The Unite America Institute


The Unite America Institute is a non-profit organization that encourages broad-based non-partisan civic engagement and political participation and engages in research and scholarly analysis on important issues of public concern including the legal, regulatory, political, social and other systemic barriers to voting, running for and serving in elected office by independent voters and candidates.




6000 E Evans Ave
Suite 1-121
Denver, CO 80222


The Unite America Institute has undertaken a year-long project to explore how independent leaders can impact a political system that has become increasingly divided and dysfunctional: Can independents help to bridge the growing gap between Republicans and Democrats? Or will they be suffocated by a system that has historically been dominated by two major parties?

The result of that project is a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind white paper that shares our findings for how independents can have a positive impact on our politics. As the paper concludes, the transformative impact that independents can have on governance is not only possible, it is already underway.

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"Beyond self-identified independents, there is an emerging majority coalition of voters who transcend party affiliation and political ideology and share a common desire for independent leadership that is not beholden to party bosses and special
interests." CO Polling Report


What Unites Colorado Voters?

People Over Party

Putting People Over Party

A report on what unites Colorado voters amid growing polarization & gridlock

2018 Colorado Legislative Session Recap

The 2018 legislative session in Colorado saw progress made on issues like transportation, education and state pensions. Yet, political theater and partisan dysfunction still prevented major progress on the long-term challenges the state faces


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Cassidy Lichtman


Cassidy graduated from Stanford with a BA in Political Science and an MA in History. She is returning to the world of politics and research after spending five years competing with the United States National Volleyball Team.





With more than 30 years in the communications arena, Crystal is a recognized leader in public relations, media, and campaign strategy.

A winner of national awards, Crystal was a broadcast journalist for more than two decades. Crystal followed her successful television news career with leadership posts in State and Federal government



Nick Troaino, Executive Director  

Nick Troiano has been involved in the political reform movement for over a decade, including running for U.S. Congress in 2014 as an independent candidate. Nick previously ran a bipartisan fiscal reform advocacy organization called The Can Kicks Back. In 2016, he was named to the "Forbes 30 Under 30" for Law & Policy.


charles wheelan, chairman

Charles is the author of Centrist Manifesto, which helped launch Unite America in 2013. He is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Dartmouth College. Charles formerly ran for Congress as a Democratic candidate in Illinois in 2009. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling books Naked Economics, Naked Statistics and Naked Money


Linda killian, Vice Chairwoman

Linda Killian is a Washington author, journalist, political analyst and activist and the founder and executive director of Independent Americans United. She is a regular featured contributor to the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" and a nationally-recognized expert on independent voters. She also writes for The Daily BeastThe Atlantic and Politico. She has been a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and appears frequently as a political analyst on national television.


Jim jonas, TREASURER

Jim provides strategic messaging, reputation, crisis and corporate communication and management services for leading independent political candidates and causes, Fortune 500 companies and high-profile public affairs organizations.


Gregg Sherrill, board member

Mr. Gregg M. Sherrill has been Executive Chairman of Tenneco Inc. since May 2017. Mr. Sherrill was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tenneco since January 2007 until 2017. Mr. Sherrill joined Tenneco Inc from Johnson Controls Inc., where he served since 1998, most was President of Power Solutions. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Sherrill served as the Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, South Africa and South America for Johnson Controls’ Automotive Systems Group.