#DeanTeam — Leaders

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The #DeanTeam

Our staff come from all backgrounds and walks of life, and they are dedicated to bringing responsible, inclusive, and independent-minded representation back to Minnesota’s Third District. The same is true of the entire #DeanTeam, which includes thousands of people who’ve invested time or treasure — or both.

Aswar Rahman

Aswar Rahman

Digital Director

Aswar’s background is in filmmaking and UX Design. Born on the other side of the world (Bangladesh), Aswar’s mother brought his sister and him to Minnesota in search of a better life. Aswar graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2013.

Caitlin Grady

Caitlin Grady

Scheduling and Operations Director

A proud Minnetonka High School grad (Go Skippers!), Caitlin escaped briefly to exotic upstate New York for college. After graduating with an International Relations degree, Caitlin worked in public affairs and advertising before joining the Dean Team. Send her your best political book recommendations — she’s always on the lookout for new reading material for our interns!

Clara Severson

Clara Severson

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

Clara lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with her husband and newborn son, Jude. Before joining the #DeanTeam, Clara was a co-leader of Indivisible MN03, an activist organization that held Rep. Erik Paulsen accountable for his voting record and campaign-finance practices. Clara is very excited to bring real representation back to the western suburbs by working to elect Dean Phillips.

David Simon

David Simon

Director of Special Projects

David is an app and game developer, recovering trial and appellate lawyer, and successful small-business owner. Hoarse from shouting at the nightly news from his couch for 15 months, David left the reliably blue environs of Northern California to donate his time and energy to the #DeanTeam. He’s the proud father of two college kids whose middle names happen to be “Dean” and “Deane.”

Grace Fleming

Grace Fleming

Finance Director

Originally from Massachsetts, Grace has lived in Minnesota since she graduated from Macalester College in 2012. When she’s not singing at a local karaoke bar or deep-diving into pop culture, Grace can be found playing with her dogs, swimming in one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, eating tacos, and drinking iced coffee.

Jonah Van Why

Jonah Van Why

Staff Assistant

A proud St. Paul native, Jonah is thrilled to be back home after spending the last few years in D.C. As part of the #DeanTeam, Jonah can’t wait to play a part in turning CD3 blue. When he’s not waiting around for that elusive Timberwolves championship, you can find Jonah enjoying the lakes, trails, and just about any DQ blizzard.

Justin Sell

Justin Sell

Deputy Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

A sophomore politics student at Occidental College, Justin comes to the #DeanTeam from the California Bay Area. He is proud to be joining an energized and principled campaign to elect an honest candidate who will fight for the people of CD3. When he’s not in class, Justin can usually be found at a politics lecture or swimming freestyle for the Oxy Tigers.

Katie Donovan

Katie Donovan

Finance Assistant

Born and raised in CD3, Katie has been waiting for the day a candidate like Dean would step up against Erik Paulsen. Katie studies Spanish and Education at UMN and is passionate about our youngest learners, striving to make sure everyone has a seat at the table from the very beginning. If the sun’s out, you’ll find Katie outside soaking it up.

Monica Herk

Monica Herk

Policy Coordinator

Monica is a policy wonk with over 25 years of experience, especially about education, jobs, and families. A native of St. Paul, Monica is inspired to be back in Minnesota working for a candidate committed to respectful conversation and listening. She has two adult daughters, Lila and Camille; is married to Austin, a forensic scientist; and has two cats and a dog. She loves travel and crosswords.

Richard Carlbom

Richard Carlbom

Communications and Fundraising

Richard joined the #DeanTeam in February, inspired by the campaign’s commitment to connecting with people and sparking conversations. Elected mayor of Saint Joseph, Minnesota, at age 22, he later served as the campaign manager for the 2012 VOTE NO campaign that defeated a constitutional amendment and led to marriage equality in Minnesota. Tell Richard about your favorite hot new restaurant he and his husband should check out!

Rollie Olson

Rollie Olson

Activations Coordinator

A CD3 native from Loretto, Rollie hardly remembers a time before the Paulsen days. His journey post-Orono High School has led him abroad through Christian mission work, then back closer to home to Bethel University, from which he just graduated with a Political Science degree. A personal encounter with corporate influence in Congress led him to join the #DeanTeam to fight for the causes he believes in, for a candidate who shares his affection for long hair.

Ryan Bergquist

Ryan Bergquist

Finance Assistant

Ryan is a native of Arden Hills, Minnesota, and a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. Not unlike Dean, Ryan got his start in politics by being appalled at the results of the 2016 presidential election. He looks forward to helping the #DeanTeam raise real money from real people, in contrast with the millions in special-interest money flowing to the 3rd District’s corporate congressman.

Samantha Anderson

Samantha Anderson

Communications and Policy Specialist

Sam is a natural communicator, objective thinker, problem solver, and believer in the Oxford comma. She has worked in politics and advertising since graduating from Northeastern University in 2010, boosting brands wherever she goes. Sam is a Minnesotan through and through — and while she’s lived far and wide (from Boston to London to Hawaii), MN-03 is home. She is married to Aaron the chef and is mom to Mo the toddler, Cooper the dog, and Norm the snake plant.

Scott Yager

Scott Yager

Business Engagement Coordinator

Scott is a business leader who has taken leave from his career to dedicate his time and energy to Dean’s campaign. Scott will leverage 25+ years of experience in organizational change management to gain support for Dean from local businesses and communities. He is inspired by Dean’s message of bringing conversations back to politics and placing principles before party. Scott and his family (wife – Julie, daughter – Marion, and son – Ethan) reside in Excelsior with their two Cardigan Corgis (Brooklyn & Kean).

Zach Rodvold

Zach Rodvold

Campaign Manager

A native of North Dakota, Zach came to Minnesota for college and (almost) never left. After working in politics and government for 18 years, including for Paul Wellstone, Howard Dean, Amy Klobuchar, and Barack Obama, Zach retired after the 2016 election. But after meeting Dean in mid-2017, Zach was inspired to return to help Dean beat Erik Paulsen. Zach is married to Emily, a talented graphic designer. They have a two-year-old named Waylon and a dog named Maui.

Join the #DeanTeam!

Dean Phillips is an independent-minded Democrat running for Congress in Minnesota’s 3rd district. Join Dean’s team today!​

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PO Box 741  |  478 2nd Street
Excelsior, MN 55331
952-470-1960

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