Our Team

EducateUS: SIECUS In Action is building a movement of voters laser-focused on advancing progressive sex education policy and implementation across the country. We believe that comprehensive public sex education can change the world.

Staff

Jaclyn Friedman

Founder and Executive Director

EducateUS is led by Founder and Executive Director Jaclyn Friedman, a lifelong activist, advocate and organizer. Friedman’s work has globally popularized the affirmative consent standard of sexual consent. Her first book, Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Top 100 Books of 2009, and has inspired new laws in five U.S. states, as well as policies on countless campuses across the country and the world. She also spearheaded the legendary #FBrape campaign, which forced Facebook to address and exclude content that promotes or trivializes violence against women under their hate speech policy, and is founder and former executive director of Women, Action & the Media (WAM!).

Monika Nayak

Monika Nayak

Lead Researcher

Monika Nayak is a Ph.D. student and researcher in the Department of Health Policy & Management at UCLA. In her research, she emphasizes the influence of policy and politics on sexual and reproductive health and healthcare at the population level and especially for young people. She pursues projects which incorporate her background in public opinion research and public policy with her experience in statistical methods, data analysis, reporting, and visualization. Monika is joining in mobilizing folks around EducateUs’ mission with a vision for inclusive sex education as a foundational component of reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy for all. 

Board Members

Chris

Christine Harley

Chair (she/her)

Christine Soyong Harley initially came to SIECUS as an interim executive in October 2018 before joining the team permanently in the Spring of 2019. Chris joins SIECUS with a robust background in public policy, advocacy, program management, and strategic thought leadership, with an emphasis on increasing civic engagement in immigrant communities, communities of color, and other underserved groups.

Previously, Chris ran her own consulting business, directed The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ 2020 Census Campaign, served as Deputy Director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, and was the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under the Obama Administration. Chris also spearheaded health justice and reproductive justice policy efforts for the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and brings experience working in state-level agencies and community organizing to SIECUS.

Chris is mixed-race Korean American and Piscataway Indian–the indigenous people of Maryland, a single-mom by choice of twin boys, and the first generation of her family to attend college and graduate school. Chris received her B.A. in Politics from Oberlin College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

Soraya Chemaly

Soraya Chemaly

Secretary (she/her)

Soraya Chemaly an award-winning author and activist who writes and speaks frequently on topics related to inclusivity, social justice, sexual violence, and technology. The former Executive Director of The Representation Project and Director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation.
 
Soraya is also the author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, which was recognized as a Best Book of 2018 by the Washington Post, Fast Company, Psychology Today, and NPR Her work is featured widely in media, documentaries, books, and academic research. As an activist, Ms. Chemaly spearheaded successful campaigns challenging corporations to address online hate and harassment, censorship, and institutional biases.
 
Soraya currently serves on the national board of the Women’s Media Center and is a former board member of Emerge America. She has also served on the advisory councils of Trajectory Women, Women in Journalism, the Center for Democracy and Technology, VIDA, Secular Woman, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, No Bully, and Common Sense Media DC.  Prior to 2010, Ms. Chemaly spent more than fifteen years as a market development executive and consultant in the media and data technology industries.  You can find her on Twitter @schemaly.

Bethany Criss

(she/her)

Bethany is a nonprofit strategist with fifteen years of leadership experience in strategic planning, partnerships, and philanthropic engagement. She is the Chief External Relations Officer for Leading Educators, leading LE’s Development Team, Communications Team, and growing Advocacy efforts. She serves as an organizational leader, supporting strong values-aligned leadership and fostering strong cross-team collaboration. She is focused on advancing LE’s collective mission via clear and compelling communication that centers racial equity.

She most recently served as Director of Development with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law where she led fundraising and marketing efforts, resulting in revenue growth by 30% each year. Prior to her tenure with the Lawyers’ Committee, she served as Managing Director of Development with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and as National Director of Membership with the National Office of the NAACP. She is a proud alumnus of Northwestern University and lives her commitment to education and equity by serving on the Board of Trustees of The Barrie School.

When not working, she can be found kitchen adjacent, nose in a book and surrounded by music while something delicious bakes in the oven.

Cara Berg Powers

Cara Berg Powers

Treasurer (she/her)

 Cara is an innovative strategic thinker working across a variety of disciplines to build the capacity of communities to create meaningful and lasting change. Cara has been working for over 15 years in arts, education and culture to help people reimagine and reshape the world, most recently as Executive Director of the Transformative Culture Project. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Education at Clark University, and has also taught at Worcester State University, UMASS Boston and Wheelock College, as well as guest lecturing at a number of colleges and universities. She has produced content for MTV and NBC, and has presented at national conferences on issues of media, culture and equity. She has also provided training for non-profit leaders like Facing History and Ourselves and OxFam America. 

Her work has been published by Harvard University in partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation, as well as through several feminist publications. She was featured in Gloria Feldt’s No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power and gave the inaugural keynote for the UpTake’s groundbreaking Conflict Sensitive Journalism fellowship. Cara serves the community through several Boards and Committees.

Before her time at TCP, Cara founded the Youth Media Institute at Project: Think Different (now amplifyme) and also ran Digital Media programming for the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC). She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change in addition to a MA in Transformative Media Arts and a BA in Screen Studies and Urban Development/Social Change.

Advisory Board

Brianna Boggs is an independent coach and consultant focused on supporting executives and boards of directors through leadership challenges. She focuses on racial equity and fundraising.

Stephanie Connaughton is a mentor, advisor and investor focused on initiatives and innovations that make women’s lives better.

Tahir Anderson Duckett is a civil rights lawyer and activist in Washington, DC, who believes in a movement for safety and justice that doesn’t rely on policing and incarceration. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Innovations in Community Safety, and the founder and former Executive Director of ReThink, an organization dedicated to preventing sexual violence before it starts, with a particular focus on adolescent boys.

Sarah Sophie Flicker is a culture organizer, creative director & artist. She is a founder of the Women’s March On Washington, The Resistance Revival Chorus, The Citizens Band, The Meteor, Joy To The Polls, nd is a co-author of the Women’s March official book, Together We Rise , which was released in January 2018 and was a New York Times bestseller.

Justine Ang Fonte (justinefonte.com) is the child of Philippine immigrants ​and a nationally-recognized intersectional sex & health educator, public speaker, and consultant based in New York City.

Jess McIntosh is a public speaker and communication strategist who’s worked for over 15 years at every level of national politics. 

Preston Mitchum (he/him) is the Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs with The Trevor Project. He is a Black queer attorney, advocate, and activist with a focus on the power of Black people, young people, and queer, trans, and nonbinary people. Preston resides in Washington, DC where he actively pushes for safe spaces for Black LGBTQ residents

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is a longtime feminist activist and the author of eight books, including  On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World and  The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism.

Renee Bracey Sherman is a reproductive justice activist, writer, and the executive director of We Testify, an organization dedicated to the leadership and representation of people who have abortions and share their stories at the intersection of race, class, and gender identity.

Naomi Sobel has over a decade of experience in the donor organizing, philanthropy, and social change sectors. Most recently, Naomi spent two years leading the donor organizing team at Movement Voter Project, which raised and moved over $100M to grassroots organizing and voter mobilization efforts over the course of the 2020 electoral cycle.

Alison Turkos is a sexual assault survivor, advocate, and activist working to create systemic change.