Staff Bios

Gail Leftwich Kitch

Gail Leftwich Kitch serves as The Voter Participation Center’s Chief Operating Officer. She brings years of experience, both as a practicing lawyer and as a successful manager and board member of non-profit organizations active in civic engagement. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of By the People, an initiative founded by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions that uses public television to encourage and support informed non-contentious citizen dialogue around policy issues. Mrs. Kitch was President of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the national membership organization of the state affiliates of the National Endowment for the Humanities, following service as Director of Cambridge Forum, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a former chair of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and was a Radcliffe College Public Policy Fellow in the late 90s. Among other activities, Gail currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Conference on Citizenship. She has a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Angela Ruslander

Angela Ruslander is the Program Director at The Voter Participation Center, where she oversees VPC’s voter registration, vote-by-mail, and Get out the Vote programs.  She brings with her nearly 15 years of experience in issue advocacy, grassroots organization and campaign management. Her interest in campaigns began in her hometown of Buffalo, NY, and enabled her to work on races in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, and Arkansas.  She has successfully helped managed campaigns for U.S. Senate and House candidates, and has experience working on Capitol Hill.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York and is currently working on her Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Pete Backof

Pete Backof is VPC’s Director of Analytics and is responsible for experiments, modeling, and data. He uses the latest academic research and data-analysis techniques to identify unregistered members of the RAE and the best ways to engage them. Previously Pete worked in data analysis and research with a variety of non-profits and political campaigns. He graduated from Dickinson College and has an MA in social science from the University of Chicago.

Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams is Associate Program Director at The Voter Participation Center, where he helps lead the organization’s voter registration, vote-by-mail, Get out the Vote, and advocacy programs. He brings a host of campaign experience, including work on a presidential campaign in New Hampshire, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Dakota. In 2010, he was active in a Senate race in Illinois and state house races in North Carolina. Prior to VPC, Taylor studied political data and targeting at the New Organizing Institute and interned at the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Scott Brawley

Scott Brawley is the Foundations Manager at The Voter Participation Center and is responsible for VPC’s major donor and foundation fundraising efforts. A seasoned professional with broad experience in project and program development, Scott previously has raised funds for a number of non-profit organizations that focus on health and human services, public health and healthcare access, substance-abuse prevention and treatment, homelessness services, disaster prevention and response, and access to government services and programs. He holds a Master of Social Work with a focus on research and policy from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Wake Forest University.