Former US Patent and Trademark, California State Communications Leader Joins National Service Agency

WASHINGTON, DC— Today, AmeriCorps announced the appointment of Russell Lopez as chief of communications and marketing for the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. Lopez joins AmeriCorps from the US Patent and Trademark Office, where he led development and implementation of strategic communications.   

Prior to joining USPTO, Lopez served as communications director for the California State Lottery, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. He began his 18 years of public service as a senior deputy press secretary for Governor Gray Davis. Lopez then worked in the offices of state senators who chaired the committees of Public Safety, Education and Health and Human Services as a communications director. He also served as communications director for the Office of the State Controller. 

“I am pleased to welcome Russell to AmeriCorps as our chief of communications and marketing,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “He brings a servant’s heart to this work. As our chief storyteller, he will work in concert with our national service partners to inspire even more Americans to lead through service."

Lopez joins the agency that brings people together at a time when Americans are more divided and experiencing both increased isolation and loneliness. He will spearhead communications and marketing efforts to build bridges, activate the national service community and increase recruitment applications to help support local, state and national organizations. In this role, Lopez serves on the agency’s newly created Strategic Engagement team which includes the offices of External Affairs, Government Relations, Partnerships and Public Engagement led by Adrienne Andrews, deputy chief of staff, who joined the agency in November 2022. 

“It is my honor to join an American institution whose priority is making service to others accessible to all,” said Russell Lopez, AmeriCorps chief of communications and marketing. “At every turn during the last three decades, AmeriCorps has been at the forefront, providing relief, care and compassion to our neighbors and our communities. I look forward to carrying forward this noble mission with CEO Smith, the agency team and the thousands of alumni, grantees, members, volunteers and champions.”

AmeriCorps also welcomes Jonah Bryson as its press secretary. Bryson comes to AmeriCorps from the NAACP, where he served as an on-the-record spokesperson. 

AmeriCorps partners with more than 2,500 community, faith-based, tribal and nonprofit organizations to leverage national service to help solve community challenges. Every year, more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and its state and local partners in addressing public health needs, responding to disasters and extreme weather events, and expanding education and economic opportunity in urban and rural areas.