Martha is a virtual and real life community builder who worked from 2002-2013 within and outside of Democrats Abroad to mobilize isolated Americans around the world to speak out and end the injustice of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). which prevented Americans from sponsoring their non-US partners as legal immigrants. In 2002 Martha founded the Love Exiles Foundation to advocate for immigration rights for LGBT Americans, which led her to Democrats Abroad, where joined the voter registration team in 2003.
Martha was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her parents were teachers and her father led the teachers union in the local high school district. She attended the University of California at Davis and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in European History and Social Theory from Hampshire College.
Martha spent a summer abroad during high school, studying Spanish at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. In college she spent a year abroad as an intern at an NGO in the Netherlands, returning after completing her degree. Her NGO work led to being an internet pioneer, using technology to connect labor, international development and human rights organizations globally.
Martha had a ten-year career in Silicon Valley as a technical communications manager, which she left in 2000 to move to the Netherlands to be with her Australian partner Lin, who she married in 2001. Lin and Martha were the first legally married Australian-American lesbian couple in the world, and spent over a decade as marriage equality activists and advocating for immigration reform.
As a workplace equality advocate, Martha is committed to everyone having a voice and a place at the table. Martha serves as global chair of an award-winning LGBT employee network, where she has built support at all levels of the organization to create an inclusive workplace.
Martha votes in California and lives in Zaanstad, the Netherlands.
DA Leadership Roles
Martha served as Chair (2011-15) and Vice Chair (2015-2017) of Democrats Abroad Netherlands, Chair of the DA LGBT Immigration Task Force, and contributed to the Platform Committee in 2008.
In 2012 she was an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Martha is currently serving her second term (2020-2024) as one of DA's eight DNC Representatives and is Co-Chair of DA's LGBTQ+ Caucus.