February 24, 2023

Candidate Statements for the 2023 DA France Paris Leadership Election

Candidate statements

The nomination period for the DA Paris Chapter leadership elections is now closed, and the DA Paris Election Board is pleased to announce the candidates for the Paris Chapter leadership!

Candidate(s) for Chapter Chair

Juan Cerda


I'm running for re-election as Paris Chapter Chair.

I'm proud of our work in Paris in our efforts to get out the vote and help elect Democrats keep control of the US Senate and block the red wave in the House. But our work isn't done. We must continue our efforts to protect our democracy and civil rights!

My focus as Paris Chair is threefold:

  1. Ensure anyone eligible to vote gets help to register to vote from abroad.
  2. Continue to help mobilize and have the resources necessary to get out the vote efforts to help elect Democrats at all federal, state & local levels.
  3. Lead by example and have the Paris Chapter culture be a welcoming space to ALL- with diverse events and opportunities for our members to network, socialize and organize!

I would be honored to serve as your Chair again and hope to have your vote.

Leadership Roles I've Served in:

  • Democrats Abroad France Paris Chapter Chair 2021-2023
  • DPCA Voting Representative for France
  • Democrats Abroad Austria Vice-Chair 2019-2021
  • Co-Founder of Democrats Abroad Solidarity Sundays 
  • Delegate for President Joe Biden
  • Former Member of DA Diversity & Inclusion Committee
  • Former Global Democrats Abroad LGBTQ+ Coordinator


Candidate(s) for Chapter Vice Chair


I'm Kate Barrett, the current Vice Chair of DA France's Paris chapter. For the past 4 years I've had the honor of serving DAF and the American community in Paris, first as founding Secretary of the chapter in 2019-2021 and since late 2020 as acting, then sitting Vice Chair.

I have loved meeting and working with Americans from throughout the US and from all walks of life to fulfill our core missions as a chapter: bringing our members together to drive education and engagement on key issues and, above all, helping Americans abroad exercise their right to vote. I am especially proud of our chapter’s role in helping generate record overseas turnout in 2020, which was instrumental in ousting one of the most corrupt administrations in US history and establishing the Democratic trifecta that delivered major wins like the Inflation Reduction Act, the Chips and Science Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act.

Thanks to YOUR efforts—showing up, speaking up, and getting out the vote—we are in a stronger position than ever to pursue ambitious goals for voter outreach and community engagement. I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue this work on your behalf.


Candidate(s) for Chapter Secretary

Ada Shen

I'm Ada Shen, and I'm pleased to run for Paris Chapter Secretary. I am the current Acting Secretary for the Paris Chapter, and the immediate past National Chair of Democrats Abroad France (2019-2021). Prior to that I was DA France's first National GOTV Officer (2018-2019), and at the same time also served as Acting National Database / IT Officer (2018-2019). DA France grew dramatically in the past 5 years, and helped Democrats Abroad deliver victory for Democrats — and democracy — back home in 2018, 2020, and 2022. The Paris Chapter is home to the greatest number of DA members in France, and the greatest number of eligible voters in France. I feel that my experience, my love for our Paris community, and my passion for helping Americans abroad vote from wherever they are in the world, brings support to the Paris Leadership team as we continue to grow and attract new leadership talent — especially as we prepare for the 2024 elections. The success of the Paris Chapter is vital to the success of Democrats Abroad, and I'm proud to do my part. I ask for your vote for Paris Chapter Secretary. Have questions? Please email me [email protected] -- Merci!  Thanks!


Candidate(s) for Chapter Communications Coordinator (in alphabetical order)

Edna Ayme-Yahil 


Crafting engaging messages. Writing press releases, social media posts and newsletters. Speaking to media. These are activities that I do daily as Communications Director at The Consumer Goods Forum, a membership organization representing manufacturers and retailers globally on topics relating to sustainability, human rights, health and wellness, and food safety. I also teach part-time at ISCOM, École Supérieure de Communication et de Publicité.

Born and educated in the USA, I’ve lived in Europe since 2000, and currently reside in Saint Cloud (92) with my French husband and our daughter.

I’m a lifelong Democrat: I voted for the first time in 1992 for President Clinton, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Representative Eshoo. I’ve voted in every election since as an overseas voter. I care deeply about women’s rights, social programs, LBGTQ+ rights, racial equity, and protecting our planet. I am also keenly aware of the special challenges that US Citizens Abroad have in engaging with the US Government and accessing services.

I am now in a position professionally and personally where I can dedicate time to volunteering and therefore am pleased to run for Chapter Communications Coordinator where I hope to be able to serve the community in Paris and Ile-de-France.

Joel HALPERN     

I have been a lifelong democrat and want to apply my skills in my professional life back to something I believe in. I have years of experience as a member of various non profits’ boards. I am a Chief Marketing Officer here in Paris for a U.S. focused French company. I bring nearly 20 years of experience with me. 

Here is my LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelghalpern/

Axel Krause

As a longtime member of DA France and now semi-retired from the International Herald Tribune, as senior reporter and corporate editor and adjunct at the Institute for Political Studies, I feel that I am best suited for playing a role in helping us communicate more effectively. I taught a graduate seminar at Sciences Po for six years that dealt with the triangular relationship between power, media and PR. And have, as a result maintained many contacts and maintained a long-standing role as contributing editor for Washington-based online TransAtlantic Magazine; and as active president and secretary emeritus of the Anglo-American Press Association.

I can be checked out easily via Google.


* * * * * * 

Meet the candidates before voting! We will be hosting two “Meet and Greet” sessions, to give the Paris Chapter members a chance to meet the candidates and to hear them speak about their goals and vision for the Paris Chapter over the next two years. Please join us for one of the following events:

  • Session 1: Monday, March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, online via Zoom: RSVP here
  • Session 2: Thursday, March 9, 6:30 - 9:30 pm, in person at the café Coq à l’Ane, 28 Rue Croix des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris: RSVP here

The Paris Chapter AGM will take place on Saturday, March 11, from 2 - 5 PM, both online via Zoom and in person at the American University of Paris. RSVP here.

There are 3 ways to vote: 

  1. Submit the electronic ballot. All members of the Paris Chapter will receive their ballots by email on February 24. The deadline to submit your electronic ballot is Friday, March 10th at 9 PM.
  2. Attend the AGM via Zoom, and vote during the meeting using your electronic ballot. We will reopen the ballot survey for 15 minutes during the meeting, after the candidates’ speeches, so you may vote electronically then. If you choose this option, please check your email so that you have the ballot link handy!
  3. Attend the AGM in person, and vote in person with a paper ballot. 

All members of the DAF Paris Chapter may vote in the leadership elections. The elections will be decided by a plurality of votes (the candidate who gets the most votes in the election wins). A minimum 15% threshold will be applied: the winning candidate must have received at least 15% of the votes. DAF does not accept proxy votes. Since there is an early online voting process, nominations from the floor during the in-person election event will not be accepted. The ballot will include a space for write-in candidates for all positions.  

All American citizens who are over 18 years of age – or who will be 18 by the next US general election – and who are living in France, may join DAF. To join DAF, go here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/fr. To vote in the Paris elections, please join by March 10 at 8:00 PM. 

Questions? Please contact the DA France Paris Election Board at 

[email protected]

Thank you for voting!

DAF Paris Chapter Election Board