Of The People is an all volunteer effort started by Tom Leung and Ian Shafer on
July 4th, 2020. Tom and Ian wondered why we don't have more credible people to choose from
in elected offices. They decided to use their combined 40 years of experience building
internet technology products to try and build a new platform to energize democracy at the
Tom works in the technology industry as a product management leader in California,
is host of the Nerds for Humanity podcast, and was born in New Jersey. He has a
degree in economics and history from Bowdoin College with honors and a masters
degree in business administration from Harvard University. He has been working in
software product development since 1999 at startups as well as large tech companies
including Microsoft, YouTube, and Google.
Ian also works in the technology industry as a software engineer in Seattle and
was born in Kent, Washington. Ian has a degree in Computer Engineering from the
University of Washington. Ian has built many tech products including Pearl Jam's
ecommerce website and has been in engineering roles at Amazon, YouTube, and Google.
In January of 2021, many from the team at DemoDraft joined forces with OTP and include
Ken Hinh and Daniel Tom from UC Berkeley. Recent new volunteers include Lucas Dickey, a
serial tech entrepreneur in LA and Don Briggs, a startup software engineer also in LA.
Currently we also have college volunteers including Samara Nasoor from Bowdoin and Brian
Xu from Stanford.
Tom and Ian were joined by founding members Sam Skjonsberg and Maren Costa. Sam has
almost 15 years of experience as a software engineer, most recently at the Paul
Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Maren was one of Amazon's most senior
UX designers, where she was most recently a principal design lead for Amazon Go. Maren
and Sam are now OTP alumni for whom we're very grateful for their support!
This is completely volunteer, all funds raised are used for operating costs like web
hosting and software licensing, legal fees, and technology tools to build OTP. We intend
to create a non-profit organization to house this project in the near future.
Nothing in this project is approved or reviewed by any volunteers' current employers.
This is completely done as private individuals in their personal time using their own