Leaders

Officers

Alex Smith

National Chair
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Alex Smith is the National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee. Prior to being elected as National Co-Chairman for the 2012 cycle, she served as Chairman of the D.C. Federation of College Republicans.

In 2014, she was named as an RNC “Rising Star” and was the recipient of the RNC’s Jeane Kirkpatrick Award. She was also featured on Red Alert Politics’ “Thirty Under Thirty” list of up-and-coming young, conservative leaders.

Smith has appeared on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN on programs such as “The O’Reilly Factor,” “The Kelly File,” “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” and “The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart,” as well as in print in The Wall Street Journal and POLITICO. She is an alumna of The Catholic University of America, where she graduated from the University Honors Program magna cum laude, and of Seton Hall University School of Law. She is an attorney licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey Smith is a regular contributor to The Hill .

Ted Dooley

National Co-Chair
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Ted Dooley is serving as National Co-Chairman. Ted, originally from Holliston, Massachusetts, is a graduate from Boston College. Before attending BC, Ted was a student at George Washington University where he was a leader in the school’s College Republican chapter. After transferring to BC, Ted was elected Chairman of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans.

Under Ted’s tenure, the MACR was able to expand to over 20 chapters and fundraise record amounts. In 2014, Ted was elected Northeastern Vice Chairman for the CRNC and helped coordinate interstate deployments of College Republicans across the Northeast.

During the 2012 election, Ted managed and consulted for a number of local and congressional elections in Massachusetts. In 2014, Ted managed State Representative Shawn Dooley’s (no relation) special election in Massachusetts, which garnered over 60% of the vote in a competitive three-way election race. He then went on to work at Purple Strategies New England on the public affairs and communications team. Ted currently works as Vice President at Merrimack Potomac + Charles, one of New England’s premier strategic communications consulting firms. Ted is an avid fan of the New England Patriots and enjoys spending as much time as possible on the beautiful shores of Cape Cod.

John Kaufmann

National Treasurer
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John is currently serving as Treasurer of the College Republican National Committee. Previously, John was a chapter chair of the Muscatine Community College Republicans and served several positions on the Iowa Federation of College Republicans including his two-year tenure as Chair. He has played a major role in many successful campaigns in Iowa.

John is currently studying political science at the University of Iowa and is a graduate of Wilton JR/SR high school. In his free time John enjoys working on his farm and keeping up on politics, and rooting for the Hawkeyes, Colts, and Lakers.

Liz Minneman

National Secretary
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Liz serves as National Secretary. Liz is a 2015 graduate of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia where she earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree in government and economics as a Jefferson Scholar.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Liz got her start in politics in 2009 when she was elected chairman of the Minnesota Teenage Republicans. Liz served as chairman of UVA’s chapter of College Republicans in 2013 before being elected state chair of the College Republican Federation of Virginia.

Her work reaching out to millennials during Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial race helped Ken Cuccinelli win the youth vote by 6 points. She currently works as an economic policy research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Outside of politics, Liz enjoys shopping for Lilly Pulitzer sundresses and cheering on UVA basketball. Go Hoos!

 

Chandler Thornton

Northestern Regional Vice Chair
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Chandler Thornton is currently serving in his second term as Regional Vice Chairman for the Northeast. Chandler was born and raised in Frederick County, Maryland, where he first became involved in politics at the local and state levels. He is a proud graduate of American University in Washington, where he was a member of the University Honors Program and earned a B.A. in political sciencdt crnc headshotce.

Prior to being elected to his first term on the CRNC Executive Board, Chandler was elected to two terms as Chairman of the D.C. Federation of College Republicans, where he organized campaign deployments across the country. He has local, state, and national experience in the public policy and political campaign arenas.

Chandler is a current M.P.A. candidate at American University, where his concentrations include public management and applied politics. He is a graduate of the Campaign Management Institute and the European Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute.

During his free time, Chandler can be found supporting his favorite Washington and Baltimore sports teams, enjoying the great outdoors, and spending time with his family and friends.

Alex Walker

Midwestern Regional Vice Chair
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Alex Walker is a Senior at the University of Wisconsin studying Political Science. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised down the street in Wauwatosa, politics has been a family matter and way of life. Alex has worked for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, is a former Press Assistance for Scott Walker for America, and is now employed at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.Alex (1)

Along with Midwest Regional Vice Chair, Alex is serving as the Chairman of College Republicans at UW and as Chairman of the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans. Prior to serving as WICRs Chairman, he held the role of Treasurer and Vice Chairman. College Republicans have shaped his time in college and given him a better chance to make a difference on campuses across Wisconsin, and now the Midwest.

Alex is looking forward to expanding our message of smart, compassionate conservatism and achieving victories in Wisconsin, the Midwest, and this nation come November. With a lifetime of experience in campaigning and politics, and a passion for sharing conservative values, Alex is committed to working together with College Republicans and other youth organizations to further the Republican movement for generations to come.

Cade Marsh

Southern Regional Vice Chair
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12985354_10209187821438763_1582363747833490849_nCade is a political consultant and millennial activist from West Palm Beach, Florida, serving as the current State Chairman for the Florida Federation of College Republicans. He’s a recent alumni of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and is planning to pursue further higher education after the 2016 election cycle.

In 2014, Cade was deployed to Iowa as the youngest-ever CRNC field rep. After helping secure the successful election and re-elections of Senator Joni Ernst and Governor Branstad, he returned to PBAU, where he served as chapter chair until his appointment as FFCR’s Executive Director and subsequent election to State Chairman.

Bringing his previous fundraising experience, grassroots organization successes and love for College Republicans and conservative politics everywhere to the Southern region is Cade’s passion, and he’s looking forward to crushing victories across the region as the CRNC continues to build the Republican Party of the future.

 

Ivy Allen

Western Regional  Vice Chair
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Ivy Allen serves as the Western Regional Vice Chair for the CRNC. Ivy was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she learned the value of Republican principles at a young age. She has been active in California Republican politics since her Junior year in high school, and has been working to engage millennials and elect Republicans to office ever since.

Version 2During her four years at Pepperdine University, Ivy was chapter chair of the Pepperdine College Republicans, and served on the California College Republicans State Board in nearly every capacity. Now as CCR State Chair, Ivy oversees the largest federation of College Republicans in the nation, with over 50 chapters across 8 regions. Under Ivy’s leadership, CCR continues to mobilize the largest deployment efforts in the state over any other Republican grassroots organization.

Ivy has played various roles in state legislative races and has a passion for ground work. Most recently, Ivy served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Catharine Baker, who in 2014 became the San Francisco Bay Area’s only Republican legislator and broke the Democratic 2/3 Supermajority in the California State Legislature despite considerable odds.

You can catch her driving to every corner of the Golden State sporting her GOP4LYF license plates.

 

Kasha Nielsen

National Comptroller
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Kasha is a fourth year at the University of Virginia and Chairwoman of the College Republican Federation of Virginia. Kasha has been actively involved in politics since 2012. Not only was she a Coordinator for Young Americans for Romney in the 2012 Presidential election campaign, she was one of the founders of the first chartered community college chapter in Virginia located in Northern Virginia.

During the 2013 election, Kasha worked on Barbara Comstock’s successful re-election campaign to the Virginia House of Delegate’s while also serving as the Political Director of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. In 2014 she worked on Barbara Comstock’s successful election to Congress in VA-10 and was also recognized for her efforts by the National Federation of Republican Women.

Kasha has spent the last two years traveling around the Commonwealth of Virginia engaging with millennial and minority communities sharing the Republican message. In addition to her work in the Republican Party, Kasha has been recognized by the Kosciusko Foundation and Ministry of Poland for her efforts towards U.S.-Poland alliance.

Staff

Gus Portela

Executive Director
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Gus Portela is serving as the National Executive Director. Gus, born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, has been active in Michigan politics since his sophomore year in high school. Gus is a political operative having worked on multiple campaigns in Michigan and most recently as the Political Director for the College Republican National Committee for the 2014 cycle and on Rick Santorum’s Presidential campaign in 2012 as a part of the Delegate Operations Team. Additionally, Gus worked for the Michigan based firm Strategic National.

Gus worked his way up from being a member of the College Republicans his freshman year at his college, to becoming first Hispanic Chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans for the 2010-2011 cycle, one that proved to be extremely successful for the organization shattering fundraising records, expansion in number of chapters, and improved online presence. Under his leadership, the Michigan College Republicans helped to bring a new Republican Governor to Michigan, a majority in the state house, and a super majority in the state senate. Gus’ work with the Michigan Federation of College Republicans aided in the capture of two Congressional seats, as well as, abetting the election of a new Republican Attorney General and Secretary of State.
Most recently, Gus was named to Red Alert Politics 30 under 30 and Newsmax’s 30 most influential Republicans under 30. As a proud Hispanic Republican, Portela’s biggest passion is to bridge the gap between Hispanic voters and the Republican Party.