Board of Advisors 

First Ask is assembling an expanding Board of Advisors to guide our strategies and decisions. These folks bring decades of experience to the problems we're tackling. 


A'Shanti Gholar

A’shanti F. Gholar currently serves as Emerge America's Political Director. She is the former Deputy National Director of Community Engagement and Director of African American Engagement for the Democratic National Committee. Prior to joining the DNC, A’shanti served as the Manager of National Partnerships for United Way Worldwide, the worlds largest non-profit, managing their partnerships to leverage the organization’s work in education, income, and health. 


Chris Wyant

Chris Wyant, a veteran of Obama's campaigns, administration, and policy advocacy group, was the Ohio state director for Secretary Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. 

Wyant has spent his career working for progressive causes. Beginning in 2013, Wyant worked as the managing director of Enroll America, a national organization that aimed to promote enrollment in healthcare exchanges that were part of the Affordable Care Act. He then left to become the Executive Director of the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs in 2015. 


Hellen Milby

Helen Milby is the founder and Board Chair of The NewDEAL as well as founder and president of Helen Milby & Company, a strategic, fundraising and non-profit consulting firm based in Washington, DC. Before founding HM&CO in 2005, Ms. Milby built a solid record as a senior political and non-profit fundraising executive. 

Over the last 20 years, she has worked tirelessly promoting pro-innovation ideas, serving first as the Director of Development for the Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute. 


Max Wood

Max Wood is the founder of Deck Apps, a software company that helps progressive causes and campaigns by making predictive analytics more accessible, affordable, and actionable.
At Deck, Max has built a set of tools that use historic data to accurately predict which candidates specific voters will support. Deck has also built APIs and bots to help its users build their own predictive models and run decentralized field programs.

Before starting Deck, Max worked in campaigns, consulting, and software. As Software Development Manager at EverFi, Max helped lead a team of engineers in building software to teach critical life skills like financial literacy. As a consultant at 270 Strategies, Max built predictive models and web-based tools to help organizations reach the right people and make better decisions. In this role, Max saw the need for more accessible, scalable technology to help smaller campaigns and organizations. Max has a Master’s degree in urban planning from Florida State University. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Max has an unusual appreciation for humidity and highways. He currently lives in Washington, DC.