Our Team

Our team consists of people from different backgrounds and different lived experiences. We hold wide-ranging political views, and we all value respectful and engaging debate.  Divided We Fall’s team believes it is our duty to our readers to promote spirited debate and non-partisan news. Our organization needs reporters and editors, visual and graphics artists, and audience experts. Please contact us if you believe in our mission and you would like to become involved.


Ann DeFabio
Member, Board of Directors

Ann DeFabio serves on the Divided We Fall Board of Directors, advising strategy and communications for the organization. Currently Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at Kaiser Family Foundation, she previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and as Director of Communications at Pew Charitable Trusts and The Brookings Institution. 

Anand Buch
Member, Board of Directors

Anand Buch serves on the Divided We Fall Board of Directors, advising organizational growth and business development. Anand is a technology entrepreneur, most recently having served as Co-Founder and CEO of NetSapiens. Anand also serves as a Board Member and

Saira Blair
Member, Board of Directors

Saira Blair serves on the Divided We Fall Board of Directors, advising on strategy and fundraising efforts. Saira previously represented the 59th Delegate District of West Virginia as a State Legislator, the youngest person elected to state or federal office in the United States upon her election. Saira currently serves as the Deputy Treasurer in the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office and has previous non-profit experience with 

Charles Ray
Member, Board of Advisors

Ambassador Charles Ray serves as a strategic advisor to Divided We Fall. Previously, he was appointed by both President Bush and President Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia and U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe. A retired U.S. Army Officer of 20 years, decorated twice for his actions in combat during the Vietnam War, Ambassador Ray also served U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs. 

Phil Lieberman
Chief Operating Officer

Phil Lieberman is an Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Law at Vanderbilt University. He is also a chaplain in the US Navy Reserve, currently serving as a faculty member in the Department of History at the U.S. Naval Academy. Phil holds a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, a Graduate Diploma in Law with distinction from Leeds Law School, a MA in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. 

Jessica Kings-Buckley
Deputy Managing Editor

Jessica Kings-Buckley received her B.A.’s in Political Science and History from the University of Central Florida and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of West Florida. Jessica is active in her local community and passionate about civil rights and social equity, which can only be achieved through bipartisanship. She serves as Deputy Managing Editor, where she combines her deep understanding of the political landscape and her proven attention to detail.

Ben Baumann
Executive Producer

Ben Baumann serves as an Associate Producer at Divided We Fall. He has a B.A. in History from Saint John’s University in Minnesota and an M.A. in Ancient Studies from the University of Amsterdam. He is passionate about bringing people together to heal political divides and currently works as a historian studying modern American politics.

Duaa Mashaal
Chief Human Capital Officer

Duaa Mashaal is an HR executive with over 15 years of experience and expertise across recruitment, employee relations, compliance, and compensation. She has worked with startups and large corporations, helping organizations grow, implementing creative strategies to build teams, and creating a positive work environment. Duaa holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Master's degree in Human Resources from Marymount University.

Amelise Lane
Director of Strategic Engagement

Amelise Lane is a communications professional and has worked in the tech industry for the last 15 years with enterprise and consumer brands, leading the full spectrum of corporate and product communications and public affairs functions. She sits on the board of the New York Governor's Committee of Scholastic Achievement and she was one of the first advisory board members for the NYU Game Center Incubator. 

Matthew Donnell
Social Media Manager

Matthew Donnell is a junior in the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University studying political communication and English. Matthew writes opinions for The GW Hatchet and is the president and founder of the Irish-American Heritage Society at GW. As social media manager, Matthew hopes to provide Divided We Fall's readers with a diversity of perspectives on divisive issues in politics. 

Nicole Nieto
Associate Editor

Nicole Nieto assists Divided We Fall as an Associate Editor. She has received her degrees in Creative Writing and Anthropology. Nicole is a Freelance Writer and a Jack-of-all-Trades, constantly learning new things and meeting new people along the way. During her off time, she takes care of her cat and dog, plays video games, and reads too many books at one time.

Matthew Bernard
Development Manager

Matthew serves as Development Manager, where he brings his passion for strengthening democracy to Divided We Fall by growing revenue streams and developing strategic partnerships. He is a career Naval Officer with nine years of experience in aviation, national security, and congressional affairs. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from The Citadel and a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins SAIS. 

Elizabeth Bellizzi
Associate Editor

Elizabeth Bellizzi has served in media and communications positions across government, industry, and nonprofits, including Communications Advisor to the House Democratic Caucus and Press Secretary for Congressman John Larson. Her interest in dialogue across differences stems from her experience in local politics and living around the world as a military spouse. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in communication. 

Vinicius Tavares
Graphic Designer

Vinicius Tavares oversees DWF's design needs. He brings with him ten years of experience as a graphic and motion designer working in video and game production companies and university broadcast television. He graduated from Universidade do Estado de São Paulo (UNESP) with a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and Visual Communication.

Ashleen Herrarte
Associate Producer

Ashleen Herrarte joined Divided We Fall to help readers get unbiased information on important political issues. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and will be attending California Western School of Law in San Diego. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, trying new foods, and doing skincare. 

Connor Peck
Graphic Designer

Connor is a dedicated graphic designer fueled by a passion for creativity and visual storytelling. He is a freelance graphic designer and a BFA candidate at The Savannah College of Art and Design. With a deep appreciation for aesthetics and a keen eye for detail, he strives to create compelling designs that captivate and engage audiences, from logo design and branding to print and digital media.

Kara Peeler
Associate Editor

Kara Peeler is a junior at Northwestern University studying journalism and American studies with a minor in legal studies. She works as a journalist for publications on and off campus, including The Daily Northwestern and Glasse Factory. She is particularly interested in the intersections between religion, social justice, and the law.

Joe Schuman
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Joe Schuman works to set the vision of Divided We Fall and to build the team to meet that mission. Joe works as a civilian for the Department of Defense promoting innovation and emerging technology. Joe is also an Officer in the Air National Guard and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his spare time he can be found reading non-fiction, playing piano, and running triathlons.