Executive Director and co-founder
David Becker is the Executive Director and Co-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Center, or ERIC, which to date has helped a bipartisan group of nearly two dozen states correct almost 4 million out-of-date voter records, and led to these states registering almost a million new eligible voters.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.
director of Operations and co-founder
Amy Cohen is the Director of Operations and Co-Founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research.
Previously, she was an officer with the elections program at the Pew Charitable Trusts where she managed the Voting Information Project (VIP). She oversaw the technical assistance provided to states to standardize and publish their election data and worked with Google and other technology partners to make information available online. Under her leadership, VIP provided data for 63 elections on 24 individual election days in 2016 alone resulting in millions of look-ups of VIP data, more elections than ever before, and an additional 50 elections on 20 individual election days in 2015.
Additionally, Amy strengthened and built new relationships with technology and corporate partners including Facebook, MTV, Starbucks, and Snapchat, among others, to ensure that users of diverse websites and services could access their election information through VIP. She also advanced relationships with advocacy organizations, media organizations, and political consulting companies on both sides of the aisle. Amy oversaw improvements to VIP’s suite of open-source tools, including adding six languages to the customizable, embeddable look-up tool, and making both that tool and the free SMS tool more user-friendly in states with dropboxes and all-mail voting.
In addition to her management of VIP, Amy served as the operations liaison for the elections team, managing a multi-million dollar budget, event planning, fundraising reporting, strategic planning, and procurement. She oversaw quantitative research work nationally and in eight states, as well as a groundbreaking panel survey on election administration and focus groups among eligible but unregistered citizens. She also conducted exploratory research on voting technology certification and other subjects.
Prior to joining Pew, Amy was a Washington, DC-based analyst for two global strategic communications firms, conducting surveys and developing strategy for clients ranging from presidential and US Senate campaigns, to third-party groups, non-profit organizations, and foundations. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis and her master of public policy from Georgetown University.