, recruiting and interviewing participants, and analyzing rich sets of qualitative data. Outside of work, she enjoys jogging around Portland and hand building ceramics.

Chelsea Sektnan
Senior Director, Strategy
Chelsea Sektnan
Senior Director, Strategy

After several years between EMC’s Oakland and DC offices, Chelsea is now based in her hometown of Sacramento where she works with candidates and campaigns up and down the state, with an emphasis on the Bay Area. Chelsea is responsible for managing projects from start to finish and is involved in all aspects of survey design, data management, and analysis. She is passionate about working at the intersection of data analytics and campaign strategy to help candidates, campaigns, and non-profits make informed, effective decisions.

Chelsea graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science. Outside of work, she can usually be found in the gym or on a trail with her dog, and enjoys traveling the world, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and learning French and Arabic.

Cole Martiniak
Director, Data Analytics
Cole Martiniak
Director, Data Analytics

Cole joined the EMC Research team in 2019 and is a Senior Data Associate in the Oakland office. With a Statistics degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cole brings a strong background in mathematics and data analytics. He has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research, including survey and presentation design. In school he conducted a survey for the county jail on the staff’s feelings toward programs offered for inmates and presented his findings to the Sheriff.

Cole is also a huge baseball fan. He was a pitcher for the Cal Poly club team and is a season ticket holder for the Oakland A’s.

Darius Fuller
Data Science Associate
Darius Fuller
Data Science Associate

Darius joined EMC’s Seattle office in 2021 after completing Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s management training program and spending almost two years in front-line sales management, where he honed his collaboration, personal sales/marketing, and business analysis skills while leading a team.  He has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Washington—Tacoma where he was first introduced to data analytics. He has also completed The Flatiron School’s Data Science bootcamp where he learned how data can be used in policy and politics, culminating in the creation of a project geared toward predicting the outcome of U.S. Senate races based on data from Wikipedia.

His interests include machine learning applications, history, music, and most things basketball related and in his free time he loves to play video games, make music, and take his dog on long walks.

Derek Shan
Senior Data Associate
Derek Shan
Senior Data Associate

Derek is a Senior Data Associate at EMC Research. Before joining the Seattle office in 2021, he pursued his interest in politics and public opinion at the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight, where he updated its comprehensive polling database and performed ad hoc research. A Chester County native, he spent the summer before as an Organizing Fellow with the Pennsylvania Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

Derek is a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning a BA in Economics and International Studies with a focus on Political Economy and Development in addition to a minor in German Studies. An avid politico as well as a trained and technically skilled classical violinist, he also enjoys railfanning and watching soccer games in his free time.

Doug Van Anda
Field Associate
Doug Van Anda
Field Associate

Doug joined EMC in 2021 and is a Field Associate who provides support for quantitative research projects. Before joining EMC, Doug worked among the unhoused community in the non-profit sector. Doug has guest lectured and provided training on identifying root causes of societal issues, de-escalation and intense conflict skills, and building antiracist student coalitions.

They graduated Summa Cum Laude from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In their free time, Doug enjoys birding, photography, music-making, and watching the Trail Blazers pull up from three.

 

Eli Panetta
Field Specialist
Eli Panetta
Field Specialist

Eli serves as a field specialist at EMC Research. In this role, he assists the Field team with quality control, programming, and testing surveys, and builds demographic reports to ensure accuracy and reliability in research data and analysis.

He is a Posse Foundation alumni and graduated from Boston University where he studied psychology and biology with a focus on neurodevelopment. There, he researched moral decision making in different languages and ultimately wrote a thesis on the effects of income, food insecurity, and the neighborhood on child brain function. He is most proud of his advocacy and organizing for trans youth and work in homeless shelters and food rescue programs to sustain community fridges. He spends his free time looking for new recipes to cook, reading anything he can find, and playing with his cats.

Emerson Rogers
Strategy Associate
Emerson Rogers
Strategy Associate

Emerson joined EMC’s Seattle office as a Strategy Associate in 2022. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2022 with a BA in Economics and American Studies. As an undergrad, Emerson concentrated on the intersection of race, class, and gender in American politics, particularly related to housing insecurity. Prior to joining EMC, she supported research and communication efforts at Panorama Global and the Rose Bowl Institute.

In her free time, Emerson enjoys playing with her dog, playing guitar, bingeing TV shows with her family, and watching rugby.

Emily Goodman
Senior Principal
Emily Goodman
Senior Principal

Emily Kirby Goodman joined EMC in 2012 after working at Hart Research Associates in Washington, D.C. for six years. She brings her lifetime of political experience and her Texas charm to every project, treating each client as unique and important. She is hands-on, making sure that her polling isn’t simply following a formula, but addresses the specific challenge at hand. Her expertise includes presidential, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial races, but she especially loves local candidate and issue races where she can be deeply involved and see the impact of change.

Emily has her B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University and her M.A. in Political Communication from Johns Hopkins University. Her thesis was about electing women to office, something that continues to be a passion. Emily loves living in California, but continues to be passionate about her Dallas Cowboys.

Erin Wilber
Senior Data Associate
Erin Wilber
Senior Data Associate

Erin Wilber joined EMC Research in 2019 and is a Senior Data Associate in the Columbus office.  In this role, she provides support for all aspects of research projects. Prior to joining EMC, Erin worked as an analyst in state party politics in Ohio. This provided her with experience in a wide range of campaigns, including state, congressional, and local elections.

Erin is a graduate of The Ohio State University, with a BS in Data Analytics and a minor in Political Science with a focus on voter behavior. While at Ohio State, Erin used her data analytics experience to participate in research on group attitudes towards health care reform and turnout in municipal elections. In her free time, Erin enjoys showing her horses and keeping up with Ohio State football.

Gaby Olsen
Field Associate
Gaby Olsen
Field Associate

Joining EMC in 2021, Gaby assists the Field team with quality control for telephone and online surveys, programming surveys, monitoring, and testing questionnaires, creating demographic reports, and cleaning survey respondent lists to ensure appropriate research data is collected for analysis.

Gaby grew up in San Diego and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Psychology. While there, she gained an affinity for research and Human Factors. When she is not working, she loves gardening, baking, hanging out with her loved ones, and being outside as much as she can.

Grace Kroeger
Vice President, Data Analytics
Grace Kroeger
Vice President, Data Analytics

Grace Kroeger joined EMC Research in 2019 as a Research Analyst. In her current role as Vice President, Data Analytics, Grace manages an internal department of data associates and analytics associates and explores trends in data visualization to develop new products for the company. Grace has prior experience working in the non-profit and higher education fields and completed a Masters of Public Administration from Ohio University’s George Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. In this applied learning program, she gained experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research for non-profits and local public agencies.

Grace enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and staying active!

Harrison Louie
Director, Strategy
Harrison Louie
Director, Strategy

Harrison joined EMC in 2022 and is now a Director, Strategy, managing research projects up and down the west coast. Harrison has significant campaign management experience in local and statewide races across New York, North Carolina, and Washington state, bringing a deep understanding of electoral processes to his role at EMC. While working to elect Democrats, Harrison developed a focus on housing affordability and transportation access, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Harrison received a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from New York University and now lives in Seattle with his fiancée. In his free time, he enjoys mystery novels, expanding his cooking repertoire, and hiking with his beagle, Jupiter.

 

Heidi Comeau
Senior Strategy Associate
Heidi Comeau
Senior Strategy Associate

Heidi joined EMC in 2022 and is now a Senior Strategy Associate. Prior to joining EMC, Heidi graduated from Smith College where she studied Government and Quantitative Economics. She developed a passion for political data and local government throughout college while working on a variety of campaigns and as a Legislative Intern in her home state of Wisconsin.

Outside of work, Heidi enjoys tennis, playing the electric bass, and trying new recipes.

Ian Stewart
Senior Principal
Ian Stewart
Senior Principal

Ian Stewart started as an analyst at EMC in 1999 and has served in multiple roles on his way to becoming a Senior Principal. His wide range of experience includes projects for private sector clients, public agencies, and campaigns. He says: “What we do is identify the core issues and challenges our clients face; they often know generally where they want to go, but it’s the details we identify and the way we build our surveys and analysis using our experience that sets us apart in this industry. We’re telling a story with research that helps our clients make informed decisions on how to move forward.”

Ian has a BA in Political Science from Western Washington University. Away from work you’ll find him on family adventures with his wife and not-so-secretly encouraging his two daughters to be citizens of the world.

Jacob Detiege
Senior Strategy Associate
Jacob Detiege
Senior Strategy Associate

Jacob joined EMC Research in 2021 and is now a Senior Strategy Associate. Jacob graduated from Millsaps College in 2020 with a BA in Political Science and Brandeis University in 2021 with an MA in Politics. At both institutions, he explored the relationship between state and society, studying state political culture in undergrad and the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and 1990s federal healthcare policy on the Black community in grad school. In addition to his academic career, Jacob interned on Capitol Hill and at Chism Strategies as a Research Officer.

In his spare time, Jacob enjoys exploring new music, watching anything drag related, and overindulging in sweets and his native New Orleanian food.

 

James Barnett
Senior Director, Field
James Barnett
Senior Director, Field

As Senior Director, Field,  James is involved in the oversight, management, and implementation of all EMC projects in the field. Using his attention to detail, he ensures methodological and sampling accuracy, prices projects, and provides quality control for data collection. James plays a key role in maintaining EMC’s high standards for data collection.

James has a BA in Anthropology from California State University Stanislaus. Prior to joining EMC Research in 2015, James served in the United States Marine Corps, spending time in Twentynine Palms, California as well as overseas in Iraq. James enjoys rock climbing, reading, and spending time outdoors.

James Tarkington
Senior Strategy Associate
James Tarkington
Senior Strategy Associate

James joined EMC in 2021 and is a Senior Strategy Associate in the DC office. His diverse political background includes campaigns for local issues and candidates, work on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide covering a wide swath of issue areas, and successful lobbying efforts in the Florida legislature for the creation of harm reduction programs and policies. James has also spent time working to provide affordable housing to low-income families in his hometown of Lake Charles, LA.

James earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University in 2014 where he studied international affairs. Upon graduation, James moved to the DC area to obtain his MA from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management in 2017. In his spare time, James loves hiking with his dogs and watching movies.

Jane Rayburn
Senior Principal
Jane Rayburn
Senior Principal

Working from her beloved city of Boston, Jane Rayburn manages all aspects of research projects from designing questionnaires to providing clients with actionable recommendations from the data. Jane works with a variety of clients including political campaigns, public interest groups, advocacy organizations, and private companies. Jane took her first job in survey research in 2003 at the Government Performance Survey Research Center at Florida State University in her hometown of Tallahassee and worked with a local Boston pollster for four years. She joined EMC after serving as the Research Director and Managing Partner at Fako Research and Strategies.

Jane was named a “40 Under 40” award winner by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) for recognition as one of the best and brightest young political professionals in the country. She is also an adjunct instructor at both Emerson College and Boston University. Jane graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Political Science and Classics and completed a Master’s degree in Classical Languages at the University of Georgia.

Jessica Polsky-Sanchez
Principal
Jessica Polsky-Sanchez
Principal

Jessica Polsky-Sanchez brings her high standards for accuracy and attention to detail to every project she manages for EMC clients. She enjoys finding solutions to client problems and helping them succeed in implementing improvements that impact everyday lives. Her clients include many public agencies, and her research has resulted in billions of dollars in revenue for local schools, parks and open space districts, successful campaigns to expand water conservation, and improved access to health care for the underserved.

Prior to joining EMC Research in 2007, Jessica pursued contemporary jazz dance and was a law clerk at a disability rights law firm. Jessica has a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and MA in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University. Her spare time is consumed with her young family in the Bay Area.

John Owens
Strategy Associate
John Owens
Strategy Associate

John joined the EMC team in 2024. With a Master’s Degree in Social Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, he provides a unique perspective in understanding how shifting climates affect vulnerable communities. John previously worked on a campaign to get the right to counsel in eviction cases passed in Los Angeles. Combining his background in agency work, John can offer practical and valuable insights.

John’s love for his local community runs deep, and he is part of a run club that hosts fundraisers providing fiscal support to non-profits in the Long Beach area. Having competed in multiple triathlons, he prefers the coziness of spin class and running around town with his husky, Rocky.

Jordan Del Guercio
Director, Innovations
Jordan Del Guercio
Director, Innovations

Jordan originally joined EMC Research in 2016 where he was an analyst involved in survey design and data analysis and based in the Oakland office. He left EMC in 2019 to work as the California Data Director for Elizabeth Warren for President, and then went onto the DCCC for two cycles, serving as the Analytics Director of the DCCC’s Independent Expenditure in 2022.

Jordan returned to EMC in 2023 as the Director, Innovations, where he is now responsible for improving EMC’s operations workflow and analytics products. Jordan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Communication from Emerson College in Boston. Now based in Los Angeles, in his free time you can find him at Dodger Stadium cheering on his favorite team.

Julia Woodward
Senior Strategy Associate
Julia Woodward
Senior Strategy Associate

Julia joined EMC in 2022 and is now a Senior Strategy Associate. Prior to joining EMC, she attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she graduated with a BA in Political Science. As an undergrad, she worked on research projects that examined discussions of Political Violence in media, and how political communication has evolved over time. She also interned at the Worcester County Courthouse, helping pro se litigants navigate the legal process.

In her free time, Julia enjoys exploring with her dog, listening to podcasts, and making sure her bartending skills are up to par.

Kailyn Robert
Senior Strategy Associate
Kailyn Robert
Senior Strategy Associate

Kailyn joined EMC in 2022 and is now a Senior Strategy Associate based in Denver, CO. Kailyn acts as a project manager at EMC, playing a key role in ensuring that client goals are met accurately and efficiently. Though her work is often focused on public transit, public school districts, and public parks and open spaces, Kailyn enjoys working on a variety of research topics and utilizing a wide array of quantitative and qualitative methods.

Kailyn graduated from Morningside University, where she triple-majored in Political Science, International Affairs, and Philosophy with a minor in Sociology. While at Morningside, Kailyn also helped implement the first-ever and subsequent Morningside Polls, an annual statewide public opinion poll, which ignited her love for polling and survey research. Outside of work, Kailyn enjoys traveling, hiking, and accumulating used books faster than she can read them.

Kevin White
Director, Strategy
Kevin White
Director, Strategy

Kevin joined EMC in 2019 and is a Director in the Seattle office. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2018 with a degree in Economics and International Political Economy, where he developed skills in the creation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative projects. Upon graduating, Kevin joined the campaign world, volunteering for a voting rights group in Las Vegas, before returning to Washington to work as an organizer for the Washington State Democrats in Pierce County.

Since joining EMC, Kevin has worked on data analysis and preparation of client deliverables. In his free time, he enjoys podcasts and kidding himself about the chances of a Jets Super Bowl.

 

Maddie Bass
Data Associate
Maddie Bass
Data Associate

Maddie joined EMC Research in 2021 as a Data Associate. Prior to joining EMC Research, she had a position working for a federally funded grant as a Data Management and Compliance Coordinator. Maddie graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Data Analytics. With her strong background in math and data, Maddie brings a wide breadth of knowledge to the team.

Outside of work, Maddie enjoys being outdoors. She goes hiking, fishing, and takes her dogs for walks. She also loves to play board games, do puzzles, and play video games.

Maggie O'Connor
Field Specialist
Maggie O'Connor
Field Specialist

Maggie joined EMC Research in 2023 as a Field Specialist. As a recent graduate of Whitman College, she studied Psychology and Sociology. As an undergraduate researcher, she examined psychopathology on the emerging adult population, and wrote a thesis on coping, anxiety, and economic self-efficacy. She also worked with formerly incarcerated women to better understand factors that impact economic re-entry.

In her free time, she enjoys camping, baking, and playing with her cat.

 

 

Maggie Ryner
Principal
Maggie Ryner
Principal

Having worked in public opinion research her entire career, Maggie brings her attention to detail and high standards of quality to everything she does at EMC Research.  Now in her third decade working in the world of political polling and opinion research, she has covered all the bases, first with Hamilton & Staff and then as part-owner at Hamilton Campaigns. She now brings this considerable research and operations experience to her role as Principal at EMC Research where she is responsible for helping with internal initiatives at EMC including realizing budget and revenue goals, recruiting and staffing, human resources, technology, and new business sourcing.

Maggie has her BA in history from the University of Maryland and now lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and three sons.

Mandip Bagri
Strategy Associate
Mandip Bagri
Strategy Associate

Mandip joined EMC as a Strategy Associate in 2023 and is based in Merced, CA. Prior to joining EMC she attended the University of California, Berkeley and as an undergrad she was heavily involved in organizations designed to help communities with which she personally identifies, also working with city government and students of low-income communities to increase equity and opportunities.

Mandip graduated from UC Berkeley in 2022 and majored in Political Science with concentrations in American Politics and International Relations and a minor in Public Policy which ignited her interests in policy research, especially in underserved regions. In her free time she loves to hike, cook new recipes, and binge-watch tv shows with her family.

 

Max Ozer-Staton
Senior Strategy Associate
Max Ozer-Staton
Senior Strategy Associate

Max Ozer-Staton joined EMC in 2022 and is now a Senior Strategy Associate. Prior to joining EMC, Max worked on political races in California and interned at different government agencies in his hometown of San Francisco.

Max graduated from the University of Michigan in 2021 with a degree in Psychology with a focus on Public Health. In his free time, Max enjoys soccer, surfing along the California coast, and cooking big Italian dinners.

 

 

Meredith Stone
Senior Strategy Associate
Meredith Stone
Senior Strategy Associate

Meredith joined EMC Research in 2019 and is a Senior Strategy Associate. She earned her B.A. in Geography at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She then went on to earn her M.A. in Geography at Ohio University.  Meredith has a background working in the nonprofit sector and conducting qualitative research. Her thesis focused on interviews about public art and racial justice in Baltimore, Maryland. She previously worked on an NSF research project about the representations of slavery at plantation museums in the U.S. South. She also has experience working on political campaigns and environmental advocacy at the local level.

Meredith enjoys cooking, watching movies, and working on art projects in her spare time.

 

 

 

Michael Murawski
Director, Data Science
Michael Murawski
Director, Data Science

As Director, Data Science for EMC Research, Michael leads efforts in producing the data science tools and corresponding analytics insights that help clients make competent and data-driven decisions. With his knowledge of statistics, social science research design, and wide-ranging methodological techniques from machine learning to econometrics, he ensures clients have advanced analytical tools, high-performing predictive models, and a detailed understanding of their data necessary to produce meaningful real-world results.

Michael graduated from The Ohio State University with a MA in Political Science, where he concentrated his research and studies in statistical methodology and comparative political economy. He also graduated from the University of Akron with a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science. He spends his spare time reading non-fiction books, taking walks with his wife, and clowning around with his cat, Iroh.

Molly O'Shaughnessy
Principal & COO
Molly O'Shaughnessy
Principal & COO

Molly O’Shaughnessy is known for the rigorous standards she applies to every opinion research project, and for mentoring EMC’s new research analysts. Raised in local politics, Molly worked as a campaign manager and policy advocate before turning to polling. Molly combines traditional polling with focus groups, online ad testing, and predictive modeling to give each campaign the tools to reach their target voters. Her work ranges from presidential and congressional campaigns to local issues and social marketing efforts.

Molly joined EMC in 2007 and founded the firm’s Columbus office. She has a BA in Government from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Public Policy degree from University of California, Berkeley. Molly is an unreliable PTA volunteer and a coach of hapless youth soccer teams in Columbus, where she and her wife are raising three kids.

Riss Freed
Senior Strategy Associate
Riss Freed
Senior Strategy Associate

Riss is a Senior Strategy Associate who joined EMC Research in 2021. Riss graduated from Smith College, where they earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Quantitative Economics and Government. Working for an NGO promoting access to justice in Geneva during college, Riss developed a passion for the intersection of politics, advocacy, and data analytics and understanding how data can be used as a tool in highlighting and challenging social inequity.

In their free time, Riss enjoys watching old sci-fi shows, trying to predict next year’s Oscar nominees, and hunting for a decent bagel in DC.

 

Robye Swartz
Director, Accounting & Administration
Robye Swartz
Director, Accounting & Administration

As Director, Accounting & Administration, Robye manages and directs many of the office functions for the company, including accounting and general office management. Since joining EMC Research in 2016, Robye has assisted in maintaining office operations in all of EMC’s office locations.

Robye studied accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas and before joining EMC, worked in accounting in retail, construction, and insurance.

 

Ruth Bernstein
CEO & President
Ruth Bernstein
CEO & President

A key member of EMC since 1994, Ruth Bernstein is the lead pollster on hundreds of research projects every year. Recognized as one of the top pollsters in the field for her ability to keep the research focused on her clients’ goals, she takes the time to understand the overall objectives and always provide practical advice and quality research. Ruth is especially proud of her work helping to elect women and people of color to elected office and securing voter approval for education, transportation, minimum wage increases and environmental protection. She also leads social marketing, policy, and brand awareness studies with government agencies, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies.

With a BA degree in Economics from Smith College, Ruth lives in San Francisco where she hikes, practices yoga, plans travel adventures for friends and family, and passionately roots for the Giants.

Sabrina Smith-Holmes
Director, Strategy
Sabrina Smith-Holmes
Director, Strategy

Sabrina graduated from Western Washington University, located in Bellingham, Washington, where she earned her BA in Political Science and Minor in economics. Sabrina began with EMC Research as an intern in 2019 and is now a Director, Strategy. She joined EMC with significant experience in politics, advocacy, and analytics. As an undergraduate, Sabrina worked in grassroots organizing in Whatcom County, WA. In addition, she served as the program coordinator of a weekly legal clinic for low-income renters in Whatcom County.

Sabrina has two cats, Saul and Rebecca. They all enjoy exercising, eating and sleeping.

Sara LaBatt
Senior Principal
Sara LaBatt
Senior Principal

Sara LaBatt, based in the Oakland office since 2002, brings her can-do attitude to managing a wide variety of EMC’s projects and client relationships. Especially skilled at making difficult research challenges seem easy, she tackles short timelines, complicated sampling plans and complex analysis with ease, all with a friendly, approachable customer-focused attitude. Sara manages research for some of EMC’s largest ongoing clients. Her expertise includes corporate brand studies, health care consumer research, social marketing, transportation, and destination research. Her projects have resulted in improved roads and public transportation, revenue enhancements for public school districts, incisive communications on waste, recycling, and composting initiatives, and better pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Sara has her BA in political science from UC Berkeley. Sara plays indoor soccer, runs road and trail races, is active in her children’s schools, and actively roots for the Cal Bears.

Shani McElroy
Principal
Shani McElroy
Principal

Shani McElroy built her career at EMC Research starting as an analyst in 2002 and growing to direct all of our data collection as Field Director. She brings her exacting standards and problem-solving skills to ensure our research projects are using the highest quality data and that our clients’ decisions are based on sound information. Working behind the scenes to provide quality control for all research projects, Shani ensures your survey is on time and on budget.

Shani holds a BA in History and Political Science (double major) from UC Berkeley. Shani grew up in Cyprus and the SF Bay area, and now lives in Portland where she takes advantage of the local hikes when it’s not raining too hard. When it is raining, she enjoys yoga, cooking, reading, and playing guitar.

Sianna Ziegler
Senior Director, Strategy
Sianna Ziegler
Senior Director, Strategy

Sianna originally joined EMC in the Oakland office in 2015, and is now a Senior Director, Strategy, based out of Seattle. She began her career in public opinion research as an analyst at the Mellman Group in Washington, D.C., where she worked with campaigns, advocacy groups, and employee organizations for three years before returning to the West Coast. Throughout her academic and professional career, she has used quantitative and qualitative research to answer questions about social and political attitudes and behavior on topics ranging from implicit racism to unprotected left turns. With her background in research methods and design, she is passionate about helping clients achieve their strategic goals through high-quality research.

Sianna has a BA in psychology from Reed College and an MS in social psychology from the University of Washington. She is a proud resident of Burien, WA and a California native. Outside of polling, she enjoys gardening, painting, and living vicariously through her colleagues who are cat parents.

 

Tom Patras
Principal & CFO
Tom Patras
Principal & CFO

With his diverse background in the private sector, government and political campaigns, Tom Patras has first-hand experience of how his clients utilize research data. He is especially skilled at helping develop clarity in their project goals and provide research-based insights and recommendations that can be used in the real world. He rejects any one-size-fits-all approach to a research challenge and pushes clients and colleagues to try new things while always focusing on the end goal of providing quality research. Tom’s work covers a broad range of topics including electoral research, land-use, energy, water, customer satisfaction, and brand reputation.

Tom has his BA in Economics from Macalester College where he played baseball. He and his wife now live in Columbus raising two young children, and he occasionally gets a trip to his native Minnesota to go fishing.

Tottionna Bushell
Strategy Associate
Tottionna Bushell
Strategy Associate

Tottionna joined EMC Research in 2023 as a Strategy Associate. As a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, she studied Afro-American Studies and Statistics. Working as an Undergraduate Researcher, Tottionna spent most of her time engaging with communities, bringing awareness to social issues, and finding ways to make a change through statistical research.

In addition to her professional pursuits, Tottionna enjoys producing documentaries, singing in choir, and practicing the acoustic guitar.

Valencia Wright
Senior Accounting Associate
Valencia Wright
Senior Accounting Associate

Valencia helps manage general office functions. Since recently joining EMC Research in February 2018, she has helped provide administrative support and undertake clerical tasks, as part of the accounting team. Valencia comes to EMC Research from a background in bookkeeping for 5+ years for different companies.

Valencia studied general business and accounting at the University of North Texas at Dallas.

Viridiana Barajas
Field Operations Associate
Viridiana Barajas
Field Operations Associate

Viridiana joined EMC in 2021. She graduated from UC Berkeley where she majored in Political Science and minored in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she interned for a state senator, and she also worked with scholarship organizations to help students from low-income communities in the Bay Area navigate barriers to higher education. 

 

Outside of work, her hobbies include embroidery, going to concerts, and talking about pop culture. 

 

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