Our Story

New Politics is a bipartisan organization helping bring a new generation of leadership to politics by helping promising national service alumni and military veterans run for public office. We identify top talent, help them build a winning campaign infrastructure, and provide mentorship and support throughout their campaigns. In doing so, we are helping change the political landscape by bringing fresh, service-oriented perspectives to the political arena.

New Politics was founded in 2013 by City Year alumna Emily Cherniack, who saw in both her service and subsequent political experience both the lack of support for national service alumni trying to re-enter public service and the transformational impact they could have if elected.

In 2014, New Politics supported 5 national service candidates in key state and federal races across the country. We won three of those five races, including Congressman Seth Moulton’s unprecedented win in Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District.

In 2016, New Politics supported 23 candidates in local, state, and federal races across the country. A new generation of leaders is entering politics, and we invite you to be a part of it. 

Our Team

Emily1.jpgEmily Cherniack

Founder, Executive Director

Founder Emily Cherniack is steeped in the traditions of servant leadership. From her service in AmeriCorps and employment with City Year AmeriCorps, to being part of the founding team of Be the Change--where she led a coalition of over 200 organizations to engage 250,000 people for a Day of Action in support of the $6 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009--Emily has worked tirelessly to serve our country and support others who serve.

Emily’s path to politics came when her boss and mentor, Alan Khazei, decided to run for the US Senate in 2009. Khazei asked Emily to become his Deputy Campaign Manager and, although he was defeated, Emily learned a great deal from his campaign and the power of political leaders who chose to serve country before self.

This experience led Emily to conclude that our current system for recruiting political talent is broken. The current talent pipeline is intentionally exclusive, and has significant barriers that prevent transformational leaders from successfully running for office; the only way to change that is to change the pipeline. New Politics was founded in 2013 to address exactly that.

Emily graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education Policy. She lives in Boston.

Contact Emily at emily@newpolitics.org.



Doug Pardo

Senior Director

Doug is responsible for building, scaling, and managing core strategy, development, and operations across New Politics and the New Politics Leadership Academy. His path to New Politics is rooted in a belief that integrity and selflessness are essential characteristics of our elected officials. Doug will help lead the team in its mission to elect leaders who demonstrate the highest degree of values-based, servant leadership. 

He joins the team after a successful private sector career in a variety of senior management, strategy and relationship roles. Prior to obtaining an MBA from Columbia Business School, Doug served with the 101st Airborne Division as an officer and Apache pilot. He has held leadership roles as a lieutenant and captain during combat deployments to Afghanistan in ’02 (Operation Enduring Freedom I) and Iraq in ’03 (Operation Iraqi Freedom I). As a platoon leader, he successfully commanded dozens of combat missions, earning the Air Medal for Valor among other individual and campaign decorations. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Doug remains dedicated to serving his community. He has served in leadership roles as a Committee Chair and Board Member with several alumni and non-profit organizations.

Doug and his family currently reside in Wellesley, MA.

Contact Doug at doug@newpolitics.org



David Heifetz

Chief Communications Officer

David serves as a public voice for New Politics and New Politics Leadership Academy, advises our servant leader candidates on message development and policy, and is responsible for devising, managing, and executing communications strategy and outreach across the organization. 

David came to New Politics after serving in the Obama White House as a speechwriter and policy advisor, where he wrote primarily for Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, oversaw messaging for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and advised on engagement strategy around labor and national security issues.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, David served as the speechwriter to Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, press secretary and speechwriter to the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, and speechwriter and personal aide to Alan Khazei during his 2011 Senate campaign in Massachusetts.

David was born and raised in the Boston area and graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he studied International Relations and Political Economy. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Contact David at david@newpolitics.org.


charlene_headshot.jpgCharlene Lee

Director of Strategy and Operations

As our Director of Strategy and Operations, Charlene focuses on building systems both for New Politics and the campaigns we support. Prior to joining our team, she worked for Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06) as his Finance Director and Director of Special Projects, with an emphasis on infrastructure. 

Before politics, Charlene worked on building ArtLifting, a company that sells the artwork of artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities to help them become financially independent. 

A proud Jersey girl, Charlene moved to Boston to attend Harvard College and graduated with a B.A in Economics. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Contact Charlene at charlene@newpolitics.org.