International Chair - Martha McDevitt-Pugh - Democrats Abroad



Name:                  Martha McDevitt-Pugh

Gender:                 Female

External Links:; 

Member since:         2004

Country/Countries:  Netherlands



My professional career has spanned three continents, encompassing a Silicon Valley database firm, a large European bank, and NGOs. I have held managerial and budgetary responsibility for geographically distributed teams and led an employee diversity network that spanned three continents. In my career I developed a deep understanding of managing risk, whether financial, technological, or organizational. For instance, I designed and rolled out a global framework to test and report on regulatory compliance for anti-money laundering and sanctions screening. Bringing together diverse stakeholders to achieve astonishing results has been a major focus. One example is tech infrastructure I developed for an international network connecting workers, community groups and unions in global production chains. I am also passionate about creating open and inclusive environments where people can thrive, and was honored by Workplace Pride Foundation with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment.

My proudest achievement is one I share with all of you: turning Democrats Abroad into a force that achieves change on behalf of overseas Americans. I’ve been working on this, locally and globally, for over a decade:

  • Even before my 2011 election to DA leadership, I engaged at the DNC. I built support for immigration reform, spoke at two DNC caucuses and was invited speaker at the Young Democrats LGBT Caucus. 
  • I served as Chair and Vice Chair (2011-17) of DA Netherlands, organizing 2012 Global Primaries, expanding membership and voter turnout. 
  • As Global LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair, I worked with Senator Kaine and his staff to successfully change a policy denying citizenship to children born abroad to LGBTQ+ parents. 
  • Voter Protection Intercom Team Leader (2020-21); Voter Assistance Team 2018-present 
  • Obama delegate to 2012 Democratic Convention and DNC delegate to 2020 convention. 
  • Steering Committee, DA Environment & Climate Crisis Council 2021-present 
  • California state team 2021-present


Why are you running for this office?

When I found myself living abroad, without a route back to the US because my family lacked recognition under US law, DA was there. A community committed to civil rights for all, empowering me, a member of a marginalized group, to advocate for immigration rights. Together, we won! I’ve been devoted to DA ever since. I have served in local and global roles, from CC Chair to DNC member. My volunteering has taken me across many caucuses and functions. I now ask you for the opportunity to use my experience in the service of Democrats Abroad as International Chair. Our best days are still ahead. There are 17,000 members who are waiting for the call to become active volunteers! Let’s take them up on the offer by building a welcoming environment, locally, in revitalized country committees. Let’s build global structures that empower new and returning volunteers. I’m excited by the opportunity to build the next DA, a fearsome electoral force back home that delivers for all Americans living overseas on the issues that affect us most. The fight for a better nation, one that respects democracy, the rule of law, and human rights, is personal to me as I know it is to you. Together we can put our votes and advocacy to work to make a real difference in people’s lives. Let’s get to work!


How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA’s success?

I’ve been developing and organizing people for over 30 years, including 12 years as founder and chair of the Love Exiles Foundation. I bring the ability to motivate, inspire, and plan. I bring the flexibility to pivot when the moment demands a new approach. Most of all, I will connect our community so we can go forward together with renewed purpose. Being able to face whatever comes in this volatile political environment is essential to our success. I began my career in publications. Clear communications is critical to everything we do at Democrats Abroad. I know how to manage communications to make every message count. Let’s get our message to every overseas Democrat in 2024! I believe in the practice of accountability. We take on tasks and give our word. We do what it takes to make things happen. We support each other in our goals. This is what makes us extraordinary! Learn more or contact me at 


Should you be elected, are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address?

Democrats Abroad must have the right financial and volunteer resources, leadership, and teams in place for 2024. We need the right infrastructure and processes to support our mission. Let’s foster a spirit of collaboration between country committees and the global organization.

  • Engage our 17,000 volunteers! Make it easy to volunteer and easy for leadership to co-ordinate volunteers. Create a climate where volunteers thrive, with fair and clear norms and processes. This is our biggest opportunity. 
  • Revitalize our Country Committees. They are the growth engine for local engagement and our leadership pipeline. 
  • Unify our communications. Have teams in place to handle the flood of interest that comes with a Presidential election. 
  • Keep strengthening our voter support teams. In this era of voter suppression, overseas Americans need us more than ever, for both assistance and voter protection. 
  • Instill budget discipline. Our donors trust us to spend money effectively. 

As chair, I will use my experience as a manager, chair of a non-profit, and DA leader to put in place regular (monthly) financial reporting, annual budgeting, and accountability in fundraising and spending. Financial stability is critical to our success.


How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?

Outreach is based on communications and trust. We reach overseas Democrats through earned and social media, advertising, and word of mouth. We build trust through our service to the community. We will sharpen our communications efforts. Internal and external communications speak with one voice. Advertising and media support each other. Members support us by bringing their American friends to a tradition of voting and advocacy. We have a coherent message spanning all communications teams. Internet influencers deliver and uplift our message and events like the global primary win us valuable earned media. We earn the trust of the overseas American community every day with our work at, supporting them through the entire voting process. We earn their support with our advocacy, speaking up for overseas Americans on the issues that affect us most. We can, and must, be a voice of clarity that brings the Democratic message to our members and beyond.



Endorsement from Julia Bryan - DACZ Vice Chair, DA International Chair 2017-2021, DA International Secretary 2015-2017, Former DACZ Chair

I enthusiastically endorse Martha McDevitt-Pugh for Chair of Democrats Abroad. Her deep understanding of DA and the DNC, together with her proven volunteer and business management expertise, make her the ideal candidate for leading the charge as we enter this crucial presidential election cycle.

I met Martha at the first global meeting I ever attended, where I had the luck to sit next to her at dinner. During the course of that meal, she not only grounded me in DA and our mission to make a difference, but she also helped me feel I could make a difference too. Later, when I was Chair, I worked closely with Martha and our DNC team to advocate for Democrats Abroad in the US. To individuals or to a crowd, when Martha speaks her words resonate and were vital in our outreach to the DNC and state parties.

Martha understands the unique value of the organization and the volunteers that make it powerful. She leads with grace and clarity and recognizes the need we have to look forward and adapt to the changing landscape ahead of us. I am thrilled that she is running for Chair and honored to endorse her for the position.


Endorsement from Steve Nardi - DPCA Voting Representative, Past Country Chair DA Candada

I am honored to endorse Martha McDevitt-Pugh for International Chair of the DPCA. 

My earliest interactions with Martha were as a new DA volunteer and member of the LGBTQ+ Caucus, which she chaired. I felt welcomed and invited to contribute to the caucus discussions as a peer from the beginning. As my DA responsibilities grew, I continued to engage with Martha on her work beyond the caucus on other areas she’s passionate about, e.g., voter outreach and voter protection. Her approach didn’t waiver. 

Over the ensuing years, I’ve observed Martha to be a dynamic leader who delivers results through welcoming, respectful, engaging, and inclusive means while possessing the strength to make difficult or not necessarily popular decisions. In addition, Martha has a quality where volunteers with something to contribute to achieving the DA mission feel enabled to do so in a supportive and collaborative environment. For Martha, successful results are achieved through a team effort. 

During Martha’s time as a DNC member for the DPCA, she has worked diligently to raise awareness of the voter outreach opportunities Americans abroad represent with the DNC and state parties while raising awareness of the ongoing issues affecting LGBTQ+ Americans living abroad. 

From my years of experience as an organizational leader in the corporate and volunteer sectors, the DPCA would be well served to have Martha as International Chair.


Endorsement from Kat Allikian - Regional Vice-Chair, Asia-Pacific 2018-2021, Deputy Regional Vice-Chair, Asia-Pacific 2015-2018, Chair DA New Zealand 2013-201

It is my great honor to endorse Martha McDevitt-Pugh for International Chair of Democrats Abroad.  

Throughout the decade that I have been active and for many years before I joined, Martha has been a constant presence within Democrats Abroad.  She has served at all levels of this organization and understands what it means to be one of many volunteers who make and keep Democrats Abroad successful.  As such, she knows the true value of our volunteers, whether they dedicate a few hours a month or as many hours as a full-time job.  

Democrats Abroad has a lot of work ahead of us to motivate and mobilize voters across the world as we head into 2024.  And to do that, Democrats Abroad must have an empowered, energized, and enthusiastic band of volunteers, from local individuals doing face-to-face work to strong and cohesive regional and global teams.  With her deep understanding of Democrats Abroad and her real-world experience leading teams, there are few better than Martha who can bring this organization together and prepare us for 2024 and beyond.

Martha will lead Democrats Abroad with wisdom, with inclusion, and with determination.  Please join me in supporting Martha for International Chair of Democrats Abroad.