Person

Jennifer Flanagan

Occupation:

Director, Trusted Elections Fund (New Venture Fund)

Former Deputy Secretary of State, Colorado (2019-2020)

Former Vice President, Common Cause

Lives:

Denver, Colorado

Jennifer “Jenny” Flanagan is a left-of-center activist who previously served as Deputy Secretary of State for Colorado, a position she held from January 2019 until approximately early March 2020. Flanagan specializes in election policy and is the former vice president of state operations in Colorado for Common Cause, a national left-of-center voter litigation and mobilization advocacy organization. Flanagan left the Colorado state government in 2020 and currently serves as the director of the Trusted Elections Fund, a funding collective supporting left-leaning election administration policies. Trusted Elections is managed by the New Venture Fund (part of the “dark money” network run by the for-profit consultancy Arabella Advisors). [1] [2]

Background

Flanagan completed her undergraduate studies at George Washington University and later attended the University of Denver, earning both master of social work and law degrees from the University of Denver. Flanagan completed a fellowship in the New York State Senate before returning to Denver to work for Common Cause Colorado. [3]

Common Cause

Flanagan first joined Common Cause in 2004, working as associate state director for Colorado before becoming executive director of Common Cause Colorado. While leading Common Cause Colorado, Flanagan focused on passage of a Colorado ethics law and lobbying state and local officials to implement left-leaning voting practices in Colorado. Flanagan was also an early founder of the left-leaning election policy campaign Just Vote! Colorado Election Protection, a Colorado-based election monitoring program established in 2004. [4]

In 2011, Flanagan joined the national staff of Common Cause, first working as the director of voting and elections, and then as the vice president for state operations. Flanagan ran a large election advocacy effort for Common Cause in 2012 while working alongside other left-leaning groups such as Lawyers Committee, Pico (now known as Faith in Action), Black Youth Vote, and the Election Protection Coalition. [5]

Colorado Deputy Secretary of State

In 2018, Jena Griswold was elected as the first Democratic Colorado Secretary of State in 60 years. Griswold hired Flanagan as her deputy Secretary of State, one of many hires from left-leaning groups and Democratic campaigns in Colorado. [6]

Trusted Elections Fund

In January of 2020, Flanagan announced her resignation from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and left the job in early March of 2020 to join the new Trusted Elections Fund. [7]

The Trusted Elections Fund is a funding collaborative for center-left donors created as a response to reported interference in the 2016 elections by foreign entities. Trusted Elections is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created and managed by Arabella Advisors, a Washington, DC-based for-profit consultancy that works with major left-of-center foundations and donors. Trusted Elections has announced planned investments toward what it perceived as the greatest risks in the 2020 election, including foreign hacks of voting machines, disputed results, election day violence, and interruptions to election day that could be blamed on the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic. In addition to Flanagan’s role as the director, Trusted Elections also has a steering committee led by left-leaning foundations such as the Democracy Fund, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the Spitzer Charitable Trust. [8]

References

  1. “Jenny Flanagan”. Drexel University Vision 2020 National Women’s Equality Initiative. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://drexel.edu/vision2020/about/delegates/Flanagan_Jenny/ ^
  2. “Trusted Elections Fund Two Pager.” Accessed May 12, 2020. Original URL: https://tpwwest.app.box.com/s/hni429kpgto1caacpdgbpkk49546zd0e. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/04/Trusted-Elections-Fund-Two-Pager.-04.15.20.pdf ^
  3. “Jenny Flanagan”. Drexel University Vision 2020 National Women’s Equality Initiative. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://drexel.edu/vision2020/about/delegates/Flanagan_Jenny/ ^
  4. “Linkedin Profile: Jenny Flanagan”. Accessed May 12, 2020.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenny-flanagan-a133288/ ^
  5. “Jenny Flanagan”. Drexel University Vision 2020 National Women’s Equality Initiative. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://drexel.edu/vision2020/about/delegates/Flanagan_Jenny/ ^
  6. Franz, Scott. “Colorado’s Incoming Secretary Of State Bringing In Fresh Faces To Lead Office”. KUNC. December 21, 2018. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.kunc.org/post/colorados-incoming-secretary-state-bringing-fresh-faces-lead-office#stream/0 ^
  7. Lois Bartels. “Colo. Co. Clerks winter conference.” LA Junta Tribune-Democrat. February 2, 2020. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/news/20200202/colo-co-clerks-winter-conference ^
  8. “Trusted Elections Fund Two Pager.” Accessed May 12, 2020. Original URL: https://tpwwest.app.box.com/s/hni429kpgto1caacpdgbpkk49546zd0e. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/04/Trusted-Elections-Fund-Two-Pager.-04.15.20.pdf ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Common Cause (Non-profit)
    Former Vice President, State Operations
  2. Trusted Elections Fund (Non-profit)
    Director
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