Sunday, October 1, 2023

VPAP Announces New Executive Director

Chris Piper. (Virginia Public Access Project)

RICHMOND — The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) has named Chris Piper, a former Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, as its next executive director.

Piper will succeed VPAP’s founder David M. Poole, who is retiring on June 30 after 26 years.

“When the Board of Directors undertook the task of finding a new executive director for VPAP, we knew we were facing a daunting task to replace the quarter of a century of excellence and trust that David Poole established,” said Bill Leighty, chair of the VPAP Board of Directors.

Vice Chair Abby Farris Rogers said that Piper’s experience in campaign finance and elections vaulted him ahead of more than 150 applicants. “The board is confident that we have found the right leader to advance VPAP’s nonpartisan mission,” she said.

Piper will bring 20 years of experience in campaign finance, elections and government ethics. He has been the head of two state agencies — the Virginia Department of Elections and the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council — that provide the bulk of data that VPAP collects and analyzes.

He will report to VPAP’s bipartisan Board of Directors and lead its staff as the organization pursues its mission of elevating public understanding of Virginia politics by organizing and presenting information in ways that are easily accessible and free of partisan bias.

Piper said he looked forward to meeting with donors and other stakeholders to move VPAP forward. “I will do all I can to sustain VPAP’s fiercely nonpartisan brand,” he said. “Together, we can build upon this indispensable institution that is trusted across the political spectrum.”

David Poole praised the VPAP Board of Directors for a well-run succession plan.

“I’ve worked with Chris for two decades,” Poole said. “I am confident in his ability and his passion for the work. He’s a natural fit for a leader to build on what we’ve started.”

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