Staff

Dennis Prager

President

Dennis Prager is a best-selling author and popular radio talk show host. One of America's respected and oft-quoted thinkers, he appears regularly on Fox News and CNN. A highly sought-after speaker, he has lectured all over the world including Europe, Asia, Israel and Australia. His NY Times best-selling books include Think a Second Time, Happiness is a Serious Problem, Still the Best Hope: Why American Values Must Triumph and his most recent, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.

Mr. Prager also writes a nationally syndicated weekly column that is published in newspapers across the country and on the Internet. His writings have also appeared in major national and international publications including, Commentary, National Review, The Weekly Standard and The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Prager was a Fellow at Columbia University's School of International Affairs, where he did graduate work at the Middle East and Russian Institutes. He has taught Russian and Jewish history at Brooklyn College, and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords. He holds an honorary doctorate of law from Pepperdine University.

In 2011, Mr. Prager co-founded Prager University with Allen Estrin. Through the sophisticated use of digital media, Prager University articulates the Judeo-Christian values on which America is founded: free speech, free enterprise, a moral foreign policy, and the rational case for God's existence. The project serves as an effective counter to the Leftist indoctrination imposed by schools and universities. It does this via short, five-minute videos with clear, concise, fact-based presentations, featuring credible, and often well-known thinkers. These include Arthur Brooks, Walter Williams, George Will, Christina Hoff Sommers, Bret Stephens and many more.

In 2016 PragerU videos garnered over 225 million views.  60% of the PragerU audience is under 34 years old.    

Allen Estrin

Executive Director

Co-Founder of Prager University, Allen Estrin is also the Executive Producer of The Dennis Prager Show. He has had a varied career in film, television and academia. His writing credits include multiple episodes of Emmy-Award winning TV Shows such as "The Practice," "Boston Public" and "Touched by an Angel." In addition, he has written film history (The Hollywood Professionals, Volume 6: Capra, Cukor and Brown, AS Barnes), educational and corporate videos, and directed the highly-praised documentary, "Israel in a Time of Terror," 2002. His first novel, Heaven's Witness (2004) was named one of the best mysteries of the year by The Weekly Standard. He also teaches screenwriting at the American Film Institute.

Marissa Streit

Chief Executive Officer

A Los Angeles native, Marissa moved to Israel at a young age, where she completed her primary education and served in military intelligence unit 8200 of the Israeli Defense Force. She returned to Los Angeles to earn her bachelor's degree in Business and Economics from UCLA, and her master’s degree in Education and Non-Profit Management from American Jewish University. Over the next decade, she gained valuable experience both as an educator, a school administrator, and the director of a philanthropic institute.

An innovative leader in the conservative movement, Marissa joined PragerU in 2011. Under her dynamic leadership, PragerU has grown quickly into one of the most respected, go-to resources for conservative ideas. Her experience in business, education, social media, and the non-profit sector has enabled PragerU to more than double its audience each year, making it the fastest growing conservative organization in the world.

Craig Strazzeri

Chief Marketing Officer

Craig earned both his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and his master’s degree in Public Policy from California State University Northridge. With over seven years of nonprofit management experience, he has honed his expertise in digital marketing, social media and online fundraising. He joined PragerU in 2015 to lead the organization’s branding, marketing and overall growth efforts. Leading a talented digital marketing team, Craig has more than doubled the size of PragerU’s online audience in only a few short years.  Working closely with PragerU’s CEO, he has made PragerU the go-to source for conservative ideas.

Mike Lavery

Vice President of Marketing

Mike Lavery comes to PragerU after serving more than 15 years in both print and digital media. He is an experienced leader in the rapidly expanding digital sphere where his areas of expertise include marketing, publicity, SEO, social media and content creation. During his time as Director of Content at an Inc.500 company, Mike's direction and creative input helped grow online brands such as Survival Life, Bill of Rights, Absolute Rights and Gun Carrier into industry leaders. Excelling in fact-based reporting of important issues and topics related to political science, economics and constitutional rights, Mike is dedicated to giving voice to conservative ideals through online education and social media channels, something he is relishing doing at PragerU!

Allison Weisenberger

Chief Development Officer

Allison Weisenberger serves as the PragerU Development Officer. In her role Allison oversees annual support and future giving to support the mission of PragerU.

Allison previously served as a major giving officer for The Heritage Foundation. Before that she served on the finance teams of Presidential, gubernatorial and local campaigns. Allison currently serves as a volunteer on the board of the Long Beach Leadership Prayer Breakfast. She has been recognized as Long Beach Emerging Leader of 2015 and Long Beach Unsung Hero in recognition of her years of service as a volunteer fundraiser for several local charities. Allison graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She has completed additional coursework in political economy and British-American relations at the University of Oxford. Currently, Allison working on her M.A. in management at Avila University.

Laurie Dorr

Director of Donor Relations

Laurie Dorr started as a call screener for the Dennis Prager Show which led to volunteering with Prager University. Her many talents are utilized in various ways to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes at Prager University. If you've been to one of Dennis Prager's appearances in Los Angeles, you've probably seen her at the Information table, chatting with guests and making sure they find what they need. Laurie has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Cerritos College. She is married and has two grown children (both of whom were home-schooled) and a baby grandson. When not involved in all things Prager University she can be found indulging her love of learning, looking through the lens of a camera, or singing.

David Prager

Director of Development

Prior to entering the workforce, David Prager studied International Affairs and History at The George Washington University and Yeshiva University.

Concurrent with his position as Director of Development for Prager University, he is also VP of Business Development for GrowItSmart, a lead generation and recruiting firm he co-founded in 2009 in New York after working on Wall Street with Morgan Stanley.

During college, David co-Founded Friday Night Lights, a Jewish outreach program at the George Washington University. During and after his college years, he has been involved - in both a professional and volunteer capacity - in fundraising for both established and newer non-profit organizations.

Derek Rowden

Regional Development Director, Texas

As the Regional Development Director in Texas, Derek is helping to grow the base of support in Texas which he believes will lead the charge for advancing the PragerU mission.

Prior to joining PragerU, Derek was a senior account executive for Townhall Media and has also served on church staffs in a pastoral capacity with a special focus on the Millennial generation. He has a statistics degree from The University of Texas at Dallas as well as a theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Derek and his wife Natasha live in Watauga, Texas where they are raising 3 boys. Natasha homeschools the boys, and the family is actively involved in youth sports and in their church.

Jason Stanley

Regional Development Director, East Coast

Jason previously served as Assistant Regional Manager for Major Gift Planning at The Heritage Foundation for the past three years. He has experience in various aspects of fundraising, having worked as a major gifts officer for both Boston College and AIPAC, and as the Development Director for a museum in the Seattle area. Prior to this, he was the Political Director for a Massachusetts congressional race which achieved national attention.

Jason lives in Philadelphia and is involved in local philanthropy through his service on the board of the Historic Preservation Fund of the Racquet Club of Philadelphia and the junior committee of the Radnor Hunt Races, which benefits the Brandywine Conservancy. Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies from Harvard University, and he will be graduating in a few months from The Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Public Administration.

Lucy Werner

Director of Clubs Membership

As Director of Club Membership for PragerU, Lucy manages donor relations and coordinates the Benefactors Club and the Micah Club. A native of Los Angeles, Lucy spent her college years in New York City, earning double bachelor's degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She then earned her Master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida with a focus on English for Speakers of Other Languages ('ESOL'). As the mother of three, Lucy's passion for PragerU stems from her desire to raise children with an understanding of America's unique place in human history.

Ian Henderson

Development Coordinator

As Development Coordinator, Ian is responsible for maintaining relations with PragerU’s donors as well as fundraising. A California native, Ian graduated cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. As a college student, Ian was the Outreach Co-Chair and a Foreign Policy Contributor for the conservative news publication, The Millennial Review, of which he is still involved. Additionally, he was an intern for Students for Marco Rubio during the 2016 Republican primaries. Ian also volunteered in Malaysia both in 2012 and 2013 for the non-profit Coalition Duchenne to help assist young children affected by the debilitating muscle disease known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

In addition to his campaign and charitable work, Ian also ran his own tutoring business in his sophomore year of college. He is proficient in the Japanese language and worked in event planning for the UCLA Japanese Student Association. He maintains an avid passion for foreign policy and international development.

Devon Mirsky

PragerForce National Director

Devon Mirsky was born and raised in Los Angeles and earned her Master's Degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge. Before joining PragerU, Devon got her start in politics working for Meg Whitman's 2010 gubernatorial campaign and Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. She then moved into the world of grassroots activism on college campuses, working first for the Leadership Institute in Utah and Idaho, and then joining Turning Point USA as California Field Director and Pacific West Regional Director.

Andrew Powell

Director of Video Design

With 25 years of experience in the entertainment business, Andrew has worked on over 600 TV episodes for NBC, ABC, CBS, The History Channel, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel. He has also worked on feature films for Universal Pictures, Tri-Star, and Castle Rock. His first foray into writing/directing garnered a "best short film" award which was followed by a well-received TV pilot. Over the last decade, Andrew has honed his editing and animation skills on a wide variety of projects including music videos, independent films, and advertising projects, and for the last four years, he has been proud to bring his talent and experience to Prager University.

Michael Smith

Video Design

Michael started his career in media in 1989 as a production assistant on a low budget feature film that no one has ever heard of. He shadowed the director to learn everything he could about filmmaking and became a 35mm assistant editor on that same feature. Since then he’s been an editor on countless projects including animated children’s programming, sports, documentaries, prime-time television, and feature films. In 2004 he was honored with an Emmy nomination for his work editing The Apprentice with Donald Trump.

Michael has produced several television projects such as documentaries for Discovery Channels and projects for Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was also the Visual Effects Supervisor on the cult film Bubba Ho-Tep.

These days Michael enjoys being elbows deep in After Effects, animating videos for PragerU, and helping to promote politically conservative and Judeo-Christian values.

Chris Powell

Director of Technology

After graduating from Soundmasters Recording Institute, Chris has worked in post production for the television and film industries for 20 years. Specializing in all aspects of post audio production, he has worked on over 500 episodes of television, and over a dozen major motion pictures.

Through working in many different studios, Chris has become adept at trouble shooting technical issues, both hardware and software related. Since working on Prager U videos from it's inception, he now also handles the uploading and maintenance of content to the web.

Aryeh Leifert

Communications

Aryeh learned the fine art of proofreading from his late father, Robert Leifert, a true connoisseur of typos and grammatical mistakes. A graduate of Brandeis University, Aryeh lives in Jerusalem, Israel where he works as a licensed tour guide -- www.walkingisrael.com. He is also the creator of Virtual Israel Touring, a unique way for students of all ages to visit Biblical sites around Israel without leaving their classroom or home -- www.walkingisrael.com/virtual.html

Rachel Ochoa

Communications Coordinator

Rachel was born and raised in Southern California (with the exception of a brief stay in New Hampshire) and earned a Bachelor's in English from CSUF (summa cum laude).  As one who was homeschooled herself, she has a passion for serving the homeschool community.  She has taught homeschoolers in a wide range of subjects including English, Math and the arts as well as SAT preparation.

Outside of PragerU she enjoys singing, reading, and doing all things creative.

Will Witt

Social Media Influencer

Will Witt, a Colorado native, attended the University of Colorado Boulder for two years before he dropped out, a decision he made based on the relentless indoctrination the universities in America constantly push. Before working for PragerU, he worked with other nonprofits to help spread the values of freedom and conservatism across America. Will Witt now creates online content for PragerU and helps inspire young people worldwide to fight for the values they believe in.

Dan Banas

Social Media Manager

As Social Media Manager at PragerU, Dan is responsible for all of PragerU’s social media operations, including on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Daily duties of the Social Media Manager include creating content, monitoring analytics, maximizing reach and engagement on each platform, and finding new social media opportunities for PragerU. The Social Media Manager works closely with the Director of Communications and CMO to ensure that PragerU’s social media operations are advancing PragerU’s larger digital content and marketing goals.

Tyler Goldstein

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Tyler is originally from Arizona. He graduated from Northern Arizona University with a BS in Finance and quickly moved out to California to start a career in marketing. Before joining the team at PragerU, Tyler gained experience working on the marketing operations of many different types of organizations, including small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Tyler now works on digital marketing for PragerU, helping to spread conservative ideas through our concise, fact-based, and reasonable videos.

Alexander Jimenez

Visual Designer

Alex Jimenez joined PragerU in 2017 as the Head Visual Designer.

He grew up in Southern California, attending both UCLA and FIDM. Prior to joining PragerU he worked as an independent designer, servicing clients in Orange County and Los Angeles. He also worked in advertising for major movie studios, including campaigns for Disney Pixar and DreamWorks. According to an anonymous source, Finding Dory's commercial success was due entirely to his expert file preparation. Such reports are yet to be verified.

A proud member of Theta Chi Fraternity and advocate of individual liberty, Alex also volunteers as California's Digital Marketing Coordinator for Article V Convention of States and co-produces a weekly webcast called True American. His many activities are made possible by the world’s biggest coffee addiction.

Alex’s chief objectives at PragerU are to procure a functioning coffee maker, encourage tie-wearing, and create beautiful, engaging graphics that promote ‘cool conservatism’ – in no particular order.

Justin Kay

Visual Designer

Justin’s creative career has taken him from coast to coast as well as to exotic locations across the globe. Prior to working at PragerU, he designed album covers for indie artists, brewed coffee for morning commuters, created graphics for trade shows, recorded music for himself, and acted in commercials for brands you probably use.

Justin discovered PragerU shortly after the 2016 election and in 2018 he joined the team as a full-time visual designer. Working with the Head Visual Designer and CMO, Justin helps to create compelling conservative content for PragerU’s social media channels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Mary Filene

Director of Administration

As Director of Administration, Mary ensures that all of PragerU's internal operations are running smoothly and in concert. A native of Southern California, she holds a bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Middle East Studies from CSULB and has worked for nonprofits large and small over the past ten years. Outside of the office, Mary enjoys yoga, spending time with her husband, and all things true crime.

Tobey Kaplan

Bookkeeper

Tobey has had experience bookkeeping in both for profit and not for profit capacities. She has been a personal assistant, an event planner and worked for a synagogue, a micro film company, a catering company and an insurance brokerage firm. Tobey will be using her experiences to help us grow successfully and is excited to be part of the Prager U team.

Justice Spearman

Administrative Coordinator

Justice Spearman was born and raised in Southern California and attended Biola University. As a broadcast journalism major, she began interning with PragerU this summer and has since come on full time as an Administrative Assistant. Justice is passionate about the entertainment industry and was signed to a modeling agency last year. Her desire is to continue to grow in her experience and exposure on and off camera here at PragerU.

Karina Lopez

Production Assistant

Karina first became involved with PragerU as a member of their student ambassador program, PragerFORCE, in 2016. Through her involvement with the organization, she landed a summer internship with PragerU in 2017 and was hired as a part-time Production Assistant at the end of that summer.

In addition to her work with PragerU, Karina is a Political Science major at Santa Monica College. She encourages all students to get involved with this incredible organization by texting PragerFORCE to 64600!