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HeadCount Launches Search for New Executive Director, Founder Andy Bernstein to Step Down

Bernstein will move into an advisory role by the end of the year.

HeadCount founder/executive director Andy Bernstein announced he will step down from his role in an open letter released Monday (May 1), kicking off a search for a new executive director to fill his seat beginning next year.

In the letter, Bernstein wrote that he intends to leave “to make room for new leadership, fresh vision and the type of innovation that only change can bring,” though he will remain with the organization — a national nonprofit that works on voter engagement — in an advisory role. He continued that “constant reinvention has sustained HeadCount for all these years” and that with the 2024 presidential election looming, “I believe it’s the right time for someone new to take HeadCount into the next era.”


Bernstein founded HeadCount with Marc Brownstein in 2004.

According to Bernstein’s letter, HeadCount has registered over 1.2 million voters over the past 20 years by engaging with music fans at concerts, festivals and more. The organization began working with politically minded artists like Dave Matthews, Phish and founding board member Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, and has since grown to work with more than 200 acts, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Harry Styles, Lizzo, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish. It has also integrated with Spotify and established a multiyear partnership with Global Citizen.

“What’s always meant more to me than any number, though, is the human connection driving it all,” Bernstein wrote. “Collaborating with our board of directors and its brilliant chairs Peter Shapiro and Jessy Tolkan; seeing our volunteers form a community and hone their skills; working with a staff that feels more like a family — that’s what fueled me over the years. We built this thing together, one idea at a time.”

HeadCount has posted the executive director job description online. It calls for “a natural leader with a keen cultural radar, a track record of success in the nonprofit or private sector and a strong connection to the audiences we engage.” The job will entail leading a team of 22 staff members with an organizational budget between $4 million and $5 million. Check out the full job description here.