Zack Exley

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Zack Exley
Zack Exley-8858.jpeg
Born (1969-12-05) December 5, 1969 (age 51)
Alma materUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst (B.A.)
OccupationPolitical and technology consultant

Zack Exley (born December 5, 1969) is an American political and technology consultant.

Early life and education[edit]

Exley was raised in West Hartford, Connecticut. He studied abroad at Shanxi Normal University before earning his B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1993. He also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government.[1][2]


Around the 2000 election controversy, Exley used a website to allow citizens to self-organize more than 100 protests around the United States.[3]

In 2004, he was the Director of Online Communications and Organizing on the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign, and directed internet operations for the UK Labour Party's re-election campaign in 2005.[4]

Exley served as the Chief Revenue Officer (formerly Chief Community Officer) at the Wikimedia Foundation from 2010 to 2013. He continued to provide contracted fundraising consultation until 2017.[5][6] Before that, he worked at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy.[7] He is also the co-founder and former president of the New Organizing Institute, a progressive political technology training organization.[8] Politico reported in August 2015 that Exley had joined the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign as a senior advisor responsible for digital communications.[9][10] He co-founded the Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress.[11]

Exley was Organizing Director at during the group's campaign to prevent the Iraq War, and during its controversial involvement with the Howard Dean 2004 presidential campaign. He was criticized for "rigging" the "MoveOn Primary" in favor of Dean, a charge the group rejected.[12]

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, but legal action from the Bush campaign led to increased publicity for Exley's site and set legal precedent that has allowed political websites to operate without Federal Election Commission regulation.[13] In response to, then-candidate George W. Bush 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."[14]

Exley previously managed 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.[15]

After the 2016 United States Presidential election, Exley, Saikat Chakrabarti, a former fellow Bernie Sanders presidential campaign executive, Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks created the Justice Democrats to reform the Democratic Party and challenge President Donald Trump.[16][17]


  1. ^ "Zack Exley". Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  2. ^ "Class Notes". Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  3. ^ Exley, "Organizing Online" Mother Jones, December 9, 2000 from Archived 2008-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Wikimedia Foundation appoints new CCO and CDGO". 2010-06-03. Archived from the original on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  6. ^ "Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors". 2012-11-07. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  7. ^ Michelle Evans (2008-03-03). "ThoughtWorks". Crain's Chicago Business. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Bernie Sanders bulks up his digital operation". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Zack Exley". Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  12. ^ Franke-Ruta, "Zero Sum," American Prospect, June 6, 2003 from Archived 2006-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Techlaw Journal from Archived 2006-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Associated Press, May 21, 1999; Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1999; Jefferson Muzzle Award from Archived 2006-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Grigoryan, Nune; Suetzl, Wolfgang (2019). "Hybridized political participation". In Atkinson, Joshua D.; Kenix, Linda (eds.). Alternative Media Meets Mainstream Politics: Activist Nation Rising. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 190. ISBN 9781498584357.
  17. ^ 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.

External links[edit]