Before launching Lost Debate, Ravi founded Arena, where he led a team that helped elect over 75 candidates and train over 1500 political operatives. He’s the co-founder and chair of Second Chance Studios, a media company that exclusively employs the formerly incarcerated, and serves as the co-host of Majority 54, a political podcast about talking to friends and family with different political beliefs. Before Arena, he was the founder and CEO of RePublic Schools, a network of charter schools in the South. He also held a number of roles on Obama’s first campaign and first term, including as assistant to David Axelrod and Susan Rice — where he was “a slightly more substantive version of Gary from Veep.” A native of Staten Island, he graduated from Yale Law School, where, unbeknownst to the faculty, he was a pioneer in the concept of remote schooling, and Binghamton University, where he received an excellent and reasonably priced education.
Born in the deeply southern post-industrial town of Anniston, Alabama, Cory is best known for his colorful, satirical videos about American history and politics on TikTok, where he has garnered an audience of more than half a million followers. After graduating from high school, Cory spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended film school and earned a two-year technical degree in filmmaking and screenwriting. Cory later earned his BA in Communication from Southern New Hampshire University and has worked in talk radio and political organizing, serving as a project manager for several statewide campaigns during the 2018 midterms and the 2020 General Election. Cory doesn’t lean conservative or liberal and offers up a unique and compelling perspective on the inner workings of American politics, society and culture.
Born in Brazil with a short and muggy stint in Florida, Micky found his home in New York City at 18. After making it big in the modeling industry, he decided to give up all the traveling and partying when Donald Trump was elected president. In his search to join the fight against Trump, he joined the political community at Arena where he met his new boss at Lost Debate Ravi Gupta — Staten Island's Shah Rukh Khan. Micky took part in many historic progressive wins in New York State, working with Alessandra Biaggi, Mathylde Frontus and Marjorie Velazquez. He brings big energy and positive vibes at all times just like the rest of his family, though amazingly he’s the more chilled one out of the bunch.
Before joining Lost Debate, Lucy spent 6 years in the trenches of social video at NowThis News. She has experience both in front of and behind the camera, covering climate stories that matter most to the Millennial and Gen-Z generations. Prior to that, Lucy was a local news anchor in the Mississippi Delta and the star of a short lived but much beloved reality TV show, Breaking Greenville. Lucy grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Tulane University with a BA in History and Political Science. Lucy loves all things video and spends her free time editing family detective movies for a very small, very loyal audience — her relatives.
Sam was born and raised in West Virginia. No, not western Virginia, yes West Virginia is a real state. If you say APPA•LAY•SHA he will throw an APPLE•AT•CHA. He spent his early 20’s in the Army as a Mortarman for the 10th Mountain Division in upstate New York. After leaving the Army, he used his G.I. Bill to attend Marshall University, where he graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. He spent 3 years working at one of the largest Democratic Super-PACs in the country, Priorities USA. Sam’s retirement plan is to leave everything behind and become a mall Santa Claus, once his beard fully turns white.
Joe Engelbrekt is an audio wizard hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota. He moved to New York for an internship in the summer of 2012 and only planned on living in the city for three months, but loved it so much he’s been here ever since. Now a full-fledged audio podcast and engineer, you could say podcasting struck a chord with him. Some of his strengths include, but are not limited to: talking feedback, making sound decisions, staying level headed and having a dynamic personality. When he’s not running recording sessions, you can find him partaking in one of the “Big Cs” as he calls it — concerts, comedy and croissants. His parents almost named him Mic.
Now a reporter for Lost Debate, Wes previously worked for 3 years at the New York Daily News where he covered murder, mayhem and the NYPD. He started his career in journalism as a photojournalist, winning collegiate awards for his work sneaking into skyscraper construction sites, scaling cranes and photographing New York from unseen vertical perspectives. At Lost Debate he's constantly pulling out his hair trying to figure out how we can all get along. He thinks we can do better as Americans, or maybe do less. Perhaps that'll help us all get along.
A native of suburban New York, Nick has been working in all types of media since high school, where his interest in video production was sparked after making fun and short informational videos with friends. After peaking in high school, he went on to study Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University and made the financially sound decision to get his MA in News & Documentary at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Nick has produced many of his own short documentaries and previously worked as a local news reporter for three years. Alongside his passion for telling stories, Nick enjoys collecting vintage cameras, watching films in the criterion collection, pretending to read Ernest Hemingway and listening to WNYC (the radio dial is superglued down and will not be changed).
Eva spent her formative years in Knoxville, Tennessee sneaking into Dollywood and plotting her escape to the “Big City” (that is — any other city). Studying Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, Eva learned how to make videos from her friends at NUTV and worked as a video correspondent in the Boston Globe newsroom. After being traumatized into near illiteracy by her career in finance journalism, Eva left The Wall Street Journal in pursuit of telling stories that matter. Her best stock advice: make sure to let the herbs simmer for at least 6 hours.
Despite being born in Nashville, TN, Elyuz does not consider himself a Southern boy. And yet, the lack of sweet tea in New York concerns him greatly. He can only be in denial for so long. Currently he’s taking online courses at Middle Tennessee State University as a junior, where he majors in middle school English education in the hopes of becoming an inevitably underpaid educator. He caught wind of Lost Debate from Ravi and didn’t think twice before jumping at the opportunity to work with his former principal, whose disappointing stares are emotionally burned in his memory. He’s determined not to be called to Ravi’s office as much as he was in middle school.