Our Advisors

Robert Dessau

Robert M. Dessau (Founder and CEO):

Robert began his career as a lawyer after graduating from the University of Melbourne Law School, where he specialized in Commercial and Common Law. He worked as a Barrister and Solicitor before migrating to the United States in 1987. After passing the New York bar, Robert built a successful consulting business working with Australian technology companies seeking U.S. market entry. During this time he recognized the difficulty of accessing and the need for simplifying information from the U.S. Government. Based on this overwhelming need, Robert has been dedicated to building and developing the back-end systems and know-how for the voxgov platform that you see today.

Heather Leonard

David Blei (Advisory Board):

David joined Columbia University in the Fall of 2014 as a Professor of Computer Science and Statistics. Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. David earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Brown University (1997) and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2004). He has received several awards for his research, including a Sloan Fellowship, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and Blavatnik Faculty Award. His research involves probabilistic topic models, Bayesian nonparametric methods, and approximate posterior inference. He works on a variety of applications, including text, images, music, social networks, user behavior, and scientific data.

Heather Leonard

Heather Leonard (Advisory Board):

Heather began her career as an analyst in the Global Investment Research department for Internet and New Media at Goldman, Sachs & Co working with Anthony Noto. She was quickly promoted to Associate and moved to the Enterprise Application and Infrastructure Software group under Rick Sherlund. She went on to liaise with the Venture Capital and private technology company communities in fostering lasting relationships for the Tech Research department. Heather is currently a consulting director at NFL Enterprises working with the head of corporate development to build the NFL's presence in the mobile application market as well as advising on the NFL Venture Fund endeavor. She is also a contributing editor at Business Insider. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkeley.

Patrick J. McCormick

Patrick J. McCormick (Advisory Board):

Pat is a manager, strategist, and technologist who excels at fostering collaboration and innovation in politically challenging environments. Pat's areas of expertise include digital government, education policy, open source intellectual property and software, Internet policy, social media, community engagement, communication and governance. Pat is a senior consultant with the Public Consulting Group in Boston where he's currently leading a slate of education reform projects for the New York State Education Department.

Gregory Wawro

Gregory Wawro (Advisory Board):

Gregory Wawro is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, where he has taught courses in American politics and government and quantitative methods. He has served as Director for the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences Program at Columbia. His research includes studies of the U.S. Congress, elections, campaign finance, judicial politics, political economy, and political methodology. His academic awards include the Richard J. Fenno Prize for best book in legislative studies, the E. E. Schattschneider Award, the Milton J. Esman Award, the CQ Prize, a Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and a John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship. He has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences at Harvard University and has taught at Princeton University. He has served as a consultant for the World Health Organization, Purple Strategies, and True North Research and has provided expert testimony before the U.S. Senate. His media appearances include National Public Radio ("All Things Considered," "The Takeaway," "The Kathleen Dunn Show," "To The Point"), Fox Television ("Fox and Friends"), PBS ("Need To Know"), POTUS Radio, and CNN International.
Gregory received his BA from Penn State University and his PhD from Cornell University.


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