Name: Heather Stone
Member since: 2017
I’ve been a practicing lawyer since 1988 in NJ and 1993 in Israel, including as a partner with one of the largest corporate law firms in Israel from 2001-2017. I’ve worked in U.S. Securities Law, International Mergers & Acquisitions and Internal Investigations of publicly traded companies appearing before the Securities and Exchange Commission and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. I led teams of lawyers on many complex international transactions and investigations. I left private practice six years ago following brain surgery, when I lost most of my eyesight. In the last two years, having mastered using a screen-reader and other advanced technologies, I now serve as Deputy International Counsel (Global) handling all manner of matters for the organization, small and large.
Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment.
In 2016, I led the effort to reconstitute DA Israel. I served as Chair from 2017-2021 and then Vice Chair. Our membership grew three-fold and we grew our media outreach. I served on the 2020 Platform Committee and am a founding member of the Global Disability Caucus. After introducing a unanimously-supported resolution to advocate for Medicare Portability, the Medicare Portability Task Force was created and I chair it. We managed to get authorizing language for a pilot program in the first year that the task force was created. I have served as Deputy International Counsel (Global) since 2021. I am especially proud of my leading role in obtaining Directors & Officers Insurance that covers ALL our volunteers at all levels, from chapters, country committees, caucuses, task forces, to the International ExCom and anyone who reports to them. This is meaningful protection to our growing organization and allows our leaders to act with the knowledge that they have insurance against claims.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for International Counsel because I believe it is crucial that DA has a strong, independent counsel who offers solid advice to the International Executive Committee on the full range of issues it faces. The role of International Counsel is both as a voting member of the International Executive Committee and as a watchdog to ensure that Democrats Abroad acts properly, according to its bylaws, charter, and codes, and applicable laws and regulations. In my decades of legal work and volunteer experience I have learned to work collaboratively and respectfully. As a lawyer with over 30 years of private practice experience, I believe I can perform this function at the highest level. As Deputy International Counsel (Global) I have had the benefit of learning the organization and job up close and know what does and does not work; and believe that I am the best person for this job. Moreover, in all the years that DA has been in existence, we have never had a woman International Counsel, nor a member of the community of disabled persons. It’s about time to change that fact. The Democratic Party strongly advocates for a broad view of diversity, and our leadership should embody that vision. Let’s make a bold statement by electing me to represent DA as International Counsel.
How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA’s success?
I am a very experienced lawyer able to provide independent counsel to the International ExCom and any parts of DA that require advice. I also have years of experience managing teams of attorneys on complex transactions and investigations. I work well with others, as the growing DA Israel community attests. I hope to be able to continue the Council of Counsels established in 2021, which brings together a group of volunteer lawyers from around the world to work on DA issues, assess potential liabilities and actions and convey information appropriately throughout the organization in a timely manner. In conclusion, I am confident I can bring the benefit of extensive legal experience, an ability to listen and interpret information, a familiarity with how our organization works and a proven commitment to making DA a more effective, diverse and team-oriented organization. I would be deeply grateful for your support and, should I be elected, in your input and feedback.
Should you be elected, are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address?
If elected, there are several priorities that I would seek to achieve: (1) Review all of DA’s policies in the context of our charter and bylaws and make recommendations for improvements to them if needed, and implement those changes; (2) Obtain cyber insurance for DA as the complexity and potential issues related to online activities increases from moment to moment; (3) Create a secure repository for the Office of International Counsel to ensure institutional knowledge retention of our legal matters and their secure transmission to International Counsel and their Council of Counsels after each election; and (4) Explore the costs of trademark registration where DA has country committees and transnational committees and develop a plan to fund the registrations in order to protect DA’s intellectual property around the world.
How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?
One of my most satisfying accomplishments in DA Israel was how dramatically we raised our profile among the American abroad community. We built a phenomenal media team which has been energetically active and visible. I am eager to share this experience with DA global. If elected, I will aim to raise DA’s profile among U.S. voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats by improving our communications across the board by creating a top notch communications team supporting all levels of the organization. In addition, I will advocate for DA’s state teams, caucuses and task forces to be spearheads to bring in new members. I have seen first-hand the excitement that presentations on Medicare and Medicare Portability have generated and believe these groups can help all leaders bring in new members and volunteers who are interested in these issues. This needs to be done both with our members and with the millions of other potential U.S. voters who have not exercised their right to vote.
Endorsement from Marnie Delaney - Chair, Global Disability Caucus; Lead, Violence Against Women Action Team; Steering Committee, Women’s Caucus; Steering Committee, Seniors Caucus; Steering Committee, Medicare Portability Task Force; Member, Global Affirmative Action Committee
I am extremely grateful and proud to have the opportunity to endorse Heather Stone for the position of International Counsel for Democrats Abroad.
- A workhorse
- A very experienced attorney
- A super volunteer for DA
- Considered and informed in her decision-making
- A person who gets things done
- A dog-lover
- A positive person
- Great to work with
- A leader, team-player and do-er - whatever is necessary
- A woman of great integrity
- Someone who can listen to and consider multiple points of view
- Patient and respectful
- An appreciator of hard work
- Sensitive to the needs of and supportive of others
- A tremendous representative of our organization
- Able to consider multiple perspectives
- Willing to do this for us
- A clear and, frankly, easy choice
Endorsement from Art Schankler - DA International Vice Chair
I am endorsing Heather Stone as International Counsel for Democrats Abroad. Over the years, I have found Heather to be a thoughtful source of both legal advice and advocacy for the goals of DA. Her experience as Country Chair in Israel and her regular participation in ExCom meetings and other deliberations during the last election cycle give her the experience to help guide the organization in the upcoming crucial 2024 election cycle. Her experience as chair of the Medicare Portability Task Force provides her with the perspective needed to advocate for issues important to overseas American. Her experience with the Council of Counsels will ensure that we have a global perspective on legal issues that takes into account differences among our constituent countries. While there has been some discontent in the past year over changes in DA policy on fundraising and other matters, Heather has the temperament to bridge the gaps among us. Heather will play an important role in taking us forward and achieving our goals of electing Democrats and advocating for issues that are important to us.