Ro Khanna, the former Obama administration official who last week launched his 2014 challenge to fellow Democrat Rep. Mike Honda, rolled out a campaign executive committee Tuesday full of labor, political and Silicon Valley talent.
The committee for Khanna’s 17th Congressional District campaign will be cochaired by campaign chairman Steve Spinner – a tech executive and investor who was a California finance chairman for Obama’s campaign and an Energy Department stimulus adviser – and general consultant Jeremy Bird, who was the Obama campaign’s national field director last year. The members are David Berger, Kamil Hasan, Amy Rao, Rusty Rueff, Jim Green, Sergio Santos, Eva Roa, Lindsay Lamont, Kavita Tankha and Ann Woo.
David Berger, 53, of Palo Alto, was a member of the Obama campaign’s national finance committee last year and is a partner at Silicon Valley’s largest law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati – where Khanna is of counsel. He also has taught law classes at Harvard, Stanford, UC-Berkeley and Duke.
Kamil Hasan of Saratoga, another former Obama finance committee member, is a partner at Granite Hill partners, founded HiTek Ventures in 1995 and has thirty years of operating and entrepreneurial experience in the software industry. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean appointed him as an at-large DNC member and a super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
Amy Rao, 50, of Palo Alto, is CEO of Integrated Archive Systems, which she founded in 1994. Part of her long history in local and national Democratic politics was her role as one of the nation’s top fundraisers for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Rusty Rueff, 50, of Hillsborough, another former Obama finance committee member, also was the coordinating national co-chair of Technology for Obama. A former business executive, Rueff now invests in and advises start-ups and serves philanthropically. He was the CEO of SNOCAP, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Electronic Arts and Vice President of International Human Resources for PepsiCo. He now currently serves on the corporate boards of Glassdoor.com, Rethink Books, HireVue and runcoach.
Jim Green co-founded and is executive director of T4A.org, a nonprofit focused on increasing civic engagement and creating a thoughtful, substantive and sustained two-way dialogue between the public sector and the technology community. He was the Northern California finance director for Obama’s 2012 campaign, and staff director of Technology for Obama; earlier, he worked for the Democratic National Committee finance team where he was responsible for major donor fundraising in California. He also was finance director for Kamala Harris’ successful 2010 campaign for state attorney general.
Sergio Santos, 49, of Fremont, most recently was the community labor liaison for the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) Re-Employment Center in Fremont; earlier, he served for 20 years as president of United Auto Workers Local 2244.
Eva Roa, 22, of San Jose, is a recent San Jose State University graduate, with a bachelor’s degree in economics, who served as president of the local AIESEC committee, putting on leadership development conferences and sending San Jose State students abroad on international internships. Roa also co-founded a small web-app startup to help students on campus find free food events. She is now studying to be a web developer at the nine-week intensive programming boot camp at Coding Dojo.
Lindsay Lamont, a Stanford University senior and past president of the Stanford Young Democrats, took part last summer in Google’s Building Opportunities for Leadership & Development (BOLD) Diversity Internship Program. Earlier, she interned for ABC News and the Connecticut gubernatorial campaign of her father, Ned Lamont. She has also worked as a research assistant at the Yale New Haven Hospital.
Kavita Tankha, 45, of Los Altos Hills was a member of Obama’s National Finance Committee and Northern California Finance Committee for 2012, and was one of four leading Indian-American fundraisers for the president. The Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club recently honored her as its activist of the year. Earlier, Tankha worked as an attorney with various law firms around the world.
Ann Woo, 71, of Cupertino, is a dancer, playwright, producer and entrepreneur who has played a key role in introducing Chinese performing arts to the region in the past 35 years; her productions have been presented regularly in major theaters such as the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, Flint Center, California Theater and Palace of Fine Arts. Woo was executive director of the Chinese Folk Dance Association of San Francisco from 1979 to 1987, and she co-founded the Asian Heritage Council in the South Bay in 1984 and Chinese Performing Arts of America (CPAA) in 1991. Woo also worked as an electronic engineer for 30 years, receiving nine patents.