Erin Vilardi is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VRL as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she developed the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis. She has worked with a diverse range of clients including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi serves on the Advisory Boards of Girl Meets World, the New American Leaders Project, Democracy.com and is the New York Delegate for Vision2020, a 50-state initiative to increase women in leadership by the year 2020. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor. She has appeared on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership.
Blog Post List
November 9, 2017
The election results from November 7, 2017, are really exciting - and encouraging for women. In early results, 45 women trained to run for state and local office by VoteRunLead were on the ballot from Kansas to Minnesota to New York! And they’re making history! Thirty-one women who trained with VoteRunLead won their races. Sixteen are women of color, two are openly transgender, and together they represent 11 states. 24 of the 38 first-time candidates won their races! That’s a 63 perecent win rate for newcomers, who usually only win 10 percent of the time. One will compete in a run-off...
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November 7, 2017
Originally published on Medium, Monday, November 5 / Election Day 2017 is today, Tuesday, November 6 Tomorrow, voters in small towns across America, in 59 of the 100 largest cities, and in thirty-three states will head to the polls and elect new leaders who will make choices that affect our everyday lives. And voters will likely see a lot of unfamiliar names — many of them belonging to women — on the ballot this year. Imagine what would happen if every woman on the ballot tomorrow got elected. Every. Single. One. At VoteRunLead , the nonpartisan nonprofit I founded that trains women across...
November 9, 2015
Because it’s 2015, I can’t see these pictures and not act. Because it’s 2015, you can’t sit by anymore either. Because it’s 2015, we can’t let ourselves say “but I like being the #2.” The powerful images put out by Elle UK were all too familiar. They featured some of the most recognizable global female leaders, from Angelina Jolie to Angela Merkel, as the sole women in the room. Men removed, it showed how desperately we need more women, and, not just at the top levels of leadership. I travel the country encouraging and training women to consider local office or get appointed to a board or...
November 3, 2014
By Rhonda Briggins-Ridleyand This election cycle presents a unique political situation in Georgia; we have five African American women running for statewide positions. This historic political time has also brought nationwide attention to our state’s elections, highlighting a potential shift not only in gender politics, but in the racial make-up of Georgia’s highest offices. On the national level, only one African American woman has ever served in the Senate, and only sixteen in the House...ever. I’ve worked in southern politics for more than 25 years and now as co-founder of VoteRunLead ,...
October 30, 2014
Over the past decade, we’ve seen a rise in strong female political leaders on television. President Laura Roslin in the 2004 remake of Battlestar Galactica comes to mind. Not to mention Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec, as well as a slew of others who are bringing the political savvy and talent of women politicians into the public eye. With every renewed season, we debunk the myth that women will watch men lead, but men won’t watch women in the leading role. Thanks to writers like Shonda Rhimes making waves, institutions like the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media, and watchdogs like...
October 22, 2014
Did you know that even though there are 25 million Latinas living in the United States and 8,236 open seats in state and national political office, only 109 are held by Latinas? Are YOU the one that we’re waiting for? Join us this Thursday for our newest webinar “I was the one we were waiting for” to hear the story of two women’s journeys from community members to politicians. Then, learn about resources and trainings so you could start down the same path. In the webinar, we will be speaking with State Senator Anitere Flores and State Representative Jocasta Zamarippa about being asked to run...
September 15, 2014
We’ve come a long way, ladies. Now it’s time to go farther, faster. With Cosmopolitan.com’s recent announcement that it would increase its political coverage heading into election season and that it would launch #Cosmovotes , an initiative to get more young women to vote and endorse candidates who support women’s rights, we let out a resounding hell yeah. Not only do young women want to read about politics and vote for our future leaders, they want to be our future leaders. And why shouldn’t they be? Today, women occupying positions of power aren’t seen as extraordinary one-offs, but the norm...
September 15, 2014
I am excited to announce we launched VoteRunLead last week, the first online platform for women to learn to run and lead. We are challenging the nation to invite 50,000 women to run by election day on November 4th. If each of us invites three women to run we can exceed our goal. You'll be hearing more from me in the coming weeks and months. So excited to be part of this talented and vibrant community! VRL.jpg September 9, 2014 VoteRunLead issues challenge to nation to invite 50,000 women to run for political office by election day and half-a-million by 2016 Partnering with Target and Omidyar...