The Andrew Goodman Foundation Hires A New Executive Director To Lead The Expansion Of Its Vote Everywhere Campus Program Ahead Of The 2020 Elections
Alexandria Harris comes to AGF with decades of experience as a lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader
Today, The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to increase student voter participation and protect their voting rights, announced the hiring of a new Executive Director. Alexandria Harris is a Harvard-educated lawyer and social entrepreneur with decades of global experience in scaling non-profit organizations.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation trains college students to engage with their peers and share the importance of voting on their campuses. Harris’ hiring comes at a critical moment for AGF as it plans to double its signature Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere (VE) program, expanding its reach to 2.5 million college and university students ahead of the 2020 elections. AGF plans to grow its network of campuses from 60 to 140 institutions with a specific focus on Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges.
Harris’ hiring is part of a restructuring of the organization’s leadership. She will report to outgoing Executive Director Sylvia Golbin Goodman who will become the President of the organization. Former President David Goodman will step into a new role as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“Over the past 13 years, David and I have transformed The Andrew Goodman Foundation from a small, private family foundation to a public foundation committed to keeping Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner’s legacy alive,” said Sylvia Golbin Goodman, President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “As part of the organization’s strategic growth, we recognize that this is the moment to pass the torch to the next generation by hiring a new Executive Director who can harness our team’s incredible energy and passion. We are excited to welcome Alexandria Harris to The Andrew Goodman Foundation and look forward to her leadership as we embark on our next chapter of growth and advocacy.”
As Executive Director, Harris will be responsible for activating the organization’s goals and vision through the strategic and sustainable growth of the organization, including its budget and staffing. Her previous experience in corporate law, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit growth, and even her own student advocacy will help build on the organization’s national reputation for protecting student voter rights through both programming and legal action.
“When I was a freshman at Spelman University, I experienced voter suppression first-hand when I was turned away from the polls during the 2000 Presidential Election,” said Alexandria Harris, Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation. “It was my first time voting, and I will never forget how crushed I felt that my vote would not be counted. I turned my anger and disappointment into organizing my campus and community. I successfully lobbied the Georgia State Legislature to enact a law that allowed a voter to cast a provisional ballot if they were entitled to vote. All around this country, there are millions of young people who want to participate in the democratic process. They are ready, willing, and able to fight to ensure that their voices are heard. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work to ensure that no student feels as defeated as I did when I cast my first ballot 20 years ago.”
Prior to joining AGF, Harris founded several organizations and practiced law at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP. She earned her BA in Philosophy from Spelman College and her JD from Harvard Law School.
About The Andrew Goodman Foundation
The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training the next generation of leaders, engaging young voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. The Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program partners with America’s colleges and universities to provide resources, visibility, and mentoring to a national network of student leaders who involve their peers in participatory democracy through long-term voter engagement, public policy, and social justice initiatives. The organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a 20-year old Freedom Summer volunteer, and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered by the KKK in 1964 while registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi.