David Kelly

North Carolina Political Affairs Senior Manager


David Kelly leads a variety of portfolios for EDF Action. From our Raleigh, North Carolina, office, Kelly leads our state-based advocacy program to deliver environmental and legislative wins in North Carolina. Kelly also leads field campaigns and initiatives in North Carolina that support EDF Action’s federal policy and program objectives. Beginning in 2018, David took that helm of EDF Action’s down-ballot political program, building the conservation bench by encouraging voter support for emerging environmental and conservation leaders serving in elected office at the state and local level.

Over the last decade, Kelly has helped build innovative and diverse advocacy coalitions to secure and strengthen bipartisan support for clean energy in North Carolina and led lobbying efforts to secure new legislation to promote community resilience to flooding, severe weather, and climate change through stream and wetland restoration, floodplain reconnection, and other nature-based investments. Kelly has also designed and led the successful execution of campaigns to build the bench of elected environmental and conservation leaders serving in state and local office in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and North Carolina.


Kelly joined EDF Action 11 years ago and has held several positions with the organization over that time with a wide range of operational, programmatic, and management responsibilities including, program management, financial and business operations, strategic planning, and direct advocacy and lobbying.

Before joining EDF Action, Kelly served at the North Carolina General Assembly in the legislative office of North Carolina House Representative Verla Insko.

While working full-time at EDF Action, Kelly received his Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He lives in Cary, North Carolina with his wife and two children.