About Us

The American Public Trust advances governance methods that help communities find common ground, bridge divides, and create shared paths forward on even the most contentious issues.

Working at the intersections of deliberative, participatory, and digital democracy, we are a non-partisan non-profit.

Our mission is to upgrade our democratic systems so they can address the issues that matter most, heal our social fabric, and build a future that brings out the best in us.

We are an active member of the Democracy R&D network with international experts in democracy innovation.


Rahmin Sarabi, Co-Founder & Director, is a collaborative entrepreneur, leader, and organizer with a 15+ year background in startups and not-for-profit organizations that serve collective wellbeing. He is a practitioner of human-centered design, product management, creative facilitation, and systems thinking, with experience catalyzing collaborative efforts across teams, organizations, and ecosystems. His diverse experience includes work to grow and sustain local food systems, bring out people’s fullest contributions through organizational development & strategy, and enable impact through transformative change networks. 

His work in democracy innovation includes the Michigan Citizens’ Panel on COVID-19 and the first-of-its-kind Fairgrounds Advisory Panel in Petaluma, CA. In the startup ecosystem, he was a key part of the early team at Good Eggs and also helped scale Opendoor.

He is an active consultant with a practice in strategic design and network innovation with client work that includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Novo Foundation, and Democracy R&D Network.

He is a board member of the Co-Intelligence Institute.

Lauren Higgins, Co-Founder, is an ecosystem builder that collaborates with communities to meet the complex challenges of our time in ways that deepen democracy, resilience, and rebuild our fraying social fabric. Her work regularly draws upon her formal education in Organizational Development & Learning, mediation and systems change, and her deep experience in network building and strategy, public imagination, participatory process design, collaborative governance, and peer learning. As senior staff at the Impact Hub Network, she developed democratic governance convenings to help 100 communities align their collective impact.

Currently, at the New Pluralists, she focuses on field-building programs to advance the culture and institutions of a politically vibrant, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy.

Team & Advisors

Adam Cronkright 
of by for*
Alex Renirie
Healthy Democracy
Rahmin Sarabi
Peter MacLeod
Claudia Chwalisz
Democracy Next
Sarah Yaffe
David Schecter
Democracy R&D
Lauren Higgins
New Pluralists
Linn Davis
Healthy Democracy
Lawrence Grodeska
Miriam Levin
Engage Britain
Marjan Ehsassi
Berggruen Institute
Anthony Zacharzewski
Democratic Society
Oren Slozberg
© 2022 The American Public Trust
The American Public Trust does not support or oppose candidates for public office or political parties.
We are a fiscally sponsored program of Commonweal, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.