Fewer Veterans Are Running for Public Office. Meet the Team Changing That: New Politics

Emily Cherniack & Micah Scharf of New Politics join the pod to discuss why recruiting service members for a second tour of duty — representing their country, after spending years fighting for it — is more important now than ever.

Emily Cherniack, Founder and Executive Director

Emily Cherniack is steeped in the traditions of servant leadership. From her service in AmeriCorps and employment with City Year AmeriCorps, to being part of the founding team of Be the Change — where she led a coalition of over 200 organizations to engage 250,000 people for a Day of Action in support of the $6 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 — Emily has worked tirelessly to serve our country and support others who serve. In 2018, Emily was named to the Politico 50 as one of the 50 “thinkers, doers, and dreamers driving politics.” Emily’s path to politics came when her boss and mentor, Alan Khazei, decided to run for the US Senate in 2009. Khazei asked Emily to become his Deputy Campaign Manager and, although he was defeated, Emily learned a great deal from his campaign and the power of political leaders who chose to serve country before self. This experience led Emily to conclude that our current system for recruiting political talent is broken. The current talent pipeline is intentionally exclusive, and has significant barriers that prevent transformational leaders from successfully running for office; the only way to change that is to change the pipeline. New Politics was founded in 2013 to address exactly that. Emily graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education Policy. She lives in Boston.

Micah Scharff, Director of Strategy & Development

Micah serves as the Director of Strategy and Growth, where she oversees the organization’s ambitious growth plan following an election cycle where service veterans were a national movement and ran some of the strongest races in the country on both sides of the aisle. She joined the team after serving as the Finance Director and Senior Advisor to Ken Harbaugh’s congressional campaign, where she led a fundraising operation that raised the most money in the country for a Democrat in a Solid Republican district. Her leadership in Harbaugh’s operation earned her a feature story on CBS This Morning, profiling millenial women who were changing politics. Ken Harbaugh’s campaign was Micah’s first job in politics. Frustrated with the 2016 election, Micah left her role as a management consultant to join Harbaugh’s campaign. Micah quickly became one of the country’s top fundraisers, leading Harbaugh’s groundbreaking effort that earned national attention. A proud Midwesterner, Micah was born and raised in St. Louis. She graduated from Emory University, where she studied Economics and earned 4 NCAA letters. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

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