Top Influencers

The individuals listed below represent the most impactful influencers from 2017. These individuals are making the most positive changes and have the greatest impact in the veteran political space through their service.

Emily Cherniack, New Politics

Emily Cherniack is the founder of New Politics where she recruits military veterans, AmeriCorps alumni, and PeaceCorps alumni to run for political office. Cherniack uses her leadership skills to run their campaign and help them win. Previously, Cherniack was employed with City Year AmeriCorps as a Service Director where she managed the staff of leaders for AmeriCorps members through their year of service. As a part of Be the Change Inc., Cherniack led a coalition of over 200 organizations to engage 250,000 people for a Day of Action in support of the $6 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009.


Dan Caldwell, Concerned Veterans of America

In 2017, Dan Caldwell led Concerned Veterans of America’s successful campaign to enact the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. In the 2018 State of the Union address, President Trump praised the legislation as one of the most important accomplishments of his first year in office. Recognizing Caldwell’s ability, CVA named him as their Executive Director in October 2017.


Alexander McCoy, Common Defense

Alexander McCoy is a bold, innovative political strategist and progressive grassroots organizer. A Marine Corps veteran, he spent several years working overseas in Saudi Arabia, Honduras, and Germany in support of the U.S. Department of State. Following his service, he worked in communications and veteran organizing for political campaigns. As an advocate, he helped craft the legislative strategy to successfully pass the Fairness for Veterans Act of 2016 through a gridlocked Congress and has served on the advisory board of several veteran advocacy organizations. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Reuters, Huffington Post, and others, and he has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, and NPR. He currently serves as the Communications Director for Common Defense, mobilizing veterans and military families across the nation, while pursuing his education at Columbia University in New York City. Common Defense is a diverse, grassroots organization of U.S. veterans and military family members who are fighting to preserve the core values we swore to uphold and defend. Their mission is to protect our communities from hate and violence, to serve on the front lines for social, economic, and environmental justice, and to champion a truly equitable and representative democracy.