Democrats Abroad Portugal Elects New Officers for 2017-2019

Democrats Abroad Portugal Elects New Officers for 2017-2019Democrats Abroad Portugal (DAP) elected an accomplished and energetic new leadership team during their Annual General Meeting, April 1, in Lisbon. DAP is part of Democrats Abroad, a legal entity of the United States’ Democratic National Committee for Americans living overseas. The team is enthusiastic to increase and engage members across the country, register voters, and inform and encourage voting in critical 2017 special and 2018 elections. 

New Chair, Deb Simpson, is a former legislator who served as Democratic State Senator from Maine’s 15th District, 2008-2010. Deb chaired two Senate committees: the Government Oversight Committee and the Joint Committee on State and Local Government. Previously, she served in the Maine House of Representatives, representing Auburn, elected each time in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 as a publicly financed candidate. She understands close races and the value of absentee voters, acknowledging their impact in her elections. Deb lives in Alandroal with her husband Manuel.

New Vice Chair, Fernando Cruz (Aidos), is a naturalized US Citizen who worked in the US for 30 years before retiring in Portugal. He is a business professional with senior marketing and IT experience from HP, IBM, and Charles Schwab. Born in Brazil, schooled in South Africa, having lived/worked in California, Colorado, Florida, and now in Portugal, he adds useful cross-cultural business insight to DAP. “Nando” has worked with NGOs in Africa, and is currently a pro-bono consultant for non-profit divisions of McKinsey/Portugal and the Gulbenkian Foundation. Nando lives in Oeiras with his wife Ana Paula.

Andrew (Andy) Hafenbrack returns to DAP as Secretary after serving on last year’s officer team. After securing his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at INSEAD, he came to Lisbon almost two years ago as an Assistant Professor with Católica University School of Business and Economics. Andy is from Washington, graduated from Carnegie Mellon, and lives in Lisbon with his wife Rachel and young son Angelo.

New Treasurer Amy Kraushaar is a dual-national from Chicago with a career in advertising, marketing, and brand consulting. She worked in London and across CEE and LatAm, primarily in strategic marketing, market research, and innovation. She has been based in Lisbon for the past 10 years and currently works as Innovation and Strategic Planning Lead at Bizdirect, a technology company owned by Sonae, with offices in Lisbon, Viseu and Porto. Amy lives in Paço de Arcos.

New Counsel Marsella Gilbert is a certified litigation paralegal who moved to Portugal from California less than a year ago, and works remotely for clients in the US. Her background as a politics major at the University of San Francisco; experience in labor organizing and as a district office volunteer coordinator to California Assemblywoman, Fiona Ma; and her Mexican heritage will add valuable skills and input to DAP. Marsella lives in Lisbon.

Americans living anywhere in Portugal are encouraged to join DAP by registering at www.DemocratsAbroad.org and engage with other members on the DAP Facebook page: https://facebook.com/groups/816058391816013/ or email democratsportgual@gmail.com.

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