About Us

We're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to strengthen democratic processes by creating digital tools that support free and fair elections, open governance, and fact-based public policy.

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We believe that understanding who's influencing our electoral ecosystem is a universal citizen right.

Code for Democracy started as a meetup in early 2017 after a group of friends became concerned about the increasing lack of transparency and accountability in our democratic processes. Our efforts to get more engineers involved in civic technology reached over 3,000 coders across San Francisco, New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC.

In 2019, we officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the goal of using advanced data engineering techniques to reverse engineer the networks of political narratives and campaign contributions that shape our democratic processes. We hope to battle the spectres of disinformation and dark money and restore trust in democracy by building a world where system-level insights are accessible to all citizens, not just political operatives or select groups of academic researchers.

Our Team

We’re a data engineering team with experience working in the data-for-policy space and scaling for-profit startups.

Kathy Qian
Co-Founder

Kathy is a strategy consultant turned data scientist who has worked on civil rights litigation with the ACLU, in the Innovation Labs of the World Bank, and at an enterprise software startup that was acquired for $600M. She has a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cole Dutcher
Co-Founder

Cole is an associate director of engineering at Walmart, brought there via the acquisition of Jet.com, where he was an early pre-launch hire. He has built out and scaled up the engineering and technical operations at several startups and holds an AB in Astrophysics from Harvard University.

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