Vote Run Lead Appoints Jillian Hanlon and Lulete Mola to Board

NEW YORK, N.Y., May 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vote Run Lead, the nonprofit on a mission to create a truly reflective democracy with women holding at least 51% of U.S. legislative seats, is excited to announce the appointment of new members to its board of directors. Jillian Hanlon and Lulete Mola have joined as board members effective immediately. These appointments play a crucial role in advancing Vote Run Lead’s mission to train more women to run for office and win — increasing female representation in government, specifically in targeted state legislatures.

“I’m thrilled to have Lulete Mola and Jillian Hanlon join our Vote Run Lead board of directors,” said Board Chair Munawar Ahmed. “Vote Run Lead has quietly accomplished so much these past 10 years. I am ready for this organization to become a household name. In the same way that Planned Parenthood is synonymous in people’s minds for reproductive health, Vote Run Lead has been doing the work to become synonymous with women in politics. Expanding the board with these two new excellent leaders will help achieve that.”

Erin Vilardi, CEO and founder of Vote Run Lead, noted that Mola and Hanlon’s visionary leadership and uncompromising standards for quality and efficiency make them ideal additions to the board to help steer Vote Run Lead towards new horizons.

“With 2024 as both the 10th anniversary of Vote Run Lead and an election year, we are ready to catapult our organization to new heights,” Vilardi said. “Lulete has been a highly valued team member, advisor and confidante to Vote Run Lead since its inception — we are thrilled to extend our collaboration with deeper engagement. Jillian brings a unique perspective to the Vote Run Lead board with her demonstrated dedication to public service and safety through her groundbreaking work as a transgender woman in law enforcement. We continue to sharpen our focus on empowering women to run for state legislature seats, and our goal of achieving women’s majorities in our statehouses. Lulete and Jillian are some of the smartest, most politically savvy women I know, and they will certainly help us chart those paths to a women’s majority with strategy and speed.”

Lulete Mola is co-founder and president of the Black Collective Foundation MN and is a trailblazer in philanthropy and a proven change strategist. She brings a wealth of experience in community organizing, movement building and advancing women’s political leadership to the Vote Run Lead board. Previously, she was the chief strategy and innovation officer at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, where she led community investments, strategic communications and bold fundraising that enabled large-scale systems change. In that role, Mola also led the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a $10M public-private partnership to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of Black, indigenous and young women of color. Mola’s innovative approaches to philanthropy and community investment have significantly impacted Minnesota and beyond. She has been published in the Huffington Post, For Harriet, Candid’s Philanthropy News Digest, and the Star Tribune. She is a 2023 Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business honoree, recipient of the 2020 SOAR fellowship with the Aspen Institute, and awardee of the 2022 Facing Race Award. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, where she recently received the College of Liberal Arts Emerging Alumni Award. Based in Twin Cities, Minnesota, her profound dedication to equity and justice is invaluable to Vote Run Lead’s mission to empower women in the political arena.

Jillian Hanlon has led a storied 37-year career in public service, with roles spanning emergency medical services, law enforcement, and as a pioneer in crisis intervention and community safety programs. Hanlon’s experience and leadership qualities also help her play a pivotal role in guiding Vote Run Lead’s strategic direction and enhancing its initiatives to support aspiring women leaders. Hanlon is currently a program manager with Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., working as a homeless services program manager and supervising the youth shelter and independent living programs. In previous roles, Hanlon was the deputy sheriff for Duchess County — and was the first transgender woman to run for sheriff in New York State; she also has held roles as a correctional officer, director of operations and security for the New York State Bridge Authority and a political consultant. Previous roles included photojournalism, fine art and design. She received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication from Marist College. She is based in Dutchess County, New York.

In 10 years of sharing the Vote Run Lead curriculum, the organization has trained more women than any similar training organization, including partisan ones, and with high win rates for alumni (in 2023, a remarkable 74% of Vote Run Lead trained candidates who were on the ballot in their general elections won their races!). Vote Run Lead knows leadership presents itself in different ways and new perspectives must be brought forth if our democracy is to be truly inclusive. Vote Run Lead maintains a commitment to nonpartisan inclusion while holding true to its values of training anti-racist, pro-democracy feminists.

To learn more about Vote Run Lead and its initiatives, please visit

About Vote Run Lead

Vote Run Lead envisions a future where women hold the majority of U.S. legislative seats and has reached more than 55,000 with its training and programming since its founding in 2014. Vote Run Lead is the largest and most diverse nonprofit training and campaign leadership program in the country and has a clear plan for increasing women’s representation to 51% or greater in all of America’s statehouses. Vote Run Lead was founded by Erin Vilardi, formerly of The White House Project, and the organization seeks to unleash the political power of women as voters, candidates and leaders to create an equitable democracy. To learn more, donate, or get involved, visit or, or follow on X/TwitterFacebook and/or Instagram, all at @VoteRunLead.