The Oregon Bus Project's national search for a new executive director has made a local selection: Tara Sulzen, a Portland State University urban studies administrator.
Sulzen succeeds founder Jefferson Smith and Caitlin Baggott at the wheel of the Bus. Baggott resigned in June.
Sulzen began working in politics with a fellowship in the Bus Project's PolitiCorps training program, before moving to environmental advocacy group 1000 Friends of Oregon. She says she's leaving PSU—where she works with former Metro Councilor Robert Liberty—because she wants to expand PolitiCorps.
"It gave me all the organizing skills that led me to this position," Sulzen says. "This is too great an opportunity to pass up."
The selection gives the voter-registration nonprofit a leader going into 2014 election, which is already crowded with candidates and ballot measures. The Bus Project, which is non-partisan but almost always works for Democratic candidates and causes, is a powerful force in getting out the state's vote.