MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now and Institute announced today Executive Director Scot Ross has decided to leave the organization after nearly 12 years of helming one of Wisconsin’s most oft-quoted progressive organizations. Ross will be departing at the end of the month take a position in the private sector and One Wisconsin will name a successor in the near future.
“I had the best job in Wisconsin politics because I got to deal with the best people in Wisconsin politics,” said Ross. “One Wisconsin Now and Institute led the way for progressives on research, communications and rapid response. We rewrote the research and communications rulebook every day at One Wisconsin and my talented friends here will continue to use their voices to fight for truth, justice and equality.”
Ross joined One Wisconsin in August 2007 helping to grow the organizations to a more-than 100,000-person strong online supporter network with an active, diverse and vibrant donor base. During that time, One Wisconsin has been in over 15,000 media stories and its fingerprints are on countless others. Ross is a featured political pundit on the NBC affiliate in Madison and Wisconsin Public Television and a regular guest on national cable television.
“We thank Scot for his service to the progressive community and for his tireless enthusiasm, boundless energy and occasional attempts at humor,” said Kim Warkentin and Bill Stephen, presidents of the One Wisconsin Institute and One Wisconsin Now Boards of Directors. “We are excited at all the opportunities that are ahead for One Wisconsin Now and One Wisconsin Institute and shortly we will be naming our new Executive Director.”
Ross said among his most satisfying moments at One Wisconsin were training activists; encouraging diversity in media sources; raising alarms about the student debt crisis; beating the Republicans in state and federal court five straight times; exposing the might of Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation; overseeing the state’s biggest issue advocacy research library; and consistently informing the issue debate with original research that ran the gamut from critically important to moments of levity such as discovering the infamous Scott Walker “Thank you again and Molotov” letter that led to an eight-minute segment on Stephen Colbert’s show.
“I get attention, but my colleagues at One Wisconsin deserve the real credit,” said Ross. “I couldn’t be more lucky to have worked with Cody, Joanna, Mike, Analiese and all the other former staff and #OWNterns who devoted their time and talents to our mission. I also want to thank our incredibly supportive board members and I want to thank everyone who supports and will continue to support the vital work here.”
Ross praised his friends throughout the progressive community inside and outside of Wisconsin, including issue activists, direct service providers, members of the Progress Now family and his brothers and sisters in the House of Labor.
“Lastly, a thank you to the dedicated members of the Fourth Estate whose inboxes I’ve invaded, whose phones I’ve worked and whose ears I’ve bent for your willingness to respectfully hear me out and for doing the rigorous, but at times thankless voyage of pursuing the truth. I hope you have forgiven the handful of times I disagreed with you on what was the news. And definitely thank you for spelling my name correctly. You can blame that one on my mom,” he concluded.