Ben Needham is the Director of Project One America, HRC’s comprehensive, multi-year effort to expand LGBTQ equality in the South through permanent campaigns in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.
Ben manages in-state staff and coordinates with HRC’s senior leadership in Washington, D.C. to make progress on three fronts—changing hearts and minds, advancing enduring legal protections, and building more inclusive institutions for LGBTQ southerners from the church pew to the workplace.
Ben oversees grassroots and grasstops campaigns on behalf of HRC in these three states, and leads and implements political strategy and public education campaigns to bring about a new era of inclusiveness and equality for LGBTQ people in the South.
Ben is a veteran political strategist with an extensive background in campaigns, issue advocacy, and providing strategy for political parties, progressive organizations, and candidates. He worked as Southern and Western Political Manager for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and on several issue advocacy campaigns such as Houston Votes, Missouri Cures and the National Partnership for Women and Families. His experience with political organizations includes working with Obama for America, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and with several political candidates such as Travis Childer in Mississippi and Russ Carnahan in Missouri.
Ben grew up in Laurel, MS, and received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mississippi State University.