National Officers

YDA membership elects seven national officers biennially at the organization's National Convention in odd-numbered years. These officers maintain the day-to-day management of the organization. The Chair of the Association of Chartered Unit Presidents (ACUP) and the Chair of the Council of Constituency Caucuses (CCC) serve as ex-officio national officers.

2023–2025 National Officers

Elected on June 21st at the YDA National Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada

Quentin Wathum-Ocama
Quentin Wathum-Ocama (MN)
[email protected]
Quentin is a lifelong resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the current President of the Young Democrats of America (YDA). Quentin's first involvement in Democratic politics was in 2008 when he interned for Barack Obama's historic presidential campaign. After that initial experience, Quentin quickly became involved in his state’s Young Democrats’ chapter, the Minnesota Young DFL, and attended his first YDA event the following summer. Quentin was elected Secretary at the 2015 YDA National Convention in Los Angeles, California, and served in that role until 2019 when he was elected 1st Vice President. In addition to serving YDA as a national officer, Quentin is a past president of the Minnesota Young DFL and is the current Treasurer for his state chapter.
Outside of his leadership with YDA, he currently works as an Academic Support Teacher at Maxfield Elementry in Saint Paul and is a proud member of the Saint Paul Federation Educators. As someone who interacts with children, families, and educators on a daily basis, Quentin knows how consequential elections are; not only is our public education system under attack, but the lack of attention and investment in communities by both the state and federal governments, is having a substantial impact historically disenfranchised communities which is why we have to be prepared to win at the local, state, and national level. Before returning to the education field, Quentin worked professionally in electoral politics in both Minnesota and Ohio for nearly a decade and recently ran Planned Parenthood of Minnesota Action Fund paid field programs for the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Quentin graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and graduated from the Youth Development Leadership program at the University of Minnesota's School of Social Work, where he also completed a graduate minor in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. If he’s not pursuing his dream of educating and guiding the next generation leaders, you can catch Quentin playing video games, working out, riding around Minneapolis-Saint Paul on his vintage Honda scooter, and spending time with his girlfriend, Rachel.


Dyna Kristine is a proud Latina and community activist. She currently serves as Global Program Manager at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation where she manages Government-to-government relationships and foreign direct investment ventures. 

She is the Founder of Defy the Odds LLC, a mentoring program for underprivileged youth who have experienced adverse childhood circumstances. As a survivor of childhood abuse, Dyna Kristine knows all too clearly the gaps the system has and has worked for the past 10 years with legislators and national partners to reduce the devastating child abuse statistics. 

Through her activism, she empowers young black and Latino youth to pursue leadership opportunities in her community. Through her work with the Black Girl Social Club, WOMEN4CHANGE, and the Indiana Bar Foundation, she hopes to build a civically engaged youth electorate.

Dyna Martínez
Executive Vice President
Dyna Martínez (IN)
[email protected]

Gabriela Koc
Eastern Vice President
Gabriela Koc (CT)
[email protected]

Gabriela Koc was born in Venezuela to Peruvian parents and is a youth advocate, proud immigrant, and political organizer. She is a proud UCONN alumna with a B.S. in Biology with a Pre-Medicine concentration, and a M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction, with a CT teaching certification in 7th-12th science. During the pandemic she won her current seat as President of Connecticut Young Democrats, making her the first woman of color and Latina in the position. As President, she has led organizing efforts for regional chapters in one of most rural areas of the state, the Northwest Corner Young Democrats and the New London County Young Democrats and passed an amendment to allow non-citizens as members of the organization.

Her career expands over three areas; education, law, and government. As a paralegal she specialized in immigration law and civil suits. She left her position as a senate aide in the CT legislature in 2022 to work as Deputy Political Director on Governor Ned Lamont’s successful re-election campaign. She currently lives in Stamford, where she serves as one of the two youngest members on the Democratic City Committee. In her free time, she is a career coach for students at UCONN, providing a crucial perspective as a first-generation college graduate.

She volunteers with the Juvenile Review Board, a restorative justice-based court diversion program for juveniles, and is a Board Member at The Center for Wellbeing-Centro Bienestar, a non-profit that provides culturally responsive mental health services for the uninsured. At the beginning of 2023 she was appointed to work at the Office of the Treasurer as part of his executive team, where she is part of the pioneering CT Baby Bonds initiative.



Having an extensive background in Democratic campaigns, Hannah has worked in Georgia politics for over seven years. An organizer at heart, she is committed to empowering others and creating sustainable change in Georgia and across the south. 

After starting her career as an organizer, Hannah managed winning campaigns for barrier-breaking candidates to local and state offices across Georgia through effective voter engagement programs. To complement her campaign work, she’s also a force in the Georgia Labor scene. As Political Director for the Georgia AFL-CIO and running the AFL-CIO’s campaign for the 2020 General, she continued on in the 2021 runoff to be a bridge between Warnock for Senate and Georgia Unions as the Labor Coordinator. Along the way, Hannah dipped her toes into the official side as well, both as a labor lobbyist and as Chief of Staff for prominent Georgia Assembly Democrats. 

Hannah later served as the Campaign Manager for Bee Nguyen, the 2022 Democratic Nominee for Georgia Secretary of State, where she oversaw a budget of $4 million in order to run a historic campaign, from hiring young Democrats to elevating Georgia’s first Asian American woman and union member to statewide candidacy.

Outside of work, Hannah has a record of creating space for and amplifying the efforts of young people in the political arena. As a leader among Georgia’s Young Democrats for several years, Hannah has connected countless young Georgians to leadership roles with candidates, elected officials, and advocacy organizations, lifting others with her as  she climbed – particularly through the successful and deliberate implementation of the YDG Resume Bank ahead of the 2021 municipal and 2022 midterm cycles. 

Hannah Perkins
Southern Vice President
Hannah Perkins (GA)
[email protected]

Spencer Dirrig
Midwest Vice President
Spencer Dirrig (OH)
[email protected]
A native Ohioan, Spencer Dirrig was born and raised in Delaware County, just North of Columbus. A second-generation American, Spencer is a proud member of the Asian and Pacific Islander community. With a passion for democracy and human rights, Spencer is dedicated to the Young Democrats of America’s mission to bring the diverse and determined generation of young activists into the Democratic Party to move our party, and our nation, forward.
Spencer has been a dedicated member of the Young Democrats for years, serving in a number of roles on the local and national level. After serving a full term as Vice Chair of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Caucus, Spencer was elected as Chair of the Caucus in 2021. In this role, Spencer has worked to highlight the diversity of the API Caucus, expand the reach of the caucus through community building, and ensure that the caucus has strong infrastructure to grow and thrive in the future. As the Treasurer of the Franklin County Young Democrats, Ohio’s largest chapter, Spencer works to raise and manage funds to maximize the organization’s impact.
Spencer graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Economics in 2019. An experienced political organizer, Spencer has managed numerous campaigns throughout Central Ohio on the local, state, and federal level. In his day job, Spencer serves as the Political Director of the Ohio Environmental Council and the Director of the OEC Action Fund PAC. In these roles, Spencer works to advance the critical mission to combat the climate crisis and achieve environmental justice for all Ohioans.
Spencer has a deep appreciation for the labor movement and the dignity of work. As a proud union member, Spencer was elected and serves as the President of Workers United Local 2843, representing a number of unionized nonprofit organizations across Ohio and Kentucky. Spencer also has the honor of serving as a member of the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio PAC board. Outside of politics, Spencer is also a USSF Soccer Referee and enjoys hiking with his dog, Saoirse.

Kathleen Durkin
Western Vice President
Kathleen Durkin (ID)
[email protected]

Kati was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, where she first became politically involved in high school when joining the “Add the Words” movement to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected identities in the state constitution. Kati went on to receive a degree in Political Science and International Relations from Boise State University and studied Mandarin Chinese at Shanghai University. After graduating from Boise State, she re-entered the Idaho political landscape, working on local elections, in the state legislature, and eventually joining the Idaho Young Democrats as Communications Chair. 

After the 2020 elections cycle working with the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Kati returned to Idaho to bring a new level of investment back to her home state. She was elected President of the Idaho Young Democrats in December 2020, and founded her own consulting firm which served local and statewide Democrats in Idaho, labor unions, and conservation and reproductive justice groups. Under her leadership, the Idaho Young Democrats launched a field fellowship program, training countless young people in crucial political job skills for a living wage, launched new chapters, negotiated seats for youth in party committees, and brought Idaho its first ever national Democratic meeting in 2022 with YDA Boise. 

After moving to Washington State, Kati worked for the Washington House Democrats’ campaign arm, helping to expand the majority in 2022 while coordinating campaigns in more than 10 counties and 20 legislative districts. Kati now works as a Lobbyist for the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28, where she fights for pay, benefits, and workplace conditions for Washington's state workers in every agency and community. She has successfully advocated for the passing of policy that protects victims of domestic violence, increases employee access to unions, and allocates resources to where they are most needed in the state. She is also a part of the team that passed the most significant employee cost of living package in recent history during Washington's employee recruitment and retention crisis. 
When she is not advocating for Democrats, rural communities, or the West, Kati sits on the board for the Skagit Women’s Alliance and Network, antiques for vintage Fiestaware, and is a Mariners season ticket holder (mostly for the food). She lives in rural Northwestern Washington near Seattle with her boyfriend and their dog, Daisy.



Lezlie Braxton Campbell (LBC) is a politically and civically active educator, organizer, and leader across Massachusetts. Lezlie received his bachelor's from Westfield State University and is pursuing his M.A. in Politics and Education at Teachers College-Columbia University. Braxton has been involved in politics since his childhood. He began his advocacy work in high school, setting the stage for college and life. Braxton has been involved in multiple political campaigns, including being the Deputy Campaign Manager for the first Puerto Rican elected to the MA State Senate and running for City Council himself in 2021.

Braxton joined the Young Democrats of MA (YDMA) in 2019 by restarting and becoming the Western Mass Young Dems Chair. Being an active and engaged leader, he has also been Vice Chair of the YDMA Black Caucus, Secretary, and Chair of the YDA Legislation Committee. He served as President of YDMA from 2020-2022, being the first person of color to hold this role. 
Braxton is active across the Democratic spaces because he believes in democracy, the values of the party, and increasing the presence of diverse voices in the leadership of the Democratic party. However, he is clear that his activism brought him to politics, not vice versa. He has organized around environmental issues, LGBTQ rights, school discipline reforms, school funding reform, and many other topics. 

Outside of politics, he is currently the Deputy Director at Educators for Excellence (MA), teaches Adult Basic Education (prep courses for students to pass their GED tests), is the Board Chair of Neighbor to Neighbor Education Fund, and is a Commissioner on the MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth. He is a former middle school social studies/humanities teacher. Braxton is also a mentor to elementary/middle school students through the Academic Leadership Association and an active member of the Theta Iota Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 

Lezlie Braxton Campbell
Lezlie Braxton Campbell (MA)
[email protected]

Isabel Dobbel
Isabel Dobbel (IL)
[email protected]
Izzy (Isabel) Dobbel is the Deputy Director of Government Affairs at the Chicago Federation of Labor. She also served as a 2022 Trabajadoras Fellow for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and continues her work advocating and organizing the fight to close the Latina pay gap. She serves as the National Committee Person for the Young Democrats of Illinois. She is a proud Latina immigrant from Venezuela. She is passionate about supporting people of color and especially women to run for office. Izzy has worked on multiple political campaigns and two government offices in Illinois across multiple levels of government from state representative/senate races to mayoral and gubernatorial races, and worked as the Deputy Operations Director for the 2020 Coordinated Campaign in Michigan. She is a dedicated public servant passionate about making Latino’s voices heard. In her free time, she trains for marathons and meets with young people looking to get their foot in the door in politics.



Dunixi Guereca
Democratic National
Dunixi Guereca (CA)
[email protected]

A native and current resident of Los Angeles County and the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, Dunixi currently serves as 3rd Vice-President of the Young Democrats of America. He has passion for creating a more diverse, welcoming, and inclusive YDA so that any voice that wants to be at the table has a place. Dunixi understands that Labor’s home is the Democratic Party, because of this he fights to make sure young workers are a prominent voice in YDA.  He has been an active part of YDA’s International Affairs Committee so that YDA has a positive impact in developing youth democratic leaders around the globe.

Dunixi brings a diverse range of political leadership experience to the table. He proudly served as Immediate Past Treasurer of YDA, the President and Chief of Staff of the Nebraska Young Democrats (NYD), Secretary of YDA’s (former) State President’s Association (currently known as the Association of Chartered Units Presidents), Chair and Secretary of YDA’s Budget Committee, as well as the Midwest Regional Treasurer. He has also served on the Executive Committee and State Central Committee of the Nebraska Democratic Party, as well as an associate member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Dunixi is also a Delegate to The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

In his day job, Dunixi has the honor of being a Political Organizer for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, where he empowers nearly 100,000 Healthcare Workers across the State of California. With nearly a decade of experience as a political campaigner, he has fought to elect Democrats everywhere— the red and blue, the rural and urban, and the safe and swing parts of this country. Dunixi studied Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Big Red) where he fell in love with Cornhusker football and the best steaks in the country!


Stephanie Campanha Wheaton is a first-generation American, raised in New Jersey and Pennsylvania but very much a New Yorker. Her middle name means “campaign” in Portuguese and she got her start rallying for candidates in her parent's home country of Brasil and eventually went on to study political science at Boston University. She has served on the board of her home chapter of the Brooklyn Young Democrats and as National Committee Representative and Meetings Director for the New York State Young Democrats. She also served as Meetings Director for YDA from 2019-2021 and acted as the Chair of the Convention Planning Committee for the Cincinnati Convention. 

She is dedicated to public service and has worked in government for the majority of her career - mostly for Attorney General Letitia James. She also worked as the Senior National Surrogate Scheduler on the Bernie 2020 Presidential campaign - the first national campaign to unionize their staff. She is currently a member of SSEU 371 and works in the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. She is deeply dedicated to progressive politics and ensuring a lasting legacy for YDA because she knows that we must leave this organization better for those who come next. 

She resides in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, a paramedic for the Fire Department of New York, and her two cats, River and Rio. 

Stephanie Campanha Wheaton
Democratic National
Stephanie Campanha Wheaton (NY)
[email protected]

Ex-Officio National Officers

Elected to leadership roles within their respective auxiliary bodies on or after December 4th, 2021

Jovan Richards
Chair of the Association of
Chartered Unit Presidents
Jovan Richards (NY)
[email protected]

Jovan C. Richards is an Entertainment, Political, and Hospitality Professional. He specializes in government relations, communications, political consulting, non-profit advocacy and volunteerism, and the art of mixology.

Jovan currently serves as the Media & Government Relations Manager for the NYS Society of CPAs; the President for the NYS Young Democrats; the Executive Director for the Westchester County Democratic Committee; the Vice President of Operation Prom National Network; and the Chair of the Association of Chartered Unit Presidents (ACUP) for the Young Democrats of America.

Before becoming active in politics, Jovan spent a majority of his time dedicated to the arts. He has performed all over the world, including in the Continental U.S., Scotland and London. England. 

Jovan also has an extensive career in the radio, film, and television industries. He has worked in front of and behind the camera for commercials, films, and sitcoms. Jovan has hosted numerous radio talk shows and podcasts throughout the New York Metro area.

Jovan has worked with or been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the New York Post, City & State New York, Spectrum News, Broadway World, the Journal News (, News 12 Westchester, News 12 Long Island, Fios 1 News Hudson Valley,, WVOX-AM, WVIP-FM, Westchester Radio, Westchester Talk Radio, and Public Access Channels throughout New York's Hudson Valley.

Outside of Jovan’s work in politics and the arts, Jovan is a Mixology Expert and a training Sommelier. He has had the honor of working with spirit brands such as Bulliet Bourbon, Tres Agaves Tequila, Goslings Rum, Shipwreck Rum, and White Girl Rosé. He has also designed cocktail menus for places like Yankee Stadium, the Prudential Center, and Hilton Hotels.

Jovan studied Film and Video at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York.

Chair of the Council of
Constituency Caucuses
Zachary Shartiag (IL)
[email protected]

Coming soon