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About the Team

It doesn't matter how big or small your race may be. We want to help. The NDTC offers free, interactive online training for Democratic candidates running for office. We aim to empower any Democrat who wants to be involved in local politics with the tools needed to be successful.

We believe by working with local candidates, we can accomplish three goals: improve the performance of every Democrat up and down the ticket, elect more Democrats to office, and create a deeper bench of qualified candidates for higher office.

Kelly spent eighteen years in Democratic politics working campaigns all across the country at every level of government. His specialty is new campaign creation, strategy and fundraising. After getting his start on a congressional campaign in Kansas in 1997, Kelly went on to work and advise dozens of candidates for U.S. House, Senate, governor, mayor and more. For several years he owned a national political consulting company with four partners and offices in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Kansas City. Building businesses and winning campaigns are his passions. For the fun "non-work" stuff, Kelly is a poker enthusiast, die-hard Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan, and avid movie buff.

Kelly DietrichFounder

A native of North Carolina, Natasha cut her teeth on local elections in her hometown of Winston-Salem, NC. In fact, she volunteered for her first campaign at the advanced age of 10 when she appeared in a campaign commercial for the city’s only female mayor. After college, she served as campaign manager to several city and county-wide campaigns as well as field director for a congressional race. Before joining NDTC, Natasha worked at Blue Nation Review as the Deputy Digital Editor, Organizing for Action (OFA) as an email strategist, and most recently at Chicago Public Schools as the Director of Digital Media Strategy. Natasha was a competitive figure skater and successful coach. That love of competition is what fuels her fire when it comes to winning campaigns. In her spare time, she enjoys watching reality cooking shows and practicing her newest hobbies -- west coast swing dancing and yoga. She is an avid Dallas Cowboys and Duke Blue Devil fan.

Natasha SmithDigital Director

Prior to joining NDTC, Rose was a National Coordinator at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she managed the non-partisan Election Protection hotline, training and managing thousands of volunteers who answered tens of thousands of voters’ questions in the 2014 and 2016 elections. She organized state-level poll monitoring and election reform advocacy efforts in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. Previously, Rose worked at the New Organizing Institute creating an online guide to election laws, served as deputy campaign manager on a Virginia gubernatorial primary campaign and was a regional field director on a Florida gubernatorial campaign. Rose has a Master in Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She is a Chicago native and in her free time enjoys running, yoga, watching Top Chef, and trying new vegetarian recipes (and getting omnivores to try them!).

Rose CloustonDirector of Online Trainings

Before running head first into local politics, Joel was a music teacher, curriculum developer, and trainer working in public schools and on research funded by the National Science Foundation. After an unprecedented number of Democrats stepped up to run in 2017’s consolidated elections, Joel worked to elect the first democrats ever to serve in the history of his local township.

In his free time Joel serves on his local library board, works with local progressives on a zine (though he hates the word "zine"), and composes music for odd assortments of wind instruments.

Joel StudebakerOnline Trainings Associate

A proud Michigan native, Pavitra comes to NDTC with a background in grassroots organizing and training. She got her start as a field organizer on President Obama's re-election campaign in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she first fell in love with organizing. Since then, she has spent time with the National Organization for Women and People for the American Way working to expand their grassroots efforts to reach women of color across the country. Most recently during the 2016 cycle, she worked as Training Director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Iowa where she managed the statewide training program.

Pavitra is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in political science, focusing on American politics and gender studies. In her spare time, she enjoys all reality television, attending the Chicago Symphony, and cheering on Michigan sports. Go blue!

Pavitra AbrahamDirector of Live Training & Political Partnerships

Emily started getting involved in politics at a very young age by following her parents around. One of her earliest memories is walking in a homecoming parade for a local Democratic candidate. Over the years she has volunteered on campaigns doing canvassing, phone-banking, voter registration, GOTV, etc. Most recently she took a leave of absence to help organize with the Hillary Presidential Campaign in Illinois. Emily joined NDTC after graduating from DePaul University with a degree in PR and Advertising and Political Science. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she is a (generally) long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, big fan of VP emeritus Joe Biden, and has strong feelings about what classifies as quality ice cream.

Emily ElisarOperations Manager
BACK

Kelly spent eighteen years in Democratic politics working campaigns all across the country at every level of government. His specialty is new campaign creation, strategy and fundraising. After getting his start on a congressional campaign in Kansas in 1997, Kelly went on to work and advise dozens of candidates for U.S. House, Senate, governor, mayor and more. For several years he owned a national political consulting company with four partners and offices in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Kansas City. Building businesses and winning campaigns are his passions. For the fun "non-work" stuff, Kelly is a poker enthusiast, die-hard Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan, and avid movie buff.

BACK

A native of North Carolina, Natasha cut her teeth on local elections in her hometown of Winston-Salem, NC. In fact, she volunteered for her first campaign at the advanced age of 10 when she appeared in a campaign commercial for the city’s only female mayor. After college, she served as campaign manager to several city and county-wide campaigns as well as field director for a congressional race. Before joining NDTC, Natasha worked at Blue Nation Review as the Deputy Digital Editor, Organizing for Action (OFA) as an email strategist, and most recently at Chicago Public Schools as the Director of Digital Media Strategy. Natasha was a competitive figure skater and successful coach. That love of competition is what fuels her fire when it comes to winning campaigns. In her spare time, she enjoys watching reality cooking shows and practicing her newest hobbies -- west coast swing dancing and yoga. She is an avid Dallas Cowboys and Duke Blue Devil fan.

BACK
Rose CloustonDirector of Online Trainings[email protected]

Prior to joining NDTC, Rose was a National Coordinator at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she managed the non-partisan Election Protection hotline, training and managing thousands of volunteers who answered tens of thousands of voters’ questions in the 2014 and 2016 elections. She organized state-level poll monitoring and election reform advocacy efforts in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. Previously, Rose worked at the New Organizing Institute creating an online guide to election laws, served as deputy campaign manager on a Virginia gubernatorial primary campaign and was a regional field director on a Florida gubernatorial campaign. Rose has a Master in Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She is a Chicago native and in her free time enjoys running, yoga, watching Top Chef, and trying new vegetarian recipes (and getting omnivores to try them!).

BACK
Joel StudebakerOnline Trainings Associate[email protected]

Before running head first into local politics, Joel was a music teacher, curriculum developer, and trainer working in public schools and on research funded by the National Science Foundation. After an unprecedented number of Democrats stepped up to run in 2017’s consolidated elections, Joel worked to elect the first democrats ever to serve in the history of his local township.

In his free time Joel serves on his local library board, works with local progressives on a zine (though he hates the word "zine"), and composes music for odd assortments of wind instruments.

BACK
Pavitra AbrahamDirector of Live Training & Political Partnerships[email protected]

A proud Michigan native, Pavitra comes to NDTC with a background in grassroots organizing and training. She got her start as a field organizer on President Obama's re-election campaign in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she first fell in love with organizing. Since then, she has spent time with the National Organization for Women and People for the American Way working to expand their grassroots efforts to reach women of color across the country. Most recently during the 2016 cycle, she worked as Training Director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Iowa where she managed the statewide training program.

Pavitra is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in political science, focusing on American politics and gender studies. In her spare time, she enjoys all reality television, attending the Chicago Symphony, and cheering on Michigan sports. Go blue!

BACK

Emily started getting involved in politics at a very young age by following her parents around. One of her earliest memories is walking in a homecoming parade for a local Democratic candidate. Over the years she has volunteered on campaigns doing canvassing, phone-banking, voter registration, GOTV, etc. Most recently she took a leave of absence to help organize with the Hillary Presidential Campaign in Illinois. Emily joined NDTC after graduating from DePaul University with a degree in PR and Advertising and Political Science. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she is a (generally) long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, big fan of VP emeritus Joe Biden, and has strong feelings about what classifies as quality ice cream.