Joni Madison

She/Her | Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff

Joni Madison is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff of the Human Rights Campaign.

Before joining the staff, Joni was an HRC volunteer leader for 15 years, eventually serving as the co-chair of the HRC’s Board of Directors and Executive Director Search Committee. She also served as co-chair of HRC’s 5-Year Strategy Plan in 2009–2010 and on the Board of Governors for three terms from 2001–2006. Though her name may be new to HRC’s payroll, it is a familiar one in its halls, as she has first-hand knowledge and experience leading HRC staff and volunteers.

She came to HRC from national advertising agency McKinney, where she served as COO for more than 10 years. Only the second executive to hold the COO position in the agency’s 41-year history, she was one of just 35 female COOs in 1,146 offices of the American Association of Advertising Agencies members when she left for HRC. In 1992, she joined McKinney as a senior producer who two years later was promoted to director of Broadcast Productions, a department she built. In 2000, she rose to the executive ranks as Director of Operations.

Joni had a parallel second career as a volunteer, first with Mothers Against Jesse in Congress (MAJIC), a group that created and produced advertising messages highlighting Jesse Helms’ antigay political activities. Other organizations she’s worked with include Partnership for a Drug Free America, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. And in 2000, she began volunteering for HRC.

Joni has a B.S. in communications. She was legally married to her wife, Gina, in North Carolina on October 18, 2014, which was their 20th anniversary as life partners. Attendees included their dogs, Cleo and Max.