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HRC names new president: Chad Griffin

The Human Rights Campaign has named Chad H. Griffin the next president of the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.

Griffin was hired by HRC’s board of directors and will succeed Joe Solmonese.

Griffin, a national communications and policy strategist, is widely credited for being the mastermind behind the federal lawsuit to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which has now been ruled unconstitutional by two federal courts.

Griffin’s appointment follows an extensive six-month search by the board that included the consideration of over one hundred diverse and extremely well qualified candidates from business, academia and activism.

Griffin will assume his new responsibilities on June 11.

The founding partner of strategic communications and campaign firm, Griffin|Schein, Griffin, according to an HRC news release, has taken on “Big Tobacco, Big Oil and the far right, and shaped national policy debates around equal rights, clean energy, universal health care, stem cell research, and early childhood education.”

He has also led groundbreaking ballot initiative campaigns including the largest ballot initiative ever recorded, Proposition 87: California’s Clean Alternative Energy Initiative; the Proposition 10 campaign, which generates $600 million a year for early childhood education; and Proposition 71, which secured billions of dollars for stem cell research despite the Bush Administration ban. 

Griffin is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of the Prop 8 lawsuit.

A veteran of the Clinton White House communications team, and a native of Arkansas, Griffin was highly motivated by young people in taking this new endeavor.

“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,” said Griffin. “I’m honored by the board’s confidence in my ability to lead HRC.”

Leaders of many other LGBT groups welcomed HRC’s announcement – some nonpartisan, and some partisan.

R. C. Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans said, “The campaign for equality is not a partisan matter, it is about doing what is right for all LGBT Americans. 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.”

Cooper said Griffin’s work at for AFER, “recognized the importance of coming together to do what is right. Log Cabin Republicans looks forward working with the Human Rights Campaign under Chad’s leadership to help enact pro-equality legislation in Congress and across the country.” 

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