Dave Chandrasekaran

Dave Chandrasekaran

Dave Chandrasekaran is a policy and advocacy consultant based in Washington, DC with 20 years of experience in movement.  His area of expertise includes health care access, gender-based violence, voting rights, racial justice, and other issues that impact disadvantaged communities.

Dave currently manages a mission driven consulting project, assisting a variety of non-profit clients with campaign strategy, performance improvement, training and technical assistance, research and writing, strategic planning, community outreach, coalition building, and legislative advocacy.  He also leads extensive civic engagement activities, including managing the 2018 campaign to lower the voting age in DC to 16 and co-founding the Voter Empowerment Project, which provides pro bono technical assistance to small, under-resourced frontline voting rights groups.  He also serves as a Senior Curation Partner for a small local arts incubator, organizing programming that elevates artists and performers of color.

Previously, Dave spent nearly five years as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) where he supported state and national implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  Previously, Dave was the Director of the Office of Health Care Innovation at the DC Department of Health Care Finance, guiding initial planning activities for DC’s Health Insurance Exchange.  He also served in the Office of the City Administrator in the Executive Office of the DC Mayor and in the Director’s Office at the DC Department of Health.  Prior to that, he spent two years in the Policy Department at the DC Primary Care Association.  Dave started his career as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at Health Care For All in Boston, MA.

In addition to his professional roles, Dave has been actively involved in community activism at the federal and local levels.  Dave served a year as a Fellow at Human Rights First working on policy to address human trafficking.  He is also a member of the Standing Advisory Committee for the DC Health Benefits Exchange, through which he currently receives health coverage as an individual market consumer.  Dave served on the board of Mary’s Center, a $40 million Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving over 40,000 patients in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and Collective Action for Safe Spaces, a small high-impact advocacy organization mobilizing the community against street harassment.  Dave is also a Certified Application Counselor in Virginia, providing one-on-one assistance to low-income families seeking health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Dave also co-founded the DC Justice for Survivors Campaign, which enacted groundbreaking legislation to overhaul law enforcement’s handling of sexual assault cases and established new rights for survivors.  Many years ago, Dave was one of the first men to be trained as a hotline volunteer at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center as well as Respond Inc, a domestic violence shelter in Somerville, MA.

Dave received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Brown University.

Geographic experience

North America



Experience as a coach (formal/informal)

10 years

Experience as a facilitator

20 years

UFacilitator stage


Healthcare, Skill development and employability, Gender equity, self-help groups, women-led businesses, Child protection, Race Equity, Policy making, Entrepreneurship


  • Methodologies creatively used: Appreciative inquiry, Systems thinking or systems practice, 6 thinking hats, World Cafe, Art of Hosting, Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design, Liberating Structures, Scenario planning, SWOT analysis, RACI, Open Space Technology aka Open Space aka unconference, Logical Framework project planning 
  • Health policy, gender-based policy, policy advocacy, voting rights
  • Performance improvement, capacity building, strategic planning, communications for nonprofits
  • Contract negotiation, risk-sharing negotiation, business development 
  • Building new businesses, structures, and processes that involve multiple stakeholders
  • Advising or assisting organizations with 1) developing an issue advocacy campaign to achieve their reform objective, 2) facilitating strategic planning sessions to assist disorganization in mapping out their short and longer-term future, 1) developing and executing a volunteer recruitment strategy, 4) creating a plan to identify and recruit individuals from populations at the centre of their mission to include in storytelling and other activities, 5) crafting policy solutions to identified problems

Areas of development and learning

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