HRC Head to Depart in 2012
Joe Solmonese, the president of the nation’s largest GLBT equality lobbying organization, the Human Rights Campaign, has not renewed his contract and will be leaving the HRC next year.
Solmonese’s impending departure was announced in an Aug. 27 media release from the HRC. His current contract will run out on March 31, 2012, the release said. "Solmonese will remain at the helm of the organization until the completion of his contract to ensure a smooth leadership transition," the release added. The group’s board of directors also announced the formation of a search committee to identify Solmonese’s successor.
"Joe Solmonese is an outstanding leader," HRC Foundation Board co-chair Anne Fay said. "While we will miss his extraordinary leadership, we enter this next phase, thanks to Joe, in the best place the organization has ever been. Not only has our community secured historic victories, but our membership is larger and more active than at any time in our history, and our financial health is secure even in these difficult economic times."
"From the repeal of ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, to the recent passage of marriage equality in New York, Joe has made sure that HRC is an effective and strategic force for positive change," HRC board of directors co-chair Tim Downing said. "Over the course of his tenure, he’s set the tone for delivering real reform that matters in peoples’ everyday lives."
The release also included remarks by Solmonese.
"Leading HRC has been an inspiring experience and a complete privilege," Solmonese said. "I could not be more proud of our staff, our volunteer leadership and of the extraordinary progress we’ve made together as a community."
"Solmonese’s leadership has taken the organization from 750,000 members and supporters to more than 1,000,000," the release said. "Additionally, he oversaw significant expansion of HRC’s public education and outreach programs including the launch of the Healthcare Equality index, a more robust Religion and Faith Program and wider reach and success of the Corporate Equality Index.
"The HRC Foundation also launched the Welcoming Schools program to address family diversity, gender stereotyping, bullying and name calling in schools, as well as the All Children All Families initiative that helps open up adoption agencies to prospective LGBT parents," added the release. "The grassroots field operation also expanded -- most recently mounting the largest state-level campaign in LGBT movement history resulting in the passage of marriage equality in New York."