Guiding the way to reason and progress

The Party of Reason and Progress (PORP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing the American public regarding modern political issues and policies. Our goal is to spur the election of intelligent, logical, and rational candidates interested foremost in moving our nation in a positive and progressive direction. Without the limitations of strict party platforms, such as those imposed by the current dominant political party dichotomy, PORP can approach each individual decision from a logical, rational, and reasonable standpoint with an emphasis on maintaining a strong separation of Church and State, ensuring universal civil liberties and social freedoms, and cutting economic costs by limiting unnecessary military spending and reducing bureaucratic waste.

Jon Owens

Chief Financial Officer

Jon Owens studied political science and criminal justice at Loyola University Chicago. During his time there he worked for Grassroots Inc. raising money for the Obama campaign. He has also been involved with YP4 the youth wing for People for the American Way. Currently he works in banking and enjoys pop culture trivia.

Todd Simeroth

Director of Policy

Todd Simeroth studied political science and economics at University of Hawai’i, Mānoa where he served two terms in student governance as a College Senator and Vice-Chair for the Internal and External Affairs committees, and as a delegate for several campus committees. He also served as the Undergraduate Legislative Fellow during the 2016 Hawai’i State legislative session.

Todd enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, refining his photography skills, and testing audio reproduction products.

Josh Chapdelaine

Director of Communications

Josh Chapdelaine is a digital media strategist who specializes in content creation and project development utilizing new media methodologies. He seeks to promote empathy through education, news and media literacy, and the enhancement of civic engagement on a micro level. He is a graduate student at Queens College in the media studies and social justice program.

Matthew Facciani, M.A.

Chief Science Officer

Matthew Facciani, M.A., attends the University of South Carolina where he is finishing his PhD in sociology. Facciani’s main research area is studying the social and psychological factors of why people reject scientific evidence. Before switching into sociology, Facciani was in a cognitive neuroscience PhD program where he published articles in Human Brain Mapping and Quantitative Methods in Psychology. Facciani has also been involved in local activism and is passionate about science communication

Nancy Sawyer Milnes

Visual Communications Manager

Nancy Sawyer Milnes is a freelance web and graphic designer. Previously, she worked as the communication specialist for the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She has used her communication skills as a social activist and educator at levels ranging from the local to international, producing relevant messaging with both print and electronic media.

Dr. Salvatore Rappoccio

Executive Director, Science and Research

Dr. Salvatore Rappoccio is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University at Buffalo. His expertise is in experimental high energy particle physics, and is a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Michael Ham

Co-Producer / Politics with Reason

Michael Ham is a PhD physicist who does research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has worked on liquid nitrogen powered cars, neural networks, computer vision, nano-second scale imaging and historical data analysis.

Michael has long held an interest in politics and has even attempted to run for the US Senate. He now has an interest in helping others succeed in their attempts to win public office, especially those with a pro-science background.

Holly Griffith

Podcast Co-Host / Women's Advisory Board

Holly Griffith is a former flight controller on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs and is a current NASA Vehicle Systems Engineer on the Orion program doing Science Communication. She was a Johnson Space Center Twitter Ambassador, one of the people behind @ScienceMarchDC, and is currently doing the Twitter account for The Mars Generation (@TheMarsGen). Holly has spoken at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and also at South by Southwest with astronaut Ron Garan. She travels around the country speaking on women in STEM and how science and science fiction, Star Wars in particular, inspire each other. She was written about in “State of the eUnion: Government 2.0 and Onwards” and “A Galaxy Here and Now: Historical and Cultural Readings of Star Wars” as “The most readily identifiable Princess Leia fan among the female members of the space community”.

Kelly Garrett

Blog Content Strategist

Kelly Garrett holds a BS in Mass Communication and is a Registered Nurse living in Texas. Single mom to a little spitfire and a big pitbull, progressive, feminist, restaurant enthusiast.

Justice Micka

Head Audio Engineer / Producer

Justice Micka is a contractor for Google Fiber and a commercial audio engineer. Previously, he served enlisted in the United States Army and practiced as a manufacturing engineer. He currently studies Mechanical Engineering and Military Science in university and one day hopes to be a full time researcher in the materials science field.

Dr. Ben Janaway


Dr Benjamin Janaway is a physician, journalist and author. As a Graduate award winner in Community engagement, he strives to use fact to bring people together toward the common good. He writes regularly for high profile politics, health and news sites, and is a contributor to a highly respected ThinkTank.  His interest area is evolutionary and social psychology, neurology and political behaviour. Follow drjanaway online.

Marsel Gray

Blog Contributor

Marsel Gray is a research and public policy analyst. He attended Austin Peay State University obtaining a Master’s in Health Administration and Bachelor’s in Communications. A former military medic, Marsel has worked for public, private, and government health organizations. He enjoys studying ways to bridge gaps in health disparities and economic platforms for making health more accessible. He can usually be found face deep into a book or the latest issue of the Economist.