America was founded on the timeless truths that all men and women are created equal and endowed with the same inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These ideals are the foundation of our system of government, which has no rightful power over us except by our consent. Without our vigilance, and that of each generation, these liberties can be taken from us.
Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn founded Stand Up Republic (SUR) to help Americans defend democracy and the fundamental principles that have made this country the home of liberty and a source of hope for many around the world. In support of this mission, SUR is growing a grassroots network as it produces and distributes related content on traditional and digital media platforms. Together, this content and network are designed to hold leaders in Congress, the White House, and elsewhere accountable for protecting our democracy. SUR has formed alliances with journalists, academics and movement leaders across the political spectrum. Defending democratic norms and institutions is the cause that unites us all. As SUR's network continues to grow it applies pressure to those who put party and personal interests before those of the country, while applauding those who have the courage to put country and principle first.
Evan started his career with the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. He spent much of his service overseas as a clandestine operations officer running counter-terrorism and traditional intelligence operations. After over a decade with the Agency, Evan joined Goldman Sachs’s Investment Banking Division in San Francisco where he worked on a variety of strategic and capital raising projects in the industrial, consumer products, technology, and other industries. In 2013, Evan returned to government service, first as a senior advisor to the Foreign Affairs Committee and then as chief policy director to the Republican Conference, in the House of Representatives where he led national security, government reform, natural resources, and veterans’ healthcare initiatives. In August 2016, Evan announced his candidacy for President of the United States as an independent conservative, attracting support for his principled defense of liberty, equality, and the Constitution. Evan selected Mindy Finn as his running mate and, after winning 21.5% of the vote in Utah, their three-month presidential campaign became one of the most successful third-party candidacies in U.S. history. Leading Stand Up Republic with Mindy, Evan continues to defend the Constitution, democracy, and the timeless truths upon which our nation was founded at a time when they are under increasing threat.
Mindy is a 15-year veteran of digital politics, leading digital and technology programs for the RNC, Mitt Romney, and George W. Bush. During the 2012 election, she directed strategic policy and advocacy partnerships for Twitter and has also advised Google, Medium, and Change.org. In 2008, Mindy founded Engage, one of the first digital media agencies for politics and advocacy working to usher the industry into the Internet era. Engage worked with hundreds of public figures, advocacy campaigns, and Fortune 500 companies in the health care, energy and technology industries. Mindy has been named one of Washingtonian’s 100 “Tech Titans,” one of POLITICO’s 50 Politicos to Watch, and one of AdAge’s 40 Under 40 leading innovation in media. Having first covered Congress as a journalist in the aftermath of 9/11, Mindy worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. House and Senate. Mindy is also the founder and president of Empowered Women, which gives voice to a bold, new generation of American women and promotes them into civic life. Having encouraged others to get involved and run for office, the developments of the 2016 election led Mindy to walk the walk herself when Evan asked her to be his running mate. Now, as a co-founder of Stand Up Republic, Mindy will continue her lifelong efforts to give a voice to more Americans in our democracy and inspire her fellow Americans to defend their freedoms.
A former speechwriter to a US Senator and policy analyst for the Department of Defense, Mike Ongstad brings a decade of experience in political communications and government administration. Having worked on two presidential campaigns, he is a passionate defender of our constitutional ideals. Ongstad holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College and a master's degree in International Security Studies from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where he specialized in cyber and information warfare strategy.
Director of Policy and Partnerships
Spenchian is the Director of Policy and Partnerships for Stand Up Republic. He was formerly a policy analyst at the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute and a research specialist for a private sector contractor. Spenchian holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, where he specialized in democratic institutions and mechanisms of accountability, along with bachelor’s degrees in history and Russian from Michigan State University.
Spooner is the Political Director for Stand Up Republic. As an experienced political operative, he leverages his extensive communications, campaign management and organizing experience to create powerful grassroots networks and effective political organizations. Spooner holds a BA in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations from Auburn University.
McDowell is the Project Manager for Stand Up Republic. Prior to joining SUR, he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for two Members of Congress and later the powerful Energy & Commerce Committee where he focused on Committee operations and Member scheduling. He is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Minor in Economics. He is an avid golfer and die-hard Clemson Tigers fan.
Matthews is the Media Manager for Stand Up Republic. She holds a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences from the University of Georgia. In her last role as staff assistant, she managed communications and correspondence for a former Secretary of Defense. Matthews has a passion for bipartisan efforts and currently serves as DC chapter co-leader and social media chair for Unite America.
Mason is a Research Associate for Stand Up Republic. She is especially passionate about research-driven public policy solutions and its communication to the public, which landed her Capitol Hill and strategic communications internship experience while in college. Mason received a BA in Media and Journalism and Hispanic Linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.