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Claire Cullis joined the Institute for Democracy and Justice (IDJ) as Executive Director in 2018. As Executive Director, Cullis leads the organization’s strategic vision, program development, fundraising, and administration of its eleven-member Board of Directors. In her tenure with IDJ, Cullis has led the creation and execution of the first-ever Legislative-Judicial Summit, Privacy Law Summit Series, and Civic Leadership Awards.
Cullis has extensive experience in state and federal government affairs. In her career spanning over fifteen years she has held management roles in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. Her expertise includes non-profit management, key-stake holder engagement, public policy, and advocacy campaign management.
Prior to IDJ, Cullis served in the Obama Administration as senior staff to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew at the U.S. Treasury Department. In her role at Treasury, Cullis oversaw the Secretary’s national and international diplomatic engagements in over 20 countries, including participation in premier global forums such as the G20 Leaders’ Summit, International Monetary Fund and World Bank Annual Meetings, the World Economic Forum, and the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
During the Obama Administration and 2012 presidential campaign, Cullis served as a White House Advance representative facilitating campaign events and official government engagements for President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Prior to the Obama Administration, Cullis served as a Senior Associate in the Dewey Square Group’s (DSG) Sacramento practice. Cullis provided project management for public policy and advocacy campaigns. Through her role at DSG, Cullis served as Deputy Program Director for the renowned California Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women under Maria Shriver’s leadership.
An Iowa native, Cullis integrated into presidential politics early through the Iowa Caucuses. She has extensive international experience having studied and worked in Austria, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and traveled to over 30 countries.
Cullis earned an MBA from Virginia Tech where she graduated with honors, and a BA from the University of Iowa. Cullis resides in San Francisco with her husband, two sons and rescue dog.