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.

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, Managing Counsel
As Managing Counsel at American Oversight, Anthony assists the chief counsel in managing legal team operations, overseeing the organization’s legal support staff, and 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.

Aadam Barclay, Senior Researcher
Barclay joined American Oversight as a Researcher in 2020, where his areas of investigation have included conditions within immigration detention, corporate capture of government, and threats to democracy in states. Before joining American Oversight, he completed internships at the Project on Government Oversight, Common Cause, and the Center for American Progress. Barclay graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in classical languages and literature.

Rachel Baron, Counsel*
Baron is a Counsel at American Oversight. She graduated from NYU School of Law in 2021, where she was the senior articles editor at the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. During law school, she was involved in work at American Oversight, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, the Brennan Center for Justice, and on Capitol Hill. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College. *Admitted only in New York; DC practice pursuant to Rule 49(c)(8), supervised by members of the DC Bar at American Oversight.

Cory Cerussi, Development Manager
Cerussi manages American Oversight’s grant writing, reporting, and stewardship program, having joined American Oversight in 2019 after working with Blue Compass Strategies as a political and research fellow. Cerussi’s areas of focus include networking to strengthen democracy, pursuing equity through philanthropy, and communicating the impact and value of open records. Cerussi has multiple cycles of campaign experience including field and finance operations and earned his master’s in public policy from the University of Maryland after studying religion and public engagement at Wake Forest University.

Sarah Colombo, Counsel*
Colombo is 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 and external clients and partners. Colombo joined American Oversight after practicing complex civil litigation at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and in-house at a growing company. She also worked on voter protection issues during the 2020 election. Colombo clerked for Judge Vernon S. Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her law degree from Columbia Law School.*Admitted only in New York; practice in the District of Columbia under supervision of members of the D.C. Bar. 

Gabe Dell, Researcher
Dell joined American Oversight in 2019. As a Researcher, he is responsible for identifying targets for investigation, drafting public records requests, and reviewing government records. Dell’s areas of focus include extremism and voting rights. Recently, Dell worked on the investigation into former President Trump’s efforts to pressure officials to overturn the 2020 election results. Prior to joining American Oversight, Dell served as a gubernatorial research associate at a progressive opposition research firm. Dell also has internship experience working with a health policy consulting firm’s legislative department, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s economic policy team, and the ACLU of Southern California’s chief counsel. Dell graduated from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

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.

Anisha Hindocha, Senior Researcher
Hindocha is a Researcher at American Oversight, where her areas of focus include 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.

Miranda Keating, Research Director
Keating oversees American Oversight’s investigative work, leading a team of researchers who use public records to investigate government misconduct, abuses of power, and threats to democracy. Keating previously worked as the research director at People For the American Way, where she tracked far-right movements and ran the Right Wing Watch project. Before that, she held several roles in communications, campaigns, and journalism. Keating joined American Oversight in 2018.

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.

Narintohn Luangrath, Researcher
Luangrath is a Researcher at American Oversight, where she develops public records requests on issues related to Covid-19, federal contracting, and immigration. In her role, Luangrath also contributes to American Oversight’s Covid-19 Oversight Hub. Previously, she served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore and as a Fulbright Scholar to the European Union studying the labor market integration of refugees in Germany and Sweden. Luangrath earned her M.Sc. in refugee studies from the University of Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, and her B.A. from Boston College, where she was a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Riley Messer, 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.

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.

Clark Pettig, Communications and External Affairs Director
Pettig oversees American Oversight’s communications with the public, the press, and partner organizations, working to call attention to government misconduct and to create pressure for accountability. He joined American Oversight at the group’s launch in 2017, and has worked on everything from the Ukraine scandal to the investigation into sham election “audits.” Pettig previously served as press secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, spokesperson for President Obama’s reelection campaign, and communications aide for several members of Congress. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and earned his master’s from the University of Florida.

Mariuxi Pintado, Paralegal
As a 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.

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.

Dan SchwagerChief Counsel
As chief counsel at American Oversight, Schwager manages its legal team in litigating public records requests and advises the organization on litigation and legal strategy. He came to American Oversight in 2022 from the U.S. Senate, where he served as General Counsel to the Secretary of the Senate. Schwager has also served as a police, political, and public corruption prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section; as an ethics enforcement and advisory counsel on the Senate Ethics Committee; and as staff director and chief counsel to the Ethics Committee in the House of Representatives. In private practice, he represented staff and members of Congress in ethics and criminal investigations and taught as an adjunct professor. Schwager is a graduate of Bates College and earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

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.

Dera Silvestre, Communications Manager
As a Communications Associate at American Oversight, Silvestre is responsible for responding to press inquiries, keeping reporters up to date on our investigations, and sharing new documents with reporters. Her primary areas of focus include the Department of Homeland Security and its subsidiaries, as well as Texas, Georgia, and Florida. Silvestre is also responsible for American Oversight’s Spanish-language communications, including our Spanish Twitter account, @ojocorrupcion. She joined American Oversight in 2019, and she previously completed internships at the Boston office of Sen. Edward J. Markey and at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

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.

Kelsey Speers, Deputy Research Director
Speers helps manage a team of researchers who use public records requests to investigate government misconduct, and guides research priorities at both the state and federal level. Before joining American Oversight in 2018, she served as a political analyst for the government focused on national security and worked in legislative affairs, bridging U.S. national security policy, mission operations, and congressional oversight. Speers is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned her masters of public policy from Georgetown University.

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, Deputy Communications Director and Senior Editor
Teuscher edits and oversees content on American Oversight’s website, ensuring accuracy and clarity in the organization’s written communications. She works with the digital engagement and web teams to bring attention to the organization’s work and the importance of government accountability, and writes a weekly newsletter as well as frequent articles about American Oversight’s investigations and findings, including articles about attacks on voting rights and ongoing threats to democracy. 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

Aastha UpretyStaff Writer
Uprety writes news posts and website content to help readers understand the records uncovered by American Oversight and the organization’s ongoing investigations, particularly in the areas of Covid-19 and immigration. Before joining the team in 2021, Uprety worked as a news and communications assistant for Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Previously, she wrote articles about environmental issues for the science blog GlacierHub and worked in communications at a civil rights advocacy organization in D.C. Uprety received her master’s in public administration from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree in public policy at William & Mary.

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.

Shira Weiner, Director of Human Resources and Operations
Weiner manages American Oversight’s talent acquisition, people strategies, and operations. Since joining in 2020, she has helped strengthen recruitment strategies, facilitated staff-led diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and build our remote-first workplace. Previously, Weiner served on talent and recruiting teams at education and community organizations including City Year Inc., Hillel International, and Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and earned her master’s from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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.

Hart W. Wood, Counsel
As Counsel at American Oversight, Wood pursues FOIA requests and related litigation with a focus on immigration, public lands, and environmental justice. Wood’s work includes litigating numerous federal cases related to family separation and other draconian policies implemented at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as investigating the influence of climate deniers and other industrial interests on federal policy. Prior to joining American Oversight in 2018, Wood practiced government contracts law at Crowell & Moring LLP. Wood received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

American Oversight’s Board, Click to View