Zack Exley

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Zack Exley
Zack Exley-8858.jpeg
Born (1969-12-05) December 5, 1969 (age 49)
OccupationPolitical and technology consultant

Zack Exley (born December 5, 1969) is a political and technology consultant, previously employed as the Chief Revenue Officer[1] (formerly Chief Community Officer)[2] at the Wikimedia Foundation from 2010 to 2013; he continued to provide contracted fundraising consultation until 2017. Before that he worked at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy.[3] He is also the co-founder and former president of the New Organizing Institute, a progressive political technology training organization.[4] Politico reported in August 2015 that Exley had joined the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign as a senior advisor responsible for digital communications.[5][6] He is currently part of the Justice Democrats.

In 2004, he was the Director of Online Communications and Organizing on John Kerry's presidential campaign and, according to British press reports, he directed Internet operations for the UK Labour Party's re-election campaign in 2005. In both cases, the campaigns' opponents attacked Exley as a controversial figure, hoping to make his hiring a campaign issue.[7]

Exley was Organizing Director at during the group's campaign to prevent the Iraq War, and during its controversial involvement with the Dean campaign. He was criticized then too, for "rigging" the "MoveOn Primary" in favor of Dean—a charge the group rejected.[8]

Prior to working for MoveOn, Exley created the political parody website,, as well as, a site that parodied financial reporting. Both sites attracted legal action by the Bush's 2000 election campaign and CNN, respectively. CNN successfully closed The Bush attack led to increased publicity for Exley's site and set legal precedent[9] that has allowed political websites to operate without FEC regulation. In response to, George W. Bush—then a presidential candidate—called Exley a "garbage man" and said he believed the website should be forced to be shut down, explaining "There ought to be limits to freedom."[10]

Around the 2000 election controversy, Exley used a website to allow citizens to self-organize more than 100 protests around the United States.[11]

Exley also used to run the site Revolution in Jesusland, a blog that sought to create dialog between the secular left and groups within Evangelical Christianity that promote economic and social justice as a matter of faith.[12]

Exley began his political career working as a union organizer, and has also worked as a computer programmer.[13]

After the 2016 United States Presidential election, Exley along with other members of the 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks and Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk created the Justice Democrats in 2017 in attempt to reform the Democratic Party and take on President Donald Trump.[14]


  1. ^ "Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors". 2012-11-07. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  2. ^ "Wikimedia Foundation appoints new CCO and CDGO". 2010-06-03. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  3. ^ Michelle Evans (2008-03-03). "ThoughtWorks". Crain's Chicago Business. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  4. ^ Wimsatt, William (2010). Please Don't Bomb the Suburbs: A Midterm Report on My Generation and the Future of Our Super Movement. Akashic Books. p. 133. ISBN 9781617750113.
  5. ^ "Bernie Sanders bulks up his digital operation". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  6. ^ Svitek, Patrick. "Sanders Campaign Ramps Up in Texas, by Patrick Svitek". The Texas Tribune. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  7. ^ The Independent (UK), "No 10 in new dirty tricks row over role of US 'garbage man'," February 27, 2005; RNC Press release, "Zack Attack!", April 5, 2004.
  8. ^ Franke-Ruta, "Zero Sum," American Prospect, June 6, 2003 from Archived 2006-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Techlaw Journal from Archived 2006-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Associated Press, May 21, 1999; Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1999; Jefferson Muzzle Award from Archived 2006-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Exley, "Organizing Online" Mother Jones, December 9, 2000 from Archived 2008-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Cory Doctorow (October 5, 2007). "Revolution in Jesusland: building bridges between progressives and born-agains". BoingBoing. Archived from the original on December 7, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Neal, Terry. Nov 29, 1999. Satirical Web site poses political test; Facing legal action from Bush, creator cites U.S. tradition of parody. The Washington Post, p, A2
  14. ^ David Weigel (January 23, 2017). "Progressives launch 'Justice Democrats' to counter party's 'corporate' legislators". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.

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