ActBlue, the online political fundraising platform that has raised $11 billion since 2004 for Democratic campaigns and liberal organizations, announced Thursday that Regina Wallace-Jones will take over as CEO, making her the first black woman in charge.
Wallace Jones, a former elected official and chief financial and technology executive, will also serve as ActBlue’s president. She succeeds Erin Hill, who led the Massachusetts-based nonprofit group for 14 years before stepping down late last year.
Of his appointment, Wallace-Jones said, “There is nothing better that I could do and should do at this place.” “It really brings together, in a very profound way, two areas of my life that I care about the most and that I think can have the most powerful impact on this country.”
Wallace-Jones, 48, came to ActBlue from lending platform LendStreet Financial, where she was COO. He has an electrical engineering degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public policy from UCLA, and previously worked for eBay, Facebook, and Yahoo.
Wallace-Jones said he plans to leverage his years of experience in technology and public service to enhance the security of ActBlue fundraising events while serving large campaigns and small donors alike, “while making sure that people who might otherwise be excluded have a way to express their values.”
“Regina is uniquely equipped to help advance ActBlue’s transformational work and ensure that our platform gives Democrats a strategic advantage,” Matt Debergalis, founder of ActBlue, said in a statement. “In his 20 years in technology, he’s built platforms of this magnitude and knows how to make sure systems are evolve.”
Wallace-Jones has also spent more than a decade in politics. He organized President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election effort in East Palo Alto, California, and in 2018 ran for city council. Wallace-Jones has served on the East Palo Alto City Council for four years, including a year as mayor in 2020.
Wallace-Jones said she was passionate about technology and public policy because she wanted to ensure that disadvantaged communities also reap the benefits of the latest innovations. But she said she realized her tech background made her seem like a political outsider to the residents of East Palo Alto, a city surrounded by tech giants and facing gentrification.
“When I ran for office, one of the deepest citizen fears for me as I moved forward, seeking scrutiny from my constituents, my community, was that I was this evil technological person who was out there for sale. The whole city.” “Part of my candidacy was really about … debunking this myth and being open and vulnerable.”
Stacy Brown Philpott, a longtime friend of Wallace-Jones and former CEO of the Skilled Search Service, said Wallace-Jones’ commitment to serving others would serve her well at ActBlue. Brown-Phillpott and Wallace-Jones are members of the historically black Delta Sigma Theta sorority, where they supported the career aspirations of black girls and donated professional apparel.
“She’s one of the most energetic people I know,” Brown Philpott said. “It builds a following because it brings a level of optimism, enthusiasm, and excitement to everything you do.”
Now, at ActBlue, Wallace-Jones will also have the opportunity to introduce a “new dimension” that will break the glass ceiling, Brown-Philpot said.
“Now I’m sitting at the helm of an organization that’s all about giving small,” said Wallace-Jones, “It’s all about making sure that homes like … the house I grew up in have a way of making a point, making a point and putting their money behind candidates they really believe in.