Our Team

Tara Buss, PhD

Tara P. Buss, Ph.D.

Research Director

Dr. Tara P. Buss is the Research Director of RC. She has wide-ranging experience conducting public opinion research in the US and Mexico. Prior to joining RC, Tara worked as the Research Director for an international consulting firm conducting polling for Mexican presidential, gubernatorial, and senatorial campaigns. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at UC Berkeley where she also taught comparative politics courses. Tara enjoys traveling, cooking, and rewatching The West Wing.

Chelsea Carrier

Chelsea Carrier

Engagement Associate

Chelsea started her career as a Field Organizer for President Obama's reelection campaign in her home state of Florida. After she graduated from Mount Holyoke College, Iowa became a second home for her as she went on to work there on several more campaigns, including for Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and President Joe Biden. Before joining the team, Chelsea most recently worked to combat disinformation in Wisconsin during the 2022 and 2023 elections. She loves taking dance classes, being outdoors, and spending time with her beloved dog.

Thomas Mande

Thomas Mande

Communications Associate

Thomas Mande is a Communications Associate at RC. He is experienced creating effective progressive communications in diverse political spaces. Before RC, Thomas spent time with environmental justice group Dogwood Alliance, as an intern in Congress, and doing grassroots electoral organizing in North Carolina. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis from Duke University. Thomas spends his free time playing soccer, enjoying the outdoors, and counting down the days until he gets a dog.

Matt Easton_Cropped

Matt Easton

Research Assistant

Matt Easton is a Research Assistant at RC. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Political Science at UC Berkeley, where he studies political behavior, US polarization, and public opinion. Matt has previously worked in democratic campaigning, public opinion polling, and social policy research. He holds a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University, where he interned at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. He is passionate about advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and enjoys skiing, playing piano, and adding stamps to his passport.

Liz Lebron

Liz Lebrón

Research Assistant

Liz Lebrón is a Research Assistant at RC. She began her research career in corporate communications, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies and Forbes Global 2000 firms, before working in higher education while earning graduate degrees in communications and political science. In her current role as the Research Manager at Voto Latino, Liz focuses on the impact of disinformation in the Latino community and increasing turnout among the Latino electorate. Prior to her transition to the non-profit sector, Liz worked as as the voter outreach manager for Pinellas County, Florida, where she led the transition from in-person to virtual voter engagement during the 2020 election cycle. Liz loves being a tía and traveling to Puerto Rico to visit family.  

Our advisors

Anat Shenker-Osorio

Expert Messaging Consultant

Anat Shenker-Osorio is RC’s expert messaging collaborator and consultant, key to the development of strategic race-forward messaging guidance for the progressive movement. Anat is host of the Words to Win By podcast and Principal of ASO Communications. Her work has been profiled in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Boston Globe, Salon, The Guardian and Grist, among others. She is the author of Don't Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy.

Mike Podhorzer

Founder + Board Chair

Mike Podhorzer has worked in progressive politics for the last forty-five years and in the labor movement for the last thirty years, including ten years as Political Director of the AFL-CIO. He founded Research Collaborative (ISRC), Analyst Institute, and the Polling Consortium, and helped found America Votes, Working America, For Our Future, and Catalist. He serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Research Collaborative and the Analyst Institute. Podhorzer was recognized as an early leader in evidence-driven politics in the book The Victory Lab. In 2020, he played an important role in preparing for Trump’s attacks on the election and his attempts to overturn the results.

Our researchers