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About Derek

Derek Cressman Family PhotoFor the past 19 years, Derek Cressman has been a national leader in the fight for fair elections, expanded democracy, and more transparent government. Until June of 2013, Derek Cressman served as Vice President of State Operations for Common Cause, a non-partisan government watchdog organization. He previously held the positions of Western States Regional Director and Assistant Director for Election Reform. He is a registered Democrat but is committed to administering the Secretary of State’s office in a non-partisan manner.

Cressman has worked professionally as a good government advocate since 1995 when he directed the Democracy Program for the Public Interest Research Groups. He has worked to pass and implement California’s Independent Redistricting Commission, enact California’s on-line voter registration system, and filed a successful complaint at the Fair Political Practices Commission that led to an investigation of $11 million that was secretly spent on our elections in 2012.  Two organizations linked to the Koch Brothers network received a record fine as a result of Derek's work.

He has testified before the U.S. Senate, California Assembly and Senate, served as an expert in federal litigation, and authored numerous reports as well as the book, The Recall’s Broken Promise—How Big Money Still Runs California Politics.

In 2001, he served as an international observer for elections in northern Somalia. In 2008, he observed elections in Miami, Florida with the Election Protection network.

Cressman began his career as a community organizer working with students at UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley around environmental issues. He graduated with honors from Williams College with a degree in political science in 1990.

He lives in Sacramento with his wife and two children.

Download a hi-res photo of Derek here