Kristin Layng Szakos
1132 Otter Street, Charlottesville, VA 22901 • 434-984-4022 • k.szakos@embarqmail.com

I have worked for Charlottesville-area nonprofit organizations for 15 years. I co-coordinated the local volunteer Obama campaign in the Virginia Primary, and served as regional Volunteer Coordinator for the campaign in the General Election. I was the Virginia state coordinator for the 2009 National Day of Service sponsored by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. I am a professional writer, editor and grantwriter with 28 years of experience. An author of two recent books on community organizing, I edited a journal about community organizing in the Appalachian region for 12 years.

Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, IL, and Washington, DC – Master of Science in Journalism, 1983

Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA – Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, 1981

Continuing education and workshops in organizing, editing, layout and design, print management, French, Spanish, Hungarian, economics, special education, foster care, banjo, piano, voice and violin. Statewide Virginia Obama Campaign staff trainings.


Co-author of WE MAKE CHANGE: Community Organizers Talk About What They Do - and Why, published April 2007 by Vanderbilt University Press

Co-editor and contributor of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD: Organizing in Rural Communities, published December 2007 by the American Institute for Social Justice

Editor and Publisher, The Appalachian Reader, a quarterly journal of community organizing in the 10-state Appalachian region, 1988-2000

March 2007-November 2008: Volunteer with the Obama campaign, full-time after April 2008.
Co-coordinated ballot petition drive in the 5th Congressional District and sale of 4,000+ tickets to October ’07 Obama fundraiser, and pulled together a group of 2,000 active volunteers by the February Virginia Primary. Was elected to represent the 5th District as a delegate to the National Democratic Convention. In the General Election campaign, continued to build the local organization, supported and trained with campaign staff, continued weekly e-mail communications to a volunteer corps of more than 7,000, oversaw office (Hub) activities and volunteers, coordinated constituent work for the local campaign. Served as liaison to local officials and party leaders. Served as Virginia Coordinator for the 2009 National Day of Service and Virginia Volunteer Liason for Organizating for America.

2003-present: Freelance editor and proofreader for French-English and other translations: books, articles, technical documents, websites, government manuals, contracts, etc.

Freelance writer and editor, including writing various book chapters and articles on community organizing, writing and editing content for websites, book manuscript and thesis editing for local authors, manuscript preparation for government publications, grantwriting for various nonprofits, including the Charlottesville City Schools, the Virginia Consort and the Virginia Organizing Project

August 2005-February 2008: Grants Specialist with Children, Youth & Family Services, Charlottesville, VA, researching, writing and reporting on grant proposals to support a yearly $1 million budget for social services programs for children

Summer 2006 and 2007:
Presenter on community organizing and media at the Summer Institute at Concordia College, Montréal, Canada

2002-2003: Synagogue Administrator, Congregation Beth Israel, Charlottesville, VA.  Supervised office and custodial staff, monitored budget, coordinated building use, staffed congregational committees, reported to the Rabbi and board

1998-2001: Grantwriter, Newsletter Editor, Camp Holiday Trails, Charlottesville, VA

1995-1998: Typist and Publications Coordinator, Crossroads Waldorf School, Crozet, VA

1988-2000: Editor and Publisher, The Appalachian Reader, a quarterly journal of community
organizing in the 10-state Appalachian region

1987-1992: Director of Grant Preparation and Coordinator of Publications for Pikeville College, Pikeville, KY, and co-author of the centennial history book of the college

Reporter, photographer, The Appalachian News-Express, a community newspaper in Pikeville, KY

Staff reporter, The Associated Press, Atlanta, GA

Research assistant to Abe Peck, Northwestern University Professor, for a book on underground journalism, Uncovering the ’60s

Staff, volunteer, assistant newsletter editor, Catholic Worker House of Hospitality for homeless families, Des Moines, IA


• Lived in Lyon, France, 7/2003-6/2004; lived in Budapest, Hungary, 7/1992-6/1993
• Member, Vestry member, Trinity Episcopal Church, Preston Avenue
• Member, NAACP, former member, Charlottesville NAACP Board
• Former President, Burnley-Moran Elementary School PTO
• Former member, Special Education Advisory Committee
• Sing with the Virginia Consort, Trinity Episcopal Church Choir, and bluegrass gospel groups
• Two daughters, Anna (19) and Maria (17), husband, Joe Szakos
• Foster parent with People Places

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