Updated: August 27, 2011:
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, on Saturday announced the resignation of its president, Joe Solmonese, confirming his departure that was first reported late Friday by Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend.
According to a statement by HRC, Solmonese will not renew his contract with the organization, but will remain at the helm until the end of March 2012.
“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,” said Tim Downing, who co-chairs the HRC Board of Directors with Rebecca Tillet. “Over the course of his tenure, he’s set the tone for delivering real reform that matters in peoples’ everyday lives.”
“HRC has never been stronger and after nearly seven years, this is the right moment for me to move on,” said Solmonese.
“As I explore new professional possibilities, I plan on continuing to pour my heart and soul into improving the lives of members of our community – from battling proposed marriage amendments to creating more equitable workplaces to ensuring the President Obama is reelected for a second term.
“Leading HRC has been an inspiring experience and a complete privilege,” said Solmonese. “I could not be more proud of our staff, our volunteer leadership and of the extraordinary progress we’ve made together as a community.”
“From the beginning, we asked Joe to give us six months of transition when he decided to leave and he’s done that,” said Tillet. “We have every confidence that we will find and engage a new leader within that timeframe.”
Downing and Tillet also announced the formation of a search committee to be co-chaired by board members Joni Madison of Hillsborough, N.C., and Dana Perlman of Los Angeles.