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About Project Vote Smart

Meet Our Staff


Jessica Arrigoni
Jessica Arrigoni
National Board Chair

Responsible for Vote Smart's National Board. Jessica has a master's in political science from Truman State University and formerly served as the Director of Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test (now the Political Courage Test).

Fun Fact: "I lived in Vote Smart's only cabin without running water for two years."
Richard Kimball
Richard Kimball

Responsible for fundraising and the integrity of Board-approved policies and standards. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Richard served on the staffs of Congressman Morris K. Udall, Senator Walter F. Mondale, and Senator Daniel P. Moynihan. He is also a former Arizona State Senator and Corporation Commissioner.

Fun Fact: Has a world class collection of Daffy Ducks
Adelaide Kimball
Adelaide Kimball
Senior Advisor, Founding Board Member

Responsible for Major Giver Development and Media. Adelaide is a graduate of the University of Texas and holds master's degrees in American history and library science from the University of Arizona. She is a former archivist for the Arizona Historical Society and has previously directed Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test (now the Political Courage Test).

Fun Fact: Former Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year award winner
Walker McKusick
Walker McKusick
National Director

Responsible for day-to-day oversight of all Vote Smart programs, staff, operations, facilities and administration. Walker is originally from Charlottesville, VA. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013 with degrees in History and Economics. After graduation, he taught History and Politics in England for a year. He joined Vote Smart staff in 2015.

Fun Fact: "I've scored cricket for the Royal Household at Windsor, for a spot of tea."
Kirsten Wallace
Kirsten Wallace
Internship Coordinator

Responsible for coordinating our Internship Program, including outreach, recruitment, and intern placement. Kirsten graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with two degrees in International Studies and Religion. She is an alumni of Americorps, NCCC, FEMA Corps and The Episcopal Urban Intern Program in Los Angeles, CA. She joined Vote Smart in spring, 2016.

Fun Fact: I met Mark Wahlberg in a Target in West Hollywood, he was buying a Halloween costume.

Development and Communications

Cassie  Reed
Cassie  Reed
Development and Communications Director

Responsible for handling outgoing/online communications and donations. Cassie is originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a degree in communications from Penn State University in December 2015. She worked as a Vote Smart intern during summer 2015, and joined the team as staff in April 2016.

Fun Fact: I worked at a dog kennel for 5 years when I was in high school.
Alejandro Ortiz
Alejandro Ortiz
Development and Communications Associate

Responsible for handling outgoing/ online communications and donations. Alejandro was born and raised in Sioux City, IA and received his B.B.A. in Business Management and Business Analytics & Information Systems from the University of Iowa in December of 2016. He joined the Vote Smart Team in Des Moines in February of 2017.

Fun Fact: "Every time I sneeze I sneeze at least 2-3 times consecutively—I don't think that I have ever sneezed just once."
Jacob Petterson
Jacob Petterson
Development and Communications Associate

Information Technology

Mike Shultz
Mike Shultz
Information Technology Director

Responsible for web development, user support, and system administration. Mike has been with Project Vote Smart since 2007.

Fun Fact: "I once pet a sting ray."
Travis Flatt
Travis Flatt

Responsible for web and mobile development. Travis lives in and works remotely from San Antonio, TX.
His first programming experience was in BASIC on a Commodore 64.

Fun Fact: I started performing live music at age 18.

Elections and Candidates Research

Peter McLaughlin
Peter McLaughlin
Director of Elections and Candidates Research

Responsible for leading the Research programs that monitor elections, track candidate biographical information, and research state/federal candidates' issue positions. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a degree in Government and International Studies. He joined Vote Smart initially as an intern in 2015 and returned as a staff member in 2016.

Fun Fact: "I've been to three of the four corners of the customary world map."
Jesus Ortiz
Jesus Ortiz
Research Associate

Responsible for the PCT program, including making issue position determinations for political candidates. Jesus grew up in Baldwin Park, CA. He graduated from the University of California - Davis with a degree in Political Science in 2012 and recently finished one year of service with Americorps NCCC-FEMA Corps. He joined Vote Smart staff in 2015.

Fun Fact: "I lived in an abandoned Sam's Club for about a month."
Takuya Amagai
Takuya Amagai
Research Associate

Responsible for monitoring elections at the federal and state level. Takuya graduated from Carleton College in Spring, 2016 before joining the Vote Smart team.

Fun Fact: I believed in Santa Claus until age 18.
Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer
Research Associate

Researching biographical data as well as issue positions of candidates running for office or currently in office. Jesse graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Secondary Education - Social Studies and joined Vote Smart in spring 2016.

Fun Fact: Cassie and I drove across the country to get to Montana..well worth it.

Officials Research

Britton Fraser
Britton Fraser
Director of Officials Research

Responsible for leading the Research programs that collect and maintain the organization's public statements, legislative, and interest group information on all U.S. elected officials. Britton graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin with a major in Political Science. Originally from Connecticut, he joined the Vote Smart team in 2015.

Fun Fact: I'm a surprisingly decent cook.
Paige Lee
Paige Lee
Legislative Research Associate

The Legislative Research program tracks, analyzes, and summarizes major legislation in Congress and all 50 states. Paige graduated from Knox College in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science. She recently completed a year serving with Teach For America on Rosebud Indian Reservation before joining Vote Smart

Fun Fact: I have lived in 9 states and 2 countries.
Annie Petersen
Annie Petersen
Legislative Research Associate

Responsible for tracking, analyzing, and summarizing major legislation in Congress and all 50 states. Annie graduated from the University of Iowa in 2013 with a B.A. in Journalism and International Studies, with an emphasis in human rights. She worked as a freelance copyeditor and as an assistant manager in a clothing store before joining Vote Smart in March 2017.

Fun Fact: I chased Tom Brokaw down on the street for an autograph when I was 13.
Rachael Anderson
Rachael Anderson
Research Associate

Responsible for updating ratings and endorsements from special interest groups. Rachael is originally from Minnesota and graduated from Dickinson College in 2014 with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. She joined Vote Smart staff in 2015 after completing an internship with the organization.

Fun Fact: "I have picnicked on top of a glacier."
Kayla Day
Kayla Day
Research Associate

Responsible for categorizing and researching politician's public statements. Kayla is originally from Minnesota and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with degrees in public relations and politics. She joined Vote Smart in February 2017.

Fun Fact: "I'm allergic to kiwi."
James Wypych
James Wypych
Research Associate

Responsible for categorizing and researching politician's public statements. James was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He graduated from Drake University in 2016 in International Relations and joined Vote Smart in March 2017.

Fun Fact: I was an Academic-All American at Drake University for soccer!
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