Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Social Media to Engage Voters - Panelist Bios & Photos

Social Media to Engage Voters


Ali Manouchehri (Moderator) - MetroStar Systems

Ali is a serial + social entrepreneur drawing his first business idea at the age of 10. He ignites his passion and the team's for social technologies by leading MetroStar Systems and strategy. When not thinking of the next great idea you can find him in the game room defending his FIFA championship title.


Alfonsina Peñaloza- Arena Ciudadana

Alfonsina Peñaloza is founding partner of Arena Ciudadana, a citizen, non-partisan and non for profit project that seeks to contribute to a more informed, democratic and just Mexico. She has B.A. in International Relations from ITAM, Mexico City, and a Masters in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics, London. She worked in the Ministry of Public Administration in Mexico, monitoring international anti-corruption conventions and participated in the process of the mainstreaming of gender perspective in the Federal Public Administration. She was Deputy Director of the Mexican Council of International Affairs, the only Mexican think-tank in the field of foreign policy, where she created the Youth Program. She has taught courses on Gender and Politics and Gender and Development (ITAM), and participated in consulting projects in diverse areas, such as economic development, gender and development and human rights. She participated in the creation of Fundación Ethos and as Deputy Director participated in projects related to gender equality, competitiveness, food security, strengthening civil society and Arena Electoral (Electoral Arena), a project that monitored the Mexican Presidential campaign.

Katie Harbath - Facebook

Katie Harbath is a Manager for Policy at Facebook, where she focuses on political outreach. Prior to Facebook, Katie was the Chief Digital Strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She previously led digital strategy in positions at DCI Group, the Rudy Giuliani for President campaign and the Republican National Committee. In 2009, she was named a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine. Katie holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


Tara McGuinness - Center for American Progress

Tara McGuinness is Executive Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Senior Vice President for Communications at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining the Center, McGuinness directed the Progressive Accountability project during the 2008 presidential campaign. She held the position of deputy director of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, and is a veteran of house, senate, and issue campaigns. She also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) and as a press secretary on John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Her career began working for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. on democratic development and women’s candidate training programs in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Working for NDI in Kathmandu, Tara led NDI’s women’s candidate training program that trained over 3,700 women running for local government. Tara holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a certificate in transportation planning from Trinity University, Dublin.


Sean Evins - Twitter

As Associate for Government and News at Twitter, Sean Evins is part of a team driving creative use of the platform by elected officials, government agencies, political campaigns, and journalists. Prior to joining Twitter, Sean worked on the House Administration Committee where he focused on member and committee services, franked communications and new media. He has also held positions in the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and the FBI, as well as with the non-partisan Cook Political Report during the 2008 election cycle. 

After receiving his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, he earned his M.A. in Government, with a concentration in Law and Justice, from the Johns Hopkins University in 2010.

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