Executive Board 2017
President- Josh Hochman
Josh, BK ’18, hails from Short Hills, New Jersey and is a History major concentrating in transatlantic and US-India diplomacy. He began his work in progressive politics in the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and previously served as Membership Coordinator and Campus & Community Coordinator for the Dems. Josh now serves as an editorial assistant for the Atlantic Council, a foreign affairs think tank, and teaches a weekly civics course at a New Haven high school. When he’s not doing the above, you’ll likely find him sipping coffee at Blue State on York or watching The Office. If you would like to engage with the Dems in our advocacy and campaigns, or have an inquiry about our work, contact Josh directly.
Vice President- Michelle Peng
Michelle, JE ’19, hails from Fayetteville, Arkansas and is a proud Arkansas Democrat. Her main policy interests include education, public health, and dogs in politics (she's still mourning the loss of Sutter Brown, former first dog of California). On campus, she's also a Communication and Consent Educator and a member of the JE SAC. In her free time, she likes to tag her friends in memes, take long naps, and look at pictures of dogs and cats.
Treasurer- Sonny Stephens
Meet Sonny Stephens, SM '19, your Dems Treasurer. Sonny is majoring in Global Affairs and particularly loves studying Latin American politics as they relate to global security. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Sonny can teach you how to dance both Texas Two-Step and Cumbia. He loves watching Rachel Maddow, listening to the "Hot Rhythmic" playlist on Spotify, and walking up Hillhouse. He loves being a part of Dems because it lets him simultaneously satisfy his penchant for politics, while also serving the community. Outside of Dems, he is a CCE, an Hermano of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, and a contributor to the Roosevelt Institute. He wants you to know that while Sonny is his nickname, his full name is Mariano Antonio Cienfuegos Stephens (he acknowledges that it's a mouthful).
Legislative Coordinator- Makayla Haussler
Makayla Haussler, MC '19, is a Political Science major from Lincoln, Nebraska. Before coming to Yale, Makayla worked with several non-profit organizations to advocate for progressive change in her home state, and she is excited to bring this experience to the Dems as Legislative Coordinator. Elsewhere on campus, Makayla is the Co-Director of Program Instruction for YIRA's Hemispheres program, which teaches international relations courses to students from New Haven public schools. Last year, she served as the Dems' Communications Director. In her free time, you can most likely find her catching up on the New York Times opinion section or wistfully watching The West Wing.
Elections Coordinator- Nick Girard
Nick, ES ’19, is a political science major proudly hailing from Stafford Springs, Connecticut. He began his political work in 2013 when he volunteered for his local town selectman. From there, he worked on municipal campaigns in Stafford, state representative campaigns in the 52nd and 53rd House districts, and volunteered with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Outside of Dems, Nick serves as a representative on the Yale College Council and as President of the College Democrats of Connecticut. When not involved in politics, you’ll find Nick exploring New Haven, making a mean cup of tea, or binge watching The West Wing, Scandal, House of Cards, and The Crown.
Campus and Community Coordinator- Esul Burton
Esul, SM ’20, is a current resident of Arlington, Virginia, previously hailing from Seoul, South Korea. An ardent follower of politics since the 2008 Democratic primary, she first became involved with the Yale Dems through canvassing for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia and has stuck with Dems ever since. As a prospective Political Science major, she is particularly passionate about racial justice, voting rights, and criminal justice reform. Outside of Dems, Esul is involved with the Asian American Studies Task Force, copy edits (and occasionally writes) for the Yale Daily News, and is a member of the Yale Debate Association. In her free time, she can be found writing unfinished spoken word poetry and reading The Atlantic in bed.
Communications Director- Keera Annamaneni
Keera, TD '20, is a prospective Political Science major from East Brunswick, New Jersey. She first became involved in politics after working for New Jersey state legislators and researching domestic violence and children’s development in New Jersey. At Yale, Keera writes for The Politic and edits for The Historical Review. She is also a CCE, interns in the office of Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr., and loves being a part of the TD family on TD’s Mott Wooley Council. In her free time, Keera can be found making bad puns, perfecting her snapchat story, or missing her dog (who is fondly named Dog).
Events Coordinator- Issy Bysiewicz
Isabel, MC ‘20, is from Branford, Connecticut (only about 15 minutes from campus). Planning to study either Global Affairs or Political Science, Isabel is interested in foreign policy and diplomacy. She got involved with the Yale Dems campaigning for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates this past fall. Outside of the Dems, Isabel is involved with other volunteer organizations at Yale, including the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, Bridges ESL, Yale VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), and is a volunteer at IRIS (Integrate Refugee and Immigrant Services) in New Haven. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching John Oliver and The Office, and hiking at East Rock Park.
Membership Coordinator- Elias Mastakouris
Elias Mastakouris, ES ’20, is a freshman from Sea Cliff, New York, interested in studying political science and foreign affairs. Before coming to Yale, he worked for local Democratic campaigns, volunteered for his federal representative, and interned on Capitol Hill. At Yale, Elias serves as Team Coordinator in the office of Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr., engages in New Haven politics, and participates in Focus for Dwight Hall. He also tutors for Squash Haven and helps on the research team of Yale Students for Prison Divestment. In his free time, he likes to read the news, run, and do Muay Thai.