Vice President, Political Relations
Cortland is the Vice President of Political Relations.
As the Vice President of Political Relations, Cortland is on the front lines of forging new, burgeoning relationships and enhancing existing relationships with lawmakers, donors, and advocates who are dedicated to working across the aisle to advance evidence-based policy solutions to address America’s greatest challenges.
Cortland brings a wealth of experience working with and establishing relationships with policymakers and advocacy experts. Most recently, Cortland served as the Federal Affairs Manager for the Justice Action Network (JAN). In this role, Cortland spearheaded JAN’s presence on Capitol Hill to implement JAN’s federal legislative agendas on bipartisan criminal justice reform. Cortland led federal coalition building with dozens of partners, the administration, and congressional champions on both sides of the aisle to advance bipartisan reforms.
As a part of the legislative campaign to pass the EQUAL Act, legislation to finally eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, Cortland coordinated strategic, large-scale advocacy engagement, led senior-level political and policy meetings, and served on high-profile policy and legislative panels. During his tenure at JAN, Cortland also worked to ensure the full implementation of the groundbreaking First Step Act, helped to pass federal “ban-the-box” legislation, and worked to expand justice system relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A native of upstate New York, Cortland came to Washington to study political science. Prior to joining JAN, Cortland worked in government affairs for veterans’ benefits and in congressional campaign fundraising.