The Polling Place is led by the Board of Directors, which is comprised of students who manage the organization and lead the research, outreach, and website efforts of The Polling Place.

Catherine Jeon | National Director

Catherine is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She is passionate about promoting social change and enjoys leading organizations geared towards various causes, including climate justice, STEM education and mental health. She is passionate about the biomedical sciences, and in her free time, Catherine can be found reading, baking, or listening to Taylor Swift.

Cameron Ake | National Director (Research)

Cameron is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. While she enjoys math, statistics, and computer science, she is also passionate about politics and elections. At The Polling Place, she hopes to apply this passion in a way that can help people. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her cats, hosting games with her friends, watching the live feeds on Big Brother, and listening to music.

Sahil Sud | National Director (Finance/Outreach)

Sahil is a freshman at Georgetown University. He is interested in economics, data analysis, and environmental justice. Through The Polling Place, Sahil seeks to educate voters and increase political participation, especially among young voters. Sahil has previously worked as a policy research intern at nonprofits, and is currently working within Arizona Congress; he has also conducted research projects using simulations to evaluate geopolitics. his free time, Sahil enjoys working for political advocacy, playing and watching sports, and playing with his dogs.

Ashton Dolce | National Director (Outreach)

Ashton is a junior at BASIS Scottsdale. Interested in environmental science and legal studies, Ashton engages in local environmental advocacy on the climate crisis. Working with dozens of legislators and numerous advocacy groups, he has lead on campaigns from heat relief to green buses. Through the Polling Place, Ashton seeks to improve voter turnout for local elections and expand the outreach of The Polling Place. Beyond pursuing environmental advocacy, Ashton enjoys painting, debating, and playing with his pet bearded dragon, Burnie.

Nandini Warrier | National Director (Research)

Nan Warrier is a junior at Paradise Valley High School. She has a strong interest in politics, writing, and research. Nan fuels her political passion with campaign work and debate competitions. Through The Polling Place, she aims to help fill the knowledge gap about elections and consolidate candidate information that voters can easily use to complete their ballots. In her free time, she likes to play the piano, spend time with friends, and run track and field.

Jan Dwayne Cacnio | National Director (Social Media/Outreach)

Dwayne is a junior at Paradise Valley High School CREST Engineering. With diverse interests in aerospace engineering, law, and public policy, he engages in engineering research as well as actively leads service projects for underserved communities. He believes that increasing voter access to nonpartisan election information for overlooked down ballot races is key to enabling informed participation. Dwayne plans on furthering The Polling Place’s mission and expanding the impact of this organization through outreach and social media. In his free time, Dwayne enjoys watching Formula 1, debating, and playing geography games!

The Polling Place was founded in August 2020 by five students, seen below.

Karsen Wahal | Co-Founder, Former National Director

Karsen is a sophomore at Stanford University. He’s interested in economics, data science, and politics, with a focus on leveraging quantitative skills to improve government policy and operations. Karsen co-founded The Polling Place in August 2020, and has since led its national expansion. Karsen has previously worked with government agencies, the U.S. Senate, nonprofits, and numerous Stanford faculty members. Through The Polling Place, he seeks to improve voter turnout and political efficacy, especially at the local level. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, hiking, and playing with his dogs.

Anya Wahal | Co-Founder, Former Director of Outreach

Anya is a senior at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University studying Science, Technology, & International Affairs. Anya is a Research Fellow at the Mortara Center for International Studies, working on projects relating to urban spatial mapping and international development. She spearheads environmental and voter initiatives through the Georgetown Renewable Energy and Environmental Network. With The Polling Place, Anya hopes to advocate for the importance of voter accessibility & outreach. In her free time, she enjoys reading, journaling, and cooking with family.

Alicia Wu | Co-Founder, Former Director of Website

Alicia is a senior at Harvard University studying Statistics and Computer Science. She’s interested in creatively leveraging and visualizing data in entrepreneurship, product design, and social innovation. Previously, Alicia has led business development at a student-run user research startup, created tech roadmaps and data dashboards for industry clients at her campus consulting group, and published research on educational inequity. Through The Polling Place, she seeks to educate herself and others about local, less visible political races in Arizona. In her free time, she loves cooking, gouache painting, and dog spotting.

Anuka Upadhye | Co-Founder, Former Director of Social Media

Anuka is a senior at George Washington University studying International Affairs and Philosophy. Throughout her time in college, she seeks to understand how natural resource scarcity influences international and human security. She’s also interested in the intersection between ethics, morality, and international affairs. Anuka currently works at Blue Knot Strategies, a political firm that provides strategic solutions for women and minorities running for office. She hopes that The Polling Place will create more informed voters and ultimately strengthen democracy. Aside from academics, Anuka enjoys tennis and photography.

Madhura Shembekar | Co-Founder, Former Director of Outreach

Madhura is a freshman at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She’s interested in journalism, politics, and international affairs. Madhura is passionate about social justice initiatives that further equality in speech and debate and diversify school curriculums. She’s been studying Indian classical music for the last thirteen years. Through The Polling Place, she seeks to increase turnout among young voters. In her free time, she enjoys listening to Frank Ocean and running.