About Cortico
Bringing underheard voices to the center of stronger civic spaces

We do this by building tools and methods that enable deep conversations and make it possible to understand and learn from these voices and experiences.

Bringing underheard voices to the center of stronger civic spaces
What we value
We are fostering new civic networks where individual perspectives, grounded in personal stories, spark more informed and transparent actions within the community and from its leaders.
Authentic voices
Diverse perspectives
Community-first approach
Transparent process
Measurable impact
Our Vision

Cortico’s vision is to become the platform that: surfaces underheard voices rather than the loudest; facilitates sharing experiences rather than battling opinions; and promotes empathy and connection rather than division and intolerance. 

By helping build trust from one community to the next, we are shoring up the nation’s democratic foundation.

Our Vision

Our Staff
Kamala Alcantara
Kamala explores the world of users at Cortico, creating friendly and inclusive digital experiences by understanding people’s stories, behaviors and preferences. Driven by the thrill of innovation and using technology for the greater good, she’s spearheaded diverse projects spanning website redesigns, building education and wellness apps, and democratizing AI and blockchain technologies. When she’s not crafting delightful user experiences, you’ll find her embracing the joys of motherhood with her toddler and Goldendoodle, exploring culinary adventures by cooking up new recipes, discovering new places and flavors, leading calming meditations, or immersing herself in audiobooks.
Kamala Alcantara
UX Lead
Alex Kelly Berman
Alex builds tools and processes to support Cortico’s strategy, inviting partners to be our collaborators. She has worked across non-profit sectors on projects that support participation through storytelling, dialogue, and making. She believes in handing over a microphone to amplify the public’s voice.
VP of Programs & Partnerships
Tevin Brown
Tevin is a frontend engineer at Cortico. His prior experience in frontend architecture, performance, and accessibility enable him to keep Cortico’s apps running smoothly for our numerous partners. He finds joy in working with partners to bring a more intuitive experience to our products. On weekends, you will likely find Tevin running through the forests, canoeing through a swamp or lounging in the waterfalls of the Georgian wilderness.
Software Engineer
Kelly Cantwell
Kelly focuses on all things people at Cortico: interviewing, hiring, onboarding and strengthening our amazing workplace culture. Her extensive non-profit HR experience includes working with community organizations, a University and a credit union. Outside of work, Kelly loves being a #HockeyMom, reading, growing soil sprouted greens and roller skating as often as possible.
Human Resources Generalist
Hana Carey
Hana works to build and support Cortico’s community of partners, and to ensure successful projects. She is deeply committed to education and youth development with a background in both schools and youth-centered non-profits. When not at work, you can find her at the gym monopolizing the squat rack or with her nose in a book.
Manager of Programs & Partnerships (Youth)
Vy Dao
Vy supports community partners by helping them find homegrown insights that emerge from local conversations. Her time as a sociologist makes her appreciate the dynamic relationship between social forces and personal experiences. She enjoys her family, carbs, and coffee and loves the suspense of a good story told by anyone.
Director of Learning & Practice
Brooke works at the intersection of design, engineering, partnerships, and research to thoughtfully build out our growing product ecosystem. She comes from a 12-year career as a public servant where she managed a portfolio of software solutions aimed at improving the economic security of individuals and families. She’s inspired by the use of technology to help create a more equitable and inclusive society. When she’s not online, you can find her being a mom to her two young daughters, reading (books or tarot), binging shows while doing needlework, or enjoying the beauty of rural northeast Kansas. As a Certified Childbirth Doula, she’s also passionate about helping parents have empowering, emotionally fulfilling pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences.
Product Manager
Jeannie Evans
Jeannie is a Software Engineer at Cortico, supporting LVN. She’s motivated by contributing to accessible and community-driven resources and supporting meaningful dialogue. When she’s not at work you can find her biking along the beach, playing in the waves, or exploring one of LA’s many unique neighborhoods.
Software Engineer
Cole Fiscus
Cole works on the frontend of Cortico’s products, contributing to a fun, frustration-free digital experience for our end users. He’s excited to continue to grow as a software developer while part of a team that also values creating authentic online civic spaces. When away from his desk, you could find him shooting hoops, hiking a Coloradan mountain trail, or figuring out how to sing and play guitar at the same time.
Software Engineer
VP of Development & Strategy
Tatiana Ivancevich
Tatiana oversees the day-to-day operations at Cortico. She pulls from her background in museum retail operations and talent development to build our internal systems and structures. She believes in harnessing the power of conversations to help create stronger and more engaged communities.
Sr. Director of Operations & Administration
Akiva Leffert
Akiva leads the Engineering & Product teams at Cortico. He cares a lot about building reliable software, humane interview processes, and making the world a better place. Beyond engineering his specialty is taking silly ideas very seriously.
VP Of Engineering & Product
Hannah Locop
Hannah is based in Miami, FL and she is the daughter of Filipino immigrants. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science, she began working in philanthropy and nonprofit capacity building. Hannah has eclectic experiences in politics, organizing, advocacy, and community engagement. You can often find her enjoying a stroll in the park and playing her piano or ukulele.
Partner Learning Lead
Senior Advisor
Kimberly Mota
Kimberly focuses on continuously building and improving community engagement supports in order to effectively provide each partner with the tools they need to lead successful projects. She has experience honoring and working alongside youth and community in the realm of design, visual arts, health equity, and social justice. She is deeply interested in opportunities where she can continue to work on projects through inclusive and community-focused initiatives. When she’s not at work, you can find her on an Open Street or creating art with clay.
Partner Engagement Lead
Marcel Nakahara
Marcel is a master builder of imaginary Legos in Cortico. He builds tools to improve people’s communication and to facilitate a world where individuals can better understand one another. He is always excited to assist others and experiences happiness upon encountering a dog. When he is not behind a computer, you can find him at dog parks, strolling around the city, and, as a resident of the Pacific Northwest, hiking the mountains in the Seattle area.
Software Engineer
Josiah Oberholtzer
Josiah works on Cortico’s backend, tightening nuts and bolts. Before Cortico, he cut his teeth on a wide variety of projects, from boutique live performance software, to open frameworks for music composition and digital musicology, to large-scale distributed financial systems. When not chasing his German shepherd around, you can find him producing tracks in his home studio.
Software Engineer
Kelly Paola
Kelly works to amplify and prioritize the voice of Cortico’s users by conducting user experience research across the product suite. With a strong sense of empathy and a service mentality, she feeds user insights to teams across the organization with the goal of continually strengthening and streamlining user experience. Kelly’s background spans ESL education, international nonprofit programming, and hospitality management. Outside of work, you can find her teaching yoga, relaxing on her paddle board, or cooking/baking delicious creations in her kitchen.
UX Researcher
Spencer Peace
Spencer works on Cortico’s frontend, helping to build a beautiful, seamless user experience for our partners. Drawing upon previous frontend experience, he’s excited to be creating software that fosters a healthy public sphere, one where often-unheard voices are amplified. When he’s not at work, you can find him cycling around Cincinnati or snapping pictures of whatever catches his eye.
Software Engineer
Kierran Petersen
Kierran is (hopefully) one of the first people you run into if you have a question about all things Cortico. They’re passionate about turning even the most pie-in-the-sky ideas from partners and users into a reality. They have a joint background in customer support and audio production, and are passionate about storytelling and storytellers. In their off-hours, they’re usually playing a video game and listening to a podcast, oftentimes snuggled up with someone else’s pet.
Partner Support Specialist
Elena Petrovich
Elena works to amplify the many stories of Cortico and connect the organization’s work to a variety of audiences. Her foundation in the arts and humanities has directed her professional experience leading communications and marketing in mission-driven settings. She is motivated by a deep love of storytelling, particularly the kind that broadens understanding, incites compassion, and forges connection.
Marketing & Communications Lead
Thanh-Mai Phan
Thanh-Mai Phan is a product designer at Cortico. Previously, she designed and built prototypes for MIT Media Lab’s Center for Constructive Communication and worked on a distributed cache at Microsoft. She’s interested in subcultures, how subcultures live on the internet, and what it means to be online.
Rich Rayburn
Rich is a pixel wizard that creates thoughtful designs that help our users easily navigate our apps and websites. He’s most passionate about the end user and being able to create beautiful, user-friendly digital experiences that are ADA-compliant so everyone can enjoy them. Outside of work, you can find Rich exploring parks with his four kids or perfecting his hot sauce recipes.
Design Lead
Deb Roy
Deb Roy
Bubbles Sandcastle
bubbles builds frontend magic for cortico’s apps and websites. inspired to make century-long yes-waves towards a more creative, thriving, and cooperative society, they’re stoked to help bring advanced technology to the intricate problem of public discourse. dance, music, art, activism, love, sunlight, vegan food, playing outside, meditation, and unbounded exploration energize the field that builds bubbles.
Software Engineer
Taylor Sheneman
Taylor builds tools to make sense of the hundreds of hours of conversation data flowing through LVN. He is focused on thoughtful technology designed in collaboration with the people it’s meant to serve, with the goal of building a stronger, more cooperative society that uplifts all of its members.

Taylor Sheneman

Software Engineer
Ryan Sievert
Ryan designs at the intersection of brand and product experience, infusing deep empathy for the user journey with a clear sense of purpose. A multidisciplinary practitioner, Ryan has led interactive initiatives at international advertising agencies like Leo Burnett and DDB, cultivated a passion for user research and human-centered design at IDEO, shaped the brand strategy and visual identities of visionary consumer startups at Listen Ventures, and collaborated with dozens of brands, bands, artists and institutions to create meaningful experiences and elegant interactions.
VP of Design
Harrison Speck
Harrison is passionate about leveraging technology to drive social impact. He’s dedicated his career as a Product Manager to creating innovative solutions that empower communities, foster equality, and promote sustainability. His experiences include working with startups, foundations, and state agencies. Outside of work, he is a musician, artist, husband, and dad of two under the age of five.
Harrison Speck
Product Manager
Jenine Turner-Trauring
Jenny works on Cortico’s backend infrastructure. Her goal in writing software is to build tools for projects that have a positive impact. She is also passionate about bike and pedestrian safety.
Software Engineer
Ethan Walker
Ethan works to guide partners through projects and build a network of organizations interested in listening to their community. He is committed to public service and leadership development, and has a background in implementing innovative nonprofit programs. When not at work, you can find him walking in the California sunshine, reading a book, or nerding out over soccer.
Manager of Programs & Partnerships (Government)
Sam Woolf
Sam is a builder of all things physical. At Cortico he spearheads the design, manufacturing, and electronics of the Hearth. He’s learned his craft through designing everything from furniture to coffee roasters, saunas to robotic forklifts, and circuit boards to kayaks.
Director of Hardware
Board of Directors and Officers
Deb Roy
Chair & Cofounder
Director & Cofounder
Treasurer & Cofounder
Cortico & CCC
Bringing people & technology together

Cortico collaborates closely with the MIT Center for Constructive Communication (CCC). An Institute-wide center based at the MIT Media Lab, CCC brings together researchers in AI, computational social science, digital interactive design, and learning technologies with software engineers, journalists, political scientists, designers, and community organizers to explore and address the effects of deepening social fragmentation. Cortico maintains a unique cooperation agreement with MIT that enables collaboration on IP, prototyping, and field pilots.

Cortico & CCC
Bringing people & technology together