Human Rights Campaign Appoints Chad Griffin as New President
The Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) board of directors recently announced that Chad Griffin would be the organization’s new president.
Griffin is a political strategist who worked with the Bill Clinton campaign in the 90s and founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) in 2009. He is also credited with heading the federal overturn of California’s Proposition 8. Griffin will remain on AFER’s board of directors while serving as HRC’s president.
Griffin will officially be HRC’s president on June 11 and will replace Joe Solmonese, HRC said in a statement.
"All over this country in big cities and small towns, there are families and young people who long to be accepted for who they are, and who want be treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else," Griffin said. "I’m honored by the board’s confidence in my ability to lead HRC. While there’s no doubt that we’ve made tremendous progress on the road to equality, we must not forget that millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic legal protections and suffer the consequences of discrimination every day. Today’s generation of young people, and each generation hereafter, must grow up with the full and equal protection of our laws, and finally be free to participate in the American dream. As HRC president, I’ll approach our work with a great sense of urgency because there are real life consequences to inaction."
HRC co-chair Time Downing and HRC foundation co-chair Sandra Hartness both welcomed Griffin to the organization.
"We’re ecstatic to have someone of Chad’s caliber as our next president. His superior credentials and achievements, both as a visionary and strategist, make him uniquely qualified to lead this organization forward. Chad has a proven track record of consistently delivering results during his career. That’s something that our community rightly expects and deserves."
Several LGBT groups supported the HRC’s decision to appoint Griffin as its new president. That included someone from the other side of the aisle from Griffin, R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans.
"The campaign for equality is not a partisan matter, it is about doing what is right for all LGBT Americans," he said in a statement. "By selecting Chad Griffin as their new President, the Human Rights Campaign has selected a leader who knows achieving victory will require advocacy and champions on both sides of the aisle. Chad’s leadership of the American Foundation on Equal Rights and his work with a leading conservative, Ted Olson, on Perry v. Schwarzenegger recognized the importance of coming together to do what is right. Log Cabin Republicans look forward working with the Human Rights Campaign under Chad’s leadership to help enact pro-equality legislation in Congress and across the country."
AFER also praised the organization’s decision.
"I cannot think of anyone better to take the helm of the Human Rights Campaign than my dear friend and colleague Chad Griffin," said AFER lead co-counsel Theodore Olson said in a statement. "There is no one more passionate, more resourceful or more effective than Chad. His brilliant and visionary leadership makes me confident that one day, very soon, every American will be treated equally under the law. HRC is extraordinarily lucky to have him."
The chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, Rick Jacobs, also supported the decision in a statement and said Griffin was an "experienced leader."
"I met Chad nine years ago during the Howard Dean campaign," he said. "I have worked with, watched and admired his leadership and unparalleled strategic and campaign skills on a multitude of issues. He simplifies the complex, never misses a detail and keeps his eye firmly fixed on the horizon. Chad is the rare combination of a passionate, tough, experienced leader who will take our movement to full equality."