We’re ringing in the New Year with five awesome new additions to the Brigade team!
Gitesh Gohel: Director, Product Management
Gitesh joined us just before the winter holidays after spending several years as a product manager at the microblogging platform Tumblr where he specialized in growth, search and discovery. Before that, he worked for the social network Jumo and served on the online organizing team for President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Earlier, Gitesh interned for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and got his first campaign experience during John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid. Although he was born and raised in the U.K., Gitesh has always been obsessed with American politics and is excited to pair that passion with his experience creating fun and engaging consumer technologies. Gitesh studied political science at Brunel University and has a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from New York University. In his free time, the recent San Francisco transplant enjoys making wood furniture, playing every song by The Smiths on his guitar, and spending time with his dog, who happens to be an Internet celebrity. On Twitter: @GiteshG
Jeff Ammons: Director, Engineering
Jeff comes to the Bay Area from Boulder, Colorado where he served as Director of Product at Simple Energy, an energy efficiency software company. Before that, he co-founded his own B2B technology firm and was Chief Technology Officer at a venture-backed education startup called Mahalo. Jeff attended the University of Puget Sound on a singing scholarship where he majored in Business & Leadership and minored in Computer Science. He still performs in musicals and operas (most recently as Freddy in “My Fair Lady”) and until his westward move, was Board Chair for the Boulder Opera. Other fun facts: Jeff has been learning Argentine Tango for three years and he speaks Thai, German, Spanish, and Japanese with largely varying degrees of quality. On Twitter: @JeffAmmons
Alissa Briggs: Director, User Experience
Alissa brings a strategic approach to crafting impactful and evocative user experiences, having previously led the design of top-rated, multimillion dollar web and mobile apps at Intuit. She’s spoken at SXSW, UXPA, and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and holds advanced degrees in Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to design, Alissa is passionate about women in STEM & UX leadership and mentorship initiatives. In her free time, you can find her designing wearable electronics, rock-climbing, playing ultimate frisbee, scuba-diving and practicing yoga. Alissa, who is new to San Francisco and recently spent six weeks in Africa and South America, is looking forward to exploring her new city (and she’s open to recommendations about what to see and do). On Twitter: @AlissaDesigns
Stephanie Bian: Software Engineer
Stephanie joins Brigade from Twitter where she was a software engineer on the Trends team. In that role, she helped develop infrastructure and improve trend data quality for the popular social network. Before her tenure at Twitter, the MIT Computer Engineering graduate had internships at online real estate database Zillow.com, where she designed and implemented a property recommendation system, and at Amazon.com, where she worked on programmatically identifying refinements for products on the shopping site. When she’s not coding, Stephanie spends her time doing hip-hop dance, playing the cello, neglecting houseplants, and paying too much attention to her cat, Meesha. On Twitter: @StephBian
Ben Woosley: Software Engineer
Ben has been pondering politics since reading John Locke’s “Second Treatise of Civil Government” in his high school government class and was branded a “Woosley-crat” for his charming if sometimes unorthodox perspectives. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas and worked in web development toward structural change in the food system, legal system, and political system. Ben is an open source contributor, including to the Ruby on Rails project, and he’s passionate about helping foster a society in which people are freer, communities closer, society more abundant and negative externalities fewer. In the run-up to the 2012 elections, he built a voter information site called VoteReports.org to make it easier for people to support what they believe in. In his free time, Ben goes rock climbing, scuba-diving and supports the creation of new communal housing institutions in San Francisco. On Twitter: @Empact
Want to work with Gitesh, Jeff, Alissa, Stephanie, Ben and the rest of the Brigade team to help put people back at the center of our democracy? We’re hiring!