About Us

Integrity First for America (IFA) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to holding America's leaders accountable when their actions threaten longstanding principles of our democracy.

IFA intervenes when political leaders profit off their positions of power or abandon our country's commitment to civil rights and equal justice for all.

IFA investigates corruption, self-dealing, civil rights violations, and abuses of political power.

Using the courts, and the court of public opinion, IFA stops political elites from rigging the system to their personal financial advantage and dismantling the norms that have kept America strong.

We believe that America's leaders must be held to a high standard of integrity. They must play by the same rules as everyone else. They must honor the norms that have kept America strong.

Our Team

Monica Graham

Board Chair

Monica Graham was founder and General Partner of Graham Partners, a technology-focused hedge fund based in New York from 1996 to 2010. Since 2010, she has acted in an advisory role to the organization. Monica began her career at Oppenheimer & Co. before working at Drexel Burnham Lambert. She then worked as an analyst at Sloate, Weisman, Murray & Company. Monica then founded her own consulting firm, Graham Investment Advisors, which advised hedge funds, before founding Graham Partners. Since leaving Graham Partners as General Partner, Monica has founded and run the Graham Family Foundation.

 

Dmitri Mehlhorn

Dmitri Mehlhorn

Board Member

Dmitri Mehlhorn is a partner at the investment network Vidinovo. He serves on the fiduciary and advisory boards of several companies and nonprofits, including Aquicore, Demosphere, APDS, GoKid, The Beans, and WiserCare. Dmitri began his career at McKinsey & Company, then served as Chief of Staff and antitrust counsel at O’Melveny & Myers. For seven years, Dmitri was Managing Director at Gerson Lehrman Group, a leading expertise exchange. He was then the President of Bloomberg BNA Legal. Dmitri also served as a Senior Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. He is a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and the Johns Hopkins Institute of Education Policy. He has co-founded several nonprofits, including Hope Street Group, StudentsFirst, and the Great New England Public School Alliance.

Susie Tompkins Buell

Susie Tompkins Buell

Board Member

Susie Tompkins Buell inspires through her activism, philanthropy and spirit. Susie seed-funded Emerge America in 2002, an organization now in 22 states dedicated to training women to run for public office. Her support for equal representation has helped to increase the number of women in the U.S. Senate and other public offices. Susie is a trailblazing entrepreneur, having co-founded the apparel company, Esprit, and pioneered a progressive corporate culture. Susie was one of the originators of socially conscious marketing that helped to raise awareness of important social and environmental issues among employees and consumers. Susie is a proud grandmother of eleven. She relishes time at home or out in nature with husband Mark Buell, friends, family, and two beloved Jack Russells.

Ambia Harper

Executive Director

Ambia Harper is IFA’s Executive Director. She has extensive experience in both the private and public interest sectors. Most recently, Ambia was a senior litigation associate at Grais & Ellsworth LLP, where her practice focused on complex commercial cases involving residential mortgage-backed securities. Before that, Ambia served as Senior Counsel for Common Good, a nonprofit nonpartisan legal reform coalition based in New York. Her work included research, advocacy, and outreach on issues ranging from health care to litigation and regulatory reform, as well as fundraising and grant-writing. Ambia began her career at Hogan Lovells LLP, where her practice focused on education. From 2010 to 2014, Ambia served on the Board of Advocates of Citizen Schools New York. Ambia graduated from Columbia University and received her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Brett Edkins

Communications Director

Brett Edkins manages IFA’s communications efforts and media relations. Previously, Brett was communications director for a U.S. congressional campaign in Delaware and a state legislative race in New Hampshire. Before joining these campaigns, Brett was a litigator at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Brett also clerked for the Honorable Alvin K. Hellerstein in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. From 2006 to 2008, Brett was the research assistant to former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Brett graduated magna cum laude from Yale College and received his law degree from Yale Law School.

Mary Mapes

Mary Mapes

Director of Research

Mary Mapes is a lifelong journalist, author, and television producer best known for her long career with CBS News. As a 60 Minutes producer working with Dan Rather, she won a Peabody Award for the investigation exposing Iraqi prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib during the Iraq War. Another key investigative story was the revelation of U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond’s long-secret biracial daughter. Mary has received multiple journalistic awards. She is the author of the 2005 book "Truth and Duty" about her years at CBS, which was turned into a 2015 motion picture starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

Jeff Pillets

Deputy Director of Research

Before joining IFA, Jeff Pillets spent over 20 years as an investigative reporter in New Jersey writing about corruption and pay-to-play politics. Heading a team of reporters at The Record, Jeff was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2008 for stories revealing how taxpayers lost $50 million in a doomed plan to build a luxury golf village on trash dumps in the Meadowlands. The stories led to several investigations, criminal indictments, and new state laws. Jeff also detailed how the Kushner family rose to political power by channeling political donations through a real estate empire of strip malls and garden apartments. Jeff's long-form work has won numerous honors, including citations from the Associated Press Managing Editors and Society of Environmental Journalists and the New York Deadline Club's Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting.

Madeline Hicks

Research and Communications Associate

Madeline Hicks comes to IFA from New Orleans, Louisiana, where she recently graduated from Tulane University. Madeline’s time in New Orleans was marked by public service. She worked as an EMT for Tulane Emergency Medical Services, a free ambulance service in Uptown New Orleans, and conducted investigative work in the Orleans Public Defenders Office. She served as the Undergraduate Student Body President from 2015 to 2016, and she was honored by the Newcomb College Insitute twice for her leadership.  Last year, Madeline took time off from school to work as a field organizer for a presidential campaign in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.