The United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced the hiring of a new executive director and general counsel for the agency earlier this week.
Brian D. Newby is the agency’s new executive director. Newby served as the Election Commissioner in Johnson County, Kan., for the last 11 years.
“It’s difficult to leave a job I’ve loved for 11 years, but to say I’m thrilled to be going to the EAC is an understatement,” Newby said.
In his role as Johnson County Election Commissioner, Newby oversaw more than 60 local, state and federal elections. He was first appointed to the position by former Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, a Republican, in 2005. He was reappointed in 2010 by then Secretary of State Chris Biggs, making Newby the only election commissioner in state history to be appointed by both Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State. He was most recently reappointed in 2014 by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
“Brian has been a tremendous leader for Johnson County and the state of Kansas,” Kobach said. “I’m grateful for his many years of service to Kansas and wish him the very best in his new endeavor.”
Newby serves on the Election Center Legislative Committee, is a member of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, and Election Officials, The California Association of Voting Officials, The National Association of Voting Officials, and is a former board member of the National Association of County Records, Election Officials, and Clerks. 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.
“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.”
“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.
The EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA was passed by the U.S. Congress to make sweeping reforms to the nation’s voting process, address improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election, and to provide federal funding to states for new voting equipment. HAVA mandates that the EAC test and certify voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conduct research, and administer a national clearinghouse on elections that includes shared practices, information for voters and other resources to improve elections. More information is available at