Lopez’s work with the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program has placed him on the front lines of research, advocacy, and litigation in voting rights and election issues in the South and around the country.
A graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School, Lopez previously worked as an immigrant rights lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, and with the Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona. In these roles, he partnered with attorneys, organizers, and advocates to advance litigation and outreach agendas.
A seasoned advocate, Lopez comes to Democracy North Carolina as the organization prepares to lead the charge in a political moment when voting rights are consistently under siege.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, we are thrilled that Tomas Lopez will lead Democracy North Carolina as we head into a new era for the organization and our state,” said Democracy North Carolina Board Chair Kim McGuire. “Tomas brings energy, strategic thinking, and a strong personal commitment that we need to move our work forward in this demanding time. He has a deep affinity for our issues, forged in part through his experience as a first-generation college student and son of Puerto Rican parents. We know Tomas will lead our staff and activists to win the critical battles ahead.”
Lopez was selected unanimously by Democracy North Carolina’s Board of Directors after an extensive nationwide search. He will replace departing Executive Director Bob Hall, who founded the organization more than 25 years ago and led it to become one of the most well-respected statewide voting rights and good government organizations in the nation. Under Hall’s leadership, Democracy NC initiated and achieved Sunday early voting, same-day registration, teenage pre-registration, and public financing of judicial elections, among other significant work. Pioneering research led by Hall also uncovered stark examples of the corrupting influence of money on politics. In recent years, Hall and Democracy NC have focused on fighting the assault on voting rights in North Carolina – which has become one of the most egregious examples of racial and partisan gerrymandering.
Democracy North Carolina’s Search Committee Chair Julie Mooney expressed excitement about the organization’s choice of Lopez. “After a rigorous, nationwide search, we’re excited to have a new executive director who can continue Democracy North Carolina’s legacy of increasing access to voting and promoting democracy for all in our state,” said Mooney.
The search was led by Ted Ford Webb of Ford Webb Associates, a national executive search firm.
Jen Jones, Dir. of Communications, Democracy NC
firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-260-5906
Tomas Lopez, Incoming Exec. Dir., Democracy NC
email@example.com or 917-620-5484
Kim McGuire, Board Chair, Democracy NC
firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-712-6396