Carah Ong Whaley

Director of Election Protection, Issue One

Carah Ong Whaley, PhD is Director of Election Protection at Issue One where she works closely with IO’s Faces of Democracy, National Council on Election Integrity, and on the 2024 Trusted Elections Communications Hub that brings together nonpartisan organizations to advance election integrity, increase confidence in elections, and protect the right of individuals to exercise their democratic rights without interference. Previously, Carah worked at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. She serves as co-chair of the American Political Science Association’s Civic Engagement section and is a member of APSA’s Civic Education Committee. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Teen Vogue, NPR, among others. She is co-author and editor of The Red Ripple: The 2022 Midterm Elections and What They Mean For 2024 (Rowman & Littlefield 2022); Civic Pedagogies: Teaching Civic Engagement in Era of Divisive Politics (Springer 2024); Leaning Into Politics: Higher Education’s Role in the Building the Democracy We Need (Information Age Press 2024); American Government: Roots and Reform (chapters on Political Parties, Campaigns, Elections and Voting, and The Media; Pearson 2013-2024); “Jan. 6 Hearings Show a Democracy in Crisis. Civic Education Can Help;” “We the People, We the Process: Engaging Young People in Election Administration;” “Counting on Higher Education: Teaching and Assessing Knowledge and Participation in the 2020 Census;” among other publications. Carah was previously Associate Director of the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement at James Madison University. Under campus-wide voter education and engagement initiatives facilitated by Carah, over 75% of the student body turned out to vote in the 2020 election. Carah worked for non-governmental organizations on nuclear weapons and security issues from 1999-2012. She was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Complete Count Commission for the 2020 Census. Carah holds a PhD in American Government and a Master’s in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and degrees in Spanish and Global Peace and Security from the University of California at Santa Barbara.