The Election Trust Initiative is a nonpartisan grant-making organization working to strengthen the field of election administration, guided by the principle that America’s election systems must be secure, transparent, accurate, and convenient. We support the broad community of election administrators, researchers, policymakers, and organizations working to illuminate challenges, highlight successes, and bring evidence-based solutions to scale.

The Election Trust Initiative is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Our founding partners are The Klarman Family Foundation, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Pew, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, each of which has made an initial five-year $25 million commitment to support the initiative’s long-term, nonpartisan goals.

Our Team

Ashley Quarcoo Executive director

Ashley Quarcoo is executive director and oversees the Election Trust Initiative’s portfolio of investments to advance evidence-based, nonpartisan improvements to U.S. election systems. Previously, she directed program, policy, and coalition development at the Partnership for American Democracy and served as a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she remains a nonresident scholar examining threats to democracy and approaches to building social cohesion. Quarcoo has also held leadership positions with the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity Program, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. State Department.

Maria Bianchi Buck Senior program officer

Maria Bianchi Buck is a senior program officer who leads the Election Trust Initiative’s development of investment strategies and collaborations to improve election administration policy and practice. She previously served as vice president at Democracy Works, where she oversaw the Voting Information Project and Ballot Scout, a secure ballot-tracking tool for voters and election offices. From 2018 through 2021, Bianchi Buck was a member of the Election Infrastructure Subsector Coordinating Council, a group chartered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help election administrators and technology providers secure election systems.

Avery Davis-Roberts Senior program officer

Avery Davis-Roberts is a senior program officer who leads investment strategies to strengthen U.S. election administration. Avery joined the initiative from The Carter Center, where she managed projects to support democratic processes around the world, including the development of international standards for nonpartisan election observation and assessment. She has written many articles and book chapters on elections, election administration, and election assessment and has coordinated election observation missions to countries on four continents.

Ethan Bauer Program officer

Ethan Bauer is a program officer who designs investment strategies to improve U.S. election systems. Prior to joining the initiative, Ethan developed program strategies and projects at The Pew Charitable Trusts, including initiatives to modernize the civil legal system and improve response systems for individuals experiencing mental health or substance abuse emergencies. Earlier in his career, he worked on health policy research and analysis at Johnson & Johnson.

Olivia Mathews Grants and operations specialist

Olivia Mathews is a grants and operations specialist who oversees the development and execution of grants and contracts in support of improvements to U.S. election systems. She came to the Election Trust Initiative from The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she helped manage end-to-end grant processes for investments in educational access, environmental protections, and innovative health research. Olivia previously worked in client services at Sterling Foundation Management.