Lucrezia Aresi (Lead Observer) received her Masters degree from the Catholic University of Milan where she studied International and European Politics. She also has an Advanced Diploma in Effective Electoral Assistance. She has lived and worked in Eastern Europe and South America. As well as observing the UK General Election in 2017 she has observed for AEGEE in Estonia in 2015. She currently works as a freelance researcher for The Alpha Institute of Geopolitics and Intelligence.
Dr John Ault (Director) is Executive Director of Democracy Volunteers and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. He has previously lectured at the Universities of Exeter, Canterbury Christ Church and Manchester. He specialises in elections and campaigns. He has worked on election campaigns throughout the UK and the United States. He has observed on behalf of the OSCE/ODIHR in parliamentary elections as far afield as Kazakhstan and is a former chair of the UK’s Electoral Reform Society
Nathanael Cullis (Internal Communications Officer) is a graduate of the University of Exeter with a degree in Politics and International Relations. He has also completed a year in University College Cork, Ireland, studying Politics and History as part of the Erasmus programme. Through Democracy Volunteers he has completed many short term observations of elections and referendums from 2016 onwards including Ireland’s Abortion referendum, Brexit, Norway’s parliamentary and Northern Ireland Assembly elections. He edits the Democracy Volunteers regular newsletter.
Alex Ollington (Head of Operations) received both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Exeter studying International Relations. He has observed elections for the National Assembly for Wales in 2016, the UK General Election in 2017 as well as the Finnish Presidential, Dutch municipal and Ireland’s referendum on abortion in 2018. As Head of Operations Alex plans the observation including all the advanced work on observer deployment. Alex is also a Non-Executive Director of Democracy Volunteers.
Dr Leah Phillips (Conference Co-ordinator) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Warwick and also co-organiser on “Adolescent Identities,” a UCL Grand Challenges project looking at representation in young adult literature. She has a special interest in programmes promoting citizenship, leadership, and global awareness – having attended several such events while growing up in the United States. She has worked on local and general elections in the UK.
Joshua Wakeford (Media Officer) is currently an undergraduate student studying Politics and IR at the University of Manchester. In 2017, he observed both the UK General Election in Scotland and the Norwegian Parliamentary Elections in Oslo. He also observed the English local elections in May 2017 and 2018 as well as attending the Finnish Presidential elections and Ireland’s referendum on abortion this year. He is now the media officer for Democracy Volunteers liaising with media before, during and after elections.
Max Wheeler (Head of Training) completed his MRes in History at the University of Exeter with a focus on regional politics in the Celtic Fringe. He has observed the National Assembly for Wales by-election in Ynys Môn in 2013 and the National Assembly for Wales Election in Cardiff in 2016. As Observer Trainer Max is responsible for mentoring new observers to the team and train them to identify different aspects of election activity. Max is also a Non-Executive Director of Democracy Volunteers.