Executive Director and founder
David Becker is the Executive Director and Founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, leading this cutting-edge non-profit’s work to improve election administration through research, data, and technology. David created CEIR to be the first effort of its kind, with a proven track record of working with election officials and experts from around the country and across the aisle. Through its efforts, CEIR seeks to reverse the historical decline in voter turnout, and give election officials the tools they need to ensure that all eligible voters can vote conveniently in a system with maximum integrity.
Prior to founding CEIR, David was Director of the elections program at The Pew Charitable Trusts, driving reforms in election administration, including using technology to provide voters with information they need to cast a ballot; assessing election performance through better data; and upgrading voter registration systems. As the lead for Pew’s analysis and advocacy on elections issues, David spearheaded development of the innovative Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, which to date has helped a bipartisan group of nearly two dozen states correct almost 4 million out-of-date voter records, and led to these states registering almost a million new eligible voters. David led campaigns in dozens of states, red and blue and everything in between, and directed Pew’s partnerships with state government agencies, and with private sector partners like Google, IBM, Facebook, and others.
Before joining Pew, David served for seven years as a senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he led numerous investigations into violations of federal voting laws regarding redistricting, minority voting rights, voter intimidation, and vote dilution. During his time at the Justice Department, David worked in dozens of states enforcing federal election laws and observing elections in thousands of precincts, and served as lead trial counsel in many cases, including Georgia v. Ashcroft.
David’s appearances in the media include The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and NPR, and he has been published several times, including by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the University of California, Berkeley, and The Hill.
David received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
Manager of Operations
Kesha Fitzhugh is Manager of Operations at the Center for Election Innovation & Research.
Prior to joining CEIR, Kesha was Senior Administrative Assistant for the Pew Charitable Trusts. Initially recruited to support the efforts of Pew’s Election Initiatives, she quickly navigated the organization, extending her support to a myriad of portfolios including State Strategy and the Dental Campaign. In recognition of her superior core competencies and stellar achievement, she was presented the Achievement of Consistent Excellence Award. Additionally, she received promotion accolades for her outstanding performance, placing her in the top 4% of the organization.
Earlier in her career, Kesha held an esteemed position working with the Brunswick Group’s Managing Partner. She was a key player in coordinating the volunteer and pre-registration efforts at the 2009 HuffPost Inaugural Ball, as well as the White House Correspondents Garden Brunch held later that year.
Kesha has volunteered as a mentor and spoken word facilitator for The House in Washington, DC, where she supported socially and economically disadvantaged youths. Furthermore, as an alum of the Public Allies Service Corps, she is excited to continue supporting the efforts of the non-profit workforce and to be joining a great organization.
Kesha's famous words of inspiration: “Be encouraged and guided by your humility, rather than your impulses!”
Jacob Kipp is Project Manager at the Center for Election Innovation & Research, facilitating strategic efforts to improve election administration through data-centric applications of research and technology.
Jacob is a recent graduate of William & Mary Law School, where he focused on election law and related fields. In addition to his studies, he led the William & Mary Election Law Society and received the Thomas Jefferson Prize for his student note on the regulation of hybrid political action committees.
Outside of school, Jacob has engaged in elections and election administration in various capacities. Before joining CEIR he was the Northern Virginia Regional Team Leader for Revive My Vote, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those with prior felony convictions restore their right to vote. As head of RMV’s northern Virginia operations, he oversaw a group of dedicated volunteers and worked to build strategic partnerships in the community.
Jacob has also participated in state and national political campaigns. In 2015, he managed a hard-fought campaign challenging the incumbent delegate in Virginia’s 96th District. The following year, he joined the National Republican Senatorial Committee as a law clerk in the general counsel’s office. While at the NRSC he delved into numerous states’ recount procedures as well as other matters pertaining to Election Day and post-election operations. Prior to his campaign work, he spent time at the Virginia Department of Elections updating Virginia’s recount guidelines and developing training materials for local election administrators.
Before heading to law school and becoming involved with elections, Jacob completed his undergraduate degree and worked as a sales manager at Macy’s. He earned his bachelor’s degree in cognitive science from Indiana University, where he graduated with distinction.