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Dana Watters

Dana Watters is the Program Director for the Local Democracy Initiative at the National League of Cities, where she oversees the Cities Vote program, aimed at supporting local elected officials in their efforts to ensure safe, fair elections and to engage members of their communities in the vital work of building a more vibrant, inclusive democracy.

She worked on NLC’s Cities Count program to assist local governments in their education and Get Out the Count efforts during the 2020 Decennial Census by providing technical assistance, a peer learning network, and microgrants to more than 250 local and tribal governments and community-based organizations.

A firm believer in the value of on-the-ground experience, she worked as a 2020 NRFU enumerator for the City of New York and knows firsthand the challenges of getting an accurate count in the midst of a pandemic. She has also served as a poll worker since 2016 and testified before the New York State Senate’s Elections Committee on the challenges facing voters and poll workers and lessons to be learned from other jurisdictions.

Dana’s career has centered on the promotion of human rights, and she has worked on issues ranging from criminal justice reform to minority rights in post-conflict countries. She earned her master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.


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