Emily Rusch
Executive Director

Emily Rusch is the Executive Director of CALPIRG. 

She has testified before the California state legislature on issues including election reform, money in politics, consumer protections, energy and transportation policy, and public health protections. She has been quoted in the Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, and other news outlets on CALPIRG’s priority campaigns.

She developed CALPIRG’s successful campaign to curb the overuse of antibiotics on livestock. She has overseen CALPIRG's policy work to reduce the high cost of health care and protect consumers in the marketplace. She has directed numerous statewide field campaigns working with the CALPIRG student chapters, citizen outreach staff, and field organizers. Those include a non-partisan effort to help register 40,000 students to vote before the 2012 election, a successful statewide push to turn out young people against Prop 23 in 2010 (the oil industry-funded ballot measure to roll back AB 32), and a campaign to build public support for high-speed rail in advance of the statewide ballot measure in 2008.   

She sits on the Board of Directors for Health Access California and the Consumer Federation of California. She is also an original member of the Future of California Elections, a collaboration between election officials, civil rights organizations and election reform advocates to examine and address the unique challenges facing the State of California’s election system.

Emily got her start with U.S.PIRG’s fellowship program for recent college graduates, working on successful campaigns with New Jersey PIRG to significantly increase the state’s renewable energy standard, establish energy efficiency standards for common products, and pass a law to adopt California’s low emission vehicle requirements in New Jersey. 

Emily grew up in Culver City, California and graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a B.A. in History and Spanish. She’s based in our Oakland office. 


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