Meet the team

For media inquires contact Jason Rhode

For partnering with PGP, or for rapid-response legal/policy analysis, contact Adam Podowitz-Thomas

Samuel Wang

Samuel Wang

Director – Professor of Neuroscience

sswang@princeton.edu

Sam Wang has been a member of the Princeton faculty since 2000. He holds a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (1986) and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Stanford University School of Medicine (1993). A central feature of his laboratory research is the use and development of statistical tools for dealing with large, complex data sets, especially in regard to individual variation. In 2015, he was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to the New Jersey Governor's Council on Medical Research and Treatment of Autism.

Sam has a long-standing interest in elections. He pioneered statistical methods for analyzing U.S. presidential elections in 2004, when he developed tools for the aggregation of state polls. These tools led to the establishment of the Princeton Election Consortium. In 2012 he recognized new, systematic distortions in representation in the U.S. House. Understanding the causes of these distortions launched his interest in voting rights and led to the creation of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

Sam Wang's laboratory research focuses on learning from birth to adulthood, at levels ranging from single synapses to the whole brain. He is particularly curious about novel roles for the cerebellum in cognition, social thought processes, and autism. He studies these brain functions using optical neural imaging and big-data approaches to analyzing behavior. Sam is also the author of two popular books about the brain: Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life (2008) and Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (2011). Both books are available in over 20 languages.

Adam Podowitz-Thomas

Adam Podowitz-Thomas

Senior Legal Strategist

podowitz-thomas@princeton.edu

Adam Podowitz-Thomas is the Senior Legal Strategist for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and the Princeton Electoral Innovation Lab. In this position, Adam helps dictate the team's role in redistricting and election policy nationwide. He works closely to build relationships with reform organizations and craft legal/policy strategy, focusing on the team's priority states. In short, Adam translates the team's data expertise into useful legal and policy analysis and helps community partners understand how best the project can assist them.

Before joining the team at Princeton, Adam was an environmental litigator in Pennsylvania and California, clerked for Judge James Wynn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Magdeline Coleman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and worked in-house for the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Adam holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and undergraduate degrees in history and geography from the University of Georgia.

Hannah Wheelen

Hannah Wheelen

Data and Technology Lead

hwheelen@princeton.edu

Hannah supervises all data and technology functions within the lab. Hannah coordinates the collection and curation of voting precinct data with the goal of producing a complete, open-source set of all 50 states plus DC and Puerto Rico in OpenPrecincts.org and supports the development of intuitive and accessible tools for the public to use the data to do their own redistricting. She also coordinates team projects and works with Amanda, Ari, and Adam to make use of this data in reports and briefs. Hannah also supervises the Lab’s nationwide map corps, redistricting rapid-response dashboard, and census-related mapping tools.

Before coming to Princeton, Hannah worked with the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group at their summer Voting Rights Data Institute at Tufts/MIT on redistricting and gerrymandering. Her projects included examining the compactness of districts, the spatial clustering of voters, and MCMC algorithms, as well as collecting precinct data for the state of Ohio.

Hannah holds a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley (2018).

Jason Rhode

Jason Rhode

National Coordinator

jrhode@princeton.edu

Jason Rhode serves as National Coordinator for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. His principal tasks include facilitating partnerships, coordinating communications, and spreading the tools generated by PGP. His goal is to empower communities and the general public by sharing Project innovations.

Before joining PGP, Jason worked as a journalist on several platforms, most notably Salon Magazine. In 2018, he served as a Field Director for Lucy McBath's successful Congressional campaign. He was Communication Director for Emily Leslie's campaign for the Georgia House. He has also worked in the startup space.

Jason holds a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Texas Tech, and an M.S. in information science from the University of North Texas.

Jonathan Cervas

Jonathan Cervas

Research Associate

cervas@cmu.edu

Jonathan Cervas serves as Research Associate for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. His projects include writing academic articles on communities of interest, overseeing the Initiative’s mapping project, and creating demonstrative redistricting plans for legislatures and commissions. Jonathan will also be co-teaching a class with Professor Wang on redistricting and gerrymandering for Spring 2021.

Jonathan has served as assistant to the special master in three federal court cases, including Bethune-Hill vs. VA Board of Election, where he, along with Bernard Grofman, redrew 25% of the Virginia state legislature. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and a masters and PhD from the University of California Irvine. Jonathan specializes in American politics and has published in numerous scholarly journals on the Electoral College and Redistricting.

Jesse Clark

Jesse Clark

Postdoctoral Research Associate

jc6039@princeton.edu

Jesse Clark serves as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Electoral Innovation lab. His projects include academic research on the impacts of different voting systems on individual votes and campaigns, as well as on the best practices for electoral reform in the United States.

  Before Princeton, Jesse worked with the MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL) and the Stanford/MIT Project on a Healthy Election to advise election administrators on best practices during the 2020 election. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jesse specializes in American politics, and has been published in Election Law Journal, Journal of Computational Social Science, and Political Analysis.

Helen Brewer

Helen Brewer

Legal Analyst

hlbrewer@princeton.edu

As a Legal Analyst at the Electoral Innovation Lab & Princeton Gerrymandering Project, Helen researches and writes about current and proposed state election policies and their potential impact on redistricting and broader election reform. She analyzes the intersection of judicial precedent and election laws throughout the country to understand what legal challenges reform efforts might face. Helen also works with state and local community partners to identify ways that EIL can support their work with legal and policy research.

Prior to joining the Electoral Innovation Lab & Princeton Gerrymandering Project, Helen interned with the National Conference of State Legislatures, Caplin & Drysdale's political law group, and the U.S. Department of Education. Helen received her J.D. from William & Mary Law School and holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Northern Colorado, where she also studied anthropology and political science.

Rick Ober

Rick Ober

Legal Analyst

rober@princeton.edu

Rick analyzes existing state laws and proposed state-level reforms for their ability to prevent gerrymandering.

Rick previously worked as E.V.P. & General Counsel of United Jersey Banks/Summit Bancorp (1975-2001) and General Counsel of TerraCycle, Inc. and Isles, Inc. His long-term interest in politics is reflected in previous roles as Research Director for the New Jersey campaign staffs of Dick Zimmer for U.S. Senate and DeForest "Buster" Soaries for U.S. House of Representatives, and over 30 years as a County Committeeman, Fire Commissioner, and intern at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Improvements in Judicial Machinery.

Rick holds a J.D. from Yale Law School (1968) and an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (1965).

Zachariah Sippy

Zachariah Sippy

Outreach Associate

zsippy@princeton.edu

Zachariah Sippy works as an associate on the outreach team for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and is an analyst at the Princeton Election Consortium. A few of his recent projects include analysis of the Arizona Redistricting Commission, a guide to the 2020 election, and research on proposed changes to the electoral college in various states. He is also tasked with media outreach, preparing op-eds and press releases, and writing blog posts on a variety of topics related to electoral politics and reform. Zach is currently an undergraduate student at Princeton University, studying history.

Sandra Chen

Sandra Chen

Policy and Legal Researcher

sandrajc@princeton.edu

Sandra Chen serves as a policy and legal researcher for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. Her tasks include compiling information on the redistricting processes in all 50 states, writing legal scholarship on key areas like communities of interest, and assessing the timeline for redistricting in 2021. She also works with partners and coalitions to identify different paths forward for reform on a state-by-state basis. Sandra is an undergraduate student at Princeton University in the Class of 2024.

Amanda Kmetz

Amanda Kmetz

Data Engineer

akmetz@princeton.edu

Amanda is the Data Engineer for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, where she works primarily to collect, process and validate data for OpenPrecincts. She also develops analytical tools and geographic visualizations. She is interested in the impact of geography on social systems, and enjoys finding ways to make better spatial decisions.

Before PGP, Amanda worked as an GIS intern for Philadelphia’s Share Food Program. She also served as a Graduate Student Assistant for the Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University, where she tutored students in GIS and geospatial programming. Amanda holds a B.A. from Boston University in Linguistics, and a P.S.M. from Temple University in Geographic Information Systems.

Ari Goldbloom-Helzner

Ari Goldbloom-Helzner

Computational Research Analyst

ari.goldbloom-helzner@princeton.edu

Ari serves as the Computational Research Analyst for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project and the Electoral Innovation Lab. He develops statistical analyses of redistricting maps and works with partner organizations to provide technical assistance in advocating for fair redistricting. He also helps with the OpenPrecincts project. He aims to use math and data to empower communities in securing fair representation.

Before PGP, Ari worked with the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group at their summer Voting Rights Data Institute at Tufts/MIT. Along with other fellows and faculty members, he developed an MCMC algorithmic approach to find redistricting plans that bolster political representation for minority communities and created a graphical measure of racial and political segregation. Outside of gerrymandering and redistricting work, he has researched the spread of Lyme disease and has worked in local government to assist in a COVID Rent Relief Program.

Ari holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a B.A. in Music from Brown University.

Indraneel Purohit

Indraneel Purohit

Product Manager/Software Engineer

ipurohit@princeton.edu

Indraneel likes to work on software where it intersects with maps, music, and government. He is the product manager and software engineer for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. He works on the Project's various web properties, including OpenPrecincts and the site you're looking at right now. Before PGP, he worked as a software engineer at SharedStreets and at AppNexus. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

Alumni, Contributors and Acknowledgements

Brian Remlinger was the first full-time staff member of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. Brian did the first wave of analysis, co-wrote scholarly and popular articles, and played a key role in launching our current activities.

Rob Whitaker designed an earlier verison of our website, including the geographic test explorer.

Madeleine Parker bolstered our GIS capabilities.

Aimee Otsu helped improve the user interface of the website.

Sung Chang did early work on the map visualizer.

Tim Mack compiled and cleaned our election data.

John O'Neill assisted with our data collection process and drew some political maps.

Laura Williamson strengthened our efforts at outreach and partnership with reformers.

Will Adler conducted statistical analyses, maintained datasets and software tools, and worked with state-level partners.

Ben Williams conducted legal analyses, drafted statutes, drew maps, and maintained strategic partnerships.

Lafayette College designed our bug logo.

Steve Birnbaum

Baxter Demers

Aaron Barden

Hope Johnson

For general inquiries, reach out to us here: gerrymander@princeton.edu.