[Image courtesy of eac.gov]
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is almost back at full strength with the announcement this morning that Johnson County, KS’ Brian Newby has been appointed the agency’s executive director and Washington DC’s Cliff Tatum has been named general counsel. Here’s the press release from the EAC:
The United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced the hiring of a new Executive Director and General Counsel for the agency today.
Brian D. Newby is the agency’s new Executive Director. Mr. Newby served as the Election Commissioner in Johnson County, Kansas for the last eleven years. Newby serves on the Election Center Legislative Committee, is a member of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, and Election Officials and is a former board member of the National Association of County Records, Election Officials, and Clerks. A Kansas City, Missouri native, Newby holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from the same school.
In addition, the EAC announced the hiring of Cliff Tatum of Washington, DC as its new General Counsel today.
Mr. Tatum spent the last four years at the DC Board of Elections serving as Executive Director. Tatum previously served as the Interim Director of the Georgia State Elections Division and as an Assistant Director of Legal Affairs for the Georgia Secretary of State. Previously, Tatum was an active trial attorney practicing commercial and general litigation in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served as Deputy Solicitor General for the City of East Point in the State of Georgia. Tatum is an alumnus of Thomas M. Cooley Law School and has a degree in Administration of Justice from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“Brian and Cliff are leaders and innovators in the election community. We are thrilled to add their passion, creativity and management experience to the EAC as we push the agency forward to fulfill its mission under HAVA,” EAC Chair Christy McCormick said.
EAC Vice-Chair Tom Hicks added, “Having Brian and Cliff as our leadership team is a tremendous positive for the EAC. These are two of the most well respected election officials in the country. This is an important step as we continue to establish the EAC as a national resource on elections.”
“Brian and Cliff represent the very best of the election community,” added EAC Commissioner Matt Masterson. “As the EAC works to serve election officials adding these two professionals who understand what the community needs is critical to the continued success of the agency.”
“It’s difficult to leave a job I’ve loved for eleven years, but to say I’m thrilled to be going to the EAC is an understatement,” Newby said. “I’m anxious to join Chair McCormick, Vice-Chair Hicks, and Commissioner Masterson while leading the EAC staff to fulfill the Commissioners’ vision and the continuing charter of the Help America Vote Act.”
“I can’t wait to be part of the energy that is building at the EAC and be part of high-powered, responsive resource to the election administration community in this important presidential election cycle and in the years ahead,” Newby added.
Tatum concurred, “I’m very excited to join the EAC team, and I look forward to working with the staff and the commissioners to continue the EAC’s great work,” he said.
This is tremendous news for the agency; Newby and Tatum are well-known to their colleagues across the nation and are well-positioned to continue the excellent work already begun by the three EAC Commissioners. The appointments come just in time for the EAC to kick into even higher gear for the 2016 election – a crucial period not just for election officials across the nation but also the EAC itself. [Now all we need is that fourth Commissioner … ]
Congratulations to Cliff and Brian (who I suspect has lots of reasons to celebrate today) – and I look forward to seeing what’s next! Stay tuned …