Our Team

Heather SawyerExecutive Director
Sawyer leads American Oversight’s talented team in advancing the organization’s mission and vision. Prior to joining American Oversight, Sawyer spent thirteen years in senior leadership positions in the U.S. House and Senate, most recently as Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Trusted for her strategic leadership and oversight skills, Sawyer led high-profile investigations as Chief Counsel to the Benghazi Select Committee and Staff Director and General Counsel for the Select Panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Sawyer ran the Legislative Law Clinic at Georgetown Law Center from 2005-2007 and spent nearly a decade litigating civil rights matters in Lambda Legal’s Chicago office, where her work won awards from the ACLU of Illinois, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, the Names Project Foundation, Howard Brown Health Center, and the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Sawyer graduated from Dartmouth College and earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Chioma Chukwu, Deputy Executive Director
Chukwu plays a pivotal role in advancing American Oversight’s key priorities within and across internal teams and with external partners. Prior to joining American Oversight, Chukwu was General Counsel at the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, where she coordinated and advanced the committee’s oversight and investigative agenda and developed and implemented internal management policies and practices, having also served as an adviser to the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. Before working on Capitol Hill, Chukwu was a trial attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, litigating individual and systemic class actions involving violations of anti-discrimination laws, and was staff counsel for the California Civil Rights Department. Chukwu previously served as co-chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Civil Rights and Social Justice Committee and vice-chair of the associations’ Minorities in the Profession Committee. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University and earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia.

Melanie Sloan, Senior Advisor
Sloan is a former federal prosecutor and Capitol Hill staffer, where she worked for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, as well as then-Sen. Joe Biden and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers. Ms. Magazine referred to her as the “most feared woman in Washington,” she was named one of Washington’s top grassroots lobbyists by The Hill for six consecutive years, and Rolling Stone included her as one of its “100 Agents of Change.” Sloan started Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which she led for more than a decade.

Marwah AdhoobParalegal
As a paralegal at American Oversight, Adhoob submits FOIA and state records requests, oversees correspondence with federal and state agencies, and provides litigation support. Before joining American Oversight in January 2022, Adhoob was a legal assistant and assistant editor of a monthly international law report at a law firm that focused on international law, export controls and sanctions, and government contracts. Adhoob graduated with honors from American University with a bachelor’s degree in justice and law and a certificate in leadership studies.

Mrym Ahmed, Strategic Partnership Associate 
As the Strategic Partnership Associate at American Oversight, Mrym supports the relationship building and development of key organizations, coalitions, and allies to strengthen the federal, national, state, and local advocacy in promoting accountability. Prior to joining American Oversight, Mrym has worked in local government in Maryland, first as Director of Community Relations, and most recently served as Chief of Staff to a local elected official. Mrym has led efforts in environmental sustainability, strengthening efficient government operations and city services. She has also developed relationships with state stakeholders, advocates, and coalitions to push legislation forward. She graduated from the University of Baltimore with a degree in Government and Public Policy.

Katherine Anthony, Deputy Chief Counsel
As Deputy Chief Counsel at American Oversight, Anthony assists the chief counsel in managing legal team operations, supervises the organization’s legal support staff, and oversees the legal internship program.  Anthony also contributes to American Oversight’s public records drafting and litigation strategy, in particular playing an active role in shaping the organization’s developing state public records program. Since joining American Oversight in 2018, Anthony has also maintained an active docket of federal public records lawsuits. Previously, Anthony practiced law at Goodwin Procter LLP, where she focused on complex civil litigation, securities litigation, and internal and regulatory investigations. She also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts. Anthony received her law degree with honors from Duke University.

Brennan BeckerOperations Associate
Becker assists on special projects that pertain to the operational development, policies, and procedures of the organization. She works closely with our financial team to organize, report, and track monthly expenses for both the organization and for our ongoing litigation. Becker has 10-plus years of experience in project management and political campaigning, and is currently working toward a degree in veterinary medicine.

Chloe Dennison, Researcher
Dennison is a Researcher at American Oversight, helping conduct investigations through public records requests. She previously worked at the New York Immigration Coalition, where she was responsible for the micro-local and regional press strategy for advocacy campaigns. Dennison graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a degree in Political Science and History. 

Alissa Ellis, Strategic Partnerships Director
Alissa Ellis (she/her) joined American Oversight in 2021 as the Strategic Partnerships Director, where she serves as a key liaison to allies across multiple issue areas. Ellis develops relationships with organizations, coalitions, and stakeholders to strengthen national, state, and local efforts to promote government accountability and transparency. Prior to joining American Oversight, Ellis worked for Democracy North Carolina promoting structural democracy reform and at the ACLU promoting immigrants’ rights in the Southeastern United States. She is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, where she received both her B.A in political science and J.D.

Elizabeth Haddix, Senior Counsel*
As senior counsel, Haddix manages an active caseload of federal and state open records litigation, collaborates with researchers on investigations and records requests, and represents American Oversight in conversations with external partners regarding civil rights and transparency law. Before joining American Oversight in 2023, Haddix served as Managing Attorney of the only Regional Office of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Haddix has over two decades of experience representing low-wealth communities of color, primarily in the areas of environmental justice, voting rights and education. Haddix received her law degree from University of North Carolina School of Law.
*Member of the North Carolina Bar only; DC practice pursuant to Rule 49(c)(8), supervised by members of the D.C. Bar at American Oversight.

Anisha Hindocha, Deputy Research Director
Hindocha’s areas of focus have included the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt, ongoing Trump administration accountability, and state attorneys general. In 2020, Hindocha was part of the team that investigated changes at the U.S. Postal Service. Prior to joining American Oversight, Hindocha worked in the cross-section of national security, foreign relations, and cyber enforcement policy at a D.C. think tank. During law school, she led government and global relations at an international STEM nonprofit. She received her law degree from George Washington University Law School.

Jaclyn Jones, Digital Media Designer and Web Associate
Jones creates all digital media for American Oversight. From videos to static images used on social media and the organization’s website, her design work helps to communicate American Oversight’s work holding the government accountable. Jones also assists with maintaining the online document library and content for the website. Jones joined American Oversight in 2020.

Emma Lewis, Counsel
Lewis is Counsel at American Oversight, where she maintains an active docket of FOIA and public records litigation on behalf of the organization and clients. Her work also includes drafting and negotiating federal and state public records requests. Prior to joining American Oversight, Lewis practiced political law, counseling clients on compliance with ethics, lobbying, campaign finance, and ballot access rules. Lewis received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

Eva MayanjaParalegal
As a paralegal at American Oversight, Mayanja is responsible for filing records requests at the federal and state levels and for processing productions of documents, monitoring correspondence, and providing the legal team with litigation assistance. Prior to joining American Oversight, Mayanja worked as a legal administrative assistant at an affordable housing law firm that specialized in project-based Section 8 housing. Mayanja graduated cum laude from Howard University with a degree in psychology and a minor in political science.

Riley Messer, Senior Researcher
As a member of the Investigations team at American Oversight, Messer is responsible for conducting investigations through public records requests and analysis of government documents. Messer joined American Oversight in 2021, and previously interned for the organization in 2019. Messer completed several research projects about political corruption during her undergraduate studies as a Discovery Research Fellow, Cherng Summer Scholar, and Kinder Institute Fellow. She received her master’s degree from the University of Missouri in partnership with the University of Oxford.

Jess Myers, Researcher
As a Researcher at American Oversight, Myers investigates government misconduct by drafting public records requests and reviewing government records on a variety of topics. Prior to joining American Oversight in 2023, Myers worked as a campaign research assistant at a political action committee focused on electing women to office. Myers graduated from Luther College with a degree in Sociology.

Jack Patterson, Communications Manager
Patterson is a member of American Oversight’s Communications and External Affairs team. He is responsible for working with members of the media to bring public attention to the organization’s investigations. His focuses include threats to democracy in the states, the Departments of State and Justice, and the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Patterson joined American Oversight in 2019. He previously worked as a communications official for campaigns in the Pacific Northwest.

Mariuxi Pintado, Senior Paralegal
As senior paralegal at American Oversight, Pintado is responsible for filing FOIA and records requests at the federal and state level, maintaining and organizing incoming correspondence and productions, and assisting lawyers in litigation case support as needed. Prior to joining American Oversight in June 2019, Pintado worked as a litigation paralegal at at an employment law firm, primarily focusing on private-sector discrimination claims, unpaid wages, and wrongful termination. Pintado received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.

Charles PritzResearcher
As a Researcher at American Oversight, Pritz investigates government misconduct by using public records requests and analyzing government documents. Prior to joining American Oversight in 2023, Pritz worked at Rock the Vote, where he focused on providing accurate and accessible resources to voters and partners nationwide. He is a graduate of William & Mary, where he studied international relations and environmental policy.

Mehreen Rasheed, Counsel
As counsel at American Oversight, Rasheed litigates federal Freedom of Information Act requests and state public records cases on behalf of the organization as well as external clients and partners. Prior to joining American Oversight, Rasheed represented individuals in civil rights discrimination and whistleblower retaliation matters and did pro bono immigration and asylum work. Rasheed received her law degree from American University Washington College of Law.

Lily ReavisStaff Writer
Reavis draws upon the records American Oversight uncovers to write blog posts and analyses, collaborating with the investigation and legal teams to synthesize our findings. Before joining American Oversight, Reavis investigated political and corporate corruption for The Capitol Forum in D.C. and worked as a freelance journalist in western Massachusetts, covering higher education and human rights. In college, she completed internships at Sports Illustrated and the Colorado Publishing House and spent two years as editor in chief of the Mount Holyoke News. Reavis graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in English, political science, and journalism.

Khahilia Shaw, Counsel
As counsel at American Oversight, Shaw litigates federal Freedom of Information Act cases, prepares state records litigation, and represents the organization with prominent accountability partners and clients. Prior to joining American Oversight, Shaw practiced at K&L Gates LLP, where she counseled registered investment companies on compliance matters arising under securities laws. She also focused on pro bono immigration and civil rights representation. Shaw received her law degree from Duke University.

Kyla Sommers, Digital Engagement Editor
Sommers is the Digital Engagement Editor at American Oversight, where she manages the organization’s social media accounts. Since joining American Oversight in 2020, Sommers has developed strategies to call attention to government corruption and ensure American Oversight’s channels are a useful resource for journalists, government investigators, and the public. Prior to joining American Oversight, Sommers was the editor in chief of the History News Network. She earned her Ph.D. in American history from the George Washington University.

Ben Sparks, Senior Counsel
As counsel, Sparks litigates federal FOIA cases and prepares state records litigation on behalf of the organization. Prior to joining American Oversight, Sparks represented municipalities and their employees in a range of litigation matters, including civil rights cases. Sparks received his law degree from Marquette University Law School.

Loree Stark, Senior Counsel*
As senior counsel at American Oversight, Stark litigates federal Freedom of Information Act cases and state public records cases, drawing on her extensive experience practicing at both the state and federal levels. Prior to joining American Oversight, Stark practiced at a national nonprofit focused on protecting the free speech rights of people who are incarcerated. For four years, she served as the Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, leading litigation on issues including jail and prison conditions, trans rights, the rights of people who are housing insecure, government transparency, and the First Amendment. Prior to joining the ACLU of West Virginia, she represented low-income consumers against large national banks and lenders at the nonprofit law firm Mountain State Justice in West Virginia, and practiced consumer and housing law at the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky. She is a graduate of Murray State University and received her law degree from George Washington University.
*Member of the West Virginia Bar; DC practice pursuant to Rule 49(c)(8), supervised by members of the D.C. Bar at American Oversight.

Taylor Stoneman, Counsel
Stoneman is a counsel at American Oversight, where she drafts and litigates federal Freedom of Information Act requests and state public records requests on behalf of the organization as well as external clients and partners.  Prior to joining American Oversight, Stoneman practiced complex commercial litigation at Kirkland & Ellis and clerked for Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth in the Central District of California. Stoneman received her law degree from Cornell University.

Amanda Teuscher, Communications Director
Teuscher manages a team of writers, content editors, and media relations experts to amplify American Oversight’s work advancing democracy and informing the public. She works with investigative reporters to share public records with wider audiences and oversees all content on American Oversight’s website, ensuring accuracy and clarity in the organization’s written communications. She also works with the digital engagement and web teams to bring attention American Oversight’s investigations and to the importance of government accountability. Prior to joining American Oversight, Teuscher was the managing editor at the magazine The American Prospect. She is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received degrees in journalism and political science.

Nicholas Trevino, Researcher
Trevino is a Researcher at American Oversight, where he focuses on the federal response to coronavirus pandemic, corporate capture, and corruption affecting people in prisons, jails, and detention centers. Trevino joined American Oversight from the Project On Government Oversight, where he interned for a year within the investigations and communication departments. Trevino graduated cum laude from Davidson College

Julia WaddlesResearcher
As a Researcher, Waddles drafts public records requests and analyzes government records across various issue areas. She joined American Oversight in 2023, having previously interned for the organization in 2022. Waddles received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Columbia University, where she specialized in American politics and international affairs.

Miho Watabe, Senior Content Manager
Watabe is responsible for publishing and organizing the thousands of documents received through American Oversight’s records requests. Since joining American Oversight in 2019, they have continuously worked to make the organization’s growing records collection accessible to the public. Watabe has previously worked as a research and advocacy assistant at the education nonprofit Class Size Matters, as a teaching assistant at American University, and as a digital intern with both The New Republic and The American Prospect. Watabe received their masters in public anthropology from American University.

Ryan WestOffice and Operations Manager
West manages American Oversight’s organizational operations and physical office in downtown D.C., working with a variety of vendors to provide us with critical administrative support and managing the tools and technology that ensure we can communicate and collaborate effectively in a hybrid work environment. Prior to joining American Oversight, he served in operations roles in both the private and nonprofit sectors over 10 years. In 2017, he cofounded Love City Strong, a disaster response and relief organization based in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dylan WintersParalegal
Winters is a Document Clerk at American Oversight, focusing on processing documents responsive to our Freedom of Information Act and records requests. Winters also focuses on other parts of document management, including reprocessing and reorganizing documents, as well as other side projects. Winters is a junior at American University, studying political science and history, while pursuing a certificate in leadership studies. Winters previously interned at the Guatemala Solidarity Project and worked at the Department of Government in AU’s School of Public Affairs.

 

American Oversight’s Board, Click to View