Who We Are

The Winning Words Project was created as a resource to bring Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and even moderates together, to learn, discuss, formulate, and share the moral language that is needed in our political discourse, in telling our story — how we envision tackling the issues facing working families in America today and into the future.

We are a group of people who have a variety of expertise in politics, history, medicine, marketing, and business; who have extensively studied the work of professional linguist and distinguished professor, Dr. George Lakoff; esteemed professor of psychology, Jonathan Haidt; Neuroscientist and Emory Professor, Dr. Drew Westen; as well as "The Wizards of Madison Avenue" — the real "Mad Men" (Bill Bernbach, George Lois, Ed McCabe, Mary Wells, Marion Harper, Julian Koenig, Steve Frankfurt, etc.) who gave us many of the memorable ads that have shaped our world.

Meet the people behind the project ...


1 reaction Share

Jill W Klausen

Jill W. Klausen

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Jill spent 10 of the last 13 years managing a Political Consulting firm. In that position she worked with many members of local, state and federal office, including, among others, then-City Council Member, now current United States Congresswoman Janice Hahn; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; former Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald; former Congressman Patrick Kennedy; Senator John Kerry; Senator Barbara Boxer; and former Ambassador to the United Nations 54th Assembly for President Clinton and current Commissioner of the Advisory Board for the United States Public Diplomacy Department under President Obama, the Honorable Sim Farar. In the three years since, she worked as the Field Representative for James Lau in his campaign for the California State Assembly, then moved on to volunteer for Janice Hahn's successful campaign for Congress. She was a Delegate to the California Democratic Party from 2010 to 2011. Words and their usage are a passion of Jill's, and she currently owns and operates a Copy Editing consulting firm, with clients such as Business Insider, Crooks & Liars, and syndicated columnist Tina Dupuy. Jill is a graduate of the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Business Administration. Follow Jill on Twitter @jillwklausen

Jill's posts at The Winning Words Project

1 reaction Share

G. Thomas (Tom) Ruebel, M.D.

Tom Ruebel


Tom is a retired physician with a passion for progressive language. After receiving his M.D. and residency training at the University Of Washington School Of Medicine, he practiced diagnostic radiology for 36 years in the Puget Sound region and in Salem, Oregon, with emphases on breast cancer diagnosis and diagnostic ultrasound. He remains involved in part-time practice. In addition to general interests in language and personality styles (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) in the workplace and in politics, his new passion in retirement is the promotion of ethical communication in American political discourse, particularly in reform of health care finance. Follow Tom on Twitter @gtruebel

1 reaction Share

Nils Davis



Nils is a marketing and communications expert who is currently the Director of Product Management at Accept Corporation. Nils received his degree in Mathematics from Swarthmore College, which is known for having a rigorous intellectual character that is shaped by a commitment to social responsibility; a philosophy Nils has carried with him throughout his post-graduate career. He is currently writing a book on Democratic messaging. Follow Nils on Twitter @cog_pol

1 reaction Share

Robert Lyon



Robert is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Communication at New York University Stern School of Business. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Robert owned a marketing communications agency in Chicago and worked as a freelance writer and training consultant for corporate and institutional clients in New York City and Chicago. He helped develop the writing curriculum and teaching materials for Stern undergraduate composition and introductory business courses: "Commerce and Culture" and "Business and Its Publics." He focuses on teaching business students how to use writing to advance their analytical skills and communicate their ideas more effectively. As a graduate student, he taught creative writing at the NYU College of Arts and Sciences. Robert received his B.A. in English, Journalism, and German from Macalester College and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Follow Robert on Twitter @TheRobLyon

1 reaction Share

Joseph Lambert


Partner/ Contributing writer and editor

Joseph Lambert received an M.S. in experimental psychology from St. Joseph’s University.  He has worked with various political and non-profit groups including, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), New Jersey Working Families Alliance (NJWFA), US-UNCUT, and Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), focusing on issues ranging from extreme climate and weather change, affordable healthcare for every family, poverty and inequality, social justice, worker rights, economic equality and tax fairness, corporate tax-dodging, and responsibly ending the wars and occupations abroad.   He is the creator and author of the blog Stopframingus.com.  Follow him on Twitter @stopframingus.

1 reaction Share

Elizabeth Wilke


Partner / Contributing writer and editor

Liz has been a political activist since before she could vote. Being particularly concerned with the civil liberties and rights of women, she's been a domestic violence awareness volunteer for over 12 years, and has participated in many "Take Back the Night" marches and events. She has a true Progressives spirit which can be seen in her work as an animal rescue volunteer who acts as a foster house for a local animal rescue group (from whom she also adopted her German Shepherd). Liz graduated from Aurora University magna cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Criminology. She is an author, freelance writer, copy editor, and political consultant who most recently managed the U.S. Congressional campaign for progressive Democrat Wanda Rohl (IL-16) during the 2012 election cycle. She's also a wife and mother of 3, which she takes great pride in, pointing out that it isn't only conservatives who have a monopoly on family values. Follow Liz on Twitter @JustLikeLiz

Liz's posts at The Winning Words Project:

1 reaction Share


intrstngtimes avatar

Site Developer, Tanya (AKA Interesting Times)

Tanya has worked in web design and Information Technology for more than ten years. In addition to being a visual artist, she is also a skilled copy editor and proofreader. Her contributions to this site have been invaluable. She sees climate change (or more fittingly, climate chaos) as the most serious threat to humanity's future, and joined the Winning Words Project to help raise awareness of this issue and push back against disinformation. Follow Tanya on Twitter @IntrstngTimes

1 reaction Share