CHP invests in research and practical interventions that promote healthier discourse, collaboration, and problem-solving across partisan divides.

Our team is continuously researching and vetting the most promising work by practitioners and academics in the depolarization field, and our grantmaking is informed by experts from the fields of psychology, sociology, philosophy, political science, behavioral science, and economics.

Civic Health Project is a fiscal project of Mediators Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization. All contributions to Civic Health Project and our grantees are fully tax-deductible and DAF-eligible.

Civic Health Project invests in initiatives focused on four pillars of activity:

Expose

individuals to broader, more balanced, and more diverse sources of information thereby reducing the “selective exposure” that tends to harden bias.

Engage

individuals in “intergroup contact” to dispel negative stereotypes, reduce partisan animus, and foster tolerance for opposing viewpoints.

Educate

individuals directly regarding affective polarization’s causes and consequences, to encourage adoption of de-biasing / depolarizing attitudes and behaviours.

Elevate

and strengthen “cross-cutting identities” that mitigate against partisan affiliation as a primary (and divisive) social identity.

Our Approach

We support transformative, cross-disciplinary academic research into the causes and consequences of eroding civil discourse, especially human behaviour patterns that hinder healthy political decision-making.

We also support the efforts of leading practitioners in disseminating training, tools, and methodologies that are shown to be effective in reducing polarization, increasing empathy and rationality, and improving overall civic health.

We seek to foster collaborative interaction between leading academics and practitioners, ensuring that hands-on approaches to reducing polarization and improving civil discourse are informed by the latest, most compelling academic research.

We use targeting, incentives, and measurement to ensure in a hands-on way that the research and tools we promote are reaching intended audiences and delivering measurable improvements in civic health.

Our Team

Civic Health Project’s team members bring diverse leadership expertise from academia, finance, technology, and the non-profit sector. Collectively, we are dedicated to supporting and showcasing the most promising efforts to reduce partisan animosity and enable constructive, collaborative problem-solving.

Rob Romero

Founder

Rob Romero, Founder

Rob Romero founded Civic Health Project in recognition of the fact that acrimony and incredulity towards opposing views (and the people who hold these views) has deepened in recent years, especially in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.

Rob is a passionate advocate for research, insights, and tools that help human behavior, social media, and democracy to “play better” together, reducing the corrosive forces of polarization. Prior to founding Civic Health Project, Rob supported multiple projects and initiatives to enhance media literacy and civic reasoning.

Rob is currently CEO of Connective Capital, an investor in emerging growth companies. Prior to launching Connective, Rob held leadership roles in marketing and engineering at Cisco and various tech startups. Rob earned his BA in Economics, BS in Electrical Engineering, and MS in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford University.

Kristin Hansen

Executive Director

Kristin Hansen

Kristin Hansen, Executive Director

As the Executive Director of Civic Health Project, Kristin is dedicated to accelerating the efforts of academics and practitioners who seek to reduce polarization and improve civil discourse in our citizenry, politics, and media.

In addition to her role at Civic Health Project, Kristin serves as Director of AllSides Connect, and sits on the advisory boards of AllSides and the National Conversation Project. She also serves as a lecturer in strategic communications at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Prior to her current work in civil discourse, Kristin held senior executive roles at Intel, IBM, and multiple start-up software companies. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Policy Studies from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ann Reidy

Director of Operations

Ann Reidy, Director of Operations

As Civic Health Project’s Director of Operations, Ann works to identify and help amplify promising, scalable efforts to reduce polarization in American society.

In addition to her work with the Civic Health Project, Ann is the Founder and Director of American Pals, a national schools-based bridging initiative. She is also conducting research on the vast landscape of bridging ventures across the United States.
Ann brings leadership experience in academia, non-profit management, and secondary education to her work at Civic Health Project. She holds a BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and a PhD from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Bob Quinn

Partner

Bob Quinn, Partner

For more than 25 years Bob has held leadership positions in internet and mobile software development at companies ranging from IBM and Apple to a number of Silicon Valley startups, where his focus has been on AI and health technology.

Prior to his commercial work, Bob carried out research in the application of cognitive social psychology and decision analysis to public health policy at Harvard University. He holds a PhD in cognitive science from the University of Colorado and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Bob joined Civic Health Project with the goal of using his background in technology, social science and healthcare to help diagnose and treat our civic health challenges.

Judy Wang

Operations Manager

Judy Wang, Operations Manager

Judy supports administration and operations on behalf of Civic Health Project. She has previously worked for Investment Promotion Agency and Microsoft Corporation.

Judy has a master’s degree in business management from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

Cambria Findley-Grubb

Social Media & Web Marketing Manager

Cambria Findley-Grubb, Social Media & Web Marketing Manager

As the Social Media and Web Marketing Manager, Cambria amplifies the message of decreasing affective polarization through the organization’s social media and web presence.

Prior to Civic Health Project, Cambria worked to leverage community members in volunteerism and civic engagement through the American Red Cross and UNICEF USA. In addition, Cambria completed a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in Nova Scotia, Canada, studying the impact of education policy on indigenous populations and examining issues of educational justice. Cambria holds a Triple BA in Political Science, Peace Studies, and Religious Studies from Chapman University, and a MA in Political Communication from the University of Florida.

Our Academic Research Council

Katherine Cramer

Professor of Political Science

Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science University of Wisconsin, Madison

Katherine Cramer, Professor of Political Science

Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science University of Wisconsin, Madison

Katherine Cramer is a Professor of Political Science and Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science at UW Madison. During the 2018-2019 academic year she is a Visiting Professor with the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she uses methods like inviting herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her award-winning book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, brought to light rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics. She is also the author (as Katherine Cramer Walsh) of Talking about Race: Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference and Talking about Politics: Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life.

Jonathan Haidt

Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership Business and Society Program

New York University Stern School of Business

Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership Business and Society Program

New York University Stern School of Business

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and author. His main areas of study are the psychology of morality and the moral emotions. Haidt is the author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, which examines how morality is shaped by emotion and intuition more than by reasoning, and why differing political groups have different notions of right and wrong. He also co-authored The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, which explores the rising political polarization and changing culture on college campuses, and its effects on mental health.

Shanto Iyengar

Professor of Political Science Senior Fellow

Hoover Institution Stanford University

Shanto Iyengar, Professor of Political Science Senior Fellow

Hoover Institution Stanford University

Shanto Iyengar is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and is also a senior fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution. Iyengar’s teaching and research addresses the role of the news media and mass communication in contemporary politics. He is the author of several books including Media Politics: A Citizen’s Guide, Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate, Explorations in Political Psychology, and News That Matters: Television and American Opinion.

Robb Willer

Professor of Sociology Director

Polarization and Social Change Lab Stanford University

Robb Willer, Professor of Sociology Director

Polarization and Social Change Lab Stanford University

Robb Willer is a Professor of Sociology, Psychology (by courtesy), and Organizational Behavior (by courtesy), the director of the Polarization and Social Change Lab at Stanford University, and the co-Director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University. Willer’s research has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences.

Our Advisory Council

Laura Maristany

Associate Director Governance Program

Democracy Fund

Laura Maristany, Associate Director Governance Program

Democracy Fund

Laura Maristany is the Associate Director for Constructive Politics at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that the U.S. political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Focusing on constructive politics, Laura leads the Governance Program’s strategy to explore what unites us, while helping governing institutions become more diverse, inclusive, and better able to serve all Americans.

Parisa Parsa

Chief Executive Officer

Cortico.ai

Parisa Parsa, Chief Executive Officer

Cortico.ai

Parisa Parsa serves as CEO of Cortico.ai, which builds systems that bring underheard community voices and perspectives back to the center of a healthier public dialogue, in partnership with the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab. Parisa previously served in religious and secular nonprofit leadership roles, most recently as Executive Director of Essential Partners, devoted to creating constructive dialogue across deep divides. She holds an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School.

Duf Sundheim

Leadership Council, California Forward

Former Chairman, California Republican Party

Duf Sundheim, Leadership Council, California Forward

Former Chairman, California Republican Party

Duf Sundheim has played a key role in historic bipartisan reforms, served as advisor to governors and other senior officials, chairman of the California Republican Party from 2003-2007, and has received national and state awards for his efforts. Duf currently serves as a member of the Federal Court’s Advanced Mediation Practice Group, a member of the Leadership Council of California Forward, a non-partisan non-profit that works for shared prosperity, and Director of Strategic Planning and Legal Counsel for Technifex.

Memberships and Affiliations

Civic Health Project is proud to partner with fellow organizations committed to improving America’s civic health.