Our team brings a together a diverse set of talents and business experience. We have developed one of the largest values and behavioral databases in America, successfully launched multiple IPOs, run national political campaigns, developed a top-rated iPad game, led multiple international NGO coalition campaigns toward successful bilateral and UN treaties, and produced award-winning movies.
We all come to Public Democracy from careers that align what is right with what works in politics, entertainment, and business — careers that have sought to balance that to which we aspire with the reality of what is in pursuit of real-world solutions that support the common good.
As an entrepreneur, faith leader, and political advisor, Eric Sapp has spent his career supporting communities all over the world in their efforts to promote the common good.
Eric co-founded Common Good Strategies, later the Eleison Group, which led outreach to faith and rural communities for top Democratic candidates in 2006 and 2008. He has since pioneered the use of new technologies in successful campaigns on issues ranging from international peacekeeping and human rights to grassroots efforts supporting veterans and protecting victims of terrorism. Through these efforts, his team developed one of the largest voter response databases and most sophisticated digital advertising platforms in the country, which in 2018 became a Public Benefit Corporation called Public Democracy.
Eric graduated from Davidson College and earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Public Policy from Duke University. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and their son and daughter.
Chairman of the board
Rob Lalka serves on the board of Public Democracy, where he leads partnership development and advises on technology strategies to empower communities in pursuit of the common good.
Rob is Professor of the Practice at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and the Executive Director of the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Prior to Tulane, he served as Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Propeller, a New Orleans-based startup accelerator and community development fund. He served in that same role at Village Capital, a global startup accelerator and seed fund. He is the co-founder of Medora Ventures, a consulting firm that supports investments with returns for shareholders, the local community, society overall, and generations to come.
Rob moved to New Orleans from Washington, DC, where he was a senior advisor at the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and a Presidential Management Fellow in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships. He also served on the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff, where he coauthored the president’s cross-sector partnerships strategy. Rob graduated from Yale University, cum laude, and earned a Master of Public Policy from Duke University. He, his wife, and their son reside in New Orleans' Broadmoor neighborhood, where he serves as a Commissioner for the Broadmoor Improvement Association.